Bayık: The KDP is directly and indirectly a party to Turkey’s war against the PKK

Analysis by Cemil Bayik, co-chair of the KCK Executive Council, who goes into detail about the current political situation in Kurdistan, with a focus on South Kurdistan, assesses the latest developments, provides an outlook and makes direct appeals.


The course taken by the KDP, an ally of the Turkish state that is occupying and committing genocide in Kurdistan, is known to the Kurdish people. The KDP needs to immediately veer off this course and confess its transgressions. The KDP should not attempt to act as the Iraqi state’s representative in its fight against the PKK, nor should it deploy the Iraqi state’s institutions and bureaucracy against the PKK. Based on the practices of the KDP, one might assume that the KDP was given particular tasks and responsibilities in this war. It even goes so far as to provide the Turkish government with recommendations on how to persuade Iraq to abide by its demands and combat the PKK.

In addition, the KDP attempts to further aggravate the Turkish state, to push it to exert pressure on the PUK. The KDP tries to incite the Turkish authorities and lure other Kurdish parties to its own treacherous path by claiming that the war against the PKK will not succeed if the PUK did not join the fight. The KDP provides all kinds of intelligence and logistical facilities to the invading Turkish army. In order to facilitate the work of the Turkish state, the KDP builds roads and bases for the invading Turkish army, and sets up ambushes to block the guerrilla from supplying its logistical needs, weapons and ammunition. In order to protect the military bases of the Turkish state, the KDP dresses the occupying Turkish soldiers in Peshmerga uniforms and vice versa. In other words, the KDP is directly and indirectly a party to this war. The force the KDP is fighting against is none other than the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla, HPG and YJA-Star.

Every part of the KDP has been impacted by this predicament. The issues that our people in South Kurdistan are facing are because of this. The Barzani family continues to lead a prosperous life while stealing wealth from the children of the people. In contrast, our people in the South are impoverished and lead miserable lives. Hundreds of individuals risk their lives every day to travel to other nations, cross borders, and escape South Kurdistan. For the interests of one family, the KDP has turned southern Kurdistan into a military state, abusing all democratic methods. Democratic protests and demonstrations are increasingly criminalized. At a time when women’s suicides are on the rise, the KDP does not take any practical step on women’s freedom and women’s rights, on the contrary, it imposes a dictatorial regime on the people with its patriarchal mentality. It has established an oppressive power and governs the country by killing.

Oppression, inequality and injustice are at an all-time high. While the wealth and fortune of the Barzani family continues to accumulate in world banks, the salaries of workers and teachers are either cut or not paid altogether. For the sake of the Barzani family’s rule, the KDP is prepared to put South Kurdistan’s entire position in jeopardy. If South Kurdistan, which gained federal status in 2005, followed a democratic policy, there would be nothing we Kurds could not achieve. At a time when the Kurdistan Region needs to establish the most rights, freedoms and democracy, the society under the rule of the KDP faces oppression and their voices are silenced. Therefore, people are forced to go to the diaspora to breathe.

The KDP is currently at war with the Iraqi Federal Court. The KDP usurped the eleven seats allocated for the minority quota for itself and benefited from them. The reason for the KDP’s hysteria is partly due to the fact that Baghdad changed the law which allowed the KDP to usurp and exploit the minority positions. As it is known, the Kurdistan Region elections were based on a single party policy. Since the KDP abused this system, the Iraqi state has now divided this system into four branches to make it more democratic. In addition, the Iraqi Federal Court canceled the Kurdistan Region Election Commission because the KDP monopolized this commission. In other words, the KDP and Barzani family only think about their own interests, that’s all. This is the reason behind all decisions taken by the KDP. Especially in recent years, the people have become increasingly frustrated with the KDP, causing the influence of the KDP on the people to decrease. The KDP has faced serious problems in both the political and economic fields and for this reason, it threatened to boycott the elections.

To benefit themselves, the Barzani family founded the Roj Peshmerga, a force whose sole purpose is to serve the Barzani family. All of the people referred to as Roj Peshmerga are from Rojava; none of them are from South Kurdistan. It is thought that there are between 10,000 and 20,000 of them. The salaries paid to this permanent army, which was established to combat the PKK, are those of teachers and other staff members. It’s probable that there may be issues between the KDP and the PKK; issues between numerous organizations and parties are common. But while discussing and negotiating a solution to these issues is one thing, aiding the enemies of the Kurdish people – particularly an invasion – is quite another.

The PKK has never waged such a war of enmity with any party, nor has it ever supported a state which is at odds with the values of the Kurdish people. Rêber Apo (Leader Abdullah Öcalan) objects the materialistic and power-driven mindset, and lives by the “one bite, one cardigan” tenet, which is to keep mind and soul together. This concept and its followers have no desire or effort for their own, individual lives. It requires that one selflessly dedicates their entire life to serving the public. Because the KDP is far away from this concept, it has become a victim of economic interests, rent, bribes, looting, and corruption. This is why it launches attacks against the PKK with Turkish assistance and cooperation.

After a very tough but successful process, as a movement, we are determined to develop our struggle and resistance everywhere. As it is known, the colonialist, occupying and genocidal Turkish state has been waging a multi-faceted war against our movement and our people uninterruptedly for more than eight years within the scope of the ‘çöktürme planı’ (Plan that the Turkish government, or rather the deep state of Turkey in coordination with NATO forces, forged secretly during the so-called ‘peace process’. The state abruptly broke off talks with the Kurdish movement in 2015 and escalated the situation as part of this plan, which could literally be translated as a ‘plan of forcing them to their knees’.) The fascist Turkish state does not comply with any legal and moral criteria in this war. The struggle and resistance of our people and the Kurdistan freedom guerrillas has given way to great results against these attacks of the Turkish state. During these eight years, our people and the guerrilla never succumbed to the attacks of the occupying Turkish state and did not surrender their will to this fascist regime. On the contrary, they have always stood up and utilized every opportunity to raise the level of struggle. In this context, the Kurdish freedom guerrillas, who shook the occupying Turkish army, managed to inflict heavy blows on the Turkish army with a selfless spirit. These revolutionary operations conducted since the last months of 2023 are indeed a source of pride. The guerrilla managed to destroy many bases and positions of the occupying Turkish army. The defeat of the occupying army against the guerrillas, the losses suffered and the corpses left behind were shared with the public through photographs and videos. The guerrillas’ level of skill and invention in war techniques, especially the power to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles, gave our people great morale and strength. However, the course of the war has also changed. The initiative of the war is now in the hands of the guerrillas. Thus, the Kurdish freedom guerrilla, the Kurdish people and the children of Kurdistan proved yet again how brave and valiant they are.

Last year we started an important international campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and it is still continuing. On 15 February, a dark day for all Kurds, the Kurdish people, together with their international friends, organized many actions against the international conspiracy. In addition, the demonstrations and rallies led by women on 8 March with the slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” added new strength and momentum to this process. Undoubtedly, the culmination of all this was the Newroz celebrations in the 4 parts of Kurdistan and abroad. In South Kurdistan, there was the opportunity to celebrate Newroz more massively, with greater enthusiasm and in the spirit of Newroz. Newroz celebrations in Rojhilat were the most spectacular celebrations compared to previous years. Undoubtedly, this situation shows the spirit of resistance and sense of freedom of our people. As it is known, our people in Rojava, together with other peoples in North-East Syria, are constantly struggling against the occupiers. Despite this, Newroz was celebrated with great enthusiasm and pride there and all over the world, especially in Europe, wherever there are Kurds. The Newroz celebrations in North Kurdistan, where millions of people participated, were also very enthusiastic. In short, I can say that during the Newroz celebrations, our people demonstrated with one heart and one voice how determined and faithful they are in their struggle to protect their existence and freedom. Both in Kurdistan and abroad, wherever Newroz was celebrated, tens of millions of our people and their international friends gave a message for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Everyone now knows that as long as Rêber Apo is not free, the gains of the Kurdish people cannot be protected and the Kurdish question cannot be solved. That is why tens of millions of people have loudly called for his physical freedom. Undoubtedly, all these developments have strengthened our people’s belief in resistance and success.

The most obvious example of this strengthening was seen in the municipal elections in North Kurdistan and Turkey. The results achieved by our people and the forces of democracy, are of historical significance. Despite all the pressures, threats and games of the occupying Turkish state, the Kurdish people and democratic forces have achieved a great victory. For the first time in 22 years, the fascist AKP regime faced such a failure. Although all anti-fascist and democratic forces of Turkey have a share in this, the resistance of the Kurdish people played a decisive role in the failure of the AKP. This was especially evident in the uprising of the people of Van. All these developments tell us that since 2015, the AKP has been far from conscience and morality. The AKP has been impaired by the heavy blows of the guerrilla and the serhildans (Kurdish word for ‘popular uprising’) of our people, and this regime has been brought to its knees.

At the same time, we need to know that the fascist AKP-MHP state has never stopped massacring the Kurdish people. This regime has become a scourge on the Kurdish people and all the peoples of the region. The AKP-MHP state wants to achieve its plan to destroy the Kurdish people. It also poses a constant threat to the other peoples of the region. This regime aims for neo-ottomanism, it is expansionist. It still sees Iraq, Syria and most of the Arab countries as provinces of Turkey. The fascist leader Erdoğan sees himself as the ottoman caliph. Their economy has collapsed, their politics has descended into chaos, they have no international prestige and honor. They know very well that they cannot solve such serious economic and political problems easily. Therefore, they see the only solution in waging a war of aggression and genocide against the Kurds in the person of the PKK.

The Turkish state is an occupying and expansionist state. Historically, it has such a legacy and character. It does not withdraw from the places it occupied. The same policy is being implemented today. They have occupied Cyprus for half a century and still have not withdrawn from there. They also occupied many places in Syria and Rojava. This feature of the occupying and genocidal Turkish state becomes even more evident when the Kurds are in question. For this reason, it attacks Rojava every day and wants to force the people of Rojava to their knees. Against this, the people of North-East Syria are constantly resisting with one heart and one faith.

Baghdad knows very well this occupation and expansionist characteristic of the Turkish state. Therefore, the attacks against Iraq and South Kurdistan should not be accepted, but should be reacted to and responded to. These are the attitudes that an independent and sovereign state should take. The genocidal Turkish state wants to make the Iraqi state a partner in the war against the PKK by signing many agreements. Iraq should not fall for this plan and should not get involved in such a dirty game. Otherwise, the invasion attacks of the Turkish state will be legitimized and Iraq’s honor and dignity will suffer a great blow. The PKK has never harmed Iraq’s interests; there has always been a policy of friendship and mutual interest. Though, it is seen that some of the negotiations of the Turkish and Iraqi states are directly related to the PKK. If Iraqi National Security Council has taken such decisions regarding the PKK, these decisions will harm Iraq’s interests as much as it will harm the PKK. We hope that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi National Security Council will not take such decision which do not serve the interests of both sides. We also hope that the Iraqi state will not be a tool for the plans of the occupying and expansionist Turkish state and will not submit to the Turkish state.

All our people, the leaders of democratic politics, academics, intellectuals, especially women and youth, should take part in this historical process against the enemies of the Kurds and react against those who collaborate with the Kurdish enemies, especially the KDP.