Viewing conflicts through the eye of Counterinsurgency COIN – Since 2007
ANKARA, Turkey – Imprisoned Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan has called on his fighters to lay down arms as part of a peace process to end a 30-year insurgency, Turkey’s main Kurdish party said Saturday.
Ocalan is asking his Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, to hold an extraordinary congress in the spring to take the “historic decision” to end its armed struggle, pro-Kurdish legislator Sirri Sureyya Onder said.
There was no immediate response from PKK commanders who are based in northern Iraq, but the group generally heeds Ocalan’s calls.
Ocalan has been serving a life term in prison on an island south of Istanbul since 1999, but retains influence over his fighters.
Turkey began talking to Ocalan in 2012 with the aim of ending the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.
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