LATEST : Turkey in talks with jailed Kurdish rebel leader APO

By Associated Press, Updated: Sunday, December 30, 3:06 PM – ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey is holding talks with the Kurdish rebels’ jailed leader to press the autonomy-seeking guerrilla group to relinquish arms and end its decades-long conflict, a senior official was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief adviser, Yalcin Akdogan, insisted in an interview with Taraf newspaper that the discussions were aimed at convincing the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, to lay down its arms for good. He said Turkey was not seeking any kind of a temporary truce, similar to those the PKK has declared in the past and which critics say allow the group to recoup before resuming attacks on Turkish military targets.

“The basic aim of the meetings is not a temporary ceasefire but to push the organization to put down its arms,” Taraf quoted Akdogan as saying. Akdogan’s comments came days after Erdogan also said Turkey’s intelligence agency has resumed discussions with rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a life term on a prison island off Istanbul. “As long as we see a light we’ll continue to talk. If there is no light, we’ll stop there,” Erdogan said, without providing details on the discussions.