Turkey: Authorities must seize the opportunity created by the PKK ceasefire

The Turkish authorities must act on today’s announcement of ceasefire by the imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdulah Ocalan, Amnesty International said today.  

Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Programme Director John Dalhuisen said:

“The Turkish authorities must seize the opportunity created by Abdulah Ocalan’s call for a truce, and work for a lasting peace based on justice for the victims of human rights abuses.

“The road to peace will throw up challenges but an atmosphere of openness and free exchange of opinion will provide the surest foundation for the negotiations the Turkish authorities have been having with the PKK in recent months.

“Amnesty has repeatedly called for an end of the violence, an impartial investigation into human rights violations and for the promotion of the economic social and cultural rights of the Kurdish minority.”

As many as 40,000 people are thought to have died since 1984 when armed clashes between the PKK and the Turkish armed forces began. The conflict has also resulted in widespread human rights abuses, both in the Kurdish dominated south-east and across the country. The PKK has called for autonomy for the Kurds as part of a package of demands.

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