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PKK declares unilateral cease-fire, hopes the 10th time's a charm

Heeding calls by Kurdish politicians and civil society, the PKK announced a unilateral cease-fire ahead of the Nov. 1 elections, but Ankara continues to target the militants.
Children play between damaged building after a security operation in Sur district in the Kurdish dominated southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, October 13, 2015. A top Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) commander was quoted on Monday as saying the group would stick to a unilateral ceasefire announced at the weekend despite Turkish air strikes against its positions in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq. Unrest continued elsewhere in the mainly Kurdish region, with the historic Sur district of Diyarbakir city
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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — On Oct. 10, shortly after two suicide bombers wreaked a bloodbath at a peace rally in Ankara, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) announced a unilateral cease-fire — its 10th since 1993. The government has snubbed the move as a ploy, and operations against the PKK are continuing with critical elections less than three weeks away. Analysts underline it is the first time the PKK has heeded cease-fire calls from the Kurdish political movement, warning that snubbing the gesture could perpetuate and legitimize violence.

The cease-fire statement, issued by the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), a PKK-led umbrella organization, said “a decision was made to shift to a state of non-hostility, taking into account appeals from inside and outside Turkey.”

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