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Tuesday, June 29, 1999 Published at 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK


World: Europe

PKK calls for moderation

Flag burning: Protests across Europe after Ocalan's capture

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has called for "democratic and political" protests against the death sentence imposed on its leader Abdullah Ocalan.

The Ocalan File
A statement issued by the PKK leadership council spoke of "the first step in an ongoing process".

It said that "continued small-scale protests" should serve as warnings about the potential dangers if Ocelan is executed.

Following an automatic appeal, the Turkish parliament will take the final decision on whether Ocelan is executed.

Fears of violence

There had been concern that the violent protests seen in Ferbruary when Ocalan was apprehended by Turkey might be repeated.

Four Kurdish supporters were killed in Berlin when a group broke in to the Israeli embassy alleging Israeli involvement in Ocalan's capture, one of a number of demonstrations in the city.


[ image: Berlin's Greek consulate: Stormed in February]
Berlin's Greek consulate: Stormed in February
Greek police tightened security at airports in Athens and the Aegean islands, around the United States and Turkish embassies, and possible American and Turkish targets across the country.

The United States fears it may be a particular focus of any Kurdish anger as many Kurds believe Washington co-operated with Turkey in its clandestine seizure of Mr Ocalan.

Peaceful protests

Kurdish protests at the sentence have so far been small-scale and peaceful.

About 200 Kurdish protesters gathered outside the US Embassy in London, which they were thought to be targeting following the arrest of a PKK activist in the US on Monday.

London's Metropolitan police refused to say whether it had heightened security, but said it was aware of the Turkish court's decision, was carefully monitoring the situation, and was ready for any eventualities.

German Interior Minister Otto Schily said his country's large Kurdish minority and Kurds worldwide should refrain from violence and "have confidence in an appeal or a hearing before the European court of human rights".

In Berlin, about 300 Kurds gathered at a community centre in Kreuzberg, an area where thousands of Turks live side by side.

Kurds also demonstrated on Tuesday in Moscow, The Hague, Bonn, Strasbourg, Helsinki and Nicosia.



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