facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

U.S. upbeat on Turkey's prospects

May 3, 2013 at 12:06 PM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, May 3 (UPI) -- While the U.S. government won't comment on Turkish internal affairs, there is a keen sense of optimism about its future, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey said.

Abdullah Ocalan, jailed leader of the group known by its Kurdish initials PKK, called on militants to leave Turkish territory following discussions with government officials.

Murat Karayilan, the PKK military commander, said a new era would begin with the gradual withdrawal fighters starting next week.

The U.S. government lists the PKK as a foreign terrorist organization.

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone said he wasn't going to comment on Turkey's internal affairs but was upbeat in general on the country's prospects.

"We are thoroughly optimistic about Turkey. We are optimistic about its future, its culture and democracy and we support Turkey," he was quoted by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman as saying. "We stand by Turkey."

Turkey is a key NATO ally. The alliance has missile systems deployed along the Turkish border to protect against spillover from the Syrian war.

Pro-Kurdish lawmakers in Turkey said the militants would get political training in northern Iraq when they leave.

Conflicts between the PKK and the Turkish military claimed about 40,000 lives since in the 1980s.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Texas woman set for execution for starving girlfriend's son Texas woman set for execution for starving girlfriend's son
2
Occupy Wall Street celebrates 3-year anniversary by forgiving $4 million of student debt Occupy Wall Street celebrates 3-year anniversary by forgiving $4 million of student debt
3
Playboy Magazine names UPenn top party school for 2014 Playboy Magazine names UPenn top party school for 2014
4
Lindsey Graham fears ISIS will come kill us all, in a not at all hysterical way Lindsey Graham fears ISIS will come kill us all, in a not at all hysterical way
5
Light 4.0 earthquake shakes Seattle area Light 4.0 earthquake shakes Seattle area
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback