PKK would swap arms for autonomy: Kurdish rebel leader

12th September 2010, Comments 1 comment

Turkey's Kurdish rebels would lay down arms if the country adopted a system of regional autonomy similar to that which exists in Spain, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party said on Sunday.

The Spanish model "is the one we are looking for", Murat Karayilan said in an interview with Spanish daily El Mundo, pointing to the example of Catalonia, which has its own police force and parliament.

"If we obtain a Catalonia(-style) autonomy, we would lay down our weapons and hand them over to the United Nations," said Karayilan.

The PKK, which is classified as a terrorist group by Ankara and many Western governments, announced a truce in mid-August for Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, and in the lead up to Sunday's constitutional referendum.

It is due to expire on September 20, but "if the attacks and detentions of Kurds continue, we must change strategy", Karayilan said.

The PKK took up arms in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

© 2010 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • DARIO posted:

    on 14th September 2010, 14:01:52 - Reply

    in 1980 Turkish military leaders started a genocide compaign against Kurds, the air was to turn them into turkish slaves and were officially names as " Mountain Turks". this attempt has forced Kurdish people to find a way to protect themselves, and that is how PKK was establish.

    in the process Turkish army raised 4000 vilages , killed and disappeared 10,000s of Kurdish people and turned millions into refugees.