Murat Karayılan, a top official of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), answered the questions of ANF News.
Murat Karayılan told ANF News in a recent interview the current war was a matter of life and death for the Kurdish people, “This is an extraordinary period; every Kurdish person should take risks and do whatever they can.”
As of the night of 17 April, the Turkish state carried out a comprehensive attack on the Medya Defence Zones. What is the purpose of this attack?
First of all, it should be noted that; these enemy attacks are not an ordinary attack. The Turkish state has been acting with a new concept since 2016, based on a strategy. The aim of this strategy is; in order to prevent the Kurdistan freedom struggle, Turkey should not shrink and so they decided to enlarge Turkey. In this framework, they aimed to bring the borders of the National Pact under their control in military, political, economic and all other fields. At the same time, they want to take Iraq and Syria under their control, not by direct invasion.
In this way, they aim to implement the Neo-Ottoman programme and to make Turkey the largest state in the region. This is the essence of their concept. On this basis they have been fighting us for a long time. They are attacking the Kurdish people not only in the military, but also in the political, social and cultural fields, in every field. They are inflicting torture on Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] that is unprecedented in the world. They take everything in an extraordinary way and confront us.
As it is known, in 2021, they aimed to occupy the regions where the guerrilla forces are located in Southern Kurdistan, or in other words, the Medya Defence Zones. For this reason, they attacked Garê with a sudden attack while the snow was still on the ground. Their aim and plan was to occupy every place within three-months. However, they were defeated, defeated and their plans did not work. Maybe they captured a few hills in some areas, but the guerrilla put up a great resistance and they were defeated once again. (…)
In fact, it would be more accurate to say that it started on 14 April, because before that, the airstrikes lasted for 3 days and these areas were bombed. In military terms, this is called “softening”. Air strikes took place to soften the targets. Then, on the night connecting 17 to 18 April, they attacked from both the south and north directions. They also launched a comprehensive invasion attack using the airborne method.
This is not an operation, this is a serious war. No country can fight each other so easily. I do not believe that there are such fronts even in Ukraine, that there can be a point where there is constant war. This is a serious war. The genocidal Turkish state has used technology and chemical weapons in the past. However, when we look now, we see that it gives more weight to the technique. It simultaneously flies helicopters, warplanes, reconnaissance planes, attacks from the ground and fires howitzers from the border outposts. In short, their aim is constant bombardment and absolute occupation. (…)
A strategic war for the Kurdish people
This war is not only a war between the PKK and the Turkish state as some say. No, that is a big mistake to make. This war is being waged on the basis of a strategy. It is true that the primary target of this strategy is the PKK, but the PKK is not the only target. There are other goals as well. To liquidate all the gains of the Kurdish people. After that, they will be able to influence the Arab people and gain power in the region by controlling them. They aim to succeed in influencing not only the mountains of Kurdistan, but also Hewler and Baghdad.
Undoubtedly, the first target is the PKK, but in fact, the gains of the Kurdish people are in their sights. Therefore, this war is strategic for the Kurdish people, it is a life and death war for the Kurdish people.
It’s a matter of life and death
They have spent most of Turkey’s wealth in this war. Why are the people of Turkey hungry now? Turkey is a rich country, but they invested all their income in the war, secretly or openly. Now people say to them, ‘You have spent so much but you didn’t win,’ and they will start investigations about them. Therefore, fascist Erdoğan and Bahçeli must be successful against us in order to maintain their rule and strengthen the dominance of the fascist system in Kurdistan. This is important to them. But for us this is much more important; because it is a matter of life and death. This is important for our people, for the Arab people, and for the people of the region. They are chasing dreams of neo-Ottomanism and they are not listening to anyone. They want to return to Ottoman lands once again. This is not such a secret plan. Don’t they talk every day about Kirkuk, “It was actually ours, but they took it from us”? They have a plan, if not, what are their soldiers looking for in Bashika right now? Why is Turkey making such preparations in Kirkuk? It is clear that if their strategy works, the Kurdish status will be endangered and disappear.
What is the role and mission of the KDP in these attacks? To what extent does the KDP participate in this operation?
Last year, a collaboration took place within this framework. But it seems that Turkey is not satisfied with this, they held meetings with KDP officials at the highest level for this. It seems that this year, the KDP went one step further in these latest attacks. So it went a little further than last year.
Now when we say this, we do not slander the KDP. Maybe KDP officials do not say this, but this is the truth. We do not want them to have such an anti-Kurdish relationship against us. I don’t know what will be the end of this. It is true that they have not engaged in combat with the guerrilla so far, but since yesterday they have been gathering their strength. They are reinforcing their forces in regions such as Dêrelok and Şêladizê. What will they do? What will happen? We do not know whether this will evolve into another stage, we do not have information about it. Of course, there is a dangerous situation. In order to avoid a direct conflict so far; sometimes, when there is a contact, we have made many attempts so that this Kurd does not have a war with that Kurd.
The aim of the Turkish state is to turn this war into a Kurdish-Kurdish war and to be successful in its project in this way. We don’t want something like this to happen. But everything has a limit. For this reason, our people, Kurdish patriots, Kurdish politicians, intellectuals and artists must take up their responsibilities. This cannot be how it goes. We are a self-sacrificing force, we have no fear of anyone. We do not want this to turn into a Kurdish war with the Kurds.
KDP cuts the branch he is on
The PKK is a great guarantor for Southern Kurdistan, for the federation of Southern Kurdistan. This is the truth. If the PKK did not exist, the Turkish state would disregard the federation. If it was not for the PKK, the Republic of Turkey would never meet with a Kurdish leader, they have never taken them into account or talked to them. Now there is the PKK, and the PKK is a threat to them. They talk to everyone because of the fear of the PKK. One should see this and take it into account. You continue to support and the PKK weakens, let’s see if they even say hello to you then. We know very well that they will not. We are all next, they put the PKK first because they see it as the most dangerous for them. They want to liquidate the PKK, then it will be everyone’s turn, they are against the Kurdish status. Two months ago, Hulusi Akar was not in a secret place, he said openly in the parliament: “There is no place called Kurdistan, neither inside Turkey nor outside Turkey.” They are waging this war for this purpose, and they have prepared their strategies accordingly.
You know, there are Nasreddin Hodja jokes in Turkey; he wants to cut down the tree, but he cuts the branch he is on and falls to the ground. The situation of the KDP is exactly the same. They want to cut down the tree of life and of course they will suffer from it. The truth is just that. We want them out of this situation. I do not know what initiatives are necessary for this, but we are sensitive. However, Bashur and Rojava need to see the dangers that await them. Kurdish politicians also need to see these dangers and take a stand.(…)
The media close to the KDP are talking too much; “The villagers cannot go to their villages, the villagers are being harmed,” they said. It is true, we are aware of it. In fact, there are more than thirty martyrs so far. They are our martyrs. But one should also know that; only in Zap, Rêkan, Nêrweyi have evacuated the villagers. Sinûnê villages have not been built yet, and the villages around Duhok have not been built either. Each village either has a house or does not. Why? People should question their own politics. War is not the only reason why villagers do not build their villages. War is a cause, it’s true. But there is a general problem. Another is the Turkish state is attacking. We must take a harmonious attitude towards this common enemy. Then people can resist. Then foreign powers, international powers react. If a sovereign Kurdish power approves of these attacks, these barbaric attacks appear ordinary.
As I said, our people should consider themselves responsible. In other words, this process should not turn into a war between the Kurds and the Kurds. Everyone should take a stand against it. The peshmerga, especially the KDP supporters, who have worked hard in this regard, should see this trend. I call them. I have hope. It shouldn’t be like that, everyone should evaluate their environment and take an attitude. The situation is really getting worse. What do we want? Two things:
1. The war should not turn into a Kurdish-Kurdish war.
2. KDP should end the Turkish state’s anti-Kurdish cooperation. Let go of this policy.
This is what we want. And this should be the wish of every patriotic Kurd. This is what I will say in this regard.
Finally, is there anything you would like to point out?
The days we are going through are the hardest days in our history of struggle. The period we are going through is an important one. How? The war that exists between us and the Turkish occupation has reached its peak. Of course they want to beat us, and we want to beat them. Therefore, it is an important period. All patriots, all Kurds should definitely play a role in this period. They should uphold their patriotic duty.