"This betrayal will not harm our relationship with the Armenian people"

The KCK spokesperson for foreign relations, Zagros Hiwa, blames the Pashinyan government for the extradition of two guerrilla fighters from Armenia to Turkey, but stresses that this will not strain relations with the Armenian people.

Guerrilla fighters Atilla Çiçek (Leheng) and Hüseyin Yıldırım (Alişer), who were arrested in Armenia in November 2021, have been handed over to the AKP/MHP regime by the Armenian intelligence service. The spokesperson of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) for foreign relations, Zagros Hiwa, spoke to ANF about the significance of these developments.

"They considered Armenia a friend"

Hiwa reported that the two guerrilla fighters had tried to cross the Karasu (Avareş) River in November 2021. In the process, they lost their way due to the bad weather conditions and came to the Armenian border: "There they were confronted by Armenian border guards. Since they considered Armenia a friend, they did not start a battle but entered into a dialogue. But they were arrested and put in a cell in Yerevan."

Illegally abducted after release

Regarding the trial of the two, Hiwa stated: "The Armenian judiciary prosecuted them and provided them with a lawyer. As a result of the trial, they were sentenced to eight years in prison. Our two comrades then went on hunger strike. Thanks to the efforts of lawyers and some prominent figures, the case was brought to the Supreme Court and on 28 February the eight-year sentence was lifted. Both friends were released. After their release, they were abducted."

"The Armenian government has been stalling"

Concerning the abduction, the KCK spokesperson said: "According to the information we have, Kinyas Hasanov, a Kurdish quota deputy in Pashinyan's party, has held talks with the Ministry of Justice and other state agencies and learned that both were in Armenia and enjoying good health. They swore on the honour of the state that they would be released. For this reason, we have not released any information about the situation of our two friends to the press." Hiwa underlined that the KCK had no direct contact with the Armenian government, but that it was possible to negotiate through lawyers and Kurdish institutions.

"This is a betrayal of the Armenian people"

Regarding the consequences of the Armenian government's actions, Hiwa said: "Kurds and Armenians live on the same land and have been subjected to persecution and massacres by the Turkish state. They share a common fate. Therefore, we will not allow the Pashinyan government to destroy this common fate between the Kurdish and Armenian people. We consider the extradition of our comrades to the fascist Turkish regime by the Pashinyan government not only as a betrayal of the Kurdish people, but as the biggest betrayal of the Armenian people. We know that the true representatives of the Armenian people do not accept this betrayal. The Armenians have openly expressed their protest in the media. This betrayal will not harm our relations with the Armenian people. On the contrary, it is one of the reasons for strengthening our struggle against fascism."