Tuesday, May 26, 2009


"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.

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."


Janice said...


I seemed to recall another press statement last year (I can't remember) by Mr. Karayilan that the PKK was not looking for Kurdish independence (the old goal of the PKK) but was instead trying to get more rights for the Kurds. But the Times article said for the first time the PKK had given up on Kurdish autonomy?

Actually, this article was much more confusing than the other one you have below.

Thank you for your effort!


Mizgîn said...

Well, Janet, the MSM pretends that this is the first time PKK has mentioned that it isn't seeking independence because it doesn't want to have to admit that it's ignored the same calls so many times in the past.

I don't know if you're able to access KurdishInfo yet or not, so here's the PKK's Declaration of a Democratic Resolution to the Kurdish Question from August 2006. It was made very clear in this statement that "separatism" was (and is) a big, fat, stinky red herring (I marked it in bold for you in the sections that follow):

The Middle East as a geographical region where there is heightened conflict continues to dominate the world's agenda. Although this could be due to it being a place where the world system was formed, the main reason is due to the region not having democratizing. When a democratic culture is not fully developed, society and political forces are not respecting of the rights of each other, hence the results are conflicts. The reason and basis for the intervention of foreign forces is due to the fact that the political systems in the region are not democratic.

One of the fundamental reasons why the Middle East cannot democratize is the fact that the Kurdish question remains left unresolved. This question is not resolved at the fundamental level, hence all the efforts to solve other issues in the region are ineffective and cannot bring stability.

The responsibility for the question being left unresolved lies with both the international and regional forces. As a consequence, the Kurdish people have suffered grievously. However, the forces that are dominant over Kurdistan have not attained peace.

Without democratization, peace will not develop in the Middle East and the suspicions and anxiety felt by Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Persians, Assyrians, and Jewishs [sic] against each other will go on. The tension that has developed through this will inevitably lead to future conflict.

The regional states, who have maintained policies according to a world shaped by the Lausanne Treaty, which denies the rights of the Kurdish people, have thus never acknowledged the Kurds as a people and shown the Kurds only force. These states do not have any positive policy towards the Kurds. They have only one policy and that is when Kurds seek their freedom, as is their right, they are suppressed with violence. Today this same mentality manifests itself in an anti-Kurdish alliance of Turkey, Iran and Syria. Throughout history the Kurds have resisted the same policy of annihilation and we have now reached a point of impasse. The pioneer of this mentality is the Turkish state with its policy of violence against the Kurdish people, which has resulted in much conflict and tension.

The new period in the world and in the Middle East and the achievements gained by the Kurdish Freedom Movement has put the states of Turkey and Iran into a mood of panic. They are both experiencing difficulties in continuing with their denial and annihilation policies. It is because of this that they have initiated a series of attacks against our movement since the spring. While Turkey is forming alliances with both Iran and Syria, it is also putting effort into strengthening alliances with the USA and the Iraqi state in order to develop this policy of confrontation. When it cannot achieve its aims it puts on the agenda cross border military operations.

Mizgîn said...


Many groups of prominent people in Turkey and internationally, including many intellectuals, writers, civil society institutions and the South Kurdistan Federal Government, have issued proposals and calls on both sides for a ceasefire. Recently the USA Foreign Ministry Spokesman also made a call on our movement for a unilateral ceasefire and disarmament. Unfortunately, calls for unilateral efforts to resolve the conflict are not adequate. If this were the case, we would have put all our effort into doing unilaterally whatever was necessary to solve the issue. However, the history of our struggle has shown that unilateral actions are not enough to solve the issue.

Public opinion also knows full well that the Leadership of our Movement has made numerous unilateral ceasefires during the years of 1993, 1995, and 1998 all in attempt to open the path to a democratic resolution. However, these did not bring a solution. In fact, the Turkish state used it as an opportunity to seek to liquidate our movement by increasing its attacks. When it became clear that all these efforts were inconclusive and with the call of our Leadership Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali on 2 August 1999 our movement abandoned the armed struggle strategy. Thus the guerrilla forces withdrew beyond the border of Turkey and positioned themselves in a line of self-defense. In this way our movement gave another opportunity to Turkey to freely find the will to resolve the issue without putting on any pressure. Turkey, which had no reason not to take step to resolve the issue, still did not show any will to adopt this course. Turkey, despite pressures both internally and internationally, continued the denial and annihilation policies under new political conditions. They adopted measures, which could only be regarded as an insult to the Kurdish people, such as the permission for one hour weekly Kurdish television broadcasts and private Kurdish courses which opened under enormous restrictions. They openly declared their real intentions by repeating many times statements such as the following, “we have done what was necessary, so no-one should ask from us any other steps”.

We made several calls to the state of Turkey to stop the delay and annihilation by putting off into future policy. Nevertheless, on March 2003 in response to the creation of the Kurdish federation in Iraq Kurdistan following the intervention of the USA in Iraq, the Turkish state formed an alliance with Iran and Syria in fear of a larger Kurdistan. To put a stop to the growth in Kurdish freedom they re-initiated extensive military operations and pressure policies.

Against these attacks on 1 June 2004 the period of self-defense was forced on us. In our new struggle strategy the HPG (People’s Self-Defence Forces) is not a force pursuing struggle as an armed struggle but is engaged in armed self-defense against armed attacks on our people. In the face of attacks launched on us the new period began with the retaliatory actions of the HPG.

On 12th of August 2005 our movement began a 1 month no action period as a friendly gesture to Prime Minister Erdogan’s speech in Diyarbakir and in response to peace efforts of a group of intellectuals to give a chance to peace and democratic solution. In reply, however, the Turkish military increased its attacks and as a result during the 1 month no action period the HPG forces losses multiplied fourfold. Prime Minister Erdogan by not following through his word supported the violence perpetrated by the military. The attempts at a peaceful political resolution and the actions of the Kurdish people were judged as weakness and desperation by the political tradition that is used to seeing everything in terms of force in arms and violence.

Mizgîn said...


While the world has entered a period of dialogue in these types of issues as a solution, there is only one reason for the closing of all routes to dialogue with the Kurdish Freedom Movement and opting for annihilation. That is, the fact that the Turkish state is determined to follow its denial and annihilation policies because it depends on its military and political strength.

The Kurdish Freedom Movement is not the party which is running away from a peaceful solution to the question nor is it the one that is insistent on violence. We do not see violence as a method to solving the issue. On the contrary, we have made great sacrifices, unilaterally, for a democratic resolution and peace. If the interlocutors show the necessary will for a resolution there will be no obstacle preventing it. Like our Leadership declared years ago, we are searching for an interlocutor. If Turkey shows the will for a solution there will be a ceasefire in one day and the issue will move towards a solution. We have many times declared several proposals for a resolution and issued projects that could be rejected before public opinion. However, no serious proposals for a solution have been put in front of us. For this reason we are not responsible for the current crisis and the continuing conflict. Despite all this, our movement has acted responsibly, demonstrated every possible effort and sensitivity so as not to escalate the conflict and exceed the limits of self-defense.

We believe that the current crisis and conflict brings harm to the Turkish, Kurdish and indeed all the peoples of the Middle East. For this reason and having taken into account the calls and desire for peace of some international forces, international institutions, and various circles, and in the framework of Leadership’s latest peace calls, we have decided to take a new step.

With this objective, we as the Kurdish Freedom Movement of Koma Komalen Kurdistan (KKK, Confederalism of Kurdistan) Executive Council came together during 7-9 August 2006, discussed the situation and decided that for peace and democracy a new period must be initiated.

To this end the Turkish state must issue a statement to show the will for dialogue and solution, cease its attacks and end the heavy isolation conditions on our Leadership. These are not conditions; these are steps that any side needs to take in order to make a good gesture.

If these positive steps are taken by the Turkish state, Koma Komalên Kurdistan Executive Council will make all necessary efforts for the development of a ceasefire by the HPG. 1st September World Peace Day is an important opportunity to start such a process. Our people and movement will do whatever necessary from this day on to voice every opportunity for peace and democratic solution and we will increase our democratic actions on 1st September. The Turkish state, from its side, can follow its democratic will in the development of this process by showing peaceful efforts.

The two sides can develop a basis, with these steps to cease the conflict, and then the possibility of the second phase can come onto the agenda. The second phase will be the start of the democratic solution of the Kurdish question. A perspective of democratic autonomy within the borders of Turkey, which enables the freedom of the Kurdish question, can be a pivotal for a permanent solution.

Mizgîn said...


The framework for the steps that need to be developed mutually in the second phase for a permanent solution:

1- The acknowledgement of the Kurdish identity and the constitutional guarantee of all identities under the identity of a Citizen of Turkey as the main identity,

2- The lifting of obstacles on the development of the Kurdish language and culture, the acknowledgement of education in the mother tongue and Kurdish acknowledged as the official second language alongside Turkish in the Kurdistan region, and with this to show respect to other minority cultures,

3- The acknowledgement, on the basis of freely practicing politics and organizing, of the right to thought, belief and freedom of expression, the lifting of all social inequalities in the constitution and laws, firstly being those of gender discrimination,

4- A social reconciliation project with the aim of mutual forgiveness of both people’s for the development of a peace and freedom union, on this basis the release of political prisoners including the PKK Leadership, and no obstacles to them participating in politics and social life,

5- The removal of forces in Kurdistan there for the purposes of special war, the abolition of the village guard system and the necessary social and political projects to be developed for the return of displaced villagers,

6- In parallel to the realization of the above articles, the initiation, with a timetable determined by both parties, of the gradual disarmament and legal participation into the democratic social life.

The permanent solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey can be developed with the carrying out of these fundamental issues. This also means that Turkey will become a fully democratic country. The resolution of the Kurdish question in Turkey will also mean the democratic resolution of the Kurdish question, within the current borders, in Iran and Syria. The resolution of the Kurdish question within these countries will mean the democratization of the Middle East. When suspicion and anxiety is eradicated in such a condition a period will develop for solutions to all the outstanding issues of the region.

It is quite clear that the resolution to the Kurdish question by this means will be for the benefit of the international forces and the people of the region, not the contrary. Stability and peace can only be developed within the democratic solution to the Kurdish question and from a perspective of democratizing the Middle East. Again friendship amongst peoples, mutual respect and a just system can only be sustained within such a project.

When the reality is clear to develop annihilation plans with violence against the Kurdish freedom movement only ends in conflict and instability that does not benefit any party.

It should be acknowledged today that the PKK and its Leadership is the fundamental reality of the Kurdish people. Today to try to separate them from one another, to pursue a no PKK and Ocalan solution search will only push the issue into an impasse and lead to the deepening of the conflict. This is a very important issue that needs to be seen by all forces for a lasting and right development of the solution. The solution projects of our leader Ocalan do not only concern the Kurds but represent a freedom and democracy project for the entire peoples of the Middle East. The just solution of the problems among the people including the Palestine and Israel conflict and the development of stability can only be developed through this perspective.

Mizgîn said...


The named mechanism of representatives from USA, Turkey and Iraq, on the basis that it aims for the deep-rooted solution of the issue, dialogue, and democratic solution, we as the Kurdish side will show the necessary effort and commitment for the solution of the question. In such case a Kurdish representative should be represented in the mechanism, in which our people and movement can trust. However, in a contrary case, if it is on the basis of the violence policies that Turkey has pursued over the years the Kurdish people will not accept this, it is quite clear that this can only escalate conflicts and deepen the impasse.

It is understandable that Turkey, which has no other policy besides denial and annihilation, desires the USA to attack the Kurdish Freedom Movement. However, there is no logic and explanation in the USA attacking the PKK. It is against the interests of the USA and the allied forces who say that they are in lines of democratic mentality to confront the Kurdish Freedom Movement which is struggling for this. The democratic people’s reality that the movement developed can easily be seen in the stance of the people of Diyarbakir (Amed), which is the symbol of the Kurdish people. We also believe that the interest of the international forces passes through the acceptance and respect to the will shown by the people of Amed.

It is an undisputable reality that the liquidation of the Kurdish Freedom Movement is a loss for the people and organizations of South Kurdistan and all the Kurds. The forces that are insistent on the denial of the Kurds in the region want to weaken the hands of the Kurds by annihilating our movement and hence believe they can have the upper hand in the policies in the Middle East. By these means they foresee that the international forces will come to point of acceptance of their policy of denial. We believe that all Kurds are aware of this. In this framework we call on the South Kurdistan Federal Government and parties to adopt a stance against all annihilation policies, and to make every effort for the peaceful and democratic resolution of the Kurdish question. We indicate that we will be in a positive and participative position in any act of effort along these lines.

Although international forces and regional countries can play a facilitating role the place for solution of the question in North Kurdistan and its interlocutor is Turkey. Turkey must accept that the solution will be with the Kurds living in Turkey. Turkey must see that by urging the USA to join its alliance against our organization, establishing an anti-Kurdish alliance with Iran and Syria and attacking our forces, pressuring the KDP and PUK and by sending troops to Lebanon to show the international community a positive image, will not solve the problem.

The Turkish state instead of executing an anti Kurdish Freedom Movement diplomatic relations, and giving concessions after concessions, should listen to the calls of the Kurdish people and its Leadership, the issue is the condition where it can be resolved in a shorter period. Because the project that we have developed contains the most reasonable conditions, it expresses the interests of both sides. In reality if the denial, annihilation and chauvinistic outlook are put to one side it will be seen that this solution benefits the interests of Turkey.

On this basis within the framework of friendship among the Kurdish, Turkish, Arab and all regional peoples, we believe that all issues can be resolved through dialogue and peaceful methods in a just democratic system. We do not take the view that armed conflict is a method to resolve the issues. However, where human honour, dignity and fundamental human values are violated and no other means are left to defend them, we recognize as the UN has also accepted under international law that there is the right to armed resistance, within the framework of self-defence all resistance is legitimate and a legal right. All other armed violence apart from this we see as terror and we condemn them.

Mizgîn said...

Continued and concluded:

For the solution to the issues amongst peoples and for the development of a free democratic system we see this perspective as an important and contemporary one in the solution of such issues. We call on the international and regional media circles, intellectuals, writers, and all who are on the side of democracy to recognize our democratic and peaceful solution project and to take a stand against the annihilation policies on the basis of violence of the Turkish state.

We would like as a movement to emphasize once again that the right solution is a democratic autonomy within the borders of Turkey. We believe that a solution in the unity of Turkey will be for the benefit of firstly the Kurdish people and all the people of the region.

We call once again on all international and regional political forces and democratic circles to make an effort to start the democratic solution, to work for its success and to support the democratic resolution of the Kurdish question within the political borders of Turkey.

Koma Komalen Kurdistan
(KKK, Confederalism of Kurdistan)
Executive Council

20 August 2006

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