The Turkish army’s methods are aimed at instilling terror and dominating the Kurdish people, said Agit Polat, spokesman for the French Democratic Kurdish Council (CDK-F), on Thursday.
Polat’s remarks on X come in response to disturbing footage circulating on social media showing the alleged execution and torture of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas at the hands of Turkish soldiers.
The graphic footage, shared by accounts identified as Turkish nationalist and pro-government, coincides with the recent escalation of clashes between Turkish forces and PKK militants in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Recent Turkish casualties in cross-border military operations have been a hot topic on the country’s agenda.
Polat drew a strong parallel between the reported acts and the methods used by the Islamic State (ISIS), warning that such acts would be recognised as war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The emergence of these videos and images raises questions about their authenticity, as they have not yet been confirmed by either the Turkish forces or the PKK. The exact timing of the footage is unknown and the origin of the material has yet to be established. The unverified nature of the violent content has sparked speculation about its potential use as part of an organised effort by the Turkish government to manage public sentiment in the face of recent military losses.
As Turkish forces continue to clash with the PKK in northern Iraq, the CDK-F spokesman stressed the commitment to fight for Kurdish freedom. In a defiant message, he said: “Even if you cut us into a thousand pieces, we will not give up our fight for freedom.”
Last week, the Turkish Ministry of Defence reported that 12 Turkish soldiers were killed in fierce clashes on Friday in the ongoing confrontations between Turkish forces and Kurdish guerrillas in several regions of Iraqi Kurdistan, including Zap, Avaşîn, Metîna and Xakûrkê. In contrast to the official figures given by the ministry, the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), the military wing of the PKK, claims that many more Turkish soldiers have been killed.
Turkey’s latest military campaign against Kurdish guerrilla forces in northern Iraq has been ongoing since April 2022.