Bayık: We will revise the cease-fire if AKP insists on its current policies

ANF – LONDON 12.12.2013 – Cemil Bayık, co-president of the Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK) Executive Council, said in an interview with the Foreign Policy magazine that the peace process in Turkey is over unless the governing AKP (Justice and Development Party) moves from preliminary talks to a roadmap for a genuine solution to the Kurdish problem.

In his interview with journalist Chase Winter for FP, Bayık said both the PKK and AK Party agreed to “let the guns fall silent and politics speak,” adding that the AK Party however hasn’t lived up to this.

“We are continuing the cease-fire, but if the government insists on its current policies then we will revise our stance. We want to solve the problem not with war, but with democratic methods,” Bayık said, warning that unless the government moves from preliminary talks to a roadmap the cease-fire could end.

“Are we always going to wait for elections? How long do we have to wait?” Bayik asked and pointed out that “We undertook the peace process and cease-fire to create the foundation for a roadmap and formal negotiations to solve the Kurdish problem, not to allow the AK Party to easily win elections and take advantage of there being no conflict. The Kurdish problem can’t be used for tactical benefit, it can’t be sacrificed for election gains and buying time.”

Referring to the Turkish state’s ongoing support to the al Qaeda affiliated Islamist groups attacking Kurds in Rojava, southern Kurdistan, KCK co-president accused Turkey of using the nascent peace process to support jihadist groups against the PYD (Democratic Union Party).

“We didn’t start the peace process so that Turkey could move the war to Rojava by supporting the al-Nusra Front, Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, and al Qaeda affiliated groups,” Bayık said, adding that al Qaeda has made Syria the center of its Middle East strategy. “The biggest bulwark against al Qaeda is Rojava. If al Qaeda takes control in Syria it will be a threat to everybody,” he said. “This policy will backfire on Turkey, it already has”, he added.

Denying the accusations that the PYD and PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) are working with the Assad regime, KCK co-president stated that the PYD has chosen a “third way” that doesn’t take sides and has saved Rojava from sharing the devastating fate of Aleppo and Homs. “Syria doesn’t have the power to control all areas. It is good they are not attacking the Kurds. Do we have to be bombed by Assad to prove that the PYD doesn’t have relations with the regime?” Bayık asked, pointing out the PYD would fight against any group that attacks the Kurds.

Recalling the November visit of Massoud Barzani to the main Kurdish city Diyarbakır, Bayık underlined that “We are not against economic, political, and diplomatic relations between Turkey and South Kurdistan , this is normal since they are neighbors. We find this to be positive. What we oppose are relations that have been developed against the PKK. Barzani is taking up Turkey’s policies,” , accusing Barzani of losing his honor and becoming the “lifesaver” of Erdogan’s failures. “The Turkish state doesn’t accept the Kurds as a people with natural rights,” Bayik said, describing the fundamental problem that threatens to throw Turkey back into conflict.Remarking that the Kurdish issue is one of the biggest problems in the Middle East, KCK co-president added that; “It’s the cause of much instability and conflict. If you want stability and non-conflict, then you need to solve this problem.”