PKK leader Ocalan declares ceasefire with Turkey

  • The jailed leader of Kurdish rebels fighting Turkey, Abdullah Ocalan, has announced a truce in an effort to end a 30-year conflict with the Turkish state.

    In a message read out on Thursday during Kurdish New Year celebrations in the city of Diyarbakir, Ocalan also called on fighters of his Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK) to withdraw from Turkey.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed the decision, stating the move is "positive".

    However, Erdogan has reiterated the importance of the execution of any ceasefire, adding that Turkish security forces would not carry out fresh operations if Ocalan's truce is implemented.

    Several previous attempts at a ceasefire between the two sides have failed.

    More than 40,000 people have been killed in the three-decade long fight for an ethnic Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey.

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