ANKARA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) released eight kidnapped Turkish public officials in northern Iraq on Wednesday, Turkey's NTV news channel reported.
The captives were handed over to a delegation including two pro- Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies and nongovernmental organization representatives at an undefined meeting point in northern Iraq, said the report.
Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government officials accompanied the delegation.
The kidnapped officials, including district governor candidate, police officers and soldiers, will meet with their families at Zaho region of northern Iraq and then enter Turkey through Habur border gate, according to report.
The release came amidst ongoing peace talks between the government and the PKK as part of the government's latest effort to disarm the PKK through dialogue.
At a recent meeting with Kurdish politicians from the BDP, jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan signaled that the PKK may release the kidnapped public officials.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and most of the international community, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey.
ANKARA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The release of people kidnapped by the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) is expected to inject a cautious optimism into the Turkish government-launched peace talks to disarm the militant group, analysts said.
Mehmet Tezkan, a Turkish columnist, believed that the release of hostages is an important and first step, but underlined that what comes after is more important. "The release of captured soldiers is a sign of goodwill," he said, stressing that the important thing is how to move forward from this. Full story
ANKARA, March 8 (Xinhua) -- A leak of a secret meeting's minutes has dealt a heavy blow to the Turkish government's ongoing peace talks with the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), creating a deep mistrust between the two sides.
The government-promoted talks were launched in late October, aiming to disarm the PKK, who has been in conflict with the government for decades. However, a local daily's report on the content of the meeting between jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and three Kurdish deputies put a damper on the process. Full story