PKK commanders in Northern Iraq discuss Ocalan’s withdrawal plans.

By bne IntelliNews April 19, 2013

PKK commanders based in Northern Iraq started to discuss plans for a possible withdrawal from Turkey after they received a letter from PKK’s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, daily Milliyet reported. The letter, delivered by a delegation of the main Kurdish party BDP, included technical details. PKK commanders are now trying to determine methods for a withdrawal and they will make decisions public in the coming days, daily Radikal reported.

If the PKK starts to pull its armed militants out of Turkey this will be the most important progress to be made so far and further raise hopes for a lasting settlement in a decades-long conflict. After months of secret talks between Ocalan and Turkey’s secret service, the PKK, upon a call from Ocalan, declared a unilateral ceasefire.

Parliament recently decided to establish a special commission to monitor the peace process which Moody’s said was a credit-positive move. S&P also made a similar comment in March on the possible positive impact of the peace process on Turkey’s ratings. The commission should have 17 members from the four political parties represented in parliament but the main opposition CHP and nationalist MHP decided not to send any lawmakers to the commission which means only AKP and BDP lawmakers will be represented in the commission. The AKP will have 10 members and BDP only one lawmaker in the panel. The absence of CHP and MHP members may raise questions about the legitimacy of the commission.

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