PKK says offers Turkey disarmament 'with conditions'

A PKK leader has said his militants will disarm if Ankara meets certain conditions, in an interview.

PKK says offers Turkey disarmament 'with conditions'

A PKK leader has said his militants will disarm if Ankara meets certain conditions, in a BBC interview Wednesday.

Murat Karayilan, leader of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), said he would order his militants to lay down their weapons under United Nations supervision if Turkey agreed to a ceasefire and his demands.

"If the Kurdish issue is resolved in a democratic way through dialogue we will lay down our weapons, yes," Karayilan told the British broadcaster.

"We will not carry arms."

A Turkish government official told the broadcaster it was "not in the habit of commenting on statements made by terrorists."

But he also said, "If the Turkish government refuses to accept that, we will have to announce independence."

Speaking to the BBC at a camp in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, Karayilan said his conditions included an end to what he claims "attacks on Kurdish civilians and arrests of Kurdish politicians in eastern Turkey."

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Ankara and much of the international community, has stepped up its attacks inside Turkey in recent weeks.

Turkey has been fighting PKK over the past 26 years. Turkey has launched several cross border operations into the north of Iraq in the past to track down PKK militants, who took refuge at the their mountain camps there. The militant group uses the region as a launchpad for its attacks inside Turkey.


Agencies

Last Mod: 21 Temmuz 2010, 11:25
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