Karayılan: AKP intends to keep the war going until November 1 elections- PART II

Murat Karayilan: The head of PKK's military operations

BEHDINAN (ANF) – PKK Executive Council Member Murat Karayılan answered ANF’s questions regarding the recently enhanced war of Turkey against the Kurds in Northern Kurdistan. Karayılan underlined that the process of resolution was ended and the ongoing war was started by the AKP and Erdoğan as a part of their electoral strategy.

The second part of the interview was translated into English below.


If this war continues like this, there can be no election. Both we and the AKP know this. AKP is continuously conducting polls. If it notices a future failure, it might use this ongoing conflict as a reason for a postponement of the election. This is why it will want to keep the war going. In the same way, it might again want to continue the war in the event of seeing an accomplishment of the current warfare circumstances. In other words, AKP intends to keep this war going till November 1 and will not stop it, even if we do so. It might abandon this idea if both national and international circles and civil society organizations adopt a stance against the mindset of receiving votes through this war. It does otherwise not seem much likely that AKP will stop this war before the election. This war is actually pursued on this very basis. The other issues are just a means to cover this truth up. This is the reason why the mainstream, i.e. pro-AKP media publishes exaggerated reports every day and gives headlines that target and provoke the people, and are entirely based on lies. To give an example, they wrote that 280 guerrillas went to Cizre from the mountain. 21 civilians fell a martyr there. Which of them was a guerrilla? None. In addition, the Interior Minister of AKP said “we killed 32 terrorists during the course of the curfew in the town. If so, where are the bodies of these 32 people? These are all lies. There are no guerrillas in Cizre. There are just youths and people there.


In Silopi, Turkish forces surrounded a house and opened fire on it from evening till the morning, they brought the house down in ruins, and eventually said “we killed 3 PKK members”. It later turned out that two of them were local youths and ordinary citizens that people came across on the street every day. Another similar case occurred in Gaziantep where a university student from Eruh was killed. They shot those youths dead and later called them “PKK members”. They kill everyone, women and children, and later call them “PKK members”, including a 75-year-old elderly and a 35-day-old baby.

The basis for this situation is mainly formed by the mainstream media. The attacks conducted by organized groups against HDP and Kurds in various parts of Turkey today are developed and take basis from the psychological warfare created by the mainstream media. In short, they want to win votes by fabricated news pointing Kurds as a target and reflecting the realization of an intense war.


Erdoğan tells on a TV show that “we killed two thousand”, which is totally a lie. Neither the attacks from the air nor those from the ground has inflicted heavy losses on us. It is true that we suffered casualties as very valuable comrades of ours fell a martyr, but this number would be like a drop in the ocean when considering the dimension of the assaults. A Turkish paper says “Two third of the PKK has been destroyed”. These headlines constitute an example of the great disrespect to the society. It wouldn’t be so nice to say this, but they fool the people. To this extend do they produce lies and develop disinformation, which all are efforts for providing the basis to keep the war going till November 1.

The calls for a return to the table of talks are valuable and esteemed, however, cannot possibly be made real unless the AKP’s blatant attacks on our leader, people and forces stop. A result might be achieved if efforts are made in consideration of this truth.

Following 2013’s Newroz, some leading actors of the Kurdish political movement said “we want to be recovered from this terrorist label. If you are still of the same opinion, why are you continuing this conflict then?

Our struggle is a fair and legitimate one. We were forced to start an armed fight because of the total elimination of an environment eligible for struggle through political-democratic methods. We never demanded to “be recovered from the terrorist label” in this fair and legitimate struggle of ours. There could be a misunderstanding on this point, and no Kurdish politician should say such a thing. The fight of the Kurdish people is a struggle of self-defense against the state terror and it had to be initiated in the face of tendencies of annihilation. Self-defense is also recognized as a right to life by international laws. The right to life is, on the other hand, sacred. We are also of the same opinion. We have the right to defend ourselves, our people have the right to defend the self-rule they have declared, and our forces have the right to retaliation to the attacks of sovereign-exploitative states. This is the attitude we bear in this regard but we believe this problem should be solved through not a mutual annihilation and use of arms but dialogue at table, and we attach priority to this perspective. Everyone has a different description of terror. If it is violence meant with terror, there exists primarily a violence by the state in Kurdistan, which is perpetrated in the manner of state terror. With which violence were those 21 people killed in Cizre? There exists an explicit state terror in question here. And, it is obvious that such one-sided practices targeting the Kurdish people under the name of terror do and will serve not a solution but a deadlock.

You say that it is the AKP and Erdoğan that ended the process of resolution, and that there is an electoral strategy behind this. If you think so, don’t you end up providing the greatest support to this strategy by escalating violence?

As we have stated before, the process was ended and this war was started by the AKP and Erdoğan as a part of their electoral strategy. It is vital for us to respond to the attacks of AKP. In other words, we have to retaliate the attacks to avoid suffering a blow. In response to every airstrike on our areas and every massacre of civilians in cities, we have to carry out retaliatory actions. If we don’t do so, attacks would be enhanced and brought to the point of compelling us. While doing this, we also state that we will not target the military and other forces that do not take an active part in the process and attacks.

In brief, we are waging a struggle of self-defense. It is not us but the AKP that escalates violence. I do not agree that the response we give on the basis of self-defense provides the greatest contribution to AKP’s strategy. This is a controversial situation. For example, they want to develop a controlled war and conclude their strategy through an annihilation of the PKK, as is also stated by Erdoğan himself. If we protect ourselves, eliminate the attacks without suffering losses, and advance our own democratic system, this could completely defeat their plan. For this reason, the fastening that ‘the current process serves AKP’s strategy’ is a controversial one. They want to win votes by killing us but our defense and growth will entirely eliminate the plans of the Palace. If this succeeds, they will lose, while Kurdistan Freedom Struggle and Turkey’s democracy forces will triumph.


I would consequently like to state that we value the efforts and thoughts of many peaceful and democratic circles and consider such quests and criticism as necessary. In conclusion, we are insistent on a solution as a preference of together-living with the people of Turkey, which can only be achieved by ensuring democratization in Turkey and improvement of Democratic Autonomy in Kurdistan and Turkey. This preference of ours is a significant one that should have actually been esteemed by Turkey officials because of the fact that we have other choices also, none of them we, however, bring up for discussion now. Still, if they tell us to ‘either become slaves and surrender, or we kill you’ despite all our approaches for peace and solution, we would have to seek our own way. From this point of view, the current process of war and treatment towards it is very important to us. In this regard, I state once again that we respect and value every effort for solution.