Thursday, September 22, 2005

Turkey's Kurd rebels to stay "inactive" till Oct 3

ISTANBUL, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Kurdish rebels in Turkey on Wednesday extended a one-month suspension of hostilities until Oct. 3, the day Ankara is due to begin long-awaited talks on joining the European Union.

Turkey has eased bans on Kurdish broadcasting and edged towards improving its human rights record under pressure from the EU, but baulks at negotiating with the Kurdistan Workers Party's (PKK) rebels it has fought for more than 20 years.

The PKK called for a month's "inactivity" on Aug. 20 after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged in a speech the existence of a "Kurdish problem" and said democratic reforms were the answer.

But Turkey's army ignored the PKK call, just as it did a five-year ceasefire by the group that ended last year, and operations against the rebels have continued with full force.

Read the rest of the article on Reuters

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