ANKARA: Turkey's prime minister says he hopes this week's Kurdish spring festival will herald the start of a peaceful resolution of the nearly 30-year-old conflict with Kurdish rebels.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke Tuesday, ahead of Thursday's spring festivities when jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan is expected to reveal his plans for peace, including a possible cease-fire declaration and a timetable for his fighters' retreat from Turkey.
Turkish officials have been holding talks with Ocalan on his prison island with the aim of persuading his autonomy-seeking group to disarm. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.
Reports say Ocalan is seeking guarantees from Turkey that his rebels will not be attacked as they withdraw from Turkey.