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TURKEY / HUMAN RIGHTS (L-O) BY DAVID GOLLUST/WASH, DC

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

DATE=6/6/95

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-179976

TITLE=TURKEY / HUMAN RIGHTS (L-O)

BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST

DATELINE=WASH, DC

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: A U-S CONGRESSIONAL COMMISSION HEARD TESTIMONY TUESDAY ON HUMAN RIGHTS CONDITIONS IN TURKEY. AS V-O-A'S DAVID GOLLUST REPORTS, TURKISH ACTIVISTS SAY MAJOR VIOLATIONS CONTINUE AS THE GOVERNMENT CONTINUES ITS DRIVE AGAINST KURDISH SEPARATISTS IN SOUTHEAST TURKEY.

TEXT: TWO OF TURKEY'S LEADING HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES SAY THE GOVERNMENT IS CONTINUING LARGE-SCALE RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN ITS LONG-RUNNING EFFORT TO SUPPRESS THE KURDISH WORKERS PARTY -- THE P-K-K -- IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY.

AT A HEARING ORGANIZED BY THE HELSINKI COMMISSION OF THE U-S CONGRESS, AKIN BIRDAL -- CHAIRMAN OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION OF TURKEY -- SAID NEARLY 25-HUNDRED VILLAGES IN THE SOUTHEAST HAVE BEEN EVACUATED AND MANY DESTROYED IN THE DRIVE OVER THE LAST DECADE, WITH SOME TWO MILLION PEOPLE FORCED FROM THEIR HOMES.

MR. BIRDAL SAID THE PACE OF SUCH ACTIVITY IN INCREASED IN RECENT MONTHS AS THE GOVERNMENT SEEKS, WITH LITTLE SUCCESS, TO STAMP OUT P-K-K- ACTIVITY.

AT THE SAME TIME, HE SAID THE GOVERNMENT OF PRIME MINISTER TANSU CILLER HAS SOUGHT TO AS HE PUT IT "BLACKMAIL" ALLIED GOVERNMENTS BY SUGGESTING THAT IT IS BATTLING ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM THE SOUTHEAST. HEARD THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, MR. BIRDAL SAID PRIME MINISTER CILLER'S DEMOCRATIZATION INITIATIVES ARE LARGELY FOR FOREIGN CONSUMPTION.

             /// BIRDAL (INTERPRETER) ACTUALITY ///

THE CURRENT DEMOCRATIZATION ATTEMPTS IN TURKEY ARE NOT ADDRESSING THE ESSENCE OF THE PROBLEM. IT IS ONLY FOR APPEARANCES'S SAKE IN ORDER TO FACILITATE TURKEY'S ATTEMPT TO BECOME PART OF THE EUROPEAN CUSTOMS UNION.

                     /// END BIRDAL ACT ///

THE OTHER WITNESS, YAVUZ ONEN OF HUMAN RIGHTS FEDERATION OF TURKEY, CRITICIZED THE GOVERNMENT'S VIRTUAL BAN ON INDEPENDENT NEWS COVERAGE OF ANTI - P-K-K ACTIVITY IN THE SOUTHEAST -- SAYING THE TURKISH PEOPLE ARE LEFT WITH ONLY OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUES, AND P-K-K STATEMENTS FROM ABROAD, AS SOURCES OF INFORMATION FROM THE KURDISH REGION.

THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT DECLINED AN INVITATION TO PRESENT ITS VIEWS AT THE HEARING.

LAST WEEK THE STATE DEPARTMENT ISSUED ITS OWN REPORT ON THE

SITUATION IN SOUTHEASTERN TURKEY -- SAYING U-S/SUPPLIED WEAPONRY

HAD BEEN USED IN TURKISH OPERATIONS THERE IN WHICH HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES OCCURRED.

WHILE LABELING THE P-K-K A RUTHLESS TERRORIST GROUP, THE U-S REPORT NONE-THE-LESS URGED TURKEY TO DROP ITS MILITARY STRATEGY AND ADOPT A MORE "CIVIL-BASED APPROACH" TO THE KURDISH PROBLEM.(SIGNED)

NEB / DAG / BD/PT

06-Jun-95 4:17 PM EDT (2017 UTC)

NNNN

Source: Voice of America

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