PKK's Karayilan: The response of the guerrilla will be harsh

The Kurdish guerrillas will provide historical resistance to the occupation attempts of the colonial Turkish state in southern Kurdistan, explains Murat Karayilan in an interview with the ANF.

The Turkish army began attacking the southern Kurdistan region of Xakurke a few days ago. The area has been witnessing fierce attacks and clashes for over a year. Xakurke is located in the tri-border region of Turkey, Iraq and Iran. According to information from the region, the Turkish army is mainly carrying out air strikes and airdrops soldiers from helicopters at some locations. The guerrillas carry out non-stop actions against the Turkish army in the rough terrain.

Murat Karayilan, with whom ANF spoke in the Medya Defense Zones, describes the attack on Xakurke as an occupation attempt, for which the Turkish state will pay dearly. Karayilan is a member of the Executive Committee of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and commander of the Central Headquarters of People's Defense Forces.

In the ANF interview, he also commented on Turkey's maneuver to involve Iran in the operation in Xakurke. Karayilan appealed to the population of southern Kurdistan and political circles to build a common strategy.

Mr Karayilan, the Turkish army is attacking the Xakurke region and fighting is taking place. What is your opinion on this topic?

As you know, the Turkish state has been threatening Rojava for a year at the highest level. It looks like the Turkish regime did not get the necessary permission from its masters to attack Rojava. Therefore, it turned to Xakurke because it focused the future of its racist, chauvinist and fascist rule on Kurdish hostility. From Turkey’s point of view, this topic should by no means come to a standstill.

Expansion efforts in Xakurke

Was there no Turkish occupation plan for South Kurdistan in the past?

Of course there were such plans. When there was no approval for an attack on Rojava, the Turkish state has started to implement its occupation policy in South Kurdistan. The attack on Xakurke is not a military operation, but an invasion. This invasion is not meant to be temporary, but permanent. That is a fact that must not be misjudged.

Turkish authorities constantly claim that they will withdraw from South Kurdistan once the PKK is smashed…

Can the PKK be smashed? That will never happen. There can be no question that a reality like the PKK simply ends. It is supported by large crowds, has survived the most difficult conditions and has a mature fighting ability.

What do these statements of Turkey mean then?

Turkey’s statements simply mean: “I am invading South Kurdistan”. This is the expression of Turkey’s intention for a permanent invasion.

Silence of the South Kurdistan and Iraqi governments on occupation

What is the attitude of the political authorities in South Kurdistan and the government of Iraq?

That's an important issue. The South Kurdistan organizations and in particular the current rulers are silent as well as the Iraqi state to the occupation. Some circles may have opposed it, but overall there is silence and a very ordinary handling of the question. This is a very serious situation. Above all, the silence of the Government of South Kurdistan indicates that either an agreement has been reached or the consent has been given and they know about it. However, it must be clear that the Turkish state is making very serious calculations regarding South Kurdistan. The consent to the occupation of the Turkish state means the loss of Kirkuk.

In what way?

One of the plans of the Turkish state is to settle in Southern Kurdistan, to strengthen its own hand, to gain an influential position over it and to separate Kirkuk from South Kurdistan. That's one of its goals. The more the Turkish state settles in Southern Kurdistan, the greater its power will become.

We say that the South Kurdish government should not strengthen the hand of the Turkish state. Strengthening the Turkish state means chopping off the branch you're sitting on. Instead, national interests should be embraced. There is no doubt that the Turkish state is against the interests of the Kurdish people and wants to destroy all achievements of this people. That's why we think there's a mistake here that needs to be corrected.

How do you assess the attitude of the South Kurdistan people on this topic?

The people of Southern Kurdistan are very patriotic and have paid a high price for their freedom. They have experienced the Anfal and Halabja campaigns. They are a people with hundreds of thousands martyrs. Our love and respect for this people are endless. And as in the case of Sheladize, the people of South Kurdistan are very angry with the Turkish occupation. The political forces in South Kurdistan, especially the government, should listen to this response and not be silent about the occupation. We call on all circles to fight against the gradual occupation of Kurdistan, which is implemented by the Turkish state under the guise of an operation against the PKK. Everyone should raise their voices against it.

Turkey has lost hundreds of soldiers at Lelikan

What is the position of the guerrilla forces in the face of the attack and the occupation plan? How will it go on?

The guerrillas will undoubtedly give the necessary response to the occupation and mount the necessary resistance. The Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla will mount historic resistance to the occupation attempts of the colonial Turkish state in southern Kurdistan. They will use all their strength to succeed. The guerrilla is an effective force with a great deal of experience and will continue to prove it in practice. Look, the Turkish state has been occupying the Lelikan hill for a year. Guerrilla actions on Lelikan have killed hundreds of Turkish army soldiers. The state persistently conceals this from the people of Turkey. At the forefront of this affair is a monster called Hulusi Akar [Turkish Minister of Defense]. A Kurdish enemy known not to be Turk, but of Circassian origin. This person lies to the population of Turkey every day. He does not tell the truth and hides the facts.

The population of Turkey has lost hundreds of sons at Lelikan. We would not want that, but the basis of this situation is their colonial and genocidal policy. With the occupation of Xakurke now in place, the guerrilla's attitude and resistance will be even more intense. The resistance will not be limited to one day, but will last for a longer period of time. The Turkish army will pay dearly for its purpose of occupation. The guerrilla is determined in this regard.

Does the Turkish military carry out these attacks on its own or is it supported by other forces?

We know very well that the Turkish state is not fighting against us alone. The Turkish army is fighting against us with the great support of NATO, especially the US. In all the massacres of the Kurdish people, Turkey has had the support of NATO. Without this support, the Turkish state would not be able to do so. Even now, it attacks on the basis of the same support. We are well aware that without the support of NATO, the Turkish state would not be able to continue its fascist and colonial actions against the Kurdish people at this level.

Agreement with Iran?

Mr. Karayilan, the Xakurke area is adjacent to Iran. Does Iran play a role in the attacks? Or to what extent are the attacks related to Iran?

It is well known that a minister of the fascist AKP MHP government and later Erdoğan himself stated in spring that an agreement had been reached with Iran on a joint operation against the PKK. The Turkish state is conducting a genocidal policy against the Kurds. At the moment, the Turkish state is governed by the mindset of the MHP. The only thing to think about with regard to the Kurdish people is death and annihilation. Iran is also intended to be integrated into this racist-chauvinist policy. The leaders of Iran, however, have enough experience not to fall into this trap. Therefore, we do not think that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responding to the racist-chauvinist wishes of the Turkish state.

Then why did Erdoğan make such statements?

Erdogan's statement on this issue has proved to be empty. So far there is no common movement and we do not expect it to happen. Actually, it was a provocation. So Erdoğan has spoken out in this direction to provoke Iran. The goal was to put Iran in a difficult situation. All who know Erdoğan's policies, and especially the representatives of the Iranian state, have seen this reality.