PKK cancels month-long ceasefire with Turkey after Erdogan statement
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants stand behind a barricade during clashes with Turkish forces in the Bismil district of Diyarbakir Province, September 28, 2015. (AFP/File)
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The Kurdistan Workers Party militant group ended a month-long ceasefire with Turkey on Thursday after potential peace dissolved in the wake of national elections.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan vowed to "liquidate" the Kurdistan Workers Party, known as PKK, on Wednesday after his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, won a parliamentary majority on Sunday. Erdogan and the PKK underwent peace negotiations earlier this year before talks collapsed in July.
The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Violence tied to the PKK, which is fighting for more Kurdish autonomy in the region, has left more than 40,000 people dead since the 1980s.
The PKK said that although many have called for a "non-conflict environment... it is not possible to continue the inaction and ensure a non-conflict in the face of the current policies of the AKP.
"It is obvious that a non-conflict environment can only be ensured if the Turkish state manifests a will for the resolution of the Kurdish question and initiates negotiations for the achievement of this goal," the PKK said in a statement reported by Firat News Agency, which has close ties to the party. "In the contrary case, an unilateral will by our side can neither enable a non-conflict environment nor contribute to the resolution of the Kurdish question. While calling us to declare a cease-fire, these circles are manifesting no serious attitude or struggle for Turkey's democratization and resolution of the Kurdish question."
Nearly 40 people have died this week in battles between the Turkish military and mainly Kurdish populations in the southeast. The PKK's ceasefire was announced on Oct. 10 with the said intent to allow a "fair and just election" -- which the government dismissed as an electoral ploy.
By Andrew V. Pestano