Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, March 22, 1999 Published at 00:14 GMT

World: Europe

Violence marks Kurdish New Year

Nawroz has increasingly become a time of protest for Kurds

Chris Morris: "The tension is extremely high"
Violent clashes have taken place in several of Turkey's main cities as Kurdish supporters of the PKK rebel movement try to celebrate the new year festival of Newroz.

There is extremely heavy security in Kurdish areas and human rights activists say up to 4,000 people have been taken into custody.

The Ocalan File
Police and demonstrators exchanged fire at a number of locations in Istanbul.

Several people were wounded, including three police officers, and hundreds of people have been detained.

[ image: Kurdish protests across Europe were sparked by news of the capture of Mr Ocalan]
Kurdish protests across Europe were sparked by news of the capture of Mr Ocalan
Information about violence in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country is harder to come by. Foreign journalists have been banned from the region by the Turkish authorities.

Officials in south-east Turkey suspect sabotage to be the cause of an explosion close to the main oil pipeline between Turkey and Iraq.

Local sources say security is intense with armoured cars and tanks patrolling sensitive areas.

There have been further arrests in a number of towns and cities and the police and the army have apparently moved quickly to prevent any demonstrations from gathering steam.

Germany has asked Ankara for immediate clarification following the arrest of a number of German human rights observers in the south east.

New Year protests

In the last few years Newroz has become a traditional time of protest for disaffected Kurds.

The worst violence took place in 1992, when more than 50 people were killed in clashes with the security forces.

After the arrest last month of the Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan, there has been sporadic violent protest in the southeast and in other cities.

The authorities made it clear that they would launch a major security operation during Newroz.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

21 Mar 99 | Europe
Turkey cracks down on Kurdish celebration

17 Feb 99 | Middle East
Turkish troops advance on Iraqi Kurds

16 Feb 99 | Europe
Rebel arrest sparks Kurdish fury

Internet Links

Kurdish Information Network

Kurdistan Web

Republic of Turkey

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift