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Tuesday, February 16, 1999 Published at 17:42 GMT

Ocalan: 'To my oppressed people'

Abdullah Ocalan, addressing his supporters on the 20th anniversary of his PKK party in November, answered charges that he is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people, and set out his grievances against the Turkish government. Below are excerpts from broadcasts by Kurdish MED TV television:

To my oppressed Kurdish people, we are now marking the 20th anniversary of our party. I would like to salute you on this occasion and to state that we are marking this meaningful and lofty anniversary ... while facing the new impositions of an enemy that knows no limits in meaningless and crazy acts ...

Our ignoble enemy, which claims that I am responsible for the deaths of 30,000 people, is a shameless liar ...

What will the Turkish people and nation gain from having my head? There is the story of these 30,000 persons. There are claims that this is an official number.

'Let them account for the evacuated villages'

The Office of the State of Emergency Region Governor, which claims that they killed more than 20,000 guerrillas, issues the same statement each week.

Let them have a degree of conscience. If they have any respect for truth, let them account for the 4,000 villages that were evacuated. Who committed the 4,000-5,000 unresolved murders?

Now I am going to say what I want from you, from Turkey, and from the Turkish people.

It is a fact that we are the people who opened this land to agriculture and who tamed the animals here some 4,000-5,000 years ago.

We are the people who tended these vineyards and who rendered the oldest service to humanity.

Turks 'destroying an identity'

We never hurt anybody or invaded another territory. You came and started to strike, kill, and rule. You assumed the positions of chiefs, commanders, and governors. You can have all of these.

You, however, are destroying an identity. You are trying to eliminate the last remnant of a national treasure.

You do not make do with this, and you claim that all you do is right. These people have a name and an existence. They also have self-respect and dignity ...

Source: MED TV Television in Turkish 27 Nov 98

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