Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir today to hear the long-awaited announcement of a ceasefire with Turkey.
In a message read by a Kurdish MP in the Kurdish language, the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of thousands of Kurdish militants from Turkish territory.
Abdullah Ocalan said: "We have reached the point where the guns must be silenced and where ideas must speak.
"A new era has started, where it is politics, not guns, which is at the forefront.
"We have reached the stage where our armed elements need to retreat beyond the border."
Turkey has embarked on talks with Mr Ocalan to end the nearly 30-year conflict that has cost tens of thousands of lives.
His group has been fighting for self-rule for Kurds in south-eastern Turkey for decades.
Turkey had announced in December that it was talking to Mr Ocalan with the aim of persuading his party to disarm.
Kurdish rebels have declared ceasefires in the past but these were ignored by the state, which previously vowed to fight the PKK until the end.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has also admitted to having held failed, secret talks with the PKK in past years, but this latest attempt - being held more publicly and with Mr Ocalan's full participation - has raised hopes for a successful negotiated settlement.