Jailed Kurdish rebel leader calls on PKK to lay down arms

Turkey's main Kurdish party says imprisoned rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan has called on his followers to lay down arms as part of a peace process to end a 30-year bloody insurgency.

Pro-Kurdish legislator Sirri Sureyya Onder said Saturday that Ocalan is asking his Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, to hold an extraordinary congress in the spring to take the "historic decision" to end its armed struggle.

Turkey began talking to Ocalan in 2012 to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.

Ocalan declared a cease-fire in 2013 and ordered the PKK to withdraw fighters to bases in northern Iraq.

The cease-fire is still in place but the PKK halted the withdrawal a few months later, saying Turkey had not taken any steps to reciprocate.