Xakurke residents: Silence is complicity in the Turkish invasion

"They say they fight against the PKK. The PKK is everywhere, you can’t fight the PKK in a front, that won’t get you results. You can only resolve your problems with the PKK through democratic means."

Residents of Xakurke where the Turkish state wants to implement an invasion said, “They want to occupy all of Kurdistan. Silence is complicity in this invasion. We won’t abandon our lands. The Turkish state must go.”

The villagers and nomads from the Bradost clan who live around the Shekif Mountain and the Lolan Stream said they brought their animals to the highlands again, but they remain under a great risk.


ANF reporters arrived at the region after the invasion operation began, and continue to follow news stories in the Medya Defense Zones and the area called the Bradost territory. They turned their cameras to the nomads from the Bradost clan.

Kocher Mam Isa Resit Derwes from around the Lolan Stream said:

“These are our lands, and the Turkish forces want to invade our lands. Our families and children face a threat to their lives. Our lands are bombed by fighter jets. Our sheep are killed. The underlying truth of it, the only reason for this operation is hostility against Kurds. The Turkish state thinks they are entitled to attacking wherever they find Kurds. Kurdistan is ours, Bradost is ours, these are our lands, the Kurds. We will never accept this invasion. Turkish forces should end the occupation at once, leave our lands and go back to where they came from.”


The young woman named Rejin Isa who tends to her family’s sheep to make a living raising animals by the skirts of the Shekif Mountain complained about the fragmentation among Kurds and said:

“Every night until the morning Turkish jets and helicopters bomb our pastures and highlands. Dozens of our animals were killed. Our natural environment is being destroyed. If the Kurds were all united, the Turkish state wouldn’t be able to just come and invade our lands. Turks are emboldened by our fragmented state. Forces from Bashur who remain silent share as much responsibility for this invasion as the Turkish forces. We want the unity of the Kurdish people. Whatever the price may be, we will not leave our lands.”


Contrary to what the pro-KDP media in Bashur (South Kurdistan) wrote about Bradost, that the Bradost area and the Xakurke highlands have been evacuated, we see dozens of zoms that the people going up to the highlands in Xinere, the Shexzade Valley, Lolan, Sinine, Komasor, Kelashin and other areas in Xakurke. Many villagers we meet insist on stressing the occupation of their lands and the complicity of the Bashur government, protesting the invasions.

Weysi Xidir Resho from the Bradost clan said the family comes to the highlands but they are under constant threat by the Turkish forces:

“This year the threat is great. Turkish forces came and occupied our lands and highlands. We are having difficulty finding pastures for our sheep to graze. They bomb our lands with jets and mortars. We want the Turkish forces to leave our lands at once. I am calling on the government of Bashur and Iraq: end your partnership with the invasion. They say they fight against the PKK. The PKK is everywhere, you can’t fight the PKK in a front, that won’t get you results. You can only resolve your problems with the PKK through democratic means. As such, the PKK defends the Kurdish people’s rights. The issue is not the PKK, the goal is to occupy Kurdistan. Turkish forces killed 42 women and children members of our clan, civilians, with fighter jets in Qendekola in 2000. They want to do the same again. They want to tear us away from our lands. In 1994, my own home was bombed by jets. We still didn’t leave. They attacked again in 2011, my cousin Celal was married, he was killed. Our children are traumatized. Our living areas are under a great threat. It has been this way for 30 years. How much longer? They must leave all four parts of Kurdistan at once, withdraw from our lands.”


Villagers we meet said the same attacks have continued for years. They want us to stress that the Turkish forces’ previous attempts at invasion failed, and that they will not be able to achieve results with this operation either. They add that they will not leave their lands, even though the attacks are geared towards depopulating the area, massacring civilians and killing animals.

We met Heci Xidir Resho in the Lolan Valley. He said he takes his animals to the highlands every year, and that his family lives on husbandry. 130 of his sheep were killed in a Turkish army attack in 2004. Resho said the same attacks continue today and added: “The Turkish forces bomb this area constantly. Our people, our youth lose their lives. They are killed brutally. Our lands are under a great attack, our animals are killed, all the living beings in nature are burned to death. All Kurds, whether in Bashur or Bakur (North Kurdistan), they are all one, they must stand up and react. Our lands are occupied, but international forces are silent. Everybody who remains silent against this invasion is a partner or a supporter of the occupation. We will not leave our lands. We will defend them.”