human rights watch

söndag 6 juli 2014

PKK plan to start withdrawal from Turkey in months

Kurdish demonstrators hold portraits of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan (AFP)
PKK plan to start withdrawal from Turkey in months.
The Kurdistan Workers Party stalled an earlier withdrawal from Turkey last year, accusing the government of failing to deliver on promises -
Kurdish rebels will begin a withdrawal from Turkey into their safe haven in northern Iraq after parliament passes reforms aimed at ending a decades-long insurgency, local media reported on Saturday.

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its Western allies, stalled its withdrawal from Turkey last year, accusing the government of its failure to deliver on promised reforms including constitutional recognition for up to 15 million Kurds.
Kurdish rebels will restart the withdrawal in September as soon as the government-led packages are stamped in the 550-seat parliament where Erdogan's AKP party has a comfortable majority, the Hurriyet newspaper reported on Saturday.
The Turkish Parliament's internal affairs commission approved on Friday a draft bill to rekindle an ongoing government initiative to end terrorism and improve minority rights.
If passed in the parliament, the six-article "Draft Law to End Terrorism and Strengthen Social Integration" would authorize the government to assign individuals or organisations to establish dialogue with any individual or group related with the issue.
The law is expected to be endorsed before 25 July when the parliament is due to enter summer recess.
The draft bill comprises the following measures:
  • The government will determine the necessary political, judicial, socio-economic and cultural steps to be taken in its bid to end terrorism and strengthen social cohesion.
  • If necessary, it will have the authority to assign any individual, group or institution both from Turkey and abroad to maintain contact, dialogue and talks with any individual, group or institution.
  • It will take the necessary measures to ensure that those who lay down their arms will return home and participate in social life.
  • It will provide the public with fast and accurate information regarding the measures taken as part of the process. It will monitor the outcome of the measures taken and maintain coordination with relevant groups and institutions.
  • Necessary works will be done in terms of introducing new legislations regarding the process.
Turkey's Interior Minister Besir Atalay said Friday that the bill would provide a framework for the future measures to be introduced as part of the solution process.
"If new legislative amendments are needed, they will come to the parliament to be debated and approved," he said.
Turkey's 'solution process' began early last year with a ceasefire between the Turkish government and the outlawed PKK.
The Erdogan government has been more forthcoming than previous government in negotiations with the PKK, who have been engaged in a guerrilla insurgency against Turkey since 1975.
The PKK previously followed a Marxist-Leninist ideology and advocated for the creation of an independent Kurdish state incorporating parts of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq.
It now claims to have moved away from that aim towards a policy of “democratic confederalism.”
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