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Ocalan Calls For 'New Era' In Turkish-Kurdish Relations

Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), calls for "armed members to move out of Turkey's borders."
Demonstrators hold Kurdish flags and flags with portraits of jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan during a gathering to celebrate Newroz in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir March 21, 2013. Ocalan ordered his fighters on Thursday to cease fire and withdraw from Turkish soil as a step to ending a conflict that has killed 40,000 people, riven the country and battered its economy. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds, gathered in the regional centre of Diyarbakir, cheered and waved b

Jailed Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK] leader Abdullah Ocalan’s Newroz message to a large crowd in Diyarbakir on March 21 revealed some significant overlaps with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s lecture in the same city at Dicle University on March 15 asking Kurds to give their full support to the government’s new initiative and aiming to end the bloodshed in the country.

Swinging between the fifth century B.C. and the present, Davutoglu chose to bypass the Republican era as he laid out his vision of building a new way forward in shaping the minds, culture and politics of the region. He referred heavily to the Islamic architecture of mosques that symbolized the unity of people in these lands. Ocalan, too, talked about ancient times and referred to the three Abrahamic religions in reference to respect and harmony that existed for centuries on the Anatolian peninsula. Surely, it was quite a thought-provoking reference from Ocalan to have religious prerogatives in his message as his rebel movement is structured around the Marxist-Leninist ideology.

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