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Will Erdogan's backtracking torpedo PKK disarmament?

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has dropped plans to convene a congress to renounce its armed struggle after hostile outbursts by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and government officials.
People wave Kurdish flags during a gathering celebrating Newroz, which marks the arrival of spring and the new year, in Diyarbakir March 21, 2015. Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan called on Saturday for his militant group to hold a congress on ending a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state but stopped short of declaring an immediate halt to its armed struggle. Tens of thousands of Kurds gathered in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir to hear the message from Kurdistan Workers Party (P

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent outbursts against the peace process with the Kurds have led to a profound confusion: Is Turkey gearing up for a new war with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the run-up to the general elections?

The controversy started when Erdogan raised objections to setting up a negotiating table for the next stage of the peace process, which had hitherto advanced in line with his guidance and with his knowledge. In response, the Kurdish side called off plans to hold a disarmament congress, charging that “Erdogan kicked the table.” The decision was first announced by Muzaffer Ayata, one of the PKK’s founders, and then confirmed by Bese Hozat, co-chair of the executive council of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the Kurdish movement’s umbrella organization.

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