Karayilan: Turkey relies on psychological warfare

"The guerrilla has neither gone to Armenia nor is it on the verge of disbanding," said Murat Karayilan (PKK). Today war is waged through intelligence services, the Turkish state focuses on psychological warfare, he added.

Murat Karayilan, member of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), spoke on the Dengê Welat radio station on current political issues. Among other things, he spoke about the psychological war carried out by the Turkish state against the Kurdish liberation movement:

“Lately the Turkish state has been conducting more psychological operations than military operations against our movement and the guerrillas. Many military operations even take place only to create a basis for psychological operations. Today's focus is on psychological war; lie-based propaganda is being made to convey a certain perception to the public opinion. Ten times more is invested in psychological warfare then in a military operation. The state has a propaganda system, it has hundreds of TV channels and newspapers."

The Turkish state wanted to give the impression that it had successfully defeated the PKK and averted the threat to Turkey, said Karayilan. In this way, the nationalist feeling in the population of Turkey should swell and chauvinism should become extreme. “With this the government wants to stay in power, that is its real goal. Therefore, the guerrilla actions are not reported."

Serhad: Technology arsenal unsuccessful

As an example, Karayilan cited guerrilla actions in Iskenderun, Van, Heftanîn and Agirî. The Turkish state had hidden its losses there. “An operation took place in Serhad lasting 25 days, but the public was not informed about it. It was a massive blow to the Turkish state. Not a guerrilla fighter has been injured there. There were clashes over eleven days. The Turkish army has used all its technical means: reconnaissance drones, combat drones, fighter jets, Cobra helicopters. And the result? The guerrillas neutralised dozens of soldiers without a single loss, they took the weapons of the killed soldiers with them. It was a success for the guerrillas, but of course that will not be made public. So nobody knows how many soldiers were killed there."

Turkish losses are hushed up

According to Karayilan, guerrilla actions take place every day in Heftanîn, but the Turkish state does not mention its losses. Some of the attacks are even filmed and published by the guerrillas: “For example, you see five or six soldiers in a position and the position is completely destroyed by the guerrillas, nothing is left. The recordings are published, but not a single comment is made. Nobody refers to it and asks where the dead soldiers are. The state shamelessly insists on its own lies and presents them as the truth. It was different before the AKP. In the period before the AKP government, at least one declaration was made when an action had taken place in front of everyone. Of course, the whole truth was never reported, but there was at least partial coverage. Now the reality is simply hushed up."

Shaping society with lies

Incidentally, this applies not only to the war, but also to the pandemic, said Karayilan. "Even with Corona, the true information is not published. It has been exposed and it has been proven that the Minister of Health appears in front of the cameras every day and lies to the public. He gives partial numbers. In economy it is no different, false numbers flicker across the screens. This state is built on lies and denial, the regime is fascist and lying. With its lies it wants to shape society according to its own ideas."

"The guerrilla has neither gone to Armenia nor is it about to disband"

Karayilan pointed out that the losses of the guerrillas are also heavily exaggerated in the Turkish media and that the propaganda machine often contradicts itself: “Suddenly it is said that the PKK wants to establish a terrorist state, it wants to establish a state in Rojava, it was South Kurdistan conquered, it wants to conquer Hewlêr, it moved its headquarters to Shengal. And then they say there are only 400 guerrillas left. Where does this number come from when the PKK is about to establish a state? On the other hand, it is said that the PKK has sent hundreds of people to Armenia to fight against Azerbaijan. All of this is a lie, with these statements they actually deny their own statements. Presumably they assume that people are limited in understanding. On the one hand they declare victory, on the other hand they say there are tens of thousands of fighters threatening Turkey, so many as to send some even to defend Armenia. With these statements they themselves admit that they are liars."

We are confident that we will win this war

“It is not true that the guerrillas went to Armenia, nor that they are on the verge of disintegration. Kurdistan’s liberation struggle has never been so strong and so close to success as it is today. This is the reason why the Turkish state goes crazy with anger and doesn't know what to do. That is why it is claimed on the one hand that the PKK is on the verge of annihilation and on the other that it wants to establish a state and poses a great danger to Turkey. It's anger that makes Turkey talk like that. Basically, they are overtaken by panic and worry.

There is stability in the development of the Kurdish liberation struggle. Of course there is war. In the prisons, the cities, the valleys, the mountains and everywhere there is relentless fighting. We are very confident that we will win this fight. The Turkish state wants to reverse this with its black propaganda."

"We are a big army"

Another propaganda tool that the Turkish state has been using more and more recently is reports of traitors who have turned their backs on the PKK and have been brought back to Turkey. On this issue Karayilan said: “We are a big army. It happens that people flee from our ranks, especially in the South. This has hardly happened in the last two years. Our people and friends should know this: People who left our ranks earlier have gone South. The South has been transformed into a rehabilitation platform through the ingenuity of the KDP. It picks up the people who have fled from us, feeds them for a while and lets them go. These people then are left alone. They get into a personality crisis and fall into depression. Then they get in touch with their families and MIT. They are told that they are not facing arrest in Turkey and that they only have to give a testimony before they can go home. Their families are brought to the HDP headquarters to protest. Most of the relatives before the HDP, however, are families brought from who knows where. Then two people who surrendered are fetched from Dihok are also brought in front of the HDP building. It is pretended that the state has convinced them and united them with their families."

The making of contras

Karayilan added: “When the propaganda procedure is over, they are turned into contras. Their lives are poisoned and they are used as contra-guerrilla forces. For propaganda purposes, people pretend that MIT has contacted the person in question when he was in the guerrilla and convinced him. That is far from any reality. No one in the ranks of the guerrilla has been convinced in this way. Before the Serhad operation, there was someone who committed treason. That has also been made public, something like that happens. However, it is not that MIT has arrived and convinced anyone. An even greater determination has emerged within the guerrillas in recent years. The statements of the Turkish state are completely false."

Intelligence findings

Karayilan continued: “War is waged through intelligence services these days. This is the case all over the world, but the Turkish state puts its full weight on intelligence and technology because its ground forces are out of strength and cannot fight the guerrilla chest to chest. If it gets intelligence information, it'll attack our units. Then a unit or one or two people are hit. This only happens through intelligence. You can see that in the operations. If the operation is not based on information, it will be unsuccessful. The operations promoted by the Ministry of the Interior are of no quality, they do not lead to any results."

All our martyrs are declared

Murat Karayilan ended his remarks by saying: “We suffer losses, but not to the extent that the Turkish state claims. Incorrect movements or positioning can cause a person or a small unit to fall in combat. That happened in a few places. We declare all our losses to the people. Our people need to know that we are not hiding our losses. Sometimes this is delayed because we are waiting for the official report. The enemy sometimes claims that certain friends were killed, but of course we don't believe them. We wait for the official report to come. In some cases, extensive research is carried out first, in order to obtain detailed information. In such situations, too, reporting the identity of our martyrs can be delayed. When the personal details of the martyr have been clarified, then we will publish it."