PKK head calls for cease-fire
In a historic announcement during Nowruz celebrations in Diyarbakir, jailed leader of the outlawed PKK Abdullah Ocalan on Thursday called on PKK forces for a cease-fire and withdrawal from Turkey. Beginning his message by saluting Kurds, people from the Middle East, Central Asia and all others who celebrate Nowruz, Ocalan said in a statement which was read by Kurdish politicians that their fight has been against all kinds of pressure, violence and oppression. "A door is now opening on a democratic process after a period of armed struggle. Guns should fall silent and politics should come to the foreground. The stage has been reached where our armed forces should withdraw beyond the borders. It is not the end, it is the start of a new era," Ocalan added. "We have given years for this people [the Kurds] and paid a big price. No effort or sacrifice has gone down the drain. The Kurds won their identity back. Let guns be silenced and politics dominate," Ocalan also noted, calling on Turks and Kurds, which he described as two fundamental powers of the Middle East, to make a joint exit from the "mangle of tyranny" and rebuild democratic modernity together in compliance with their own culture and civilization.