Turkey talks with Kurdish leader Ocalan on disarming PKK
Turkey, United States classify the Kurdish group as a terrorist organization; at least 10 Pkk members were killed on Monday.
The Turkish government has been in talks with Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), about disarming the outlawed group, media reports said Tuesday.
This goal could not be achieved by military means alone, said Yalcin Akdogan, an adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"The aim is to disarm the PKK," Akdogan told broadcaster NTV. The last year has been disastrous for the PKK, as security forces killed 1,450 fighters.
On Monday, soldiers killed at least 10 PKK rebels and seized weapons and ammunition during the operation in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakir.
The PKK has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey and the United States. Kurdish organizations in south-eastern Turkey, where Kurds are a majority, accuse Turkey of systematic discrimination.
Ocalan was arrested in Kenya on February 15, 1999, and has been kept in an island prison near Istanbul since his conviction on terrorism charges.
He was originally sentenced to death. However, after international pressure, this was turned into a life sentence, albeit under particularly harsh conditions.
For the past 30 years, the PKK has conducted a low-level guerrilla war in eastern Turkey aimed at creating an independent Kurdish state.
Operating mainly from bases in the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq, the PKK continues to target Turkish military and civilian administrative targets and energy installations, and, less frequently, Western tourists visiting Turkish resorts.
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