Monday, March 22, 1999 Published at 00:14 GMT
Violence marks Kurdish New Year
Nawroz has increasingly become a time of protest for Kurds
There is extremely heavy security in Kurdish areas and human rights activists say up to 4,000 people have been taken into custody.
Several people were wounded, including three police officers, and hundreds of people have been detained.
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.