"We are at a fork in a pathway. Turkey must choose one of them. If Turkey doesn’t accept our overtures and continues to attack us then of course we will use all means to defend ourselves, and that includes retaliation. They can call us ‘terrorists’ for as long as they wish but Turkey has to accept that the PKK is part of the reality of the solution to its Kurdish problem."
~ Murat Karayılan.
~ Murat Karayılan.
The Times of London has an article which includes statements from Murat Karayılan, which you can access through Hevallo's blog. Below are some of the photos at The Times:
The guerrillas' own photos can always be viewed at http://www.hpg-online.net/Photo/
Since so many people have such short memories, let me point out that Murat Karayılan's statements are nothing new. This most recent initiative for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish situation in Turkey began in August 2006 with PKK's Declaration for a Democratic Resolution to the Kurdish Question (http://www.kurdish-info.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3467) and was further reinforced by the unilateral ceasefire of September of the same year (http://www.kurdish-info.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=4220). At the time, the PKK's offer, the same one that Karayılan offers the Ankara regime today, was rejected outright by the US "special envoy to counter the PKK for Turkey", Joseph Ralston:
"Ceasefire sort of implies an act that is taken between two states, two actors, to do that. And I don’t want to confer that kind of status on the PKK by saying a ceasefire."
Furthermore, Ralston specifically rejected the IRA-type settlement that Karayılan mentions in The Times:
Asked whether the U.S. intends to use the IRA model in dealing with the PKK, Ralston underlined that these two were totally different problems.
"You are comparing two very different situations, and mixing apples with oranges," the U.S. envoy said. "In the case of the PKK, our objective is to enhance cooperation with the Turkish and Iraqi governments to fight the PKK. We are also working with European governments to cut the PKK's financial and logistics lifeline. We will use all of the tools at our disposal: law enforcement, intelligence, diplomacy, financial pressure. And we have not taken any other option off the table."
Of course, Ralston wasn't appointed "special envoy to coordinate the PKK for Turkey" in order to bring about any kind of settlement; he was appointed to sell Lockheed Martin product.
While the PKK is consistent in its calls for a peaceful solution, it remains to be seen if anything comes of these calls this time around. It's still possible for the guardians of the status quo to pull another Ralston out of their hat. Nor should anything be made of any recent statements by anyone who represents the Ankara regime, which means that, in spite of Abdullah Gül's meaningless remark about the Kurdish situation in Turkey, being "Turkey's biggest problem," the regime continues to conduct operations against our guerrillas (Check http://www.hpg-online.com/tr/ for the most recent news on that).
There is also the issue of the mass arrests of DTP politicians and political workers. If the Ankara regime were serious about achieving a political solution, then why does it treat DTP like it's treated every other Kurdish political party in the country?
Another recent article in the British media mentions the same kind of skepticism about recent events that I have. From The Guardian:
Scepticism also extends to Kurdish groups in the south-east who complain of increasing repression and continuing curbs on cultural and linguistic expression. Speaking at the House of Lords in London last week, Muharrem Erbey, president of the Diyarbakir Human Rights Association, said over 300 people had been detained since Kurdish Democratic Society party (DTP) overcame a determined AKP campaign to make big gains in last March's municipal elections.
"We oppose violence. We don't want loss of life. We want the armed fighters to join the political process. But we support people's right to be outspoken in pursuit of their democratic rights ... Instead of having human rights and democracy in Turkey, it's completely the other way round," Erbey said.
As far as I'm concerned, Turkey has not given any indication whatsoever that it has any solution to the Kurdish situation, except the same failed solution it's had since 1984. If the Ankara regime continues to apply the same, failed solution, then Karayılan, Nurettin Sofi, and all the comrades continue to have my full support in defending themselves, "and that includes retaliation."