World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan signalled that new talks between the state and PKK militants might be possible as his government faces an upsurge in PKK violence in the country's southeast.
Turkish intelligence officials have maintained contact with senior figures from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in recent years to try to end a conflict that has claimed more than 40,000 lives, but discussions have broken down.
"Regarding Imrali, there could be more talks," Erdogan said in a televised interview with broadcaster Kanal 7 late on Wednesday, referring to the island south of Istanbul where PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is imprisoned.
"There is a military dimension to this, a security dimension which is separate and will continue. But beside this there is a diplomatic, socio-economic and psychological dimension," he said.
Erdogan spoke after Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party called for the resumption of talks between the state and the PKK to prevent a further escalation of violence.
Clashes in recent months between Turkey's armed forces and militants from the PKK - considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and European Union - have been among the heaviest since the group took up arms 28 years ago.
Ankara has also linked the surge in violence to the unrest in neighbouring Syria. Erdogan has accused President Bashar al-Assad of arming the PKK militants, and raised the possibility of military intervention in Syria if the PKK were to launch attacks from Syrian soil.
The head of Turkey's armed forces said in a newspaper interview on Wednesday the military also had the capability to launch a sustained operation against the PKK in northern Iraq.
Erdogan gave the interview days before his ruling AK Party's congress where he is expected to set out the party's future as it goes through its biggest overhaul since coming to power a decade ago.
Since elections in June 2011, the conflict with the PKK has killed more than 700 people, according to the International Crisis Group, the highest toll in a 15-month period since Ocalan was captured and jailed in 1999.
Schools carry names of Turkish premier's mother and mother-in-law
Recep Tayyip Erdogan marks National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, held every year on April 23
13 coup cases ended since February 2017, when first coup-plotter appeared before judge in Ankara
Turkish main opposition deputies resign to join Good (IYI) Party
After setting off from Sweden last August, Benjamin Ladraa, 25, welcomed by representatives of Turkish NGOs
'Biased' US report ignores facts, and treats terrorist allegations as real, says Turkish Foreign Ministry
Turkish president says they will respect nation's wish during early election
Turkey has been main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe
'None of our party members will run for president. Our candidate is Erdogan,' says opposition MHP leader
Fund focuses on projects that strengthen trade, economic and investment ties between Russia and Turkey
Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek says reform package to improve Turkey's investment climate shines out as first class
Refusal to extradite accused coup-plotters makes Greece complicit in crime, says Turkey's justice minister
We will take step forward to make our political system more powerful, Binali Yildirim tells young members of ruling AK Party
Turkish Foreign Ministry says state of emergency in country is against terrorists
FETO members were convicted for attempting to violate constitutional order at night of July 2016 defeated coup