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Voice of America, 99-12-30

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [02] TURKEY / KURDS (PART TWO OF THREE) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY)
  • [03] TURKEY / OCALAN (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

  • [01] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/30/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257630
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed today (Thursday) as some late session profit-taking brought two major averages lower. V-O-A Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11- thousand-452, down 31 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at a record high 14-hundred-64, up one point. The NASDAQ index ended down four points at four-thousand-36.

    /// Begin Opt ///

    Many Wall Street veterans continue to marvel at the performance of the NASDAQ, which is up almost 85 percent this year, powered by the many high technology companies in that index. Some say the NASDAQ stocks are overdue for a downward correction.

    /// Opt ///

    But Joe Battapaglia of the Gruntal investment company says the NASDAQ index will continue to outperform the other major averages.

    /// OPT BATTAPAGLIA ACT ///

    The NASDAQ should deliver at least a 30 percent gain in profits next year, versus about 13 and one-half percent for the Standard and Poor's. That is why the NASDAQ is going to continue to power forward and outperform the Dow by at least a factor of two to one.

    /// END ACT // END OPT ///

    The U-S labor market remains tight, with the number of new claims for jobless benefits falling by nine- thousand last week. A survey shows that Christmas holiday sales through the Internet rose by 300 percent. Although on-line retailing is the fastest growing segment of the industry, those sales still constitute just one-point- two percent of overall retail sales in the United States.

    /// Rest Opt ///

    The stock of the Young and Rubicam advertising agency rose 10 percent after it was announced that the company will be added to the Standard and Poor's 500 index. Many investment funds are obligated to hold all stocks in that index and the addition of any stock usually causes that stock to rise. Three U-S investment banks are reportedly in negotiations to buy Credito Fondiario, a leading Italian corporate lending firm. The deal could be worth as much as 250-billion dollars. Federal Express, the world's largest overnight package delivery company, will impose a three percent price increase effective February first. The company says the increase is needed to cover rising fuel costs.(Signed) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/JP 30-Dec-1999 16:55 PM EDT (30-Dec-1999 2155 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] TURKEY / KURDS (PART TWO OF THREE) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (DIYARBAKIR, TURKEY)

    DATE=12/30/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45147
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ////

    ED'S: THE SECOND OF THREE REPORTS ABOUT THE SITUATION IN TURKEY'S MOSTLY KURIDSH SOUTHEASTERN REGION. ////

    INTRO: Hopes are growing for a lasting peace in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeastern provinces. Clashes between Turkish government forces and rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' party, the P-K-K, are receding in the wake of a rebel cease-fire. In the second of three reports about this new climate in Turkey's Kurdish region, Amberin Zaman reports from Diyarbakir on the expanding political debate about the future of Turkey's 12-million Kurds.

    TEXT:

    /// PRO-P-K-K KURDISH MUSIC - FADE UNDER ///

    "Rebellion is life." The lyrics of this banned Kurdish song still trigger loud cheers and frenzied folk dances at gatherings here. But it no longer reflects the prevailing mood in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast provinces. In Diyarbakir, the political nerve center of these harshly beautiful, mountainous lands, it is "democratic republic," not "independent Kurdistan" that are the buzz words throughout noisy street bazaars and high-brow intellectual circles. A "democratic republic" encompassing Turks and Kurds is what imprisoned P-K-K leader Abdullah Ocalan has called for since his dramatic capture by Turkish special forces last February in Kenya. Ocalan declared that Kurdish autonomy and independence were no longer realistic goals during his month-long court room trial last June. The P-K-K leader, who was handed the death sentence on treason charges, said granting of long-denied cultural rights would be more than enough to satisfy the Kurds' demands. Ocalan has since ordered his fighters to pull out of Turkey and to end their 15-year armed campaign fight. Ocalan's reversal has taken both his critics and supporters by surprise. Cezair Serin is the mayor of Diyarbakir's bustling commercial Surici district. Mr. Serin was elected together with 38 other members of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party or HADEP in elections last April.

    /// SERIN ACT ONE - IN TURKISH - FADE UNDER ///

    The mayor says he agrees that ethnic nationalism is an outdated concept, and says that he and his party will do everything possible to promote peace. Still, Ocalan's reversal has triggered accusations among his erstwhile supporters that his peace overtures are merely aimed at saving his own life. Many question whether the 15-year rebellion that has claimed nearly 40-thousand lives has been worth it. Like many Kurdish politicians and activists, Mr. Serin says it is --in his words -- fruitless to dwell on the past. Instead, he says Kurds should seek to consolidate their gains. What are they? Like many, Mr. Serin responds that today Kurds are no longer afraid to say that that is what they are - Kurds - and that their problems are now - largely thanks to the P-K-K insurgency - known throughout the world. Hanefi Isik is the regional representative of the Ankara-based Turkish Human Rights Association. Mr. Isik says the daily lives of Kurds in the region has improved dramatically in recent months.

    /// ISIK ACT - IN TURKISH - FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Isik says Turkish security forces appear much more relaxed in the wake of the P-K-K cease-fire and now treat local citizens, in his words - more gently. He says torture and arbitrary detentions have sharply decreased. Cemil Serhatli is Diyarbakir's new governor. He says the Turkish government is doing its best to restore confidence in the government among civilians throughout the region.

    /// SERHATLI ACT - IN TURKISH - FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Serhatli says measures include helping villagers displaced by the fighting to return to their homes, as well as providing free education and health for them. But many, like Hadep's Cezair Serin, say that unless the Turkish government takes urgent steps to address the Kurds' demands for greater cultural freedom, the atmosphere of peace could give way to renewed violence.

    /// SERIN ACT TWO - IN TURKISH - FADE UNDER ///

    Mr. Serin says a crucial first step in moving peace forward would be full amnesty for thousands of P-K-K rebels in the mountains and for about 10-thousand P-K- K militants and sympathizers locked up in Turkish jails. He says other steps would be to ease restrictions on Kurdish language broadcasting and education, and to do away with bans that effectively bar free debate of the Kurdish issue and others deemed - threatening to the unity of the Turkish state. And, Mr. Serin argues that Kurds should be permitted to freely sing songs, even if they are about rebellion, without facing imprisonment. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/RAE 30-Dec-1999 07:46 AM EDT (30-Dec-1999 1246 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] TURKEY / OCALAN (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=12/30/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257623
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Turkey's chief prosecutor, Vural Savas, has rejected demands for a retrial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. Ocalan was sentenced to death in June. Amberin Zaman reports from Ankara.

    TEXT: Ocalan's lawyers say their domestic legal avenues are now exhausted. So they say they now will apply to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights to intervene on behalf of Ocalan, the leader of an outlawed rebel group known as the P-K-K. Ocalan was sentenced to death after being convicted on treason charges last June at the end of a one-month trial on the prison island where he is being held. Lawyers for the P-K-K leader say the trial was riddled with irregularities and they are demanding a new trial. Experts say the European court could take up to two years to come up with its decision. They say the court also could renew demands that Ocalan not be executed. Although there are about 40 Turkish prisoners on death row, no one has been executed in Turkey since 1984 -- in line with efforts to bring the country's laws closer to standards of West European nations. Both Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Justice Mnister Hikmet Sami Turk have repeatedly indicated that Ocalan cannot be executed if Turkey wants to become a full member of the European Union. Under Turkish law, it is up to parliament to decide the P-K-K leader's fate. Until recently, there was strong public pressure on the politicians to vote in favor of hanging the man Turkey blames for the deaths of nearly 40-thousand of its citizens. Analysts say Ocalan's demands that his P-K-K fighters abandon their bloody independence struggle and withdraw from Turkish territory have greatly reduced the Turkish public's thirst for revenge. Prime Minister Ecevit says Turkey will need to await the European Court's verdict before its proceeds any further with the Ocalan case.
    NEB/AZ/JWH/JO 30-Dec-1999 10:07 AM EDT (30-Dec-1999 1507 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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