HPG Press Center Spokesman: The Turkish state conceals its losses

In an interview with ANF, HPG press spokesman Serdar Yektaş explains the current situation in the guerrilla areas and discusses the methods of Turkish reporting.

Serdar Yektaş, spokesman for the Press and Communication Center of the People's Defense Forces (HPG-BIM), commented in an interview with ANF on the current situation in the guerrilla areas in Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) and the methods of reporting by the Turkish ministries and media.

An occupation operation has been taking place in the Medya Defense Zones since April 23. You publish monthly balances on this. Can you say something about the current situation?

A fierce war has been going on for almost five months. First of all, this operation must be properly named. The Turkish special war media portrays the war as if it were one of the usual operations and the guerrillas only fired shots from time to time. However, the reality is different. After all, we publish daily and monthly balances anyway, so I will not repeat myself here. However, the question arises how it can be that the Turkish state and its army, which have challenged entire states and achieved results in Nagorno-Karabakh within a month, have been stuck in Avaşîn, Metîna and Zap for five months. Our friends are masterfully implementing the new guerrilla tactics everywhere from Northern Kurdistan to Medya Defense Zones and inflicting daily casualties on the army. From Heftanîn to Xakurke and especially in the resistance areas of Werxelê and Girê Sor, heroic history is being written; the guerrillas are active everywhere. Since the Turkish army is not getting anywhere, it is resorting to banned chemical weapons.

Can you say more about the resistance areas in Werxelê and Girê Sor?

In both areas, the main focus is on positional and tunnel fighting. The guerrillas had gained certain experiences earlier, but the tactics based on the tunnels have been put into practice as essential guerrilla tactics for the first time in the Garê resistance in February 2021. At the moment, the mobile professional units are the basic tactics of the guerrillas in Northern Kurdistan and Medya Defense Zones. Most of the actions are carried out by mobile small groups. The resistance in the positions and tunnels and the activities of the small groups complement each other. This creates entire resistance areas, which we also name as such. Those who do not know the past and the reality of war may not be able to appreciate the importance, but we are currently experiencing the situation that the Turkish state, despite mobilizing all its capabilities for five months, has not been able to displace the guerrillas and, on the contrary, is itself stuck and suffering daily losses. Of course, our friends are also fighting with a very high demand and Apoist will. They show determination, patience and an unconditional will to succeed.

Of course, this cannot be done without paying a price. It is select descendants of our people who go to their deaths and thus create this result. Most recently, six of our companions were killed by Turkish chemical weapons at different times in Girê Sor.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior, as Turkish special warfare organs, constantly make statements about guerrilla casualties. How much of this is true?

Both ministries and the special war representatives at their head are the executive of a policy that invests all of Turkey's values in wars. Since they also treat the war against us with this logic, the number of our losses that one ministry states is further inflated by the other ministry as if it were an auction. They try to keep themselves in power by distinguishing themselves as executors of the Kurds. When one lies, the other tries to outdo him with an even bigger lie. This creates a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, there are repeated claims that the guerrillas have been crushed. Most recently, War Minister Hulusi Akar said that nearly 19,000 guerrilla fighters had been killed and that the guerrillas were as good as over. On the other hand, he is making propaganda that the PKK has raised a huge army of tens of thousands and that Turkey is threatened by this. The interior minister does not want to stand behind this and tells more lies non-stop. The democratic public doesn't believe them anyway, but now they can't even convince their own base.

I can give a current example of this: Our companions Bawer Eruh (Mehmet Emin Ekinci) and Ronî Dêrîk (Muhammed Şefik Ibrahim) were martyred in a bombing on June 24, 2021. We compiled the details of their identities and published them on August 8. The relatives have mourned and the people have commemorated these martyrs. The Turkish special war media published a report on September 13 under the headline 'Successful joint operation of MIT [Turkish intelligence service] and TSK' [Turkish Armed Forces], pretending that Heval Bawer had just fallen. Lies are being spread quite openly. Those who do not follow the developments constantly may even believe it. However, it should be clear that almost all reports of joint operations between MIT and TSK are lies. It is noteworthy that the KDP-affiliated media behave like the Turkish state media and spread these lies among the Kurdish people.

Recently, Hulusi Akar claimed that seven guerrilla fighters responsible in Gare were killed. To support this lie, he listed one by one who of the dead was supposedly responsible for what. We checked with our friends in Gare and learned that there were two lightly wounded. No one fell.

There are lies not only about our losses, but also about our own. They are deliberately concealed. If it cannot be avoided, something is reported timidly, without giving concrete names, times and places. Most recently, a soldier in the Zap wanted to surrender to the guerrillas. He was shot by his own men, and the guerrillas were unable to protect him. We published his name and identification documents. His name was Sezai Güngör and his father said that he had been used. The Turkish state did not publish a word about it. It should be clear to everyone that a fascist state that murders its own people with chemical weapons, as in Gare, never tells the truth.

You have stated that contact with two guerrilla groups in Xelîfan has broken off in a timely manner, that they were presumably killed in an ambush by the KDP, and that you expect an explanation from the KDP. Are there any new developments on this issue? Has the KDP commented on this in any way?

In the first incident in Xelîfan, we demanded an explanation from the KDP, that is true. When there was another similar attack on a group of seven, we left the response to the Kurdish people. Silence continues to reign on this issue. No new information has reached us.

There are other incidents like the one in Dinartê that are attributed to the guerrillas, although you have denied that. What is the purpose of these accusations?

We are being held responsible for incidents that we do not know where or how they are supposed to have occurred. These allegations do not correspond to the truth. We interpret this to mean that the guerrillas are being implicated in certain things. Attempts are being made to besiege the guerrillas, to restrict their freedom of movement, to lure them into ambushes, to provoke them, and to force them to engage in combat. We have already brought this up several times. The guerrillas are intended to be pushed into an armed confrontation. For the Turkish state, pitting Kurds against Kurds is a basic strategy. Presumably, these baseless reports are an attempt to legitimize an armed conflict with the guerrillas.