Turkey sees no sign of PKK withdrawal

May 13, 2013 at 10:13 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, May 13 (UPI) -- The Turkish military said Monday it hasn't seen evidence that Kurdistan Workers' Party members have left the country.

Commanders with the guerrilla organization known by its Kurdish initials PKK said their fighters would start a phased withdrawal by May 8. The withdrawal plans followed negotiations between jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and the Turkish government.

The Turkish military said Monday that its surveillance operations have yielded no intelligence to suggest that PKK forces started to pull out of Turkey, Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman reports.

Pro-Kurdish lawmakers in Turkey said the PKK would redeploy to northern Iraq. Provincial authorities there said they worried the arrival of PKK forces would add to a tense security situation in the region.

Iraqi forces are accused of firing on demonstrators in parts of the semiautonomous Kurdish north of Iraq.

The Turkish military estimates there may be about 7,000 members of the PKK on Turkish soil. Fighting that began in the 1980s claimed more than 40,000 people.

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