Karayılan: There is a fierce battle that demands great sacrifices

"We know that this is a fundamental and important matter for our people and the peoples of the region. As we have said before, this is a war of life or death. We take risks, but we will definitely stand against this enemy and defeat it."

Following the defeat of the Turkish troops in Garê last year, the invasion attack covering Zap, Metîna, and Avaşîn from the night of April 23 to April 24 met with fierce opposition. The Turkish army, unable to defeat the guerrilla resistance despite NATO help, all of its armaments, airpower-based technical facilities, and the employment of all combat elements, has resorted to different toxic and prohibited weapons, disregarding global humanitarian, legal, and moral values.

Murat Karayılan, a member of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) Executive Committee and commander of the People's Defense Center (HSM) Headquarters Command, spoke to ANF on the latest developments in the territories of Kurdistan.

Karayılan commented on the Turkish invasion operation in the guerrilla-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).

Highlights from the interview with Karayılan include the following:

There has been a fierce war going on between your forces and the Turkish state recently. What is the current state of war? And what is the war concept of the enemy and its purpose?

Currently, there is a fierce battle in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna. The war is not going on under equal conditions. In other words, one of the warring factions, Turkey, is using tens of thousands of soldiers, tanks, artillery, aircraft, chemical weapons, and all kinds of weaponry. On the other hand, the militants of the Kurdish people, the freedom guerrillas of Kurdistan, are resisting with their bombs and individual weapons. There is no equality in this sense. However, the will of the freedom guerrillas countervails the Turkish war machine.

Although there have been occasional ceasefires as we proposed a solution by democratic peaceful means during the 38 years of war, there has always been a brutal, cruel and chauvinistic enemy against us. The Turkish state has a nationalist nature. They constantly attempt to destroy us. We have been fighting this enemy for 38 years now. Undoubtedly, we also have gained some experience. We are fighting in new ways and methods. We are focused on how we can eliminate land and air warfare technology and chemical weapons in the hands of the enemy, and we are improving the process. I mean, no one would be able to stand there if it were otherwise. Why? Because there is constant Turkish shelling in these areas. Turkish troops wear chemical protective clothing and use chemicals. There is a cowardly attack against us. There is a very sacred and historical resistance against the Turkish incursion. One should know that the freedom fighters have faith, will, and love for country. They believe in the homeland, freedom and democracy, and promote human values. Yet, they are met with atrocities and all kinds of dirty methods. This is the current state of war.

In this respect, the enemy troops first targeted the Zap province, namely the Rêkanî and Nêrwe regions. They were stuck there for a few days. The Turkish army suffered losses and was targeted by counter-attacks from guerrillas, as was the case in KuroJahro and Çiya Reş.

The Turkish army suffered so many casualties there. They were stuck there; in fact, they were defeated. They have not won so far; they have been beaten. The Turkish troops have not yet entered any area where they overwhelmed the freedom guerrillas. But in many places, the Turkish soldiers and guerrillas are fighting within striking distance.

Indeed, there is a fierce and heavy battle. So, I'm saying it here right now. It's easy to say, but not easy to do. It has difficulties. It demands great sacrifices. If there were no great sacrifices, such resistance would not be possible. So, it's not an ordinary thing. Today marks day 44-45 in the ongoing war. It seems almost impossible to resist such an army which uses all the advanced weapons, even forbidden ones. It is not such an easy thing. There is more to say, yet this is not the place to say it. But after it was stuck, the Turkish army steered its focus to the west, to Ava Ze, which we call Zap. Ava Zap. So, there are Cudi, FM and Amedi hills over there. Our comrades call it Hakkari hill. It is the highest hill behind Amadiya. The Turkish army focused on these hills. It also re-entered Metîna. The Turkish troops still remain in the same place where they were first landed for the last 44 days. They want to move forward but always receive major blows.

I know that many Turkish helicopters were struck, and some shot down. According to our principles, we do not confirm the downing of a helicopter unless we see it with our own eyes. There is the Cudi hill close to Zap. Our comrades there struck two Sikorsky helicopters today and one of these is reported to have been downed. There is a military outpost on the border close to Çele (Çukurca). It is located on a hill. Our comrades reported a huge explosion after this helicopter landed there. So, it is possible that it might have exploded, killing the soldiers in it.  Maybe those helicopters that received blows go to their places and explode there. Most of the soldiers in these helicopters may have died.

In other words, I can say that the Turkish state is suffering serious casualties in this war. However, the Turkish authorities do not reveal it to the public. Numerous Turkish soldiers have died. Turkey consents to sacrifice its soldiers to get results. Erdogan-Bahceli are responsible for this savagery. They want the Turkish people and the children of the Kurdish people to be killed for the sake of their own rule. They want to maintain their power through blood.


Chemical weapons are used the most in this war. This is what they are focusing on right now. For example, our comrades identified 7 different types of the chemical weapons the Turkish army has used until now. How do our comrades identify them? With the colour of chemical weapons. For example, the colour of the first one is black, like pitch. That's its tone. The second one is yellow. The third one is silver in colour. The fourth one is green, and it is odourless. Some have a scent, but this one has no scent. Another one is brown in colour. The sixth one is red. It smells like soap. The colour of the last one is white. We can only identify them by colours. In other words, it seems that various chemical gases are used against us. Therefore, the public, our people, human rights defenders and those against chemical weapons should take this into account. The Turkish army has tens of thousands of soldiers with air and land forces, but they still do not have the will; they want to get results by using chemical weapons. So, the current state of the war is something like that. 

We believe in ourselves and our ways and methods. We have a novel warfare, which we call the 21st century method, and we believe that we will eliminate all their weapons and defeat them. We are determined to do so until the very end. The comrades who keep fighting there are determined to the end. We know that this is a fundamental and important matter for our people and the peoples of the region. As we have said before, this is a war of life or death. We take risks, but we will definitely stand against this enemy and defeat it.