ANKARA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- As the long-awaited ceasefire announcement by the jailed Kurdish leader draws near, hopes are raised in Turkey that the recent government-launched peace talks would lead to the solution of decades-long Kurdish issue while some remains concerned for possibly ethnic disintegration.
The imprisoned leader of outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan announced Monday that he will make a "historic call" on March 21, the day of spring festival Newroz celebrations, raising expectations for a call of ceasefire of the group.
Analysts believe that the expected ceasefire announcement will pave the way for the complete disarmament of the PKK, followed by the withdrawal of PKK militants from the Turkish territory.
"It seems we will enter a new era," said Mehmet Metiner, a Kurdish and member of the Turkish parliament. "The messages Ocalan is expected to give include a call that will extend to laying down arms by the PKK in the end."
The Turkish government has been holding peace negotiations with Ocalan since last October, with the aim of outlining a timetable for the disarmament of PKK militants.
Markar Esayan, the executive editor of independent Taraf newspaper, said the imprisoned Kurdish leader is "aware that armed struggle is no longer applicable."
The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, whose three deputies visited Ocalan this week in Imrali Island where he is jailed, announced that the PKK leader would make what they described as "a historic call" on March 21. "I want to solve the weapons issue quickly," Ocalan was quoted as saying.
The PKK members would withdraw from Turkey within nine months since March 21, Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said at a televised interview on Sunday, adding that all PKK members are expected to leave Turkey by the end of 2013.
"If a legal amendment is required for the withdrawal, the parliament may discuss," said the minister.
Among the possible amendments of the Turkish constitution is the recognition of the ethnic Kurds, one of the main requests by the Kurdish movement in Turkey.
However, some believe that referring the government-sponsored talks to the parliament may complicate the peace process, citing that the opposition in Turkey remained concerned that the talks will disturb the state's structure, paving the way for ethnic disintegration.
Devlet Bahceli, Nationalist Movement Party leader, said Tuesday Ocalan's upcoming announcement is nothing new but in fact the repetition of old arguments, while main opposition Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the government of conducting talks illegally.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and part of the international community, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Since then, over 35,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group.