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Turkish leaders meet pro-Kurdish politicians

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Turkish leaders meet pro-Kurdish politicians


Dialogue has begun to try to solve the deep-rooted problems between Turkey’s Kurdish minority and the government in Ankara.

Politicians considered close to Kurdish rebels have met Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, with further talks set to follow. Both sides however have urged caution over any quick fix.

The Kurdistan Workers Party took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. While scaling back calls for an independent homeland in the southeast, the rebels continue to demand more autonomy.

More than 40,000 people have died in the fighting.

Security forces are a key target of the PKK. More than 100 military personnel were killed between March and the end of July this year.

While army patrols continue, the PKK has extended a unilateral ceasefire into next week.

Turkey has officially refused to negotiate for a settlement with the PKK, which it labels a terrorist organisation, as does the US and EU.

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