Turkish officials `ordered executions of Kurds'

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The Independent Online
Turkish officials ordered the killings of prominent Kurds, including an MP, a writer and businessmen suspected of funding Kurdish rebels, and bombed a Kurdish newspaper to cut off support to the movement, according to a government report.

Key parts of the report had been leaked last week. But virtually the entire 120-page report was published in Turkish newspapers yesterday, providing new details about the state's dirty war against groups considered a threat.

It said that in 1994, security forces killed Behcet Canturk, a Kurdish businessman who helped finance the now- defunct Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem. Two bomb attacks which destroyed the paper's buildings in Istanbul and Ankara were also carried out by the state, it said.

"The state was not able to deal with Canturk ... Legal means were not enough ... It was decided that he be killed by the security forces," said the report, prepared by government investigator Kutlu Savas.

Among other alleged Kurdish guerrilla supporters who were murdered was a Kurdish MP, Mehmet Sincar, shot dead in 1993 in the Kurdish-dominated city of Batman. His Kurdish People's Workers Party was later shut down by court order.

Kurdish rebels have been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in the south- east since 1984. The war has killed 37,000 people and damaged Turkey's human rights record. The report grew out of an investigation into state- underworld links, touched off by a traffic accident last year, which killed a police chief and a fugitive terrorist and injured a government party politician. They were all riding in the same car.

-- AP, Ankara