Karayılan: ISIS is an excuse, the target is Kurds

Murat Karayılan stated that the target of the Turkish state’s Jarablus operation is Rojava and the operation could transform into a war between Kurdish people and the Turkish state.

PKK Executive Committee member Murat Karayılan stated that Jarablus was handed over to Turkey-affiliated gangs as part of an agreement with ISIS, and the target of the operation was Rojava and Syrian Democratic Forces. Karayılan said that Europe would be affected by the aforementioned agreement the most because ISIS would be able to freely go to Europe via Istanbul.

Below is the first section of the statement Murat Karayılan made to ANF on the Turkish state’s attacks on Rojava:

The operation of FSA groups on Jarablus was announced yesterday morning. What is the actual goal of the operation, codenamed ‘Euphrates Shield’ and supported by the Turkish army?

The action is not an operation or a military movement. It is rather the result of an agreement between the AKP government and ISIS. ISIS evacuated the area between Jarablus and Azaz, so what is happening is an exchange rather than a military operation. The public is being manipulated into thinking that there was a great military operation and ISIS was forced to leave. These are all lies. ISIS evacuated the area in advance as part of the aforementioned agreement. ISIS has never abandoned a town in 1 day without putting up a fight. If ISIS had resisted in Jarablus like it did in Manbij, they would not have been able to enter the town in even two months.


So you are saying that Jarablus was exchanged?

Even exchange is not completely accurate because there is not much difference between ISIS and Al-Nusra. As we saw in the past, Al-Nusra members can join ISIS within a day. They do this transfer in groups, not individually. They just change their banners. In this sense, ISIS commanders left Jarablus in advance and local cadres joined Al-Nusra. ISIS had taken Jarablus in a similar exchange. So there is not conflict or war here, just an agreed-upon exchange. The ISIS members there are now in Al-Nusra, and the known ISIS commanders withdrew to Al-Bab. What is happening is an exchange rather than a military operation. The reports on clashes are manioulative lies.


Europe will be affected by the Jarablus agreement the most. With this agreement, ISIS guaranteed its access to Europe and the rest of the world. The main problem of ISIS is to have access to the rest of the world, so that its members can go to Europe, the Caucuses and the rest of the world. ISIS and Al-Nusra have always been intertwined, Al-Nusra will now control the Turkish border and ISIS will be able to use the border anytime its members travel through Istanbul. As part of this agreement, ISIS handed over the area from Jarablus to Rai to Turkey and FSA-affiliated groups. These groups are under the influence of Al-Nusra.

This is a dangerous agreement that will extend the lifespan of ISIS. ISIS had seen that it was difficult to defend the border with Turkey, and realized that it could not stop the advance of SDF forces after the liberation of Manbij. This is why it agreed to do this exchange. Turkey has always been actively involved in these dynamics and created the grounds for keeping the international channels of ISIS open in a secret manner. In this sense, the agreement causes grave dangers to Europe and the rest of the world because the threat of ISIS will not decrease.

US officials state that they have accepted this frame you have mentioned.

It is a mistake for the US political ruling to accept and support this agreement. The US officials, mainly the military, know very well that it will be difficult to weaken ISIS unless the Turkey-ISIS border is strictly closed. Now, in this way, the international channel and base of ISIS is kept open in a covered manner. From this perspective, it is a serious mistake which will harm Europe and Russia the most. The harms will come further to light in the coming period.


What was the level of Turkish army's participation in this operation? Did Turkish Special Forces join the operation as is stated?

Through a military operation based on this aggreement, Turkish army crossed the border and entered the Syrian land. Still, this is not the first time Turkish army is crossing over to Syrian soil. Special forces of the Turkish army have anyway been staying on Syrian lands, but secretly, since 2013. The Iranian state is in Syria, officially or semi-officially, at the moment, so is the Hezbollah in an open-official way to support the Syrian regime, and Russia as well. Turkey has also been present in Syria, but secretly up to date. Furthermore, Turkey is on the side of being a party in the internal affairs of Syria, even widely. Through this aggrement with the ISIS, Turkey has entered the Syrian land officially.

What is the goal at this point?

Erdoğan has already highlighted the goal. The target of this operation is not ISIS or any other groups, but rather the Syrian Kurds. Turkish officials are frequently mentioning the PYD but PYD is a political party in Rojava and it is not the only ruler of the cantons there which involve various communities, faith groups and dozens of Kurdish organisations.

The operation to enter Syrian land is actually a step taken against Kurds. If this is meant to be called an operation, then it is an operation developed against Kurds and the democratisation of Syria. It has revealed, once again, the AKP's enmity towards Kurds and its racist mentality.

Syrian Kurds with a population of three millions, constituting the smallest faction of the Kurdish society, have been under the repression of the Ba'ath regime for the past 50 years. And now, a federation has emerged in Syria, people from various folks and cultures are establishing self-governance and canton structures. Under these conditions, it is a natural right for Kurds to develop such structures. Still, Turkey stands against it, arguing that 'Syria will be a federation but this will not include Kurds'. This much enmity and racism from any organisation, state and nation is literally beyond any guess or expectation, it is unprecedented. AKP clearly states that their target is the ISIS -which is a lie- and PYD. What AKP is doing today is an open intervention on Syrian land on the basis of Kurdish enmity.


This is at the same time an attack targeting all Kurds. All Kurds should see and know this truth, and develop an attitude against this racist approach. Turkey indicates PYD's relation with the PKK as the cause of all this. This discourse is a total lie. President Apo is a leader from Kurdistan who has a project addressing to four parts of Kurdistan and the entire Middle East. There are many organisations established on the basis of ideas of this historic leadership. This is not limited only PYD or others in Rojava. There are groups giving an Apoist struggle in Arab countries as well. Even in Latin America and Argentine, there are some efforts being made to found parties based on Apoist philosophy. Can we argue that all these are affiliated with PKK? Not, for sure.

Here, Turkey puts forward this discourse, i.e. PYD being affiliated to PKK, to straiten PYD in international arena. They wage an open Kurdish enmity on the pretext of PYD. They themselves state this clearly without covering it up anymore. This much enmity is thought-provoking.