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Voice of America, 99-01-17

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO ACCUSATIONS (S) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PRISTINA, KOSOVO)
  • [02] KOSOVO/MASSACRE S/L BY LAURIE KASSMAN (RACAK, KOSOVO)
  • [03] TURKEY POLITICS (S&L) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [04] ITALY OCALAN (S&L) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (ROME)
  • [05] TURKEY/OCALAN (S ONLY) BY AMBARIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

  • [01] KOSOVO ACCUSATIONS (S) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (PRISTINA, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244290
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF SERBIA, VOJISLAV SESELJ, ACCUSES OBSERVERS FROM THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE -- THE O-S-C-E -- OF OVERSTEPPING THE BOUNDARIES OF THEIR MISSION. THE WAR OF WORDS AGAINST THE INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER FORCE MONITORING A FRAGILE TRUCE IN KOSOVO TOOK PLACE AS SERB FORCES WERE FIRING ON THE VILLAGE RACAK [PRON: 'RAH-CHUCK], WHERE A INVESTIGATORS FOUND EVIDENCE OF A MASSACRE TAKING PLACE ON FRIDAY. V-O-A'S LAURIE KASSMAN HAS MORE FROM PRISTINA, KOSOVO'S PROVINCIAL CAPITAL.

    TEXT: MR. SESELJ SAYS A SERB JUDGE WAS NOT ALLOWED PROPER ACCESS TO RACAK VILLAGE TO INVESTIGATE THE MASSACRE THERE. EARLIER (SUNDAY), THE DEPUTY HEAD OF THE O-S-C-E MISSION TRIED TO PERSUADE THE JUDGE TO LEAVE HER ARMED POLICE ESCORT BEHIND TO AVOID ANY PROVOCATIONS. SHE REFUSED, AND THE MEETING BROKE UP AS SERB FORCES OPENED FIRE ON RACAK.

    THE TOP O-S-C-E OFFICIAL CALLS IT A VIOLATION OF THE CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT.

    MR. SESELJ ALSO REPEATED HIS OPPOSITION TO LETTING THE CHIEF PROSECUTOR FROM THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE CARRY OUT AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF THE MASSACRE. THE O-S-C-E HAD CALLED FOR THE INDEPENDENT PROBE, EVEN THOUGH YUGOSLAVIA HAS REFUSED THE INVESTIGATORS VISAS TO ENTER THE COUNTRY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/PCF/WTW
    17-Jan-99 11:05 AM EST (1605 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO/MASSACRE S/L BY LAURIE KASSMAN (RACAK, KOSOVO)

    DATE=1/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244289
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: MONITORS FROM THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE -- THE O-S-C-E -- WERE FORCED TO EVACUATE RACAK [PRON: 'RAH-CHUK] SUNDAY WHEN SERB SPECIAL FORCES OPENED FIRE ON THE VILLAGE IN WESTERN KOSOVO. RACAK WAS THE SCENE OF THE MASSACRE OF 45 VILLAGERS -- MOSTLY MEN AND YOUNG BOYS -- LATE FRIDAY. CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS RELATIVES OF THE VICTIMS WHO HAD RETURNED TO BURY THEM WERE FORCED TO FLEE THE GUNFIRE.

    TEXT: SERB FORCES OPENED FIRE ON RACAK VILLAGE WHILE THE DEPUTY HEAD OF THE O-S-C-E MISSION WAS MEETING WITH A YUGOSLAV JUDGE IN A NEARBY TOWN TO ARRANGE FOR HER TO ENTER THE VILLAGE TO INVESTIGATE THE MASSACRE.

    MAJOR GENERAL JOHN DREWIENKIEWICZ [DREH-'VYEN-KEH-VITCH] SAYS THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN REBELS HAD AGREED TO LET THE JUDGE GO INTO THE VILLAGE IF THERE WERE NO ARMED POLICE UNITS WITH HER. HE ALSO WARNED THAT THERE WERE UNARMED VERIFIERS IN THE VILLAGE. BUT SHE REFUSED. THE MEETING BROKE UP WITH THE SOUND OF GUNFIRE IN THE VILLAGE

    /// DREWIENKIEWICZ ACT ///

    I CONSIDER THIS TO BE A VERY PROVOCATIVE ACT BY THE YUGOSLAV AUTHORITIES, WHICH HAS AGAIN BROKEN THE CEASE-FIRE.

    /// END ACT ///

    MONITORS AND JOURNALISTS WERE FORCED TO EVACUATE THE VILLAGE. THE MORTAR FIRE CONTINUED FOR ANOTHER HOUR.

    /// REST OPT ///

    EARLIER IN THE MORNING RELATIVES OF SOME OF THE VICTIMS RETURNED TO THE MOSTLY ABANDONED VILLAGE AND FILED INTO THE MOSQUE TO PAY THEIR RESPECTS. THE BODIES OF THE VICTIMS WERE THERE, LYING IN THREE NEAT ROWS, COVERED WITH TOWELS OR BLANKETS TO HIDE THE BULLET WOUNDS IN THEIR HEADS AND SIGNS OF MUTILATION.

    /// SOUND OF WOMEN CRYING, FADE TO MAN'S VOICE ///

    AN ELDERLY MAN SAYS HIS ONLY SON WAS SHOT AS HE RAN FROM THE HOUSE WHEN SERB FORCES ENTERED THE VILLAGE FRIDAY AFTERNOON. HE WAS ONLY 20 AND WORKED THE FARM WITH HIS FATHER.

    HE SAYS THE FAMILY STAYED BEHIND AND HID IN THE HOUSE UNTIL NIGHTFALL. HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER WERE WOUNDED WHEN THEY TRIED TO GATHER SOME FIREWOOD. HE SAYS TWO OF HIS COUSINS WERE ALSO KILLED. TEARS IN HIS EYES, HE SAYS HE WILL TRY TO LEAVE KOSOVO AND JOIN OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS IN BOSNIA IF THE FIGHTING CONTINUES. HE SAYS HE TRUSTS NO ONE TO PROTECT HIM ANY MORE.

    AS HE STOOD IN FRONT OF THE MOSQUE, WORD CAME THAT SERB FORCES WERE READY TO FIRE ON THE VILLAGE AGAIN. HE QUICKLY JOINED OTHER RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS WHO WERE FOLLOWING THE CARS OF INTERNATIONAL MONITORS AND JOURNALISTS OUT OF THE VILLAGE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LK/DW/WTW
    17-Jan-99 10:59 AM EST (1559 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] TURKEY POLITICS (S&L) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=1/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244287
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY'S NEW LEFTIST MINORITY GOVERNMENT, LED BY PRIME MINISTER BULENT ECEVIT, WON A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE IN THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT SUNDAY. AS AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA, 306 LAWMAKERS VOTED IN FAVOR AND 188 OTHERS VOTED AGAINST THE NEW GOVERNMENT, WHICH WILL LEAD THE COUNTRY TO ELECTIONS DUE TO BE HELD IN APRIL.

    TEXT: IN A BRIEF SPEECH TO THE PARLIAMENT AFTER HIS GOVERMENT SECURED THE CONFIDENCE VOTE, PRIME MINISTER ECEVIT PROMISED TO DEFEND TURKEY'S SECULAR PRINCIPLES AND TO CARRY THE COUNTRY PEACEFULLY THROUGH TO THE ELECTIONS.

    MR ECEVIT BECAME TURKEY'S PRIME MINISTER FOR THE FOURTH TIME LAST WEEK, AFTER TWO LEADING SECULAR RIGHT-WING PARTIES PLEDGED THEIR SUPPORT TO HIS MINORITY GOVERNMENT.

    TURKEY HAD BEEN WITHOUT A GOVERNMENT FOR MORE THAN SEVEN WEEKS. THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT -- A MINORITY COALITION LED BY CENTER-RIGHT LEADER MESUT YILMAZ, WITH MR. ECEVIT'S SUPPORT -- COLLAPSED AFTER A VOTE OF NO-CONFIDENCE LAST NOVEMBER. THERE WERE ALLEGATIONS THAT THE FORMER PREMIER [MR. YILMAZ] HAD USED HIS INFLUENCE TO ENRICH HIS FRIENDS.

    EFFORTS TO FORM A NEW GOVERNMENT HAVE BEEN FOCUSED ON THE EXCLUSION OF THE ISLAMIST VIRTUE PARTY, WHICH COMMANDS THE LARGEST BLOC IN THE 550-MEMBER TURKISH LEGISLATURE. TURKEY'S STAUNCHLY PRO-SECULAR MILITARY IS FIRMLY OPPOSED TO THE RELIGIOUS PARTY, DESPITE RECENT ATTEMPTS BY VIRTUE LEADER RECAI KUTAN TO PORTRAY A MORE MODERATE IMAGE IN THE RUN-UP TO ELECTIONS.

    THE MILITARY, WHICH CONTINUES TO PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN TURKISH POLITICS FROM BEHIND THE SCENES, WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN FORCING TURKEY'S FIRST ISLAMIST-LED COALITION TO RESIGN TWO YEARS AGO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/DW/WTW
    17-Jan-99 10:14 AM EST (1514 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] ITALY OCALAN (S&L) BY SABINA CASTELFRANCO (ROME)

    DATE=1/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244284
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN HAS LEFT ITALY UNEXPECTEDLY -- REPORTEDLY FOR MOSCOW, BUT THERE IS NO CONFIRMATION OF THIS FROM THE RUSSIAN CAPITAL. THE KURDISH LEADER'S PRESENCE IN ROME SINCE NOVEMBER SERIOUSLY STRAINED RELATIONS BETWEEN ITALY AND TURKEY. SABINA CASTELFRANCO REPORTS FROM ROME.

    TEXT: AFTER MORE THAN TWO MONTHS OF POLITICAL WRANGLING OVER HOW TO DEAL WITH THE PRESENCE IN ROME OF KURDISH LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN, ITALY HAS MANAGED TO RID ITSELF OF ITS UNWELCOME GUEST.

    THE ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE ANNOUNCED LATE ON SATURDAY THAT THE KURDISH LEADER HAD LEFT FROM ROME'S MILITARY AIRPORT, BUT DID NOT PROVIDE ANY FURTHER DETAILS. A STATEMENT SIMPLY SAID MR. OCALAN HAD BEEN ACCOMPANIED TO THE BORDER AND HAD LEFT THE COUNTRY.

    HIS WHEREABOUTS ARE NOW UNKNOWN. ALTHOUGH MEDIA REPORTS IN ITALY SAY THE LEADER OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY WAS HEADED TO MOSCOW, OFFICIALS IN THE RUSSIAN CAPITAL NEITHER CONFIRM NOR DENY THAT HE IS THERE.

    A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE POLITICAL WING OF MR. OCALAN'S GUERRILLA GROUP SAYS HIS DEPARTURE FROM ITALY MEANS THE KURDS' WAR WITH TURKEY WILL RESUME.

    /// REST OPT ///

    DURING HIS TIME IN ITALY, MR. OCALAN SAID REPEATEDLY HE WOULD ABANDON THE ARMED STRUGGLE FOR KURDISH AUTONOMY IF TURKEY WOULD ENTER INTO DIRECT TALKS. TURKEY REFUSED, SAYING IT WOULD NEVER NEGOTIATE WITH A MAN IT CONSIDERED A CRIMINAL.

    ABDULLAH OCALAN ARRIVED IN ROME FROM MOSCOW ON NOVEMBER 12TH AND WAS PROMPTLY ARRESTED FOR TRAVELING ON A FALSE PASSPORT. ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, THOUSANDS OF KURDS TRAVELED TO ROME AND LARGE DEMONSTRATIONS WERE HELD IN SUPPORT OF HIS REQUEST FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM.

    THE ISSUE CREATED GREAT TENSION BETWEEN ITALY AND TURKEY, WHERE MR. OCALAN IS CONSIDERED A TERRORIST RESPONSIBLE FOR WAGING A 14-YEAR WAR WHICH HAS KILLED AROUND 30-THOUSAND PEOPLE. TURKEY WANTED MR. OCALAN'S IMMEDIATE EXTRADITION.

    TO TURKEY'S OUTRAGE, ITALY REFUSED TO HAND OVER THE KURDISH LEADER, SAYING IT COULD NOT HAND OVER A SUSPECT TO A COUNTRY WHICH HAS THE DEATH PENALTY. TURKEY RESPONDED BY IMPOSING A BOYCOTT ON ALL ITALIAN PRODUCTS.

    DESPITE STRONG SYMPATHY FOR THE KURDISH CAUSE, ITALY FOUND ITSELF INCREASINGLY ISOLATED AND UNDER PRESSURE TO RESOLVE THE OCALAN PROBLEM. IN RECENT WEEKS, MR. OCALAN MOVED TO A VILLA JUST OUTSIDE ROME AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS REPEATEDLY DECLARED HE WAS A FREE MAN AND FREE TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY WHEN HE DESIRED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SC/DW/WTW
    NEB/SC/DW
    17-Jan-99 9:54 AM EST (1454 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] TURKEY/OCALAN (S ONLY) BY AMBARIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=1/17/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-244293
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: TURKEY CONDEMNED ITALY SUNDAY FOR PERMITTING KURDISH SEPARATIST LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN TO LEAVE ROME, SAYING THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT ACTED AGAINST THE PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW. AMBERIN ZAMAN REPORTS FROM ANKARA.

    TEXT: IN A HARSHLY-WORDED STATEMENT, THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY VOICED ITS ANGER OVER ITALY'S FAILURE TO HOLD THE LEADER OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS' PARTY -- KNOWN AS THE "P-K-K."

    ITALY'S AMBASSADOR TO ANKARA WAS SUMMONED TO THE MINISTRY TO EXPLAIN WHY MR. OCALAN WAS PERMITTED TO LEAVE.

    TURKEY HAS BEEN DEMANDING THE P-K-K LEADER'S EXTRADITION EVER SINCE HE FLEW TO ITALY FROM RUSSIA LAST NOVEMBER HE HAD BEEN FORCED OUT OF SYRIA, FROM WHERE HE HAD BEEN DIRECTING HIS SEPARATIST GUERRILLA ORGANIZATION FOR THE PAST NINE YEARS.

    TURKEY'S NEW LEFTIST PRIME MINISTER, BULENT ECEVIT, SAID HIS GOVERNMENT DID NOT KNOW WHERE MR. OCALAN HAD FLED TO. POSSIBLE DESTINATIONS INCLUDE UKRAINE, ESTONIA, LITHUANIA AND LIBYA.

    /// REST OPT ///

    TURKISH POLICE CHIEF NECATI BILICAN VOWED TO KEEP UP TURKEY'S HUNT FOR THE MAN IT BLAMES FOR THE DEATHS OF MORE THAN 30-THOUSAND TURKS AND KURDS. THE P-K-K HAS BEEN WAGING A 14-YEAR-LONG SEPARATIST CAMPAIGN IN TURKEY'S MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST REGION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/DW/WTW
    17-Jan-99 11:54 AM EST (1654 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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