Karayılan: The Treaty of Lausanne is against the Kurds and all the peoples of the region

The AKP-MHP government wants to maintain its power by shedding blood. By waging a war against the Kurds and North-East Syria before the elections, it wants to manipulate nationalist feelings and to achieve results, according to Murat Karayılan of the PKK.

The PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) Executive Committee Member Murat Karayılan remarked that, “The process of the past seven years has once again shown that they cannot succeed if they insist on the policy of death and genocide, and that the only solution is to recognize the existence of the Kurdish people and to introduce a political solution. There is no other way; this reality has prevailed during this 7-year war.”

PKK Executive Committee Member Karayılan answered the questions of Dengê Welat Radio about the latest developments in Kurdistan territory. We publish the second part of the interview below, the first part of which can be found here.

July 24 was the anniversary of both the Treaty of Lausanne and the Turkish state's re-launch of the war after ending the peace process. This concept of total war has been going on for 7 years. Has the Turkish state achieved its goal?

First, it is necessary to say something about the Treaty of Lausanne. Our struggle aims at eliminating the Treaty of Lausanne and the destruction it caused. The Treaty of Lausanne denied the Kurdish people and divided Kurdistan into four parts, but it is at the same time a plan of the imperialist powers against all the peoples of the region. In other words, it is not only an evil plan against the Kurds, but actually against all the peoples of the region. For example, this treaty rendered the Arabs a second-class people. They designed maps on the table and divided the Arabs into 22 parts and Kurdistan into four parts. They denied all minority rights. They took the nation-state mentality as a basis, which resulted in constant deaths and massacres in the region. Kurdistan has been subjected to bloody wars for the last 99 years. So, the Treaty of Lausanne is such an agreement that needs to be known. It has paved the way for this genocidal system in Kurdistan and caused so many massacres. We need to know this.

The Turkish state picks up such important days whenever it attempts to strike us. For this reason, they started their attacks against us on July 24, 2015. In fact, there were negotiations for two and a half years; the Dolmabahçe Agreement was hammered out. The Kurdish problem was about to be resolved and an ultimate ceasefire was about to be agreed upon. However, the Turkish state and Erdogan wanted to implement the Sri Lanka model. Sri Lanka also launched a peace process with Tamil guerrillas, and after a while, the Tamil guerrillas relaxed and believed that a solution would be introduced. In fact, they made a mistake. Sri Lanka carried out a massive massacre and eliminated the group. That's what Turkey wanted to do.


However, Turkey failed to eliminate us. The Ministry of Interior officially claimed that the PKK would be ultimately defeated in April 2017. They wanted to eliminate us. It has been 5 years since April 2017. Now, the most comprehensive war is taking place, and the AKP-MHP has failed to accomplish the mission received from the state. The elections will be held in a year, and this is its last chance. It is attacking with all its means to reach a conclusion. Yet, they are doomed to failure. For the last 100 days, a very fierce battle has been going on in the Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna regions. The Turkish state has never suffered so many casualties in South Kurdistan throughout its history. Despite Turkey’s use of advanced technology and prohibited weapons such as chemical weapons, tactical nuclear bombs and thermobaric weapons, such great resistance and war has never been experienced for 100 days without interruption. Turkey has not gotten any results so far. This shows that the Turkish state has not been successful in the face of the guerrilla reality for the last 7 years, despite the military aid it received and its advanced war technology.


Kurdistan represents a great reality; it is a social fact. Kurdish leader Öcalan's ideology and ideas inspired Kurdish youth, women, and the Kurdish society as a whole, and created a spirit. The mentality shaped by Öcalan's ideas enables human creativity to develop, bravery to be experienced and a self-sacrificing spirit to emerge. Moreover, a consciousness develops. Today, this war is being carried out with great awareness in terms of tactical methods and strategy. The strategy adopted by the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla and our Movement is successful against the strategy adopted by Turkish colonialism. For this reason, the AKP-MHP government, which has waged and is leading this war, is on the verge of its collapse today. In other words, what happened to the President of Sri Lanka will also happen to the head of the AKP-MHP government. They, too, will suffer the same fate. Because they do not take the social reality into account, and they want to achieve results with massacres. We wanted to resolve the problem through dialogue, but they wanted to get results with deaths. The process of the past seven years has once again shown that they cannot succeed if they insist on the policy of death and genocide, and that the only solution is to recognize the existence of the Kurdish people and to introduce a political solution. There is no other way; this reality has prevailed during this 7-year war.

There are repeated attacks against Rojava each day. The Turkish state carries out assassinations and bombings with drones. Recently, there are reports that the Turkish state has not gotten the green light from other forces in the area, but when we look at these attacks, a contradiction emerges. Has the Turkish state received approval from the relevant powers?

As you know, a trilateral summit was held in Tehran last week. It seems that the Turkish state has not received approval from international powers through an official method. We do not know if they have made some deals in secret, but it seems that they haven't received any official approval. The Turkish state has declared war on Rojava and North-East Syria. Just as it has declared war in South Kurdistan, the Turkish state is now at war in Rojava and North-East Syria. War does not necessarily mean that soldiers launch aggression on the land. No, Turkey is now waging a political-diplomatic war, attacking with drones, conducting intelligence operations and pounding with artillery. Howitzers and artillery are now almost as effective as air forces. They drop bombs with pinpoint accuracy. Turkey hits villages every day in Shehba, Cizîre, Kobanê, Ain Issa and everywhere else. This is a real war; no one should have any doubts about it.


The Turkish state wants to change the situation by waging a war on the borderline in this way. Of course, if it attacks ferociously, the forces there will also respond. In this way, it wants to make a change in the current situation. This is a game. Against this, the Autonomous Administration, the SDF and other north-eastern Syrian forces should be under no illusion. Nobody should think that the Turkish state will first mount a major attack and then designate it as a war. What is currently taking place is a war, anyway. It should be handled as such and should be well explained to both its partners and the public. The Turkish state attacks civilians including the commanders who have fought ISIS. Just as it martyred some friends who fought against ISIS in Shengal, it is mounting attacks in the same way in Rojava. Recently, they martyred Jiyan Tohildan and her two companions. In the person of the esteemed commander Jiyan Tolhildan, I commemorate all our martyrs who were martyred in such attacks of the enemy, and I bow respectfully before their memories. They are also the martyrs of all Kurdistan.


Who was Jiyan Tolhildan? She was a commander who had been fighting ISIS for 10 years. Recently, she was a commander of the YAT forces. The YAT forces are a special force organized to fight ISIS terrorism and act together with the International Coalition. A commander of this force was targeted. In other words, if the forces that call themselves the Coalition remain silent in the face of this fact, it means that they are also partners. To put it another way, their fellow fighter was martyred. So, how did this happen? This requires an explanation. In this regard, the Rojava Revolution needs to engage in more fruitful diplomacy. This should be well explained to both the public and foreign partners. They also have the right to retaliate, but if it is done directly, it can be considered as if a border war were waged against the Turkish state. No, the public and those forces should be first informed, then either these attacks should be stopped or retaliated. Turkey is killing civilians and commanders. Two groups are the targets; the commanders who fought ISIS and the civilian population.

The Turkish state, especially the AKP-MHP government, wants to maintain its power by shedding blood. By waging a war against the Kurds and North-East Syria before the elections, it wants to manipulate nationalist feelings and to achieve results. It has such a dirty and bloodsucking mentality. They are so sadistic. Turkey targets and kills civilians in Shehba, Cizîre and everywhere. The Turkish forces suddenly attack and kill the commanders who fought ISIS while they are on the road or in the preparation phase. The Turkish forces fight so cowardly.

Everyone should have an attitude towards it. First, of course, North-East Syrian politicians and leading figures should carry out the political-diplomatic-military struggle together and strongly. In this regard, both internal and external forces should be informed, and they already have the right to respond. This is what our people in Rojava and North-East Syria should do. They should know that the Turkish state is currently waging such a special and covert war against them, and they should be cautious. They should not make themselves targets; they should be able to protect themselves. They should know that this is an extraordinary war situation.

There are reports that the forests of Kurdistan were plundered, and huge damage was done to nature. As a movement, you criticized some of the tendencies that targeted the forests of Turkey in the past. What would you like to say about this at the current stage?

Right. There is an organization called the Children of Fire Initiative. It was established a few years ago. It is a group of patriots. They use the method of setting fire, not weapons. They say that “We will hold the enemy to account; “We will take martyrs’ revenge”. Organizationally, they have no organic ties to us. They also set the forests on fire; we criticized them, saying that we are against the burning of forests. Currently, Turkey is cutting down all the forests of Garzan, Dersim, Amed and Kurdistan, especially in Botan, but also, there are so many helicopters, planes and firefighters to fight forest fires in the western part of the country. It destroys forests in Kurdistan and protects forests in Turkey. There is huge discrimination.

Environmentalists from Turkey have failed in this regard. They react when it comes to the forests of Turkey, but they remain silent about the destruction of forests in Kurdistan. If there is so much discrimination and destruction of forests and trees, then how can we criticize the Children of Fire? They stated that the enemy was discriminatory in all respects and that they had the right to carry out such actions. If the Children of Fire go out and start fires in Turkey, who can say anything to them? Therefore, intellectuals, environmentalists, those who watch and do nothing against the destruction of Kurdistan's forests should undertake activities to prevent the destruction of nature.

Most recently, you made some evaluations regarding young people who wanted to join your movement. You stated that young people wanted to participate but could not find a way. What would you like to say about the ways to do so?

We know that there are young friends who want to join us. Anyone can contact our states and participate from within to become a guerrilla. In this sense, guerrillas in the states should abandon the approach that rejects new fighters. Obstacles can also be overcome with a new approach. This is the way.

Finally, I would like to state the following: This period we are going through is a very strategic one for our movement and our people. We want to handle this period, but for this, every friend and patriot should take care of their duties. Only on this basis can the people of Kurdistan achieve success.