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Turkey: PKK hold party for jailed leader's birthday01:05

Turkey: PKK hold party for jailed leader's birthday

Turkey, Halfeti
April 3, 2013 at 23:43 GMT +00:00 · Published

Turkey: PKK hold party for jailed leader's birthday

Supporters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) began celebrations in Halfeti, Turkey, on Wednesday to mark jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan's birthday on April 4. They will march to his birthplace of Omerli to continue celebrations on Thursday.

The PKK has been pushing for an autonomous Kurdish state since it was founded in 1978. It was recently engaged in an armed struggle with Turkey, but declared a ceasefire in March following an order by Ocalan. The Kurdish-Turkish conflict, which began in 1984, claimed over 40,000 lives.

Ocalan has been held in a Turkish jail since 1999, when he was arrested by Turkish security forces in Kenya. He was initially due to be executed but had his sentence changed to life imprisonment following Ankara's decision to abolish the death penalty.

Turkey: PKK hold party for jailed leader's birthday01:05
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Turkey: PKK hold party for jailed leader's birthday

Supporters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) began celebrations in Halfeti, Turkey, on Wednesday to mark jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan's birthday on April 4. They will march to his birthplace of Omerli to continue celebrations on Thursday.

The PKK has been pushing for an autonomous Kurdish state since it was founded in 1978. It was recently engaged in an armed struggle with Turkey, but declared a ceasefire in March following an order by Ocalan. The Kurdish-Turkish conflict, which began in 1984, claimed over 40,000 lives.

Ocalan has been held in a Turkish jail since 1999, when he was arrested by Turkish security forces in Kenya. He was initially due to be executed but had his sentence changed to life imprisonment following Ankara's decision to abolish the death penalty.

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