Turkish general admits to continued war on Kurds

General Cevik Bir, Turkey's second highest-ranking military official contradicted the Prime Minister yesterday and said a three-week-old offensive against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq was continuing.

The contrasting statements reflected the deep and growing division between the armed forces and the government of Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, who is trying to put a greater Muslim stamp on Turkish society.

Up to 50,000 troops, backed by tanks and airpower, crossed the border on 18 May to wipe out rebel bases in northern Iraq. AP - Ankara