Politics Turkey

PKK Disarmament Likely After Öcalan’s Call

pkk disarmament

Via The Daily Sabah — Following jailed PKK leader Öcalan’s call for his organization to hold a congress to announce PKK disarmament, the PKK will obey his demand and will permanently end their decades-long armed fight in the Kurdish region of Turkey, a former senior PKK leader said.

PKK disarmament likely “unless there are serious provocations”

The PKK will end its armed struggle in Turkey barring serious hindrances that could derail the reconciliation process, a former leader of the group said Friday. “Unless there are serious provocations that could transform the agenda completely, the PKK leadership will declare at the upcoming congress that they are ending their armed struggle in Turkey and laying down their weapons in response to Abdullah Öcalan’s call,” Nizamettin Taş told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview in the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Sırrı Süreyya Önder, a deputy from the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), announced last Saturday that the PKK was invited by its imprisoned leader, Öcalan, to meet in the spring to find common ground on ending the more than 30-year conflict.

The call for disarmament came after a meeting between HDP deputies and government officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan, marking a major point in the reconciliation process, referring to the government initiative launched in 2013 aimed at ending the decades-old conflict with the PKK.

“The PKK’s leaders have already declared that they embrace Öcalan’s call. The congress will definitely happen,” Taş said, adding that suspending, postponing or rejecting the call was out of the question as “there is no force in the Qandil Mountains that would oppose Öcalan’s decision.”

Headquarters of the PKK

Iraq’s Qandil Mountains are known to be the headquarters of the PKK, which is listed by Turkey, the U.S. and EU as a terrorist organization. Its militants have fought for an independent Kurdish state since 1984, and the bloody insurgency has claimed around 36,000 lives in Turkey.

Taş said that the decision to lay down weapons applies to Turkey only, and the group would not dissolve its guerilla forces or stop fighting in other territories.

“The PKK and PYD [Democratic Union Party] are already fighting in Rojava [the Kurdish-majority area in northeast Syria]. They might perhaps use their guerilla forces against Iran too. So the decision concerns ending the fight in Turkey only. They would keep their guerilla forces active in the other three parts of Kurdistan,” he said. The PYD is based in Syria and Turkey considers it to be an offshoot of the PKK.

[Read more at The Daily Sabah]

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