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Turkey allows Kurdish lawmakers to visit jailed leader

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Turkish government has given permission for a group of Kurdish lawmakers to visit jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan as part of renewed peace talks, their party said Thursday.

The justice ministry approved a list of deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to visit Ocalan in his island prison on Saturday, it added.

Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Ocalan, who was captured in Nairobi in 1999, is serving a life sentence in Imrali prison in the Marmara Sea south of Istanbul.

The visit will follow a meeting between two Kurdish politicians and Ocalan on January 3.

Local media said Ocalan might brief his visitors on plans for a ceasefire and the disarmament of the PKK, which is branded a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies.

Turkey's secret services resumed peace negotiations with Ocalan late last year with the ultimate aim of ending the PKK's nearly three decade fight for autonomy in the southeast that has cost over 40,000 lives.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130221/turkey-allows-kurdish-lawmakers-visit-jailed-leader