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Press Release On The Recent Developments In Kosova (Unofficial Translation) January 17, 1999

Turkey is deeply concerned over the reports on the bloody massacre of 45 innocent Kosovar Albanians. Also, the reported savage attacks have aroused the Turkish people's profound indignation.

Turkey denounces all forms of repression and acts of violence from whatever source and purpose. We regard such acts as crimes against humanity. We evaluate the said massacre from this perspective and condemn it in strongest terms. We expect that the investigation and the prosecution concerning the massacre will be conducted as soon as possible and that the culprits will duly be tried and punished.

Since the gravity of the situation is alarming for all national communities including the Turkish minority, Foreign Minister İsmail Cem has brought the issue to the attention of the Secretaries General of the United Nations and NATO as well as the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE and conveyed our views and concerns about the matter. Minister Cem has also suggested that the issue be discussed urgently and with priority at the United Nations Security Council. Furthermore, he called upon the Council to take necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such massacres.

On this occasion, we deem it appropriate to remind the great importance attached by the international community to the solution of the problem of Kosovo without further delay and through peaceful means.