On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a resolution to remove the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from the list of terrorist groups.
The resolution was adopted after being voted upon by the PACE members, and received the agreement of 150 voters out of 161. Consequently, the PKK rebels are recognized as ‘activists’ instead of terrorists or militants.
The decision followed intensive peace negotiations between the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the imprisoned leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, resulting in a peace agreement between both sides.
Since 1984, the PKK organization holds an armed rebellion against the Turkish authority for the so-called legitimate political and cultural rights of the Kurdish people in Turkey –consisting an approximation of 18% of population in Turkey. More than 40.000 were killed from both sides over almost three decades of conflict.
Over years, the PKK was internationally recognized as a terrorist organization. However, the recent peace negotiations, besides Ocalan’s declaration of stopping the organization’s military operations in Turkey, seem to have played a role in changing the European description of PKK’s members, and call them ‘activists’.
According to the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman, the PACE group considered the peace process between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party fragile, adding that some further steps are needed to be taken.
“The Assembly is aware that the process is fragile and should be accompanied by the withdrawal of the PKK activists from Turkey,” Zaman quoted a statement issued by PACE.
The term ‘activists’ was also included in the explenatory notes of the report of the Assembly on monday, tabled by the Monitoring ommittee of PACE.
Source: ARA News
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