Chronology of Ceasefires:
After years of fighting, the Kurdish liberation movement sought to find a political solution of the conflict. These efforts of the PKK, Kurdistan Worker’s Party, were underlined by the declaration of its first unilateral ceasefire in 1993. This truce however was undermined and sabotaged by gangs of war profiteers within the PKK and the Turkish state.
Being committed to and convinced of the necessity of a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question, the leader of the PKK, Mr. Abdullah Ocalan, repeatedly declared ceasefires such as in 1995 and 1998. The last truce became impossible to sustain due to concerted action against it by many different states. KCK Presidency of the Executive Council and the Kongra-Gel Presidential Board announced the unilateral cease-fire from 13 August 2010 to 20 September 2010
The peace initiatives of the PKK are in chronological order as below;
• March, 17 1993 General Secretray of the PKK declared the first ceasefire
• December, 14 1995 Mr. Abdullah Öcalan Declares Unilateral Cease-Fire to Test Turkey for the Cause of Peace
• September, 2 1998 PKK Announces Ceasefire in Turkey
• February, 15 1999 On the 15th of February, 1999, the President of the PKK, Mr. Abdullah Öcalan, was handed over to the Republic of Turkey
• August, 25 1999 PKK Begins Withdrawal from Turkey
• October, 1 1999 As a sign of goodwill the first peace group was send to Turkey.
• October, 29 1999 The second peace and democratic solution group was send from Europe to Turkey
• December, 10 1999 PKK declares its support for the EU-membership of Turkey.
• January, 202000 Peace Project
• December, 4 2000 The Urgent Action Plan for Peace and Democracy
• June, 19 2000 Urgent Demands in order to prevent the war and to promote the peace process
• April, 16 2002 Duties on Democratic Liberation on the 8th Congress of the PKK
• December, 22 2002 Urgent Peace Proclamation
• April, 15 2003 Proclamation for A Way out of Turkey’s Impasse
• August, 2 2003 Road Map for a Peaceful and Democratic Solution, of The Kurdish Question In Turkey, Declaration of KADEK Executive Council
• November, 15 2003 Final Declaration of the Foundation Conference of the People's Congress of Kurdistan (KONGRA GEL)
• June, 1 2004 ’We didn't declare war we are in self-defence’
• March, 20 2005 The declaration of Democratic Confederalism
• 20th of August to 20th of September 2005: Way for peace and a democratic solution hence contributing to the development of resolution process.
• September, 30 2006, Decision for a Ceasefire by Kongra Gel 2nd Interim Session Assembly Meeting
• October 17, 2007, The war decision was accepted by the Turkish Parliament, the occupational operation started
• February 21, 2008, The Turkish army bombed the Medya Defense Areas many times and carried out an invasion operation against the South Kurdistan and the Medya Defense Areas
• April 13, 2009 KCK decided for a cease-fire
• June, 1 2010 KCK declaration of the self-defence
• August 13, 2010 KCK declared the unilateral cease-fire from 13 August 2010 to 20 September. 2010.
17 March 1993
On 17 of March 1993 General Secretary of the PKK declared the first ceasefire.
On April 17, 1993, Mr. Abdullah Öcalan, extended the cease-fire indefinitely.
Among the conditions were:
a) Immediate halt to Turkish military operations.
b) Abolition of the regional governorship system.
c) Constitutional recognition of the Kurdish identity.
d) Creation of conditions conducive to the return of displaced Kurds to Kurdistan.
e) Compensation for the loss of property.
At a press conference on June 8, 1993, Mr. Abdullah Öclan announced the ending of the cease-fire which had been unilaterally enforced by the PKK since March 17, 1993.
14 December 1995
Mr. Abdullah Ocalan Declares Unilateral Cease-Fire to Test Turkey for the Cause of Peace
On December 14, 1995, Mr. Abdullah Ocalan announced a unilateral cease-fire to test Turkey for the cause of peace in an interview with the Kurdish satellite television station MED-TV.
Mr. Abdullah Ocalan stated: "We have announced a unilateral cease-fire. We wish to see how the new Turkish government, which will come to power after the December 24, 1995 elections, approaches the Kurdish question. It is a goodwill gesture on our part to give them the benefit of the doubt for new ways to deal with the issue."
Mr. Ocalan continued: "During the cease-fire, if the Turkish military does not attack PKK forces, then our guerrillas will halt all their offensive military actions."
Mr. Ocalan announced this cease-fire in response to attempts by the European Parliament to find ways for a political solution to the Kurdish question. Another factor was the desire to create more peaceful conditions for the upcoming general elections in Turkey.
He states: "If Turkey wishes to be a party to the political solution to the Kurdish question but does not want to enter into dialogue with our party, the PKK, some other Kurdish institution could act as an interlocutor, so long as the existence of the PKK is accepted as a fact and the reality on the ground is not misconstrued."
Mr. Ocalan, moreover, called upon the nations of Europe to establish a commission to oversee the cease-fire and to redouble their efforts for the cause of peace so that the momentum for a political solution is not wasted. He noted that Turkey's recent admission into the European Customs Union by definition has made the Kurdish question a European issue. It is the duty, therefore, of European countries to bring an end to the war in Turkey. PKK Chair, Mr. Abdullah Öcalan called upon Turkey's political and military institutions to respect the cease-fire. He also called on the international community to acknowledge and give their support to this peace effort.
End of the ceasefire in May 1996
2 September 1998
PKK Announces Ceasefire in Turkey
The PKK announced a unilateral ceasefire in its fight for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey. Mr. Abdullah Öcalan announced the ceasefire in a telephone interview on Kurdish MED-TV. In this interview he said that the ceasefire was timed to correspond with the September 1st World Peace Day. "Terror and violence are not the best ways in human relations. For as long as we are not attacked by Turkish forces, we will not undertake any armed action," he said, adding that the ceasefire would last until April 1999. Kurdish sources said that although they would not initiate attacks on Turkish forces, they reserved the right to fight in self-defense.
The timing of the ceasefire announcement coincided with a changeover in the military, as Ismail Hakki Karadayi, chief of general staff, hands over command to General Huseyin Kivrikoglu. In addition, Turkey is looking toward the general election next April. Some analysts saw the ceasefire as an attempt by the PKK to renew its struggle in the arena of national politics. In 1997, Mr. Abdullah Öcalan told Kurdish MED-TV that the PKK was ready for a unilateral cease-fire and wanted to begin negotiations with the Turkish government. Turkey has so far rejected all such offers and refuses to negotiate with the group. Recently Öcalan claimed that he no longer sought to separate the mainly Kurdish southeast from Turkey, saying that, "Following a realistic policy of Kurdish independence does not mean changing the borders."
Turkish government ignores ceasefire
This time, too, the Turkish government said that it would not respond to the ceasefire announcement. Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said Turkey would never agree to negotiate with the PKK and called on Mr. Öcalan to surrender. Yilmaz added that the efforts of the PKK to create a political platform in Europe would be in vain.
November 13, 1998
Intending to solve the Kurdish question through the political dialogue with Europe, Mr. Abdullah Ocalan left the Middle East and flew to Europe in October 1998. His stay in Europe ended abruptly with his kidnapping on February 15, 1999 and his subsequent imprisonment on the Turkish prison island of Imrali.
November 14, 1998
PKK Central Committee
Current developments centred upon our leadership's person portend to be of real significance in determining our people's fate. The Turkish State responded to the announcement of a cease-fire by our Party's General Secretary, Mr. Abdullah Öcalan, and his attempt to realize a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question, on the occasion of World Peace Day, September 1, 1998, by hatching a plot with international dimensions.
Reacting to the cease-fire by intensifying the war, the peace offering met with the fiercest display of enmity. The entire efforts of the Turkish State have concentrated upon attacking us - whether militarily, politically, diplomatically or what-have-you. Now, the direct-targeting of our national leadership attains new dimensions in the attempted genocide of our people.
In response to this, our party and people, rallying behind our national leadership, have determinedly pursued our resistance on the basis of a legitimate defense of the cause of liberty. Our voice has risen up loudly; a heavy price paid to realize freedom, democracy and human rights. It was for those same goals of our national freedom struggle that the General Secretary of our Party, Mr. Abdullah Öcalan, traveled to Rome, the capital of Italy, on 13 November 1998. The visit, which took place with the knowledge of the Italian Government, is of a political character, and is not merely a matter of his seeking refuge or security. As far as our national leadership is concerned, both security and location can be secured, most important of all, in our own land. We have no doubt whatsoever on this issue.