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U-S / KURDS (S & L) BY MELISSA WINKLER/WASHINGTON

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

DATE=8/1/95

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

NUMBER=2-182910

TITLE= U-S / KURDS  (S & L)

BYLINE=MELISSA WINKLER

DATELINE=WASHINGTON

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: A GROUP OF KURDS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., IS STAGING A HUNGER STRIKE -- ALONG WITH HUNDREDS OF OTHER KURDISH ACTIVISTS IN OTHER COUNTRIES AND IN TURKISH PRISONS -- TO PROTEST TURKEY'S TREATMENT OF ITS KURDISH MINORITY. AS V-O-A'S MELISSA WINKLER REPORTS, THE PROTESTS CONTINUE DESPITE THE DEATHS OF TWO KURDISH HUNGER STRIKERS.

TEXT: FIVE KURDISH MEN CAMPED OUTSIDE OF THE U-S CAPITOL BUILDING HAVE BEEN ON A HUNGER STRIKE SINCE JULY 20TH TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR HUNGER-STRIKING KURDS IN TURKISH PRISONS.

THE GROUP SAYS IT JOINS KURDS WORLDWIDE IN MOURNING TWO FELLOW HUNGER STRIKERS --A WOMAN WHO DIED IN BERLIN LAST WEEK AND A MAN WHO DIED SEVERAL DAYS LATER IN A TURKISH JAIL. HE WAS REPORTEDLY IMPRISONED FOR POSTING A FLIER ADVOCATING KURDISH RIGHTS.

GANI XULAM OF THE KURDISH AMERICAN INFORMATION NETWORK, SPOKE ON BEHALF OF THE WASHINGTON HUNGER STRIKERS.

                         // XULAM ACT //

WE ARE GATHERED HERE TO HONOR TWO KURDS. THEY TOOK PART IN THIS HUNGER STRIKE, MILES (KILOMETERS) AWAY FROM THIS SITE. THEY HAD HOPES SIMILAR TO OURS. THEY WANTED TO SEE AN END TO THE WAR IN KURDISTAN. ONE JOINED THE STRIKE IN BERLIN. THE OTHER IN YOZGAT. ONE WAS FREE. THE OTHER WAS NOT. BOTH DIED FOR A CAUSE THAT TRANSCENDS US.

                         // END ACT //

MANY KURDISH PRISONERS IN TURKEY ARE SUSPECTED MEMBERS OF THE BANNED KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, WHICH SINCE 1984 HAS BEEN FIGHTING ANKARA FOR AN INDEPENDENT HOMELAND IN SOUTH-EASTERN TURKEY.

THE VIOLENCE HAS LEFT THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE DEAD.

                        ///  REST OPT ///

DARA AZADI, ONE OF THE HUNGER STRIKERS IN WASHINGTON, SAYS IF THE U-S GOVERNMENT WANTS TO SEE STABILITY AND PEACE IN SOUTH EASTERN TURKEY, THEN U-S MILITARY ASSISTANCE TO THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT MUST BE HALTED.

                         // AZADI ACT //

OUR DEMAND IS TO URGE THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT TO PLAY THE ROLE OF PEACEKEEPER ... TO BRING THE TURKISH SIDE AND THE KURDISH SIDE TOGETHER TO NEGOTIATE A PEACE PROCESS, TO STOP THE WAR IN TURKEY. AND ESPECIALLY WE URGE THE U-S GOVERNMENT TO STOP THE MILITARY AID TO TURKEY BECAUSE WITH THIS MILITARY AID, OUR PEOPLE ARE BEING KILLED IN KURDISTAN.

                          // END ACT //

WASHINGTON HAS SUPPORTED TURKISH OFFENSIVES AGAINST THE KURDISTAN WORKER'S PARTY. U-S AND TURKISH OFFICIALS CONSIDER THE PARTY BE A TERRORIST GROUP THAT HAS KILLED THOUSANDS OF TURKISH PEOPLE. AT THE SAME TIME, U-S OFFICIALS HAVE URGED TURKEY TO DO MORE TO PROTECT THE LIVES AND PROPERTY OF INNOCENT KURDISH CIVILIANS.

(SIGNED)

NEB/MJW

01-Aug-95 2:10 PM EDT (1810 UTC)

NNNN

Source: Voice of America

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