August may witness Kurdish rebel’s withdrawal from Turkey: media

ISTANBUL: A peace plan has reportedly been established between the Kurdish militants and Turkish government that may bring about the withdrawal of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) from Turkish by August, media reported on Wednesday.

According to reports, Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been under Turkish custody since 1999, has been negotiating with the government in an effort to finalize the outlines of a deal that could bring a 29-year old conflict to an end which has claimed 40,000 lives since his militant organization began an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and cultural and political rights for the Kurds in Turkey.

Under the plant, the militants would start a formal ceasefire on March 21, whereas the complete withdrawal from Turkish terrority would be done by August 15, media reports said.

However, this timetable is dependent on Turkey passing reforms increasing the rights of a Kurdish minority numbering about 15 million – around 20 percent of Turkey’s population of 76 million. The reports said Ocalan’s plan proposed maintaining Turkey’s unitary structure, with no demand for Kurdish autonomy. The reports could not immediately be confirmed.