LATEST : PKK makes changes in its leadership setup

Shwan Barzinji – BasNews (Erbil): 6.11.2013 – Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) co-leader Cemil Bayık has removed from power a number of party officials who are deemed closed to other co-leader Murat Karayılan.

A PKK official has said that the changes are related to intra party structure and not an internal conflict, as speculation would have it. According to information obtained by BasNews, Bayik has removed many of the high level officials that are close to Karayılan and replaced them with officials that are closer to him.

Those officials removed by Bayik include head of PKK relations Ahmet Daniz; his deputy and Firat News website editor-in-Chief, Roj Willat; PKK media supervisor, Deyari Qamishlo; head of Qandil coordinator Havel Damhat; and Havel Haqi who also worked in PKK media. According to BasNews sources, these changes have resulted in tension among the PKK leadership in Qandil.

In July PKK held its ninth convention in Qandil, where Bayik and Karayılan became co-leaders of the party , after majority voted for co-leader structure instead of one party leader. Karayilan has been the PKK’s acting leader ever since its original founder and leader, Abdullah Ocalan, was captured in 1999 and jailed on the İmralı island.

Since the PKK convention, Karayılan’s wing is seen as in decline, and has been excluded from some decision-making within the PKK. “These changes are internal and not related to any conflicts within the PKK, they’re related to the party structure,” said Zagros Hiwa, the member of PKK foreign relations committee. Hiwa also told BasNews that he is not aware of tension between Bayik and Karayilan, or of any conflict caused by the changes.