Cautious optimism greets PKK ceasefire

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Cautious optimism greets PKK ceasefire

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Political groups in Istanbul of all colours have been reacting to the call by rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan for Kurdish PKK fighters to lay down their arms.

For some the timing of the announcement with the Spring Festival has added another dimension to celebrations.

But for others, calling a ceasefire is no guarantee of peace:

“Our expectation is that silencing guns is not enough. It does not mean the resolution of the Kurdish issue. For this reason I hope
Kurdish demands for equality are met,” said one woman.

The fight by Kurdish rebels for a separate state in south east Turkey has cost the lives of 40,000 people over the last three decades.

Although the Turkish government has extended cultural and language rights to Kurds, activists are still demanding greater freedom from Ankara.

The move to let politics take over from the guns has been met with cautious optimism but it is not clear if Ocalan, jailed since 1999, today carries the same authority.