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TURKEY/ U-S ARMS (L-ONLY) BY DAVID GOLLUST/STATE DEPARTMENT

From: yanni@ix.netcom.com (Ioannis Bousnakis)

DATE=6/1/95

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-179740

TITLE=TURKEY/ U-S ARMS (L-ONLY)

BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST

DATELINE=STATE DEPARTMENT

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: A U-S STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT SAYS TURKEY HAS USED U-S-SUPPLIED MILITARY EQUIPMENT IN CAMPAIGNS AGAINST KURDISH REBELS MARKED BY HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES. HOWEVER, AS V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION OPPOSES CUTTING U-S MILITARY AID TO THE ANKARA GOVERNMENT.

TEXT: THE REPORT TO THE CONGRESS SAYS IT IS HIGHLY-LIKELY THAT U-S SUPPLIED MILITARY EQUIPMENT WAS USED IN OPERATIONS AGAINST REBELS IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY IN WHICH SOME KURDISH VILLAGES WERE FORCIBLY EVACUATED AND DESTROYED.

BUT THE STATE DEPARTMENT DOCUMENT SAYS THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO VERIFY REPORTS THAT AMERICAN WEAPONS OR EQUIPMENT WERE USED IN TORTURE OR KILLINGS ATTRIBUTED TO TURKISH FORCES IN THE REGION.

THE REPORT WAS MANDATED BY CONGRESS FOLLOWING ALLEGATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES BY TURKEY IN ITS CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE SEPARATIST KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY -- THE P-K-K -- WHICH IS DESCRIBED IN THE REPORT AS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION AND A MAJOR THREAT TO TURKISH SOVEREIGNTY.

THE CONGRESS WITHHELD TEN PER CENT OF THIS YEAR'S 365-MILLION DOLLAR MILITARY AID PROGRAM FOR TURKEY PENDING THE FINDINGS OF THE REPORT. BUT TURKEY HAS ALREADY SAID IT WILL NOT ACCEPT THE CONDITIONAL PORTION OF THE AID PACKAGE -- AND THE REPORT MAKES NO RECOMMENDATION ABOUT REINSTATING IT.

BRIEFING REPORTERS HERE, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN CHRISTINE SHELLY SAID TURKEY COOPERATED WITH U-S OFFICIALS LOOKING INTO THE MATTER, AND HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE NEED TO IMPROVE ITS HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD.

CALLING TURKEY AN IMPORTANT NATO ALLY IN A DIFFICULT PART OF THE WORLD, SHE EXPRESSED HOPE CONGRESS WILL NOT FURTHER REDUCE MILITARY AID:

                    /// SHELLY ACTUALITY ///

IT'S OUR VIEW THAT GIVEN THE RECENT INDICATIONS THAT THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT IS ATTEMPTING TO ADDRESS THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF TURKEY AS A FRONT-LINE STATE THAT IS CLEARLY SURROUNDED BY NUMEROUS THREATS TO ITSELF, WE HOPE THAT THE U-S CONGRESS WILL NOT REDUCE FUNDING TO TURKEY.

                      /// END ACTUALITY ///

THE SPOKESWOMAN SAID THE ADMINISTRATION HOPES THE REPORT WILL NOT ALTER THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE U-S TURKISH RELATIONSHIP, AND SAID THE UNITED STATES PUTS A HIGH-VALUE ON THE PRESERVATION OF TURKEY'S DEMOCRACY, TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY, AND SECURITY.

THE REPORT DID NOT DEAL WITH TURKEY'S LARGE-SCALE MILITARY DRIVE INTO NORTHERN IRAQ IN MARCH TO ATTACK BASES USED BY THE P-K-K TO LAUNCH RAIDS INSIDE TURKEY.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT DOCUMENT IS COMPLIMENTARY WITH REGARD TO TURKISH EFFORTS TO RESOLVE THE CYPRUS DISPUTE, CITING THE ANKARA GOVERNMENT'S SUPPORT FOR U-N PROPOSED CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES ON THE DIVIDED ISLAND. (SIGNED)

NEB/DAG/CB/LWM

01-Jun-95 5:11 PM EDT (2111 UTC)

NNNN

Source: Voice of America

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