Representatives from the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) are predicting intense clashes with Turkish military forces in the near future. PKK official Bahoz “The Doctor” Erdal told local media that, “Of course, we are in a state of war against the Turkish army. The escalation is in the upcoming days. We can say we are expecting a hot summer with Turkey.” The Turkish military has been increasingly aggressive in their pursuit of the PKK, even violating the borders of other nations. Last week Turkish soldiers moved 27 kilometers inside the Iraqi-Kurdistan border before withdrawing to their establish combat outposts outside of the village. They are attempting to move on the region of Qandil, a mountainous territory where the PKK has its headquarters.
The Kurdish National Congress (KNK), an umbrella organization to the PKK, made a similar statement saying,
There are increasing signs of an imminent full-scale invasion of Iraqi Kurdish territory, including the mountainous Qandil region of northern Iraq, in an attempt to further encircle and strangle the only place of freedom in the region.”
They also noted that despite their expression of deep concern to the international community, the world has remained silent which has in turn “emboldened” Turkish aggression.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Isik told press that, “Turkey has moved from defense to offense in the fight against terrorism.” He also claimed that their military forces have doubled their presence in the autonomous Kurdistan region.
Bahoz “The Doctor” Erdal believes a new system of cohesion needs to be injected into the equation since the old ways of the Middle East are not working. According to Erdal, the issue of the Kurdish people and them being at odds with their neighbors can only be solved through political channels.
Erdal did not deny the connection between the two organizations (the YPG and PKK) but made it clear it was not a symbiotic relationship. He said that the YPG was formed by former members of the PKK stating that,
The People’s Protection Units [YPG] emerged due to the Syrian situation. The Kurdish youth, like the other areas, organized themselves and founded the People’s Protection Units. We, as a party, didn’t found these units, but the Protection Units aren’t a branch of the Workers’ Party. This is something we don’t deny. We aided the People’s Protection Units in Syria clearly and intensely during the Daesh [ISIS] attacks. We provided them with ammunition and military advice to develop their methods of protecting their areas.”
Featured image: Kurdish PKK guerrillas. By Kurdishstruggle [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons