Turkey set to consider PKK initiatives

Nov. 9, 2009 at 1:44 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Turkish lawmakers are set to consider a series of measures that includes rehabilitation for Kurdish separatists and various cultural considerations.

Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay is expected to discuss a series of considerations for the Kurdish minority during a session with lawmakers Tuesday, the leading English-language daily Today's Zaman reports.

The primary objective of the Kurdish measure is to close the Mahmur camp in northern Iraq and evacuate members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, to Turkey. The process would take place under U.N. supervision, and returning separatists would enter a rehabilitation program in Turkey.

Kurdish-language courses will be featured as an elective in secondary and high schools in Turkey. Place names and television broadcasts will be offered in the Kurdish language as well under the current set of provisions.

Turkey and the PKK have been engaged in hostilities for decades. Pro-Kurdish parties, meanwhile, have made relative gains on the ruling Justice and Development Party in recent elections.

Several nations, including the United States, include the PKK on their terrorist lists. Washington recently expressed support for the latest moves by Ankara on the Kurdish issue, however.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to address lawmakers on the Kurdish issue Thursday.

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