Accessibility links

Breaking News

PKK Announces Withdrawal From Turkey

Kurdish rebels have announced they will begin withdrawing from Turkey on May 5.

Firat News, a website linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), quotes the group's current leader Murat Karayilan as saying, "The withdrawal is planned to be done gradually in groups and targeted to be completed in the shortest possible time."

Karayilan warned Turkey not to attack retreating rebels or the PKK would retaliate.

The withdrawal announcement comes amid a peace drive between Ankara and the PKK.

The rebel movement's jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan, ordered in March a cease-fire aimed at disarming the group.

The April 25 announcement does not mention whether the PKK will lay down its weapons.

The outlawed PKK has led a rebellion in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated south-east since 1984.

The conflict has left around 40,000 people dead.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP