Karayilan: We fight for a brighter future

“The losses of the Turkish state in the war in Kurdistan are very high, but we don't want to count the dead. Rather, we say: you cannot liquidate the PKK, destroy the Kurds and stop the freedom movement by killing,” said Murat Karayilan.

PKK Executive Council member, Murat Karayilan spoke to ANF about the war in Kurdistan. The guerrilla commander explained that the battles with the Turkish army in the Medya Defense Areas in South Kurdistan have developed into a battle that is far more violent than is portrayed in the media and in which many are the dead to be mourned.

Here are some excerpts from the interview.

“The Turkish state has wanted to occupy South Kurdistan for four years as part of its new concept. It first attacked Xakurke, then Heftanin and Gare, and as is well known, a large-scale operation has been taking place in Metina, Zap and Avasin since last year. Since April 14 this year, technical methods have been used even more intensively. Initially, the attack was widely covered in the Turkish media. When it became clear after a few days that the calculations weren't working out and that the army was suffering heavy casualties, the invasion slowly disappeared from the papers. At the moment there are only short explanations consisting of a few sentences. So, the real events have been kept secret. It must be said that we are also not able to make the war in the Metîna, Zap and Avaşîn regions completely public. It may even be only twenty percent of what is actually taking place. Many things remain secret and cannot be represented. We also have shortcomings on this subject.

There's a full-scale war raging out there. A war in a 60 km wide combat zone between Avasin and Metina. Our fighters are in constant contact with enemy troops at at least 50 points, the distance is no more than 100 meters. It's a very intense fight. We are pursuing a new tactic there at the moment. We are not withdrawing. Our units are also behind the enemy positions. For example, fighting continues at Kurojahro, but there is also fighting at the nearby Nêrwe Pass. There is also fighting in Werxelê and Şûkê Bûrê. They are all intertwined. There are constant clashes in an area 15 to 20 kilometers wide. I must add that all of this is accompanied by constant, heavy bombardment.

It looks like the enemy is making preparations and intends to achieve a clear victory this time. It has made political, diplomatic and military preparations to silence the parties in Southern Kurdistan and even to secure their cooperation in order to pacify Iraq and gain the approval of foreign powers.

According to the plan, the Turkish state wanted to achieve results in a short time. MHP leader Bahçeli had already said in one of his speeches: ‘We will eliminate the PKK between the two holidays.’ In other words, according to their calculations, they wanted to achieve results in a very short time. They mean this in general, not only in Zap, Metîna and Avaşîn. But our friends' resistance to this is truly historic. In the three months that have passed so far, Turkey has not been able to succeed, despite all the state's resources and outside support and despite the use of forbidden weapons.

Since the beginning of July, they have deployed their supposedly most elite special forces, which are attached to the General Staff. The troops currently fighting in Çemço and at Girê Amêdî are the latest special forces deployed. Turkey uses many types of chemical weapons, which is something we keep talking about. But more recently he's apparently also been using tactical nuclear weapons, as other friends have said. In fact, we spent eleven months researching this topic. In other words, we're trying to understand what weapons are used. It is not a normal explosive. As HPG, our investigation is ongoing.

At the moment, we see that they use two different types of bombs. First, they use tactical nuclear bombs, they mix various explosives with nuclear materials to create a very powerful explosive and poison. They also use thermo-baric bombs. Both types are used. In short, the fascist regime uses all forbidden weapons against us. The F-16s are already in constant use: around 2,500 airstrikes were carried out in these three months. They are currently waging such a war. Such a war can only be waged between two great states.

After three months, the following can be said: The Turkish state has not achieved any results and is basically being defeated. In order to cover up this defeat, it mobilized the last of its forces. But these, too, suffered a severe blow. They were hit everywhere they went and therefore couldn't get any results. The war has been going on for three months now. The AKP-MHP regime, despite all its means, has not achieved results, but it does not admit this. Because if Tayyip Erdoğan and Hulusi Akar admit this situation, the regime that is already in decline will be destroyed. In order not to collapse, they now exercise great censorship over the war. No one can share information on this subject. All information is provided solely by Hulusi Akar. Nobody else can comment on this.

There are many dead. But they took precautions. When these soldiers join the army, they have their families sign a document stating that if the interests of the state require it, they must keep their death secret, that it must not be publicized, and that they will pay compensation. Because if you die in a war, your family will receive big money. And because there is a risk that this money will be cut, nobody talks about it. The families of the soldiers don't talk either, only a few of them do. Some corpses are in the hands of our forces, their names have been announced, but their relatives do not speak about this. A soldier who died in the presence of our forces was said to have been taken to the hospital and died there. However, his body is in the mountains. In other words, everything is based on lies. Due to the failure of the Turkish army, civilian areas in South Kurdistan such as Maxmur and Shengal as well as Rojava are being attacked, the population and the democratic political forces in North Kurdistan are also being massively attacked.

Of course, our fight can only be waged with a great willingness to make sacrifices. Undoubtedly, our forces have reached a level based on the ideas and thoughts of Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] and the spirit of July 14th. They are determined and are willing to sacrifice themselves. There is that aspect, but it's not the only one. At the same time, there is also a tactical method. A certain level of tactical depth has been achieved. If the forces are not specialized and do not know the methods of warfare, they cannot respond to such all-out attacks. In other words, they are prepared as professional fighters, they are a small force in numbers, they have the tactical depth and level of warfare to leave the enemy stranded. In this way, they can achieve this result.

Now we are using a new tactical method. We want to defeat the enemy with the strategy of revolutionary people's war. The goal of our new tactical method is to neutralize the weapons that strengthen the enemy. That is, the purpose of using the surface and underground terrain in depth and in width is to render meaningless the enemy air force, to render ineffective the reconnaissance aircraft, and in this way to face the enemy. That was the goal, and it was largely achieved.

There are mistakes and imperfections in some places. That's true, but most of it is implemented and that's why the enemy is blocked.

They said, "We will get results with the Air Force." That didn't happen, they couldn't do it; now they say, "We will get results with prohibited weapons." Our friends are taking precautions and thwarting the attacks. Of course, had we not taken the necessary precautions against these chemical weapons, they would have done us great harm. If it doesn't do us much harm, it's because we're taking precautions. We can overturn them with technical measures and methods that our friends know in practice.

In other words, the enemy can not achieve results, but he persists and cannot admit defeat. That's why the war will be prolonged. That's what it looks like. This war is of course, also important for us. We want to block enemy occupation and fascism and defeat the enemy. At the moment, the war is going on in this framework.

The losses of the Turkish state in this war are very high. This is also included in the quarterly balance sheet. Casualties total over 1,500 but the state has announced 30 to 40 people so far. As I said before, there is a lot of censorship. Facts are hidden from Turkish society. Tayyip Erdoğan and Hulusi Akar are responsible for this. I mean, they send soldiers, but they don't think about whether that person is going to die or not. They say, "Go and get them." And the soldier comes and either falls into a trap or gets killed somehow. So the government is responsible for it. They are killers. This is how they want to maintain their power. They are waging this war for their own interests and to prevent the collapse of their regime; they are anti-Kurds. What is a Turkish soldier doing in Amêdî? Why is he coming? They tell the people of Turkey that their survival depends on it. In other words, they portray the Kurdish people and their achievements as a threat to Turkey; in this way, they want to revive chauvinist feelings in the Turkish population. They want to incite people and get them to pay attention to Kurdistan. What are you doing in South Kurdistan?

Hulusi Akar boasts that more than 27,000 Kurds have been killed in the past seven years. Of course he's lying; he manipulates the numbers. Erdogan and Akar have the blood of Kurdish and Turkish youth on their hands. They have Turkish and Kurdish youths killed in order to retain their power. On this basis, they send their soldiers everywhere. Perhaps this is the time when the Turkish state has suffered the most casualties. Major operations have taken place in South Kurdistan before, especially in the 1990s, but the army has never suffered such heavy casualties as today. At the same time, none of the attacks lasted as long as now. Previous operations lasted a month at most, but now, in this four-year war against the South, there have been constant attacks, non-stop day and night, for the past three months.

So the losses of the Turkish state in this war are very high, but we don't want to count the dead. Rather, what we want to say is this: You can't get results by killing! You cannot liquidate the PKK, destroy the Kurds and stop the freedom movement in Kurdistan by killing them. This people is a reality; this party is a reality; the guerrillas of Kurdistan are a reality! We want to expose Turkey’s chauvinistic mentality. The freedom guerrillas of Kurdistan are invincible. We want to prove that. Otherwise, we take no pleasure in killing. No! We want to stop dying and prevent more deaths. What we are waging is an honourable revolutionary defensive war. We defend the honour and achievements of our people. We defend the future of our people and all democratic forces. That's why we're fighting this war. Today we are fighting self-sacrificingly for democracy, both for the Kurdish people and the peoples of the region, and we are taking every risk. We know that this is the way to a free life. We are fighting for a beautiful future, freedom, democracy and equality, for the freedom of women, of society, of peoples.”