Turkey: Respect for rights must be at heart of negotiations with PKK
The Turkish authorities must act on today’s announcement of ceasefire by the imprisoned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdulah Ocalan, Amnesty International said today. “The Turkish authorities must seize the opportunity created by PKK chief Abdulah Ocalan’s call for a truce and work for a lasting peace based on justice for victims of human rights abuses committed by both sides during the decades of conflict,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.“The road to peace will throw up challenges but an atmosphere of openness and free exchange of opinion will provide the surest foundation for the negotiations the Turkish authorities have been having with the PKK in recent months.”“Amnesty International has repeatedly called for an end of the violence, an impartial investigation into human rights violations and for the promotion of the economic social and cultural rights of the Kurdish minority.”As many as 40,000 people are thought to have died since 1984 when armed clashes between the PKK and the Turkish armed forces began. The conflict has also resulted in widespread human rights abuses, both in the Kurdish dominated south-east and across the country. The PKK has called for autonomy for the Kurds as part of a package of demands.