Turkey says 13 PKK militants surrender in Silopi

The militants told Turkish security forces that they want to make use of the "Repentance Law" in Turkey.

Turkey says 13 PKK militants surrender in Silopi

13 militants who ran away from the camps of militant PKK in Iraq surrendered to Turkish security forces at the Habur Border Gate, close to Silopi town of south-eastern province of Sirnak, on Monday.

The militants told Turkish security forces that they want to make use of the "Repentance Law" in Turkey.

They are now being questioned by Turkish gendarmerie in Silopi.

Earlier on Monday, one militant was killed in a clash with Turkish security forces in Eruh town of south-eastern province of Siirt.

Established in 1978, PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) started its armed struggle in 1984 after a preparatory period of numerous murders and attacks, with the objective of the establishment, through armed struggle, of an independent Kurdistan within Turkey's borders.

Since 1984, PKK violence resulted in the death of more than 30,000 Turkish citizens, among whom were innocent civilians, teachers and other public servants, many deliberately murdered, and large amount of economic loss.

In its history, the militant organization also employed suicide-bombing methods, waged mainly by women militants in Turkey; and kidnapped foreign tourists in southeastern Anatolia in the early 1990s. In order to damage Turkey's economy, the organization also set forests in Turkey's tourist resorts on fire.

Following the arrest of its leader, Abdullah Ocalan, in 1999, the organization started claiming that it switched its strategy to peaceful methods and would pursue political struggle from then on.

In accordance with this policy of appearing as a born-again legitimate organization and to convince the international community accordingly, the organization changed its name to KADEK (Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress) in April 2002, alleging that PKK has fulfilled its historical mission and would now like to be accepted as a political organization.

In October 2003, the organization underwent another name change to KONGRA-GEL (Kurdistan Peoples Congress). The decision was made public by a press statement in Iraq on 15 November 2003.

However, albeit the name changes, the leading members of the organization remain the same. Today, PKK/KONGRA-GEL is still headed by Abdullah Ocalan, with Zubeyir Aydar, a former member of the Kurdish National Congress, an affiliate of PKK, its president. Furthermore, founders and leading figures of the PKK, such as Murat Karayilan, Cemil Bayik etc. continue to assume leading roles in the organization. Many of the leading figures of PKK/KONGRA-GEL are internationally recognized criminals searched through Red Bulletins.

Moreover, after neither of these two name changes nor the so-called strategy change of 1999, the organization did not undergo changes on substantial issues such as decommissioning of arms, continuing to carry out attacks mainly in southeastern Anatolia, though not in the scope of pre-1999 period.

PKK/KONGRA-GEL also keeps its militants and recruits new ones. PKK militants did not surrender to justice, even to benefit from the provisions of the Law on Reintegration into Society, that came into force on 6 August 2003 (for a period of 6 months) and that provided amnesty to those members of a militant organization who were not involved in any crimes.

Presently, it is estimated that there are a total of 5,000 PKK/KONGRA-GEL militants, the majority of whom are in northern Iraq whereby the organization's headquarters are situated.


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Last Mod: 07 Eylül 2010, 09:38
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