NEWS

Ocalan book ‘blames his arrest on spy plot’

Kurdish Marxist guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan, on death row in a Turkish prison since his abduction from outside the Greek embassy residence in Kenya in 1999, has written a book accusing US, Israeli and Greek intelligence of manipulating him to provoke civil war in Turkey, a press report said yesterday. According to the Turkish Hurriyet daily, the 54-year-old leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) claims he was handed over to Turkish agents by the three countries’ secret services in the hope that Ankara would execute him, thus sparking an all-out Kurdish uprising. Ocalan reportedly attributes the conspiracy’s failure to the vigilance of Turkey’s armed forces. «During my imprisonment in Turkey, I have not been exposed to any torture or any maltreatment,» he is said to have added. After being smuggled into Greece by sympathizers in early 1999, Ocalan was spirited out by the government and unsuccessfully hidden in the Nairobi embassy. In the ensuing crisis, three top ministers lost their jobs. terrorism is the criterion by which people, organizations, regimes and countries will be judged. «60 Minutes» did not, of course, claim that Greek officials were in cahoots with Osama bin Laden. But by engineering a program in which they used the guerrilla tactic of asking the speaker of the Greek Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis, whether he was «sympathetic» to November 17 and then showing his outraged response, the producers of the show not only did Greece a disservice but also journalism everywhere. So 12 «junior health ministers» have been rapidly recording the situation and are expected to make decisions in the immediate future. They have also drafted a plan, «Health Infrastructure 2000-2006,» to modernize building infrastructure and equipment. Other requirements include medicines and supplies for surgical, orthopedic and cardiological units, drugs for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and generally improved equipment. «Health Infrastructure 2000-2006» is an ambitious program that aims to confront the problem of equipment, staff shortages and failings, particularly in the emergency, intensive care and kidney dialysis departments, as well as laboratories and surgeries. The total budget has been set at 373 billion drachmas, 333 billion of which has been earmarked for hospitals and primary healthcare and 40 billion for developing computer technology in Regional Health Systems.