The peace process in Turkey moves forward

By the end of March, Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), publicly called for a cease-fire and withdrawal of its forces from Turkish territory. It is the third ceasefire declaration announced by the PKK since 1999, but there are signs which allow us to be a bit more optimistic this time.

The Turkish Government is preparing legislation that allows Kurds to receive education and public services in their mother language. It has also set up  a consultative body of "wise people", including journalists, academics, businessmen, human rights activists, and even actors and singers, to help shape public opinion on the peace process.

The PKK has put an end to the 68-day hunger strike of 682 Kurdish prisoners and nine members of the Turkish Parliament, freed eight Turkish prisoners and, as mentioned above, has given public support to the a cease-fire: "it's the time for guns to be quiet".

The armed conflict between the PKK and the Turkish government has been going on for nearly 30 years now and has caused the death of 35.000 to 45.000 people.