Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey, has renewed a call for his fighters to end their armed struggle in the country.
In a message read out at a huge rally marking the Kurdish New Year, Abdullah Ocalan called for a congress to decide on abandoning the insurgency.
PKK has been waging a 30-year armed struggle for Kurdish independence.
Abdullah Ocalan called a ceasefire in 2013 and there are growing hopes of a long-term deal.
More than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have died in fighting for a Kurdish homeland in Turkey’s south-east.
His message was delivered instead by Sirri Sureyya Onder, a pro-Kurdish politician who visited Abdullah Ocalan in jail on March 19.
Hundreds of thousands attended the celebration in Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish-populated city in eastern Turkey, with many carrying images of the imprisoned leader.
A ceasefire announced by Abdullah Ocalan in 2013 still holds despite ongoing mistrust between the two sides.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angered some Kurds by saying the country “never had a Kurdish problem”.
Turkey is facing parliamentary elections later this year, with analysts suggesting Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments were an attempt to shore-up nationalist support.
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