PKK leader: Our guerrillas want to expand
August 9, 2012
Murat Karayilan is the acting commander of
the Turkey Kurdistan Workers' Party PKK and chairman of the executive
council of the Kurdish Democratic Confederation (KCK).
DIYARBAKIR, The Kurdish
region of Turkey,— Members of the Kurdistan Workers’
Turkish soldiers near Diyarbakir this week.
According to the Dogan news agency, the Turkish
soldiers were on their way home on leave when the
bus they were traveling on was stopped and searched
by PKK guerrillas near Abale village.
Diyarbakir Governor Mustafa Toprak announced that
military authorities began a thorough search of the
area for the abducted soldiers immediately.
“With help from the air force, a military search in
the area has begun and is still ongoing,” Toprak
The incident comes after the area witnessed some
fierce clashes between PKK rebels and the Turkish
army in the past several days.
Earlier this week, Murat Karayilan, the acting
leader of the PKK, said his fighters had crossed the
Turkish border and positioned themselves 35
kilometers inside Turkish territory.
“In response to the Turkish military bombing our
villages and terrorizing our people every day, our
guerrillas want to expand their territory and
fortify their positions,” Karayilan said.
Karayilan added that the idea of borders is history
and that his group would not be abiding by any
“Our guerrillas have taken position near Shemzinan.
All the Turkish efforts to expel them have been
fruitless,” he said.
Apart from a response to the repression of Kurdish
people in the area by the Turkish military,
Karayilan said that his group’s operations in the
area “show our strength.”
Ten Kurdish villages have been under pressure to
evacuate, Karayilan said, and PKK fighters are there
to defend the people.
“I urge the people in those villages to stay united
and face the Turkish military,” he added.
The leader went on to criticize Turkey for ignoring
numerous PKK calls for peace, particularly between
1999 and 2004.
“Even back then, [Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip] Erdogan said in Russia ‘there is no such
thing as the Kurdish question if you don’t think
about it,’” Karayilan said.
On Monday, the office of Kurdistan Region President
Massoud Barzani released a statement urging the PKK
and Turkey to seek a peaceful solution to the
“War and killings will not bring any positive
outcome and will only complicate and deepen the
problems,” read the statement, presented by
presidential spokesman Omed Sabah.
Sabah said President Barzani asks all sides to
declare a truce so that the doors to peace will
“Kurdistan Region President is concerned about
recent clashes near Hakkari and condemns the PKK
attacks that will have no result other than damaging
the national cause and interests, and will become a
barrier to any peaceful solution,” said the
Turkey has expressed serious concern about PKK
activities in the region, especially in the
liberated Kurdish areas of Syria where local allies
of the PKK, especially the Democratic Union Party (PYD),www.ekurd.net
have positioned themselves close to the Turkish
Last week, Karayilan said that if Turkey crosses the
border into Syrian Kurdistan, Kurds from all parts
of Kurdistan would take up arms against them.
The PKK has several times proposed peaceful solutions regarding Kurdish problem,
Turkey has always refused saying that it will not negotiate with “terrorists”.
Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state,
which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish
state in the south east of the country.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights
for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more
than 20 million.
A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional
self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in
Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey,
reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action
against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered ass 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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