Erdogan calls on PKK to lay down arms

June 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM
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ANKARA, Turkey, June 22 (UPI) -- The Kurdish Workers Party must give up its armed struggle as a precondition for a political settlement, Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan says.

Erdogan said the group, known by its Turkish initials PKK, has to lay down arms before the government makes any moves, Today's Zaman reported.

He reminded Kurds that Selahattin Demirtas, head of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, called for an end to violence after a deadly PKK attack Tuesday.

"This war should end," Demirtas said. "We should not let our youth kill each other. For the love of God, everyone should do something to end this fight."

While Erdogan didn't go into details, he said if the PKK acts soon an unspecified settlement might be achieved by 2015, when Turkey is to host a Group of 20 meeting.

In the attack Tuesday in Hakkari province in southeastern Turkey, the PKK killed eight soldiers and wounded 16 others. The army killed 31 members of the PKK and the government also responded with airstrikes on reputed PKK strongholds in northern Iraq.

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