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News > World

Left-Wing Kurdish Rebels Blame Turkey for End of Cease-fire

  • Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters have reportedly begun to mobilize against Turkish forces.

    Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters have reportedly begun to mobilize against Turkish forces. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 July 2015

The Turkish government and PKK guerrillas have been in peace talks since 2012.

Kurdish guerrillas officially called off a cease-fire with the Turkish government July 11-12. They accuse the government of using the period of relative calm to build up its military efforts.

The Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella network that includes the leftist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), issued a statement Saturday saying Turkey violated the cease-fire by recently building military outposts, dams and roads for military purposes.

“The Turkish state took advantage of the ceasefire conditions not for a democratic political resolution but to gain an advantageous position in preparation of war by building dozens of guard posts, roads for military purposes and dams in order for a cultural genocide,” the statement said.

They also warned, “The Kurdish movement has decided not to accept this treatment any more, and to mobilize by all means necessary,” calling an end to the cease-fire that has been in place since 2013.

Kurdish militants have reportedly opened fire on Turkish forces as early as Sunday, while fighting has already broken out in some regions, according to Turkish daily Hurriyet.

The announcement deals a huge blow to reconciliation efforts between the two sides, which had been expected to speed up after the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) gained 80 seats in the Turkish parliament in this year’s elections. The HDP was able to surpass the 10 percent election threshold needed to be able to hold seats in parliament for the first time in its history.

RELATED: The Winners of Turkey’s National Elections: The Kurds!

The two sides have been in battle since 1984, when the PKK launched an armed struggle in the country on behalf of the Kurdish people, a minority group in Turkey. It has since moderated its goal to improving the rights of the roughly 12 million Kurds in the country.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan began peace talks with the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 2012, while Erdogan served as Prime Minister of the country (2003-2014).

RELATED: Kurdish Women’s Radical Self-Defense: Armed and Political

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