Turkey's Kurdish rebels will declare a ceasefire and withdraw to their bases in northern Iraq in the spring as part of a deal brokered between their jailed leader and the country's intelligence agency, media reported yesterday.
According to the agreed timetable, the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK) will declare a ceasefire in February at the urging of their jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, daily Hurriyet reported.
As a confidence-building measure, some 100 PKK members will lay down arms and withdraw to northern Iraq in the spring, once the snow melts off the mountains along the two countries' border, according to the daily.
But the complete disarmament will depend on the course of negotiations with Ankara, it said.
There is an estimated 4,000-4,500 Kurdish rebels and more than half of them are based in northern Iraq where the group enjoys safe haven.