ANKARA, Turkey, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party should abandon its armed opposition, the Turkish foreign minister declared ahead of a key vote.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the opposition Republican People's Party, said Wednesday an amnesty offer could appear on the national agenda if the militant group, known by its Turkish acronym PKK, laid down its weapons.
The PKK has been waging a violent separatist campaign against Ankara since the 1980s, earning it a spot on the terrorist lists kept by several nations, including the United States.
Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, said during a political rally ahead of a Sept. 12 constitutional referendum that PKK disarmament was high on the agenda, Turkey's daily newspaper Hurriyet reports.
"It is very important that the terrorist organization lay down its arms," the foreign minister was quoted as saying.
Ankara is considering a package of 26 proposals to amend a constitution drafted under the military authority that followed a coup in 1980. The amendments to the Turkish Constitution would change the structure of the court system by moving the power from the military and into the hands of the president and prime minister, both from the ruling Justice and Development Party.
Apart from reforms meant to move Ankara closer to membership in the European Union, Turkish leaders are attempting to resolve longstanding issues with the Kurdish minority.