Leader of PKK in northern Iraq declares cease-fire
A parliamentary delegation comprised by independent Kurdish deputies and members of the Peace and Demcoracy Party, have conveyed Abdullah Öcalan's letter to PKK's headquarters at the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq, where they met with Murat Karayılan. DHA photo
The leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, Murat Karayılan, has declared a cease-fire starting on March 23, in a video broadcast during the Nevruz celebrations in Bonn, Germany, according to broadcaster CNN Türk.
“We declare a cease-fire starting on March 23. If the [Turkish] Parliament and government do the legal groundwork for a commission, we could withdraw [from Turkey],” Karayılan is quoted as saying in the video broadcast by the Germany-based Kurdish TV channel Nuce TV and published on a website known to have close ties with the PKK. Karayılan also guaranteed that unless PKK militants were attacked, no assault would be launched, according to daily Hürriyet’s report.
Karayılan had reportedly ordered his militants to halt their actions on March 22. However, he did not mention any "withdrawal" in the message, which he gave via walkie-talkie.
The jailed leader of the PKK in Turkey, Abdullah Öcalan, declared a cease-fire in a message conveyed during Nevruz festivities in Diyarbakır on March 21, to hundreds of thousands people. He also called on armed militants to withdraw from Turkish soil, indicating that these moves would mark a milestone for “a new era” and herald the building of a “new Turkey.”
‘Öcalan’s decision is our decision’
In the video Karayılan praises Öcalan’s call as “historic” and describes it as paving the way of a “new start.”
Echoing some of Öcalan’s statements, Karayılan said, “Öcalan’s decision is the decision of all of us. We accept and agree with this decision. We consider its content and scope historic, just and very important. It’s the beginning of a new process and era.”
He also stressed the importance of the “togetherness of the peoples” and a process of freedom by means of democratic reforms. “We consider this perspective described by Öcalan as the new step to achieve freedom and democracy. Everyone should see it that way,” he said.