Posted by: hevallo | March 12, 2008

"Secret Trip to Meet PKK!"

“He added that when one of the Turkish army commanders told the media that 240 of the 370 Kurdish guerillas in al Zab were killed, he was severely mocked by a [Turkish]reporter who asked, ‘Well, why didn’t you bring back the bodies with you? And why didn’t you advance to Qandil and settle there if you had indeed obliterated all the fighters in al Zab?”

A junior ranking fighter, assigned the duty of accompanying Asharq Al-Awsat on its mission, spoke into his military radio transmitter and soon a Kurdish rebel vehicle drove up and took us to a secure place at the foot of a chain of mountains that was surrounded by large rocks.

There we met with a tall dark-skinned man in his forties named Ahmed Deniz who a few weeks prior to the outbreak of battles had been appointed to take charge of the Foreign Relations Office of the PKK’s political wing ERNK (Eniya Rizgariya Netewa Kurdistan, aka National Liberation Front of Kurdistan) succeeding Abdul-Rahman al Chadarchi, who according to one of the fighters had been dispatched on a mission to another area far from where we were.

After greeting us, the chief of the party’s foreign relations office wanted to know what the international press, and especially the Arab press, thought of the PKK and its cause. Deniz who joined the PKK in 1991, in response to the question about the number of casualties on both sides said, “The official statistics that we received from the People’s Defence Force leadership, the PKK’s armed wing, confirms that at the end of the clashes, 125 were killed and 150 injured on the Turkish forces side let alone the hundreds of soldiers and other senior ranking officials who have fled and deserted the army service.

All this was a direct result of our solid resistance and defense firstly, but also due to the cold weather. As for the human losses on our side during the first week of the battle that began 21 February 2008, they amounted to five injuries and then nine, and on the eighth day four fell during the final battles. This means that the final census is nine killed and nine injured.”

With regards to the likelihood of the Turkish forces carrying out further operations against the PKK rebels during the coming spring or summer: “The Turkish forces have been preparing to launch an attack on us for a long time and there has been intensive training in the mountainous Simara region.

In light of the harsh weather conditions there, a large number of the Turkish soldiers died as a result of the severe cold despite being well prepared with all the necessary equipment to fight in battles in the snow and on the mountainous terrain,” he said

Deniz added, “Turkey has suffered a major military, political, economic and historical defeat and numerous senior military leaders have been killed – and the burial ceremonies were aired on Turkish television. However, what was unexpected in the aftermath of the battles was the brave resistance that the Kurdish people demonstrated in all parts of Kurdistan and which embodied the most elevated meaning of national spirit that we hold in highest regard and respect. We always anticipate the enemy’s attack.”

Asked whether the fighters collected the bodies of the Turkish troops, Deniz replied, “The People’s Defence Force is currently comprehensively sweeping the area in which the battles erupted in search of mines – many were planted by the Turkish army there, and they are also searching for the enemy’s fallen troops in the battlefield.”

As to whether the party was expecting Turkey to initiate dialogue with him following the recent battles, the head of the PKK’s Foreign Relations Office said, “Turkey has been waging a fierce war against us since 1984 and with the assistance of superpowers, such as the US and Israel, while Ankara still pursues a policy founded upon annihilating the Kurdish race and denying their existence and rights and vehemently rejecting political dialogue and the discourse of political understanding despite the PKK’s multiple calls for a unilateral ceasefire – on five successive occasions – with the intention of ending violence and opening the door to dialogue.

This is why we do not expect any initiations on Turkey’s behalf as long as it remains committed to its policy that rejects any achievements for the Kurdish people in the four parts of Kurdistan. However, we anticipate Ankara will changes its military tactics against us to keep up appearances, especially since before the battles erupted it had declared that it would strive towards resolving the PKK’s issues and the problems in Kirkuk at once.

But the rejection it sensed in public opinion made it back down on the Kirkuk issue so that the PKK issue remained, in addition to some secret undeclared goals.”
Regarding the strategy used in the latest operations, Deniz said, “[their strategy] manifested as forcefully charging towards the Barzan region, south Kurdistan and seizing full control of al Zab, which contains various strongholds and headquarters affiliated to the People’s Defence Force, then advancing towards the Qandil Mountains and keeping the troops there for a long period of time.

And thus Turkey becomes a real and effective partner in executing America’s special plan for the new Middle East, but it has been dealt a blow and suffered defeat. As such, Turkey might, as part of its military tactics, launch another series of air raids on the region running parallel to a partial mobilization of its forces to carry out swift operations to target rebels for two or three days. It could then withdraw and retreat with the aim of convincing the world that it is not targeting the Kurdistan region but rather the PKK forces.

Its intention, of course, is to test the international and local public opinion before destroying the Kurdish people’s gains in southern Kurdistan.”
Deniz stressed that the political, military and media circles in Turkey are currently witnessing controversial debates over the benefits and results of the recent battles and over the reasons and motives that necessitated all these enormous human and material losses.

He added that when one of the Turkish army commanders told the media that 240 of the 370 Kurdish guerillas in al Zab were killed, he was severely mocked by a [Turkish]reporter who asked, ‘Well, why didn’t you bring back the bodies with you? And why didn’t you advance to Qandil and settle there if you had indeed obliterated all the fighters in al Zab?”‘

As for the likelihood of the party vacating the Qandil area and laying down its arms, Deniz said, “This is not part of our plan; the harsh Qandil Mountain’s region has always been an essential and constant refuge for the rebel Kurdish forces. Here I need to highlight an important matter, which is that there is absolutely no presence of the People’s Defence Force in the Qandil Mountains – with the exception of some offices and headquarters that carry out the political and administrative functions of the party.

It is worth pointing out that the Qandil region is under the control of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which is a licensed and official party that is part of the resistance in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK or the Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistane). Even if some PKK fighters came to the area, they would not settle there. As for disarming; it should be emphasized that the Kurdish people are peaceful people who shun violence and war and truly believe in democracy and are fighting for it.

For our part, we have explicitly and repeatedly stated that the PKK’s issues will not be resolved through violence and military means but Turkey is acting irrationally and continues to pursue a policy of war and violence. It is insistent upon this and will adhere to it until there is only one man left standing, meaning that whenever Turkey senses that there is a legitimate and peaceful approach, it intensifies the violence and attacks against us.

Just as what has happened before the outbreak of the recent battles, the People’s Defence Force issued a peaceful initiative document comprised of several paragraphs. This is why you will always find that the number of Kurds killed during the ceasefires invariably exceeds the number of fighters falling during the Turkish operations and attacks on us, which compels us to continue to resort to arms to defend ourselves and our nation as long as the Turkish military operations subsist. We are not keen to carry arms; in fact, we reject it.”

In terms of the Iranian role in the latest Turkish attacks, Deniz said, “We have learnt that a top-ranking Turkish delegation visited Iran before the recent battles to ask Iran to allow them access to its land and airspace to launch attacks against us – but Iran turned down their request. On the ground, we have not witnessed any role played by Iran or cooperation with the Turkish forces.”

Regarding the party’s future plans and intentions in the aftermath of the battles, “It may be considered the beginning of a new phase for us,” Deniz states, “especially since as I have previously said, the attacks targeted the Kurdish people’s gains in the south with the intention of undermining them, in addition to shifting the perspective on the Kirkuk issue so that it has become in Turkey’s favor. If Turkey has succeeded in achieving that, then the current situation in the Kurdistan region has radically changed.

As such, we will verify this matter and declare once again that we do not want war and would not impose it on any party and that our conflict must be resolved peacefully – otherwise, peace, democracy and brotherhood will not be attained in the region under any circumstances. For this reason we will closely and carefully examine the most recent events so as to determine our future positions.”

Moreover, Deniz added that in light of the recent events, the PKK has proven its strength and endurance, which has only served to strengthen the foundation of the party. He added that the historic victory that the Kurdish rebels achieved a few weeks ago and the support and sympathy that they have received from the Kurdish people throughout Kurdistan has boosted and cemented their confidence and fortified their morale and strength in an unprecedented manner so that it may be said that the party is heading towards greater power and solidarity.

In light of the deteriorating health of PKK guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan who is detained in Turkey and with regards to the possibility of the party considering appointing a replacement after his departure, Deniz said, “For a long time we have been campaigning under the slogan ‘enough’ in which we uphold the message that Ocalan must be released and the attempts to poison him must end and that the occupation on the Kurdish people must cease and Turkey must accept the will of the Kurdish people.

Our campaign and slogans represent a lot and the leader Ocalan represents the greatest value to us; he taught us about resistance and expression for the sake of our nation and helped us understand the true meaning of life and that the leadership in charge of this movement is collectively shared and built upon the basis of council and elections.”

With regards to the reality of the disagreements between the two commanding operatives, Murat Karayilan and Cemidl Bayik, Deniz said, “Everyone must become aware of the reality of the Turkish regime and understand it well; the war that is waged against us is multi-dimensional and complex – it is not restricted to weapons and includes psychological, economic, media and cultural wars.

Turkey wants to eliminate us militarily, economically, psychologically and through the media by propagating various news reports and blatant fabrications so as to undermine the morale of our fighters and raise the collapsing Turkish morale. I would like to take this opportunity to stress that the internal system that the party follows is democratic and based upon electing the leadership through large-scale conferences.

There are no conflicts between members of the party’s leadership for the simple reason that leadership positions in our party do not connote more sacrifice or dedication for our nation and people – it does not mean more privileges.” Read Full Article Here.

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