Karayilan: Tourists should not come to Turkey

HPG commander Murat Karayilan points out that Turkey is a war zone: "We do not want people from Europe and Russia to come to Turkey as tourists during this time.”

Murat Karayilan, commander of the People's Defense Forces Headquarters, spoke about the current developments in Kurdistan in a special program on Stêrk TV on Sunday evening. We publish some excerpts from the broadcast.

Strategic extermination plan

The Kurdish liberation struggle has entered a new phase. This phase must be understood correctly in all parts of Kurdistan. The Turkish state is attacking the liberation struggle of Kurdistan and the status of the whole Kurdish people. This very comprehensive and strategic attack has the aim of committing genocide against the Kurdish people. The status achieved in Southern and Western Kurdistan and the achievements of the Kurdish people fought for everywhere are meant to be destroyed. The Kurds are intended to be prevented from having their own identity. This is the main objective of this strategy, which has several tactical stages. We are facing a new situation.

Neo-Ottoman expansion as a secret strategy

The Turkish state says that the Heftanin operation is one of the largest operations in recent years. It has published some targets, but not all. There is also a covert strategy. We talk about it all the time and others talk about it as well. This covert strategy involves the occupation of the Ottoman "Misak-i Milli" (National Pact) area. Only the tactical aspects are made public. What's going on? The politics of Southern Kurdistan is put under pressure, the achievement of Kurdish national unity is wanted to be prevented. The Kurdish forces are being used by turning them against each other. Rojava and the South, the South and the North are wanted to be turned against each other in order to prevent a unity. This is one of the obvious aims.

From the buffer zone to the occupation of the region

What are the further goals? According to its own statements, the Turkish state wants to establish a 35- to 40-kilometre-wide "buffer zone" in Southern Kurdistan. This has been explained in advance, but it is not the overall strategy. Heftanin is wanted to be occupied, but this is only the beginning of the planned operation. The occupation of Lelikan in Xakurke last year was the preparation for it. Now, Heftanin is wanted to be taken at the other end of Southern Kurdistan. Afterwards, both areas will be connected, from Derkar via Batufa, Bamernê, Kanîmasî to Amêdî, Dêrelok, Şîladizê and Sidekan. This is the goal, which is named quite openly. This area is wanted to be occupied. The Turkish state does not even claim that it is a temporary occupation. Roads are being built in all occupied areas and a separate system is being installed, making the occupation permanent.

How does the South Kurdistan government behave?

At this point it is important how the surrounding forces react. Iraq has shown some attitude, the Turkish ambassador has been called in and a statement has been made. Apparently Iraq has also complained about Turkey to the United Nations. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Arab League have also made statements, but the opinion of the international powers in the region is still unknown. What the United States has to say about this remains unclear. Can Turkey proceed without their knowledge? This is an important issue. But it is not only the USA, especially the opinion of the South Kurdistan government that is the subject of general interest. What is the attitude of the government of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan towards the Turkish plan to establish a buffer zone and occupy a part of Southern Kurdistan?

It is not about the PKK

The time of cooperation with Turkey is definitely over, because the Turkish state carries out one attack after another. No one should be fooled into using the PKK as a justification. When the invasion of Serêkaniyê [Ras al-Ain, northern Syria] took place last year Nechirvan Barzani claimed that Turkey had no problem with the Kurds, only with the PKK. I would like to say to Mr Barzani this: please go to Serêkaniyê and look around, how are the Kurds? Are there still Kurds there or not? Has all their property been looted or not? Has their honour been violated or not? Have not jihadists from Ghouta or elsewhere been accommodated in their houses? And how are the Kurds in Afrin? Genocide is taking place there, all Kurds have been expelled, their property has been confiscated. The same is happening in Serêkaniyê.

Resistance and scorched earth in Heftanin

The operation in Heftanin is the beginning of a comprehensive strategy. A fierce war has been going on there for days. Our comrades are mounting heroic resistance. The Turkish state is using all technological means with howitzers, fighter jets, reconnaissance drones and Cobra helicopters, they want to destroy every place. Heftanin has been bombed so intensively that everywhere is burning already. Clashes are taking place in three areas. Before the operation started, our three companions Şahin, Çiya and Tolhildan were killed near the village of Keşan because they were denounced by collaborators. During the operation, our comrades Mazlum and Egîd were killed. The contact with a group of four people was lost. The fighting continues and we don't know how it will end.

What the ISIS failed to achieve

I would like to draw attention to one more point: The ISIS committed genocide in Shengal (Sinjar) and wanted to perpetrate a massacre in Maxmur. These places are now being bombed by the Turkish air force. The aim is the same. The Turkish state first wanted to destroy the whole South and the federal system of Southern Kurdistan through the ISIS in Shengal, Maxmur and above. However, the ISIS has been defeated and could not achieve this aim. Therefore, the Turkish state is now doing it itself.

Militant actions in Turkey

In Northern Kurdistan, actions are taking place. The guerrilla is taking actions as well as the self-defense units. This is good. It shows that the Turkish propaganda is wrong. The fascist AKP/MHP regime is conducting a very extensive psychological war. The actions of the self-defense units against agents, collaborators and the economy of the enemy in Kurdistan and the metropolises of Turkey are not bad, but it is not enough. There must be more.

No one should take a vacation in a war zone

Between the Turkish state and us a comprehensive war is taking place. Our people are affected by the state terror. We do not want people from Europe and Russia to come to Turkey as tourists at this time. They should be aware that the Turkish state is conducting a genocide policy against the people of Kurdistan. The money that tourists spend in Turkey becomes a bullet directed against the Kurdish people. That is why they should not come to Turkey. If they do and suffer damage, we are not responsible. I'm not saying that we will target them, but there is a war going on here. If they come into the war zone and suffer damage, we cannot take responsibility. Anyway, the coronavirus is out there right now and no one is coming, but even if the situation calms down, no one should come. This country is at war with our people and we are legitimately resisting it.