Baku, Azerbaijan, March 2
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The leader of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan can be earlier released from prison, former deputy head of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (JDP) Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat told Hurriyet newspaper.
He said that currently, there is no need to keep Ocalan in prison, since he speaks against all forms violence and have urged the PKK militants to lay down arms.
Ocalan was arrested in Kenya Feb.15, 1999 and handed over to Turkish authorities. He was imprisoned on the island of Imrali in the Marmara Sea. Initially, the PKK leader was sentenced to death. However, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment later.
The conflict between Turkey and the PKK, which demands the creation of an independent Kurdish state, has continued for over 25 years and has claimed more than 40,000 lives.
The process of democratic settlement to the Kurdish problem in Turkey kicked off in 2009, following which a part of the PKK militants left the country's territory and moved to the neighboring Iraq.
Edited by SI
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