Kurdish Workers Party says it's dumping terrorism for democracy

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The Kurdish Workers Party has declared that it would end its insurgency campaign against Turkey.

The PKK said it would form a new group that would seek Kurdish rights in Turkey through negotiations rather than confrontation. The group's announcement came two months after it declared a return to the insurgency campaign against Turkey.

But in an announcement on Tuesday, the PKK, which also calls itself Kadek, said it would dismantle the organization. The group said it was planning a broad-based democratic coalition.

Over the last week, the PKK was blamed for two attacks on U.S. forces in northern Iraq, Middle East Newsline reported. Casualties, although not from the U.S. side, were reported in the firefight. "Kadek is being dissolved in order to make way for a new, more democratic organizational structure that allows for broader participation," the group said in a statement.

Turkish officials dismissed the PKK announcement. They said the PKK has been under threat of a U.S. military campaign to remove an estimated 5,000 PKK insurgents from northern Iraq.

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