Turkey, jailed Kurdish leader discuss disarmament: report


ANKARA — Turkey’s intelligence agency has discussed the issue of disarmament with a jailed Kurdish leader in a bid to bring an end to the nearly three-decade old insurgency, a newspaper reported on Monday. Officials from the National Intelligence Organisation held a four-hour meeting with Abdullah Ocalan on Dec. 23 to urge outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party militants to lay down their arms, the Hurriyet newspaper reported. But Ocalan demanded that he must have a direct contact with the PKK and his detention conditions must be improved, according to the paper.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview Friday that his agents were meeting with Ocalan, who is being held in solitary confinement on a remote island prison off Istanbul.

“I cannot hold such meetings myself as a politician but the state has agents … and they do (hold talks),” Erdogan told the state-run TRT television. “The meetings on the island are still under way because we must get a result. If we see a light (for a result), we continue to take steps,” he said, referring to the meetings with Ocalan.