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June 26, 2014 AT 3:40 AM
Turkey's government sent a bill to parliament on Thursday, giving its peace process with Kurdish militants a legal framework--a step that may boost support for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan before an August presidential election. The bill was long sought by pro-Kurdish politicians, partly to remove the risk of those involved in the talks being prosecuted if the political climate in Turkey turned against the process in the future. Ankara began peace talks with jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan in 2012, in a bid to end a 30-year-old insurgency which has killed 40,000 people. The draft law protects anyone involved in the talks from prosecution over the insurgency by Ocalan's Kurdistan Workers' Party--also known as the PKK.