Experts: PKK restructuring but not disarming

July 13, 2013 at 3:41 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, July 13 (UPI) -- The Kurdistan Workers' Party is reshaping its hierarchy under a settlement with the Turkish government but isn't disarming, experts say.

The Kurdistan Communities Union, which advocates for democracy, named Cemil Bayak to replace senior commander Murat Karayilan -- who was reassigned to the People's Defense Forces, an armed wing of the PKK, Today's Zaman reported. Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK's jailed leader, was elected chairman of the Kurdistan Communities Union, the report said.

Pervin Buldan, parliamentary group chairman for the Peace and Democracy Party, pushed Friday for improved prison conditions for Ocalan, who is being held on Imrali Island. She called on the Turkish Parliament to reconvene after Ramadan to discuss democratization issues related to the settlement process.

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