Ocalan interpreter tells how trap was set


A YOUNG Kurdish woman still in the Greek embassy in Nairobi told yesterday of how the rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan was lured into the arms of Turkish agents after 12 days sheltering in the mission.

Ms Nucan Derya (23), who acted as interpreter to Mr Ocalan, was one of the last people to see him before he was seized by the Turkish agents and abducted to Turkey, where he is now in jail facing trial for treason.

calan's suspicions, he finally left the embassy last Monday night after veiled warnings from Kenya and believing he had a Greek guarantee of safe passage to Europe.

Derya, speaking to Reuters by telephone, said the saga started four days earlier when Kenya summoned Greek ambassador George Costoulas.

She said that the Kenyan authorities had summoned the Greek ambassador, Mr George Costoulas, who was convinced at the meeting that they would "guarantee the way out". He was told that if Mr Ocalan did not leave "something might happen in the night".

The ambassador was assured that Mr Ocalan would be able to travel in his own car to the airport. But when Kenyan authorities arrived in five police cars they insisted that he travel alone in a jeep.

Before he got into the car the ambassador got a call from the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr Theodoros Pangalos, saying that Mr Ocalan "could go to Europe".

"When we got this call," Ms Derya said, "it seemed that we got a guarantee that a door that was always closed now appeared open. They gave us that impression, so the president [Mr Ocalan] said, `Let's go to Amsterdam'. "He wanted to internationalise the problem, get rid of this impression of terrorism the enemy has given us."

When the Kenyan authorities insisted that Mr Ocalan travel in one of their vehicles the Greek ambassador asked to travel with him. The answer was no, she said.

Ms Derya said that at the airport Mr Ocalan was nowhere to be found, and there was no explanation from the Kenyans.

"When he got into the car on his own he looked worried. I think he understood that there was something dangerous going on. But we had two choices, either stay there and be killed or leave. At least we would have the chance to live."

Meanwhile, in Istanbul yesterday, a violent snowstorm prevented prosecutors on their way to interrogate the Kurdish rebel leader from reaching the prison island where he is being held, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Rachel Donnelly adds from Lon- don: Seventy-nine Kurdish people have been charged with violent disorder in connection with the three-day siege at the Greek embassy in London, Scotland Yard confirmed last night.

The group appeared at Horseferry Road magistrates' court last night as 100 Kurdish protesters outside the Greek embassy ended the vigil which they had said would continue until those arrested were released.

In an attempt to ensure the Kurdish question stays at the top of the international agenda, members of the Kurdish community will march through the centre of London to one of the police stations where the group was held later today.