Karayılan: If Turkey comes at us, they will get what’s coming to them

Referring to a probable Turkish ‘cross border operation’, PKK’s Karayılan said: “If they come at us, they will get what’s coming to them”, remarking that the Kurdistan freedom struggle was stronger than ever.

Monday, February 27, 2017 12:30 PM – BEHDINAN – ANF – DENİZ KENDAL – PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) Executive Council member Murat Karayılan made striking evaluations for ANF at the anniversary of the Turkish military operation in Zap region in 2008, remarking that this battle was a major achievement for Kurdish freedom struggle and led to new developments.


Nine years ago, the Turkish army launched an operation targeting Zap region under the name of ‘Sun Operation’. What is the importance of this operation for the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle?

The Zap operation is a major round of resistance in our struggle history. Firstly, I commemorate with respect the nine comrades who fell putting up a brave fight during this operation. I reiterate our promise to bring the enemy to account and to enhance the struggle for their great purpose.

The comprehensive ground operation launched by the Turkish military against HPG Headquarters in February 2008 was the last operation of the Turkish army against South Kurdistan. At the same time, it was an operation in which the Turkish army suffered the heaviest blow and defeat, and achieved no results. In this operation, the Turkish state intended to inflict a blow on our headquarters with a sudden move before the ending of winter. However, they themselves suffered a major blow and couldn’t retreat their own forces, let alone inflict a blow on our forces.

The Turkish Cobra helicopter downed before the eyes of everyone and the Turkish side’s confession of 27 losses revealed the blow they received more or less, but they suffered much more losses. They could withdraw an axis of the operational forces only owing to the failure of a guerrilla unit there to play their role adequately.

The common stance adopted by our patriotic people in South and North Kurdistan against the operation of the Turkish state, which was a first, played an important role and strengthened the glorious resistance of guerrillas in the defeat of the Turkish troops. The resistance of our guerrilla forces and our people did not only led to the defeat of such a comprehensive attack but also brought about significant military and political consequences that have an important place in the Kurdish politics, in our freedom and democracy struggle and the politics and system of Turkey.


One other consequence of this battle is related with the ‘red line’ of the Turkish state on establishing relations with the federal Kurdish administration in South Kurdistan. Back then, the Turkish state described developing relations with South Kurdistan administration a red line, and viewed those who crossed this line and established relations with the federal administration as traitors. However, the Turkish state understood with the battle of Zap that it would obtain no result without the support of South Kurdistan forces. For this reason, even the generals that were harshly against developing relations with South Kurdistan administration had to make a change in this policy of theirs.

As is known, the biggest mistake of the Kurds in the past was an internal conflicts for some reasons which we can call “weakness or fault”. The Turkish state has always provoked these conflicts. Hence, the Turkish state engaged in this process in May, 1997 with the goal of deepening the conflicts among Kurds. For this reason, they developed many joint projects mainly with the KDP and kept itself on good terms with them. However, when Leader Apo (Öcalan) was handed over to Turkey as result of an international conspiracy, and when we subsequently announced ceasing armed struggle as a movement, the Turkish state restricted and almost ended its relations with the KDP And the PUK. It did not even feel the necessity to have contacts and relations with the political powers in South Kurdistan. Turkey would not recognize the administration and official institutions in the South. Let me share an anecdote in this regard:


In late 2005, when I had a meeting with Mr. Nechirvan Barzani, he told me the followings: “I went to Turkey as the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region. There, in line with the protocols, they asked my about my title, which I answered as ‘Prime Minister’. In response, they said this was in no way possible. They insistently asked me the same question a few times and I gave the same answer every time. The Turkish state would never want or tolerate the Kurds having a prime minister.”

This is what Mr. Nechirvan Barzani told me personally. What he told was true, for sure, and the Turkish state bears the same mentality today.

The Turkish state did not consider the PKK to be a danger for them anymore, for which reason they pursued a policy to exclude the politics in South Kurdistan. They would insult and despise the Kurdish politics and politicians. However, once they suffered the deadly blow in Zap, they understood that they would never succeed in their war against the PKK unless they had the support of the powers in South Kurdistan. They removed their red line after seeing this reality. The South Kurdistan politicians mustn’t ever forget this reality which they know very well. Today, the Turkish state has a very tactical approach towards the South Kurdistan politics.

What is the goal of the Turkish state with this approach?

Their goal is to create a process of internal conflict like the one in 1990s because they are terrified by the initiative developed by the PKK. Similarly, there is a Rojava Revolution that has developed during the course of the conflict in the Middle East. Kurds will have rights in the region and their probability of taking place in the new design is raised. For this reason, the AKP-led Turkish state has made some new decisions.

To begin with, they formed an alliance with the MHP on this basis. The Turkish state has attained a new anti-Kurdish concept, arguing that “A great Kurdistan will be founded in the Middle East, and a great Kurdistan means a small Turkey”. This new concept is based on never allowing a Kurdistan in the new design of the Middle East after the war, and to obstruct the Kurds’ attaining a status. To this end, they are doing anything they can and standing against the Rojava Revolution as their strategy is grounded on not allowing the Kurds have a status anywhere.


Turkey has repeatedly declared that Kurds have accidentally gained status in South Kurdistan as result of their own mistake. This was confessed by President Erdoğan himself who stated a few times that “We made a mistake by not getting involved in the Iraq operation, and a Kurdish status came into existence out of our control”. And, today they are pretending to be developing good relations with this structure which they describe as a mistake. This is an entirely tactical situation, and an approach in the scope of their war policy. No Kurdish politician should ignore this tactical approach as it is of great importance to know the true intention of the other side.

Now you are facing an army weakening in the struggle for power. During this time, does the army have the capability to carry out an extensive operation like the Zap Operation? What will happen if they do?

This much is true: The Turkish army doesn’t have the same capability to fight as they did 9 years ago. Right now, their land forces are more worn out and weaker. But as a principle, we don’t think of the force we are facing as weak. Right now the army wants to cover up their known shortcomings through more technique. They especially have the opportunity to use the most recent technology. But what determines the outcome is the human ability and the human will. Much more so in the guerrilla warfare we are using, it is a style of war that achieves victory through human ingenuity, maneuvering capability and creativity. In the spectacular lands of Kurdistan and again with the support of our people, with the guerrilla displaying human ingenuity in a creative way and expertly employing their own technique that voids the technique of the enemy, we believe we can face all attacks, and we can defeat them.


Of course compared to 9 years ago, we have a stronger position now. Our strength level has developed more, in war capability, ability, morale, faith, and the intensity of experience and especially the level of sacrifice. So, if they want to try another Zap Operation after 9 years, the data at hand shows how the outcome will be.


Of course we don’t want to speak before it’s time, but the patriotic people of Kurdistan and all of our people who have given their hearts to this movement should rest easy. The Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla, at this important point in history, has the strength and power to answer any attack as necessary. To be able to show the high ability and the necessary performance, the guerrilla also has a certain preparation within their own means. I’m not saying this in the context of “they will for sure come to Zap”. In the general sense, this army that could not defeat the guerrilla in the past, can’t defeat the guerrilla now. This is the plain truth. This is what I mean to say. Because under the current conditions, there is an expanding guerrilla movement which is deepening in experience. Alongside these, with the flourishing tactics, we can speak of a technical level that has improved. In this sense, the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla can not be impacted by some cross border operations. It is true that such a situation will deepen and expand the war. But friend and foe alike should know that the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla, with so much experience in these lands, will answer accordingly. We have to approach this subject modestly. Of course if they come at us, they will get what’s coming to them. On this matter everybody knows us and everybody knows the Turkish army. If they insist on spreading this war, they can. But then they will have to face the consequences.

Recently, there is an increase in the aerial attacks the Turkish army carries out. Whenever there is an attack, the Turkish media speaks of dozens of martyred guerrillas. How accurate are these?

Yes, the Turkish army has intensified their aerial attacks lately. We spoke on this matter before. Our losses are also announced. No war on earth has gotten results through aerial strikes alone. Taking the geographical characteristics and the natural makeup of Kurdistan into consideration, aerial strikes can’t achieve a definitive result at all. But the losses are due to obvious mistakes. None of our units that didn’t make a mistake, and based their actions and discipline on the rules of the guerrilla has ever suffered losses in any air strike to date.

To make it more concrete, who is more open to harm in these attacks?

With the scouting system the Turkish state developed based on the US’ Predator drones and the intelligence gathered by this system, classical structures who continue the old/traditional guerrilla, those who don’t pay too much mind to aerial and terrestrial activity are the ones who have shortcomings. Otherwise, none of our guerrilla units who act according to what we call the modern professional guerrilla, who understand the style of the struggle of the age and employ it correctly, won’t suffer losses. The losses in Dersim and Zagros in the fall, and the losses in the South up to date, have all been a result of these shortcomings I mentioned. This is a general characteristic of war: You get more results if the force you are facing makes more mistakes. This is true for us, and this is true for the Turkish army. If we make more mistakes, they can take advantage of those and strike us with technique. But if we don’t, if we abide by our own rules, the rules we have determined, there won’t be any shortcomings and there won’t be any losses. If all our forces act according to the style of the new era and put the perspectives provided by the Central Headquarters into practice in a careful and meticulous manner, these losses won’t occur. We can say this about the latest losses as well. Those who underestimate the enemy, who don’t take it seriously, thus don’t act meticulously and have shortcomings can suffer losses. That is how it is. In this sense, we see the guerrilla forces performing more professionally, in a correct way, positioning themselves correctly, as imperative for success.

The attacks are not only on the Medya Defense Zones either. There are operations on the guerilla in Northern Kurdistan as well. Under the guise of these operations, the people in the region are also attacked. After the incident in Nusaybin, now there are news of murder and torture of civilians with the declaration of curfews in Amed. What do you say about these?

It is understood that the operational stance of the Turkish state that presumes achieving results through invasion, destruction and burning they launched first in Xerabê Bava, and then Talatê villages is not restricted to the Mardin area. As it’s known, there are similar practices in place in Garzan and Amed right now as well, maybe there will be in other places also. The Turkish state is implementing atrocities on the basis of AKP and MHP’s concept to intimidate the Kurdish people. Where has a state, in the 21st century, gone and invaded a whole village, burned the homes there, tortured the residents in village squares, making the animals die of thirst and hunger? But the Turkish state is doing exactly that in Xerabê Bava. They are increasingly spreading this over to other regions as well. We have seen it, they martyred a young man named Mahfuz in Amed. For our people who lost their lives in these atrocious fascist operation, I offer my condolences to the people of Kurdistan and their families. They were targeted by the Turkish state because they defended their Kurdish identity and protected their dignity, honor and pride. They are the heroic martyrs of this revolution. I also salute the dignified resistance displayed by our people in especially Xerabê Bava and Talatê villages. I’m calling on all our people to come together around this honorable stance based on patriotism and protect the people of the region. There is nothing more valuable than insisting on one’s own identity and protecting one’s honor through this without any means against the enemy’s atrocity. These people are doing this now, and it is a rightful social resistance that will never be in vain. What’s important is that this social resistance organizes itself and expands and spreads in waves.


These practices seem to be increasing as we get closer to the referendum.

AKP thinks they will go to the referendum like this and achieve results. They want to achieve results through tyranny and intimidating the people through violence. Like the people voted 92% for the constitution after the September 12 coup, now Erdoğan actually aims for that. But our patriotic people, the peoples of Turkey and the working classes of Turkey won’t bow down to this. Nobody will hand over their will with their own hands to the fascist one-man dictatorship. Interestingly, he says “The state is facing hard times, make me the sole decider so the decisions can be made quickly.” This approach is seen in the period of kings of the middle ages and in dictatorships. It would be a different story if it was a presidential system with the separation of powers and the rule of law like in some normal countries! But the fact that there is no democratic system can be seen through Xerabê Beva. There are atrocities implemented, and the minister he appointed himself defends these atrocities. We are in the 21st century, yet a minister can openly defend torture. If this isn’t a fascist system, I don’t know what is.

Do you have anything to say on what needs to be done against these practices?


Of course, we have a duty of struggle against this. Our people should support and participate in this struggle developed by our movement. The Kurdistan youth in the first place should play their role in this outstanding period in history. In all schools, factories and streets, youth should stand against this fascist atrocity, they should get organised and treat their organisation from the perspective of transforming it into a mass movement, and they should join the guerrilla ranks.

I call upon all the youth whose heart beats for a free future to join the ranks of guerrilla forces. The struggle of resistance to be developed in this significant-historic process of our battle will be a strategic struggle to determine the future of our movement, our Leader, our people and the Middle East and Turkey.

Do we want a fascist and dictatorial Turkey or a democratic, pluralist and libertarian Turkey? This will take shape in accordance with the participation of the youth in struggle during this process.

On this basis, I call upon the youth of Kurdistan and Turkey to join the ranks of our struggle with the knowledge that the future will determined with struggle. Nobody should be a bystander in this historic process. It must be a mission of of first priority to join the guerrilla for all patriotic and democrat youths.