20 March 2016
PKK Executive Council Member, Murat Karayilan, analysed the latest developments in Turkey and Kurdistan for Kurdish TV channel, Sterk TV, touching upon urban warfare, the future of the region and TAK’s recent attacks in Ankara. In the interview, Karayilan responded to allegations that the PKK had taken the war to the cities.
Karayilan said: “We are welcoming Newroz 2016 in a very intense atmosphere. There is a war in every part of Northern Kurdistan (Turkey). It is a war in which the enemy is using tanks and heavy artilleries. If the AKP and Erdogan take a step back from the genocidal policies, then a chance for a solution may arise. Those that harbour this expectancy should know that we, as an organisation, are ready for a solution process that ensures the freedom of our leader, Abdullah Ocalan, and is monitored by an independent observatory delegation.”
On the latest fighting in the towns and cities, Karayilan added: “Some people are saying that the PKK is fighting in the towns and cities. No, the PKK has not entered into urban warfare, yet! The youth in towns and cities have dug up trenches to prevent Turkish military grade vehicle entering into their neighbourhoods. The youngsters then began protecting their neighbourhoods with petrol bombs, shotguns and small arms. But what did the state do? They attacked these neighbourhoods and demolished them with tanks and heavy artilleries. There was no PKK there. How many of those martyred were from the PKK?”
Karayilan continued: “This war is between the Kurds and the AKP state. No one can hide this reality. We are standing up for our people, our youth, the will of the Kurds. We are standing up against all the atrocities committed against the Kurdish people. The PKK will stand up for its people, but the PKK was not there in the cities. Firstly, it was Winter. The PKK is high up in the mountains, underground in training. The war was between the people and the state. A war for the freedom of Kurdistan and the democratisation of Turkey. This is a war for humanity. This war is against the ugly face of the AKP, its fascistic and genocidal mentality.”
On the future of Turkey and the Kurds, Karayilan said: “2016 will not be like any other year. The Kurdish people are welcoming Newroz with the slogan ‘Free Leadership, Free Kurdistan, Democratic Turkey’. This is very meaningful. All those in favour of peace and unity should value this call. We want to pave the way for change in Turkey. If the state insists on enmity against the Kurds, then the Kurds will separate. If they don’t understand the value of the Kurds’ approach, then Turkey will be divided. Erdogan is only thinking about consolidating his power and by doing so, is deepening the divide. Everyone should take note of this.
On the attacks by TAK in Ankara, Karayilan said: “We have nothing to do with the attacks carried out by TAK in Ankara. We never target civilians. We target military positions. However, everyone should think about this: what pushes a 24-year-old university student (Seger Cagla Demir) to carry out this attack? One needs to understand this as a reaction to the attacks against the will of the Kurdish people.”