Armenian Kurds urge EU to force Turkey to free separatist leader

29 Oct 04


Representatives of Armenia's Kurdish community today held a peaceful
rally outside the Yerevan office of the European Commission, chanting
"Freedom to Ocalan" [the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party -

The member of the Caucasus representative office of the Kurdistan
Workers' Party, (?Denis Baran), said that Turkey is striving for
membership of the European Union [EU] and the EU has expressed its
readiness to accept Turkey. In this connection, Denis Baran noted that
the EU must put pressure on Turkey in order for the authorities of
this country to release the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party,
Abdullah Ocalan. "Turkey cannot become a member of the EU with this
burden and with such a human rights record," the Kurdish
representative announced, emphasizing the bad conditions in which
their leader is held in a Turkish prison.

To recap, according to various estimations, from 300,000 to 400,000
Kurds, who profess Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Islam and other
religions, are living in Armenia. The Kurds in Armenia have been
granted full freedom of faith and a chance to learn their native
language and history.