On 20 April the US Department of State renewed the bounties on the heads of leading PKK members Murat Karayilan, Cemil Bayik and Duran Kalkan.
The Emergency Committee for Rojava (ECR), initiated by observers who have been following the developments related to feminism, pluralism, democracy and environmentalism in North East Syria, wrote an open letter to the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, demanding to revoke the renewal of the reward for the capture of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)’s prominent names, Cemil Bayık, Duran Kalkan and Murat Karayılan.
“Bounties on Cemil Bayık, Duran Kalkan, and Murat Karayılan are part of the strategy of Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, to hold power by manufacturing a terrorist threat. Their renewal is a signal to Turkey that it is acceptable to the United States if Turkey assassinates PKK leaders. This AKP strategy does not benefit the U.S. or the region, and we should not support it.” stated the ECR.
It also noted that the PKK fighters gave their support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their struggle against ISIS.
“The bounty decision also undermines our alliance with the Kurds. Kurdish fighters, including military leaders trained by the PKK, were key to the SDF’s struggle against ISIS, renewal of these bounties has prompted anger and confusion and encouraged distrust of the U.S. within the Kurdish freedom movement.” it said.
The ECR also demanded to discuss the issue with the State Department Representative ended the letter with the following words:
“We urge you to revoke the renewal of the bounties on the heads of the three leaders of the PKK and to pressure Turkey to enter peace negotiations. We hope to discuss this with the appropriate State Department representative soon.
*The Emergency Committee for Rojava was founded in 2018 in response to Turkey’s invasion of Afrin. They define their mission as “to defend Rojava, formally known as Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), popularise its political ideas, the campaign against U.S. complicity in Turkey’s war on the Kurds, and urge the resumption of peace negotiations between the Kurdish movement and the Turkish government. ”
The whole statement of the ECR can be read here