Turkey must reach 'mutual' truce to end Kurdish conflict

September 17, 2012 23:48

ANKARA - Turkey's main Kurdish party said on Monday that Turkey must agree a mutual ceasefire with Kurdish separatists to have any hope of ending their conflict, rather than making one-sided demands that they disarm.

Turkey has seen a dramatic rise in violence over the past year with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgents launching more and more brazen attacks, including suicide bombings and kidnappings, which have in turn drawn a harsh military response.Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday some 500 militants had been "rendered ineffective" - killed, wounded or captured - in the last month alone.

While such numbers cannot be independently verified, the International Crisis Group has said the last 15 months are the deadliest period since the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999.

"Our quick formula is this: Without placing any conditions, both sides must take their fingers off the trigger," Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), told reporters in Ankara.

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