ANKARA Ñ Turkey plans to launch an effort to reconcile with Kurdish
The government has drafted legislation that would encourage insurgents
from the Kurdish Workers Party to surrender and lay down their arms. In
return, the PKK members would be eligible for amnesty.
Turkish officials said about 8,000 PKK members are believed to be in
northern Iraq. Most of them are said to have sought safe haven along the
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The United States prevented Turkey's military from invading northern
Iraq and launching an offensive against PKK forces. Instead, Washington has
pledged to disarm the Kurdish combatants.
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party has described the
legislation as a "repentance law" that would encourage Kurds to end their
insurgency and return to Turkey. Southeastern Turkey has a large Kurdish
In 1999, Turkey captured PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. At the urging of
the European Union, the PKK changed its named to Kadek and said it would
Turkish officials said the PKK remains active in Iran, Iraq and Syria.
The officials said the PKK obtained help from the regime of Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein until the U.S.-led war in Iraq in March.
In Washington, Turkey's ambassador to the United States Farouk Lologlu
said Turkish troops would remain deployed in northern Iraq until the
termination of the PKK threat. Lologlu, speaking to the Turkish-American
Business Forum, said Ankara did not want any ethnic group to dominate