Kurdish Militants Announce Ceasefire With Turkish Government, Beginning on February 1st

by Colonel on January 30, 2013

“Turkish intelligence officials began talks with jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan in late 2012 and preliminary talks have also been held with PKK members in northern Iraq, where most of the group’s several thousand militants are based.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in fighting since the rebels took up arms in 1984 with the aim of carving out a Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey. The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Ankara [and] the United States, …  has since moderated its goal to one of autonomy.

The militants have announced unilateral ceasefires in the past, but these have been ignored by Turkish security forces.

Under a framework discussed with Ocalan, all PKK fighters will eventually disarm after the withdrawal from Turkey and in return the government will improve the rights of Kurds, who make up some 20 percent of Turkey’s population of 76 million.

” — (Additional reporting by Patrick Markey in Baghdad; Editing by Louise Ireland and Jonathon Burch), Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters

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