03.09.2014 – Hemin Salih – BasNews, Erbil – Divisions have risen between senior Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) member Cemil Bayik and PKK Executive Committee member Murat Karayilan over the issue of Peshmerga forces. Their opposing views have forced a wedge between the leaders, threatening the strength of the party.In a recent speech, Bayik exclaimed that the Peshmerga is a defeated force who is swiftly losing moral power to fight again Islamic State insurgents. He claims that the Peshmerga fighters seem more concerned with their villas back home and the money they have rather than fighting for Kurdistan.
Following the speech, Bayik was harshly criticized for his words by a myriad of groups. The Peshmerga Ministry replayed his speeches, with one member of the crowd claiming haughtily that “some people are too busy to do their job while dealing drugs and insulting the Peshmerga.” Executive member Karayilan stepped in and requested that Bayik apologies for his offenses against Kurdistan’s fighters. A source at PKK headquarters told BasNews that Bayik’s controversial speeches have even created problems within the party itself. Bayik and his followers take on more radical views, while Karayilan and his close members adopt a more moderate view of many situations. ’The two often radical differences in views within the PKK have divided our party, when once we all stood for the same causes,’ said the source. Spokesman of the Peshmerga Ministry Halgord Hikmat released a statement stating that “Bayik and his followers step in a different direction in international, regional and internal arenas.’
Hikmat also publicly thanks the Peshmerga for their service, and expressed his appreciation for those who have stood by the Kurdish Special Forces and valued their hard work. ’Respect must be shown to the tens of thousands of Peshmerga fighters and commanders that since the start of this mess have not seen their families and children. Fighting for the Kurdistan Region is everything for them. There must be a differentiation between those Peshmerga members and commanders who sacrifice everything in their life by guarding and fighting for Kurdish land against the one and only commander that left Sinjar town. No negative view should be imposed on all the Peshmerga forces for a political aim,’ added Hikmat.