PKK Says Shemzinan Area Under Full Control

11/08/2012 RUDAW –  By SAKAR ABDULLAZADA – QANDIL, Kurdistan Region — The People’s Defence Forces, known by its Kurdish initials as (HPG) — an armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — claim that the Shemzinan area is no longer under Turkey’s control. Bakhtiyar Dogan, spokesperson of the HPG, said the group’s guerillas had besieged Turkish army camps in the area. “Shemzinan is currently under the control of our guerrillas. Most of the Turkish army bases in the area are under siege and no longer under the control of the Turkish army,” he told Rudaw.

“Turkish helicopters and fighter jets have been trying to fly over, but due to HPG’s attacks they have withdrawn from the area. The Turkish army has failed to end the besiegement,” Dogan said. The assault on Turkish military outposts in Shemzinan began on July 23 and is ongoing, despite Turkish efforts to put an end to the clashes.

Dogan said, “We are protecting our people and continuing our struggle against the occupation of Kurdistan. We will expand the areas of our struggle. We have adopted expansionist tactics in other cities of Kurdistan. We will stand against Turkey’s anti-Kurdish politics.”

According to HPG’s announcements, 200 Turkish soldiers have been killed since the assault began. However, the Turkish interior minister claims that eight Turkish soldiers and 114 guerrillas have been killed.In this regard, Dogan says that the HPG informs the public of the results of its attacks, but that the Turkish government is conducting a media, as well as a military, campaign.

“Turkey considers itself the second most powerful force in NATO,” he said. “Therefore, it does not want to publish the actual causalities from the fight … and doubles and triples the casualties of the HPG to mislead the Turkish public.”

To back up this claim, Dogan notes that HPG guerillas have seized weapons from 20 killed soldiers, more than double the number of casualties the minister reported. On August 3, Murat Karayilan, the acting head of the PKK, announced that the group had a new policy. “No longer is the inside/outside borders terminology valid. That terminology is history,” he said, noting that PKK fighters were 35 kilometers deep inside Turkish borders.  Dogan said, “The Turkish government continues its policy of eliminating the Kurdish people and guerrilla forces in 2012. In order to move the Kurdish problem a step forward, we have started a new revolutionary assault.”

According to Dogan, HPG guerrillas have targeted military camps in Celi, Girde, Sere Sewe, Blican and Qarapash – all in zone 49 — in the past few days. The Turkish military has responded by bombarding the area with F16s, Sikorsky helicopters and mortar rockets. The goal of the HPG assault, its spokesperson said, is to end the occupation of Kurdistan. “The Turkish occupation is eliminating Kurdish people. Therefore, we have adopted a new policy, which has started with controlling Shemzinan. We will expand the war. I believe Kurdish people welcome the HPG’s revolutionary tactic,” Dogan said. He added that, besides Shemzinan, HPG guerrillas are spreading into Dersim, Amed, Sarhad, Botan, Hakkari, Sirnax and many other cities in Turkish Kurdistan. “However, the conditions in Shemzinan are different,” Dogan said. “We have adopted a new tactic in Shemzinan. For the freedom of Kurdistan, we have to expand this tactic.”