Hurriyet Says Armenia Was Kurdish Stronghold

ANKARA (Agence France Presse)–According to a report published in the Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet–jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan has cited Italy–South Africa and the former Czechoslovakia as countries which have provided arms to his Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The report–which did not cite any sources–also quoted Ocalan–during his interrogation–as saying that Armenia had allowed PKK camps on its soil.

"The Italian secret service gave us plastic land mines. As these cannot be detected–we have managed to blow off the legs of many Turkish soldiers with help from the Italians," Ocalan told prosecutors–according to the mass-circulation Hurriyet.

The Kurdish leader reportedly also said that the former Czechoslovakia gave arms to his rebels–while South Africa provided them with missiles.

South Africa and Armenia were cited as possible host countries for Ocalan when he left Italy in mid-January. However–both countries denied at the time that they would allow the rebel to take shelter on their territory.

Ocalan–who was captured in an undercover operation and brought to Turkey last Tuesday–is currently being questioned by three prosecutors on the Turkish prison island of Imrali–which has been declared a prohibited area and is protected by heavy security measures.

According to Turkish press reports–Ocalan suffered minor heart trouble late Monday–which led to a three-hour break in his interrogation.

Doctors who were attending him during the interrogation said Ocalan did not suffer from any serious problem–but that stress and fatigue could possibly have overburdened his heart.

Ocalan is suffering from a fault with one of his heart valves–according to the Turkish press.

Hurriyet on Wednesday said that Ocalan had allegedly agreed to give his interrogators the names of countries which have helped the PKK in its cause for self-rule on Turkish territory since 1984.

"Do not hang me. I will help the state in every way I can. I will tell you all I know," claimed the newspaper–quoting Ocalan.


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