Monday, May 01, 2006

Ocalan to be freed

Turkey, Ankara 1/5/2006

The main news this week is about the controversial anti-terror bill and the different interpretations of Article 6 which, unless revised in the next few days, may pave the way for Abdullah Ocalan's release.

Ocalan, inmate leader of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), could benefit from Article 6 and be granted amnesty together with several hundreds muslim terrorists and members of PKK.

Several lawyers have also asserted that the bill will further encourage religious propaganda and that Article 6 will be most useful to Islamists.

Following the warning from main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal that Article 6 may pave the way for Ocalan's release, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaled last week that the bill may be revised. It was reported over the weekend that the Justice Ministry plans to add a clause to the article saying, "This article will be valid only for crimes that are committed after the date the law came into effect," to put an end to debates over Ocalan.

Turkish Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said on Friday that Ocalan couldn't benefit from amnesty laws under the bill and denied claims that the article was added to the bill later. The military, however, claimed that the article was different in the draft text that was sent to them.
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