NEWS

Turkish ire at Ocalan acquittal

The Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday expressed «dismay» at a decision by an Athens court on Friday to acquit Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan – charged with illegally entering Greece in 1999 – and another 12 defendants, mostly Greeks, alleged to have helped him. «The acquittal of Ocalan and all other defendants in the case has been met with dismay,» the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. «The testimony of the defendants and witnesses clearly revealed that certain members of (Greece’s) government at the time, members of the intelligence service, and high-ranking state officials had links with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK),» it said. It added that the court ruling «fails to satisfy Turkish public opinion with respect to the realization of justice.» «The acquittal of the defendants does not change the fact that certain Greek officials at the time provided help to the terrorist group (PKK) and cooperated with it,» the statement added. Ocalan, who is currently serving a life term in a Turkish jail, was acquitted in absentia along with 10 Greeks and two Kurds.