Clashes in Turkey ahead of PKK pullout

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Clashes in Turkey ahead of PKK pullout

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Pro-Kurdish protesters have thrown petrol bombs and firecrackers at police in the Turkish district of Cizre.

It came just hours before an agreed pullout of rebel fighters from the mostly Kurdish southeast.

A commander from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, recently ordered his fighters to begin withdrawing to bases in northern Iraq.

It is part of a plan to end three decades of conflict with the Turkish state.

Ethnic Kurds have begun returning to their homes on the back of it.

“We are really hopeful about this peace process. That’s enough. We don’t want anyone to die from now on. We are all brothers and are not different from each other,” said Zubeyir Akagac, who has returned to the Pervari district of Siirt.

The pullout is due to start on Wednesday. However, the PKK is not accepting a government demand that its fighters should lay down their weapons before withdrawing.

The conflict has killed more than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, and stunted the economy of an entire region.