Minister: Turkey to Present Kurdish Reform Bill within Days

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The Turkish government announced on Wednesday it aimed to present to parliament in the coming days a reform bill to advance its peace process with Kurdish militants.

“Since Kurds account for around a fifth of Turkey’s population, such a move could boost Kurdish support for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan ahead of his expected bid to become the country’s first directly-elected president in August,” Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said, Reuters reported.

“The government had completed work on giving the process a legal framework and was seeking ministers’ signatures for the bill,” Atalay added.

“I gave a presentation on it at the last cabinet meeting. A decision was made and within a couple of days we will present it to parliament as a draft law,” he noted.

Hurriyet newspaper said the new seven-article bill would provide a “legal guarantee” to state officials involved in the peace process, protecting them from potential future prosecution, and facilitate the rehabilitation of militants.

Erdogan initiated peace talks with jailed militant leader Abdullah Ocalan in 2012.

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