Kurdish rebels halt withdrawal from Turkey

A pro-Kurdish news agency says Kurdish rebels have suspended their withdrawal from Turkey over what they see as the Turkish government's failure to take steps that would advance peace talks aimed at ending a decades-long conflict.

Kurdistan Workers Party declared ceasefire in March, started withdrawing fighters in May

Kurds protest in Turkey in July 2013. Kurdish rebels stopped their withdrawal from Turkey, according to local reports. (Burhan Ozbilici/File/Associated Press)

A pro-Kurdish news agency says Kurdish rebels have suspended their withdrawal from Turkey over what they see as the Turkish government's failure to take steps that would advance peace talks aimed at ending a decades-long conflict.

The Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, declared a ceasefire in March and began withdrawing fighters from Turkey into bases in northern Iraq in May as part of the peace efforts. Turkey in turn was expected to enact reforms to improve Kurdish rights.

The Firat news agency said Monday that the rebels think the government has failed to take steps toward "democratization and the resolution of the Kurdish problem."

The PKK has fought Turkey for autonomy. The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984.