Sunday, April 19, 2009


"I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend."
~ J.R.R. Tolkien.

On 15 April Comrade Dr. Bahoz Erdal handed over the command of HPG to Comrade Nurettin Sofi at a ceremony that was attended by KCK Executive Committee member Duran Kalkan and YJA-STAR Headquarters Commander Rengin Botan. Hevallo has posted a video of the change of command and photos of the event can be viewed here:

A change of command for HPG is mandated to happen every five years according to HPG regulations. New commanders are appointed by HPG's Military Council during their meetings, also held according to HPG regulations.

Comrade Dr. Bahoz held his military command during a crucial period in Kurdish history. Perhaps one of the most important developments that he oversaw was the change in HPG tactics which were implemented in 2005. Under Comrade Dr. Bahoz's command, HPG established and expanded its special forces and adopted MOUT-style training. It decentralized command structure which gave more autonomy to HPG team leaders. In turn, this encouraged "individual commander initiative and freedom of operation within the framework set forth by HPG's mission objectives and rules of engagement. Teams are smaller, lighter, faster moving, work independently, and engage targets of opportunity at will."

These changes have resulted in fewer casualties for the guerrillas while frustrating the TSK because of its use of older tactics. One indication of the success of these new tactics is that it has forced TSK to create a professional commando brigade to fight HPG, while another contributing factor was the Ankara regime's own disregard of its own losses. This disregard was highlighted in the Turkish media in 2006 when Katil Erdoğan told the country that "military service is not a place where you just take it easy."

In July 2006, Comrade Dr. Bahoz signed Geneva Call's "Deed of Committment for Adherence to a Total Ban on Anti-Personnel Mines" on behalf of HPG forces. Geneva Call was represented at the signing by Elisabeth Reusse-Decrey, Pascal Bongard and Anki Sjöberg.

Under Comrade Dr. Bahoz, HPG intensified efforts to bomb gas and oil pipelines that benefit the terror regime in Ankara and its allies. One of the most widely publicized of these attacks occured in August 2006 against a Turkish-Iranian gas pipeline in Ağrı province. Another was the more recent HPG attack against the BTC pipeline in August 2008. At the time Comrade Dr. Bahoz said:

"We think that attacks against economic resources have a deterrence effect in a war that aims to annihilate a people. If the Turkish state insists on waging the war, similar operations [by us] will continue."

There have been other pipeline attacks as well.

Significant military successes under Comrade Dr. Bahoz's command included the first Oramar (Bezele) operation in October 2007 which resulted in an enemy body count of 35 and eight TSK troops taken as prisoners of war. The Turkish POWs were treated much better by HPG than by their own chain of command in TSK, who imprisoned them for not having committed suicide rather than falling into the hands of HPG. The prisoners were handed over to representatives of the KRG and DTP parliamentarians on 4 November 2007.

The second Oramar (Bezele) operation took place one year later which precipitated a huge scandal in Turkey that, in turn, caused huge embarrassment for the paşas. Enemy body count for that one? Sixty-two.

There is another significant military operation to remember from the period of Comrade Dr. Bahoz's command and that was the first ever winter invasion of South Kurdistan by TSK, and it failed miserably for TSK. This was another huge scandal for the paşas and a feeding frenzy for Turkish media, a mixture that prompted then Turkish chief of general staff Büyükanıt to say:

"If they say that the army withdrew early, then let them go there (northern Iraq) and stay for 24 hours," Buyukanit said, referring to the deep snow and subzero temperatures in the tough mountainous terrain where the troops were fighting.

Of course, spending winters in the mountains is what Comrade Dr.Bahoz and the Kurdish guerrillas have been doing for twenty-five years.

Under Comrade Dr. Bahoz's command, HPG has also worked to reach out to the wider world through the Internet and conventional media. HPG's website has expanded and most recently added GerilaTV. HPG has permitted numerous journalists from around the world to travel to Qendil. Ahmet Altan and Yasemin Çongar of Taraf traveled to Qendil during the February 2007 land invasion. Both were struck by the sight of guerrillas, including high-ranking commanders, serving meals. Arwa Damon of CNN traveled to the guerrillas' camps. British documentary crewshave visited as has the WaPo and Al Jazeera. These efforts have helped to spread knowledge about the Kurdish freedom movement and the Kurdish people.

Now that Comrade Dr. Bahoz has handed over his command, I thank him for his service to the Kurdish nation and wish him continued success in his future responsibilities. He has truly brought great credit to himself, the People's Defense Forces (HPG), and the Kurdish people.

To Comrade Nurettin Sofi, HPG's new commander, I extend my best wishes for success.


Janice said...

I know I sound like a broken record, but I thank you--again--for your posts! I did not realise how structure the HPG is. I was a little confused, however, by one of the pieces of information:

"These changes have resulted in fewer casualties for the guerrillas while frustrating the TAK because of its use of older tactics."

Isn't TAK the abbreviation for the very violent terrorist group that was responsible for bombings in Turkish cities? Was the HPG fighting against the TAK?

Many thanks, again, for your tireless effores!


Anonymous said...

Janice, I so believe it's a simple type and Mizgîn meant TSK.


Mizgîn said...

Yes, you are both right. I meant TSK, not TAK. And that's what happens when you're up too late and writing. I have corrected the mistake in question.

HPG is very structured and with written regulations governing every aspect of operations.

Gordon Taylor said...

Once again, I learned something new.

Q: What is MOUT style training? Or did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mizgîn, on the other hand look at me. While pointing one mistake you made, I made three of my own!

Gordon, I believe MOUT stands for Military Operations in Urbanized Terrain.


Anonymous said...

Gordon, so have I and I am a Kurd... How sad is that?!


Mizgîn said...

Gordon, Zerkes is correct. MOUT is basically warfare in an urban environment. I added a link in the post for those who are unfamiliar with the term.

Zerkes, I don't see any mistakes.

Sancak Beyi Emre said...

or is the professional commando brigade a new NATO standard?

Last time i checked HPG lost 7-1 in recent clashes. A loss of 37% of a gerilla group of squad size could not be a good sign of "decreased casualties" ?
Or am I wrong Comrade?

Anonymous said...

SBE, thousands of soldiers and korici with F16's, Cobra Helicopters and what not against only a handful of Guerrillas? You consider TSK successful, Comrade? Go check your statistics on suicide rates of TSK members.


Sancak Beyi Emre said...

Zerkes, Im pretty sure Mao and Chee is laughing there ass out in there graves over the performence of the PKK!

Well, what im seeing is that PKK dont have any bases inside turkish territory and dont controll any part of Turkey. From a soldiers point of view, MISSION COMPLETE!

War is not for anyone (actually for no one), im sure there are a few suicdes, pretty usual for draft army´s.. But my advice would be to check up on how many "gerillas" are being executed by there own and on what happens to the non-mobile wounded ones...

But, shhh.. that would mess up moral! ;)

Anonymous said...

SoBE, Chee?

Remember German tourists? ;-)

Could they be failed assassins sent by the great army whose soldiers go home and kill their own wives? A few? Yeah... What a moral buster. Before you speak of Guerrillas assassinating one another, go clean your Ergenekon mess. Most of your pashas are involved in that crap. Were we talking about a gang or a military? Yeah shhhh let's only speak of fabrications TSK releases to the media ;-)

Mizgîn said...

Yeah, you're wrong Emre. The latest report is 16 TSK terrorists in body bags on 10 and 11 April in Botan.

Before that it was 17 TSK terrorists stuffed into body bags near Oramar. You might remember Oramar as Bezele. Last October 62 TSK terrorists were stuffed into body bags there. The year before that 21 TSK terrorists were stuffed into body bags in the same place.

Oh, yeah, there were also 8 TSK terrorists taken as prisoners of war in that operation. Refresh my memory, what happened to them after they were handed over to the Ankara regime? I wonder if that kind of treatment of one's own soldiers is consistent within NATO?

Or maybe the Israelis treat their repatriated POWs the same way? After all, the TSK is a great ally of the IDF and they probably trade methods with each other.

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang said...

Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang
Keyword Kenali Pandeglang
Mohon dukungannya yach....?!
Agar terjalin tali silaturrahmi di antara kita.
Pandeglang telah hilang Kenali Si Dunia Aneh
Mari bersama DesigN and TechnologY dalam kontes Kenali dan Kunjungi Objek Wisata di Pandeglang
Mari bersama Pak Firman yang bekerja di SDIT Nurul Ilmi Medan