Kurdish War: June 14, 2003


A group that Turkish sources describe as a coalition of civic organizations (most of them from southeastern Turkey) has asked the government to grant blanket amnesty to Kurd rebels. The group argues that a condition-less, limitless amnesty for PKK rebels is the only political tool that will bring Turkeys internal Kurd conflict to a quick end. Interestingly enough, the Turkish government has been wrestling with an amnesty resolution for some time. The current government resolution, however, is not a blanket amnesty proposal. PKK commanders would still face prosecution. This suggests the government resolution would be a case by case type amnesty, since many of the PKK operations are small scale (squad or less). That means there could be a lot of commanders. The Turkish government estimates that 5000 PKK guerrillas remain active. This figure is larger than other analytic estimates (3000 is another figure) of active PKK rebels. The definition of active may be the issue. Most of the active rebels have bases in northern Iraq. (Austin Bay)


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