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PKK to get political training after withdrawal

April 25, 2013 at 11:53 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, April 25 (UPI) -- Kurdistan Workers' Party members will leave Turkey for northern Iraq where they'll receive political training, a pro-Kurdish lawmaker said Thursday.

Abdullah Ocalan, jailed leader of the military group known by its Kurdish initials PKK, called on rebels to disarm and leave Turkish territory following talks with government officials.

Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party Deputy Sirri Sureyya Onder said militants would leave for political training in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq.

"Nobody will return to their homes, everyone will go to Kandil and receive this training," he was quoted by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman as saying. "An overall democratization campaign will be launched in the country."

Onder said the relationship between the PKK and Ocalan would end once the withdrawal is complete. His party would facilitate communications from then on.

Pro-Kurdish leaders have expressed frustration that PKK rebels have no security guarantees from the Turkish government. Previous efforts to retreat were met with a military response. The Turkish government said it would leave security to provincial authorities.

The PKK began its campaign against the Turkish government in the 1980s.

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