Turkish president urges PKK to lay down arms

2013-01-10 13:46:20 GMT2013-01-10 21:46:20(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ANKARA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Thursday called on the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) to lay down arms, as Turkish intelligence officials have been conducting talks with the PKK's jailed leader in a bid to disarm the organization.

"Any policy can surely be pursued in a way that no harm comes to our country's unity and to our people. But first of all, those who have weapons in their hands and those who give instructions to them should do what needs to be done," Gul was quoted by the semi- official Anatolia news agency as saying during his visit in Turkish central province of Afyonkarahisar.

Gul ruled out any stoppage to the military operations against PKK unless the group is disarmed. "No state would bow down in the face of terrorists and everyone should understand this," he said.

Turkish government is recently working on a peace plan through talks between PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and the National Intelligence Organization to end a three-decade-old insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Since then, over 40,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.

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