PKK Helped by Turkey’s Neighbors TV Reports

ANKARA (DPA)–The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) continues to receive substantial direct and indirect support from a number of Turkey’s neighbours–the NTV private television station reported Tuesday.

Citing reports from "Turkish Security Units"–NTV said the PKK was receiving support from Armenia–Iran–Iraq and Syria and was also active in Russia and Greece even though these two countries gave no direct support to the rebel group.

The report said there were eight PKK training camps inside Armenia and that Armenia continued to sell weapons to the PKK.

Iraq was alleged to provide financial support and allow PKK guerillas to move freely and in Iran the PKK continues to run camps.

The report said that the PKK’s activities in Syria had dropped considerably since Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan left Damascus in 1998 but that Syria continues to be a "centre for terrorism."

Russia and Greece were cited as giving no direct support but the report did say that there exists one training camp in Russia and that PKK rebels use refugee camps in Greece.

The only two neighbours of Turkey that were not mentioned in the report were Georgia and Bulgaria.

More than 32,000 people have been killed since the PKK launched its fight for independence or autonomy for the mainly Kurdish southeast in 1985.

The number of clashes between Turkish security forces and PKK rebels has dropped off considerably since PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan used his trial in Turkey as an occassion to call for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

While the Turkish authorities and the military have ignored Ocalan’s calls–it is acknowledged that the number of PKK fighters inside Turkey has fallen dramatically since Ocalan’s statemen’s.

Ocalan himself is on death row awaiting an almost certain appeal case at the European Court of Human Rights.

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