Karayılan: AKP government responsible for the bloodshed

PKK's Murat Karayılan stressed that if Erdoğan had not rejected Dolmabahçe agreement and ended the negotiations, a disarmament congress would have been organized, adding: “In other words, Erdoğan ended a process of disarmament at its beginning.”

PKK Executive Committee Member Murat Karayılan spoke to ANF and made significant evaluations regarding the recent developments in Turkey, including the bombings in Istanbul and Kayseri.

Karayılan stressed that if Erdoğan had not rejected Dolmabahçe agreement and ended the negotiations, a disarmament congress would have been organized, adding: “In other words, Erdoğan ended a process of disarmament at its beginning.”

Karayılan pointed out that the mentality that started the war is responsible for the action in Beşiktaş, the clashes before, and the actions that are attributed to TAK such as the one in Kayseri. He said: “These recent actions are within legal framework of rules of war. We do not condemn actions that are within the boundaries of international war.”

Last week, 2 explosions took place in İstanbul and another one in Kayseri. Turkish security forces took heavy blows during these explosions. A campaign of attacks against Kurds was launched afterwards. After these, people debated previous processes of dialogue and some suggested that your movement ended the negotiations. Taking all of these in mind, how do you evaluate the recent developments?

We did not want this. Peoples of Turkey should know this: PKK has not been and is not pro-war. But if you ignore all of the rights of a group of people and use violence to eradicate them, of course the PKK will resist. PKK is a movement that started with the basis of justice and democracy in the Middle East and for gaining rights of a people in Kurdistan. What was said in the statement that was read in Dolmabahçe Palace on February 28, 2015, and was described by Erdoğan as “a statement that we have long waited for” but was later rejected? Leader Apo was calling upon the PKK to organize a congress in April in order to discuss laying down arms. If Erdoğan had not rejected Dolmabahçe agreement and ended the negotiations, a disarmament congress would have been organized. In other words, Erdoğan ended a process of disarmament at its beginning.

Now, several so-called authors and professors unabashedly go on TV and say things like “the PKK ended the process, the PKK started the war.” This is a big lie. Who rejected Dolmabahçe Agreement? Who ended the negotiations? Who implemented the isolation of Leader Apo since then? Who launched operations in places such as Ağrı in the spring of 2015? Who made ISIS carry out attacks? Who launched air strikes targeting PKK centers on July 24, 2015? It is ridiculous for them to use the death of 2 cops in Ceylanpınar as an excuse. The truth is that Erdoğan chose to launch a war against Kurdish people in order to strengthen his power and impose his dream one-man system upon the peoples of Turkey. He chose war, not peace. This is what has happened. We have never adopted a pro-war policy. They say “the PKK got strong in Rojava, brought weapons to Turkey, and started the war.” These are simply false.

Therefore, we are not responsible for the action in Beşiktaş, the clashes before, and the actions that are attributed to TAK such as the one in Kayseri. The mentality that started the war is responsible for them. The AKP government, which chose to shed blood for its power, is responsible for them.

This Kayseri Commando Battalion carries out the majority of the massacres in Kurdistan. Turkish media admits this. These are the forces that burn thousands of villages, raze entire cities to the ground, execute people, terrorize Kurdistan, and torture Kurdish civilians in places such as Hakkari and Cizre to supposedly maintain peace in cities such as Kayseri! A video was spread around social media recently. Soldiers were executing the two woman guerrillas that they had captured and pushing them off cliffs. These soldiers were from the Kayseri Commando Battalion. If a Kurdish youth is carrying out an action against these soldiers, who can object to it? Are the international powers condemning the action in Kayseri saying anything about the massacres that these soldiers carry out across Kurdistan? Why did these powers not say anything when these soldiers terrorized people in Kurdistan? Everyone has to remember that here is a war in Kurdistan with different actors. If one will talk about terror, one should see that state terror in Kurdistan that kills thousands of civilians. There is a humanity crisis in Aleppo today, but in Aleppo people were not burned alive like they were in Cizre. The truth is striking.

We did not want things to become the way they did. Turkish public and the people that truly love Turkey should ask this: Why did we reach this point? Why did the negotiations end? Now, Turkish economy is in decline, people are stressed, and there society is depressed. Why did this reach this point?

Your organization’s relation with TAK is often discussed. People argue that you personally defend TAK members that carry out actions…

I had made a statement in the past regarding the people from the left movement in Turkey that carried out self-sacrifice actions: “People that gladly sacrifice their lives for their cause are to be respected.” This holds true even for my enemies. We will defend those young people that sacrifice their lives. We criticize many of TAK’s actions. We publicly condemned a few of their actions in the past, but we cannot evaluate every action as a bad act. For example, these recent actions are within legal framework of rules of war. We do not condemn actions that are within the boundaries of international war. What we criticize is disregard for law and the targeting of civilians. Some civilians lost their lives during the explosion in Istanbul. This is a sad development. We offer our condolences to the families of civilian victims. Such deaths should not happen. TAK should avoid actions where civilians die. If they want the serve the freedom cause, they should be more careful regarding this point.

But on the other hand, there are statements from state authorities that target the Kurdish people as a whole, scream for war every day, and say “We will be ruthless from now on, we will hurt them, we will annihilate them, we will destroy them”. There are those who love death, who applaud and scream with joy when Kurdish youth die. These calls weren’t even enough for Erdoğan and most recently, he said he’s “declaring national mobilisation”. In truth, he declared a “national mobilisation for informants”. He says “report whoever you see”. Just like the Hitler era. Hitler had so many soldiers, policemen, SS officers, he had many structures for Intelligence, but that wasn’t enough for him, he provoked the masses as well, to mobilize them and crush all his opponents. Now Erdoğan is doing the same thing. He has so many policemen and soldiers, he arrests people every day, every day people are killed left and right. But that’s not enough for him, he says “everybody should get involved”, he invites everybody to snitch. It’s very Hitleresque. How can life normalize if everybody reports everybody else? How will people live? How can peace and trust develop in a country where everybody doubts everybody else?

But of course, on top of it all, the Kurds are put on the bullseye of this mobilization. Namely, they are targeting the Kurdish society with their discourse of “we will destroy, we will annihilate”. If you look closely, you can see. These last two days after the declaration of mobilization there are several attacks on HDP offices by various racist groups. These are directed by Erdoğan. What do they want to do? They want to intimidate the Kurdish society. Now, they occasionally speak and tell lies like “Don’t be provoked, PKK wants a Turkish-Kurdish war”, and then they turn and continue the incitement, they guide people. And the police doesn’t intervene. If a large group in Amed or Batman goes to the AKP buildings, throw stones, loots and burns - wouldn’t the police determine their identities? Wouldn’t the police find them on camera and then go catch them? Of course they would. So, why don’t they catch those mobs who attack HDP offices? Because they are the ones inciting them. That is why they let them be.

This in itself is actually a traditional method for the Turkish state. They did this to Armenians and Greeks in the past, now they are doing it to Kurds. This is vile. There is nothing moral or humane about attacking the weaker people with all your means where you’re strong. That is the work of cowards. Now in Kırşehir, Kayseri and many other cities in Turkey, there are some enlightened, democratic people and Kurdish people. They struggled to keep their heads up there, they opened a party bureau with great hardship. Then a mob comes up, inspired by Erdoğan, they go about burning and looting everywhere. To think - there is no violence those people there will cause. Of course, these are manipulated events. Our people must protect themselves against such attempts. Nobody should be without protection anywhere. Because you never know, these people can plan more extensive massacres as seen before in history. As their goal is to silence and intimidate our society, they can do anything and everything that comes to mind. So, it’s good to have precautions. Our people should organize everywhere and protect themselves.

You just mentioned the civilian fascists of the AKP-MHP coalition. There is also the terrorism implemented with the excuse of the State of Emergency. Thousands of people, including MPs and co-mayors, have been arrested. How do you assess these attempts?

It’s clear that they want to intimidate the Kurdish people. To this end, they are using the state of emergency to marginalize our movement. They will extend it even more if they can. That is also at the base of the attempts on HDP. The goal of these attempts on HDP and DBP is to intimidate the Kurdish society. There are MPs and mayors that the people can fall back on. They arrest all those the people can trust to break their resistance and their spirit, they targeted all Kurdish institutions to say “You have to surrender, you have to give up, there is no other way”. It’s not just political parties like HDP that are targeted, 190 Kurdish associations have been shut down. Most of these were cultural institutions, language and research associations, charities and other such institutions that don’t have a hand in politics. Anything about Kurdishness, they banned today. The goal is to intimidate the people and thus achieve results. To control the resistance in the society, recently they started detaining mayors, then arresting them a couple of days later, and then trustees are appointed in their place. It is possible that this scenario will be implemented and they will eliminate all of them.

Think of it, what excuse is there to explain arresting a Kurdish politician like Ahmet Türk, an older man with a pace maker who always speaks of peace? He is ill, he needs to go for treatments, but they force handcuffs on him. There is only one explanation for this, and that is intimidating Kurds and making them surrender. There is no other explanation. Kurds and allies of Kurds, the leftists, the socialists, the democrats, even the Kemalists, whoever opposes this level of violence, they are also intimidated and silenced. Their goal is not to eliminate just the Kurds. Their goal is to crush and marginalize the opposition as a whole while destroying the Kurds. But the Kurds are dominant, like in the 1925’s. The politics of that era are implemented again now. Erdoğan himself criticized the politics in the Dersim Massacre period, but now he’s doing the same. And he’s doing so with methods absolutely unsuitable for the times. He claims to be a so-called force for solution with some servant Kurds he has with him. None of those arrested have committed any crimes. What crimes have the associations, the HDP MPs and the co-mayors committed? They are accused for their speeches. They are politicians, of course they will speak. They went to the people and asked them for their votes with the same speeches - and they received them. You didn’t say anything then, and now you make propaganda on the same grounds and arrest people with accusations like “you committed a crime, you supported terrorism, you attended the war of ditches”. But the truth is just the opposite.

Now Erdoğan says, “you can’t divide this country”. He knows very well that we don’t have a goal to divide Turkey. We want to solve the Kurdish issue within Turkey’s borders and democratize Turkey through the Democratic Autonomy perspective. But they distort this all, raise the nationalist sentiment in the ordinary people and achieve results in line with their dirty goals. That is the historical fact.