More PKK militants surrender as peace process continues, data shows
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoThe number of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants who laid down arms and surrendered to security forces has reached 988 since the beginning of 2013, when the Kurdish peace process began, according to data collected by the Interior Ministry.
The data showed there has been a rise in the number of PKK militants surrendering since the beginning of the ongoing Kurdish peace process.
The new data, which covers the last three years, showed 150 PKK militants surrendered themselves to security forces in 2012.
It also showed the number has continued to rise since 2013, when the peace process began.
Accordingly, a total of 233 PKK militants surrendered in 2013, while the number rose to 500 last year.
Meanwhile, 105 PKK militants have laid down arms and surrendered to security forces in the first three months of this year, pushing the total number of surrendered militants to 988 over the last three years.
Abdullah Öcalan, the jailed leader of the PKK, reiterated his call to “end the 40-year-long arms struggle” against Turkey, urging the organization to convene an extraordinary congress in a letter which was read out in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır during the Nevruz celebrations on March 21.
The Nevruz celebrations in 2013 marked a new era for a resolution when Öcalan issued his first call on the PKK to declare a ceasefire, underlining it was the right time to end the armed conflict and begin a political struggle for the rights of Kurds.
Launched in late 2012 and intensified in recent months amid negotiations between the government, the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Öcalan, the process envisages a peaceful settlement of the problem and the disarmament of the PKK.