"The Kurdish Liberation Movement has started a new phase. The negative developments since the start of the so-called 'democratic initiative' which revealed the real, oppressive intentions of the AKP government, have led to the decisions being taken". This is how PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) spokespersons explained the unilateral ceasefire which was declared in April 2009.
The move led to new rebel attacks on May 31, which left 6 Turkish soldiers dead, and the ensuing shelling of Kurdish guerrilla bases in Iraqi mountains, causing at least 24 dead.
The Kurdish organization has stated that from now on it will make full use of its right to defense. Kurdish guerrilla leaders give details of the causes and actions that have led the PKK to resort to arms once more in a report issued in Kurdish.info [pdf].
The document says that "assaults on Kurds have reached unprecedented levels during this time in which the AKP government kept talking publicly about democratic change." It denounces the ban of the DTP, the main Kurdish party holding more then 20 seats in the Turkish Parliament; the arrest and imprisonment of about 1,500 political members and public elected officials, which is deemed as a "political massacre"; the trial of more than 4,000 children, who have been taken to court for hurling stones; the arrest and imprisonment of Kurdish journalists, and the 262 military operations between April and December 2009 led by the Turkish army.
PKK leaders stressed that all these actions have been carried out in spite of the ceasefire and the numerous calls to negotiate by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. Öcalan even drafted a map road rejecting violent means and full independence for Kurdistan. He said he has decided to withdraw from the political process due to the lack of response to his efforts for peace.
Image: PKK militant (Wikipedia).