Kurdish peace talks stall as rebels demand protection
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shows a book from the Turkish Anthropology Institutes during an address to his ruling party. (AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN)
Kurdish peace talks with Turkey appear to have stalled after the Kurds demanded legal protection before agreeing to a full military withdrawal, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
According to the news agency, the Kurdish rebels are worried that they will be attacked while in retreat from Turkey into northern Iraq, although the Turkish government does not agree.
"The guerrillas cannot withdraw unless a legal foundation is prepared and measures are taken, because guerrillas suffered major attacks when they left in the past," PKK commander, Cemil Bayik, told Nuce TV.
Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) announced their ceasefire in March, after imprisoned Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan called for peace.
The armed conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish rebels has gone on for well over two decades and has killed more than 40,000 people so far.
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