TURKEY/ GERMANY: TURKISH APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS THE TREASON CONVICTION AGAINST KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN
- Title: TURKEY/ GERMANY: TURKISH APPEALS COURT UPHOLDS THE TREASON CONVICTION AGAINST KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN
- Date: 25th November 1999
- Summary: ANKARA, TURKEY (NOVEMBER 25, 1999) (REUTERS) 1. MV/PAN: RELATIVES OF TURKISH SOLDIERS OUTSIDE COURT OF APPEAL CHANTING SLOGANS AGAINST KURDISH REBEL LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN 0.08 2. SV: INTERIORS OF THE COURTROOM AS THE CHIEF JUDGE READS OUT THE VERDICT 0.22 3. SV: PEOPLE CHEERING OUTSIDE ON HEARING THE NEWS OCALAN CONVICTION UPHELD (2 SHOTS) 0.33 4. SLV: ANTI-OCALAN DEMONSTRATOR UP A TREE 0.38 5. MV: ANTI-OCALAN DEMONSTRATORS WATCHING/DEMONSTRATORS CHANTING ANTI-OCALAN SLOGANS 0.43 6. SLV: DEMONSTRATOR UP A TREE PUNCHES PICTURE OF OCALAN (2 SHOTS) 0.52 7. MV: DEMONSTRATORS 0.56 8. SV: (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRIME MINISTER BULENT ECEVIT SAYING: "Nobody should have any doubts about the justice of the trial of the terrorist organisation leader. Both the state security court and the court of appeal have been fully objective in delivering their verdict. If we face a situation with regards to the European Human Rights Committee, we will evaluate that as seperate matter". 1.17 ISTANBUL, TURKEY (NOVEMBER 25, 1999) (REUTERS) 9. SLV: JOURNALIST AND ANALYST HALUK SAHIN, WALKING IN OFFICE 1.27 10. SV: (SOUNDBITE) (English) HALUK SAHIN, JOURNALIST AND ANALYST, SAYING "Turkey's future lies in Europe. And I don't think Turkey is likely to do something hasty or something emotional that would block Turkey's progress inthat direction" 1.45 MUDANYA, IMRALI ISLAND, TURKEY (FILE) (REUTERS) 11. VARIOUS OF OCALAN TRIAL (4 SHOTS) 2.03 ISTANBUL, TURKEY (NOVEMBER 25, 1999) (REUTERS) 12. SV/CU'S: MEMBER OF ABDULLAH OCALAN'S DEFENCE LAWYERS' TEAM, ERCAN KANAR 2.18 13. SV: (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) MEMBER OF ABDULLAH OCALAN'S DEFENCE LAWYERS' TEAM, ERCAN KANAR, "We expect written documentation on the decision. It will probably take 10 - 15 days to write it. Once that is done we will apply immediately for tavsi karar (an 'application for correction') within 15 days. We do not expect much from the tavsi karar though. Then, we will immediately apply to the European Human Rights Court." 2.41 UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION, TURKEY (FILE) (REUTERS) 14. MV: OCALAN AT PKK CAMP 2.47 15. MLV'S: PKK MEMBERS AT CAMP 2.56 COLOGNE, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 25, 1999) (REUTERS) 16. PAN/MV/SV'S: VARIOUS OF PRO-OCALAN DEMONSTRATION BY KURDS (5 SHOTS) 3.32 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Reuters ID: LVA709YXXUCAGFOBVNM82F8GGNIK
- Location: ANKARA, TURKEY AND COLOGNE, GERMANY
- Country: Turkey Germany
- Duration: 00:03:33
- Story Text: Turkey's appeals court has upheld a treason conviction
against Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.The sentence is
punishable by death.The ruling was cheered by anti-Ocalan
demonstrators outside the court of appeal.
Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said the judicial
process had been completely fair and that he will deal with
any application to the European Court of Human Rights as a
seperate matter.Kurdish supporters in Germany held a demonstration in
Cologne condemning the court ruling.
Anti-Ocalan demonstrators standing outside Ankara's
court building on Thursday (November 25) were baying for blood
and screamed for a swift execution.
Many of them were relatives of Turkish soldiers killed
during the Kurdish separatist campaign, led by Kurdish rebel
leader Abdullah Ocalan, in the mainly Kurdish southeast, for
almost 15 years.30,000 people are said to have died in the
'Hang this infidel' some were shouting.'Hang! Hang Hang'
Inside the court, five judges ruled unanimously that
Ocalan's trial had been fair.The Kurdish rebel leader was
captured by Turkish special forces in Kenya and his conviction
for treason in leading the separatist campaign was upheld.The
conviction carries with it a death sentence.
"Nobody should have any doubts about the justice of the
trial of the terrorist organisation leader.Both the state
security court and the court of appeal have been fully
objective in delivering their verdict.If we face a situation
with regards to the European Human Rights Committee, we will
evaluate that as seperate matter," said Prime Minister Bulent
Ecevit in Istanbul.
Although this brings Abudullah Ocalan a step closer to the
gallows, his hanging could be delayed for several years.It
may even never happen.If Ocalan's lawyers move the case to
the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) it could be 18
months, at least, before a final ruling.And if the ECHR
upholds his conviction, the Turkish parliament would have to
pass a law ordering implementation of the sentence.
The European Union has already stated it is vehemently
opposed to the death sentence and that it would expect Turkey
not to go through with it.Failing to heed the EU warning
could adversely affect Turkey's application for EU membership.
Turkish journalist and analyst Haluk Sahin says Turkey
would be very unwise to ignore the EU.
"Turkey's future lies in Europe.And I don't think Turkey
is likely to do something hasty or something emotional that
would block Turkey's progress in that direction," Sahin said.
Ocalan's trial, four months after his capture, aroused a
wave of anger in Turkey with public calls for his execution.
The media branded him a "butcher" and a "baby killer".
Although the conviction carries a death sentence Ocalan's
lawyers have not exhausted the judicial process.
First they must make a final application for "correction".
But it would have to be aproved by Turkey's chief prosecutor
who has made it clear he aproves of the execution.
The case will be brought before parliament which needs to
pass a special law to order the execution.Turkish Prime
Minister Bulent Ecevit is opposed in principle to capital
punishment, but his right-wing nationalist coalition allies
have made clear they want Ocalan hanged.
This would complete the Turkish judicial process.Ocalan's
lawyers will then have option of applying to the European
Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for a review of the
conducto of his case.
"We expect written documentation on the decision.It will
probably take 10 - 15 days to write it.Once that is done we
will apply immediately for tavsi karar (an 'application for
correction') within 15 days.We do not expect much from the
tavsi karar though.Then, we will immediately apply to the
European Human Rights Court," Ocalan defence lawyer Ercan
Turkey is committed to accept ECHR decisions and, under
that commitment, may not carry out any execution until
Strasbourg has ruled.The ECHR would not be expected to
complete its deliberations for at least 18 months.
In Germany hundreds of Kurdish demonstrators condemned the
The Kurd rebel leader inspires fierce loyalty from Kurdish
nationalists who are spread across Europe and link up through
a support network.
Following his capture last February, Kurds in several
countries marched in sometimes violent demonstrations.A
handful doused themselves in petrol and set themselves ablaze
in fiery protest.
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