Öcalan calls on PKK to convene conference on laying down arms

Today’s Zaman reports: The jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (pkk) calls on the outlawed group to convene a conference in spring on laying down its arms, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (hdp) announced on Saturday, in a landmark step towards ending the PKK’s 30-year-old armed campaign.

“I invite the PKK to convene an extraordinary congress in spring months to make the strategic and historic decision on the basis of ending the armed struggle,” HDP’s Sırrı Süreyya Önder quoted Öcalan as saying at a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan and Interior Minister Efkan Ala in İstanbul. Two other HDP lawmakers, Pervin Buldan and İdris Balüken, also attended the conference, which followed a 45-minute meeting between the HDP delegation and Akdoğan and Ala.

“We call on all democratic parties to support this democratic solution,” Önder said, asserting that Turkey is “closer than ever to peace.”

“We have reached an important point in the settlement process,” Akdoğan told the same conference. He said the democratic progression will gather momentum once arms are left aside. [Continue reading…]

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