World Bulletin/News Desk
A Turkish court released 45 defendants, including journalists and political activists, accused of links to Kurdish militants on Thursday, a small step in the country's ongoing efforts to end a Kurdish insurgency.
Lawyers had demanded the release of the defendants, on trial for links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, after changes to Turkey's anti-terrorism laws which reduced the maximum pre-trial detention period from 10 years to five years.
PKK fighters began withdrawing from Turkey to bases in northern Iraq last May after a ceasefire was declared but stopped the move in September, citing government failures to take steps to advance the broader peace process. Their demands included the release of political prisoners.
The ceasefire is holding despite isolated incidents of unrest. The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and United States.Last Mod: 27 Mart 2014, 23:42