PKK Formally Ends Truce with Turkey

AFP Photo/Mustafa Ozer
AFP Photo/Mustafa Ozer

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ended its ceasefire with Turkey on Thursday after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development (AKP) Party swept parliamentary elections.

“The unilateral state of inaction has ended due to the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government’s latest attacks,” declared the organization. “After the election, the AKP has demonstrated it is going to be a war government.”

On Wednesday, Erdoğan told Turkey he seeks to promote a new constitution for the NATO country and “vowed to annihilate Kurdish separatists.” Turkey, along with the U.S., EU, and NATO, consider the communist organization a terrorist group.

“We will continue this fight until the terrorist organization lays down weapons, buries them in the ground, and pours concrete over them—until all its members surrender or are eliminated,” he exclaimed. “The period ahead of us is not one of talks and discussions; it’s a period to achieve results.”

The Turkish government executed airstrikes on the PKK in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq shortly after the elections. Officials stated two soldiers and fifteen militants died in these attacks.

The relative peace between the PKK and Turkey collapsed in July when Erdoğan finally joined the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). But the PKK and Kurds claimed he used it as an excuse to target them. Evidence showed Turkish forces bombed areas in northern Iraq, miles away from the designated ISIS targets in Syria.

“We have always made it clear that we are ready for a bilateral ceasefire,” stated their executive committee. “But it’s not possible to maintain a state of inaction in the face of the AKP’s current policies.”

In August, the PKK declared an autonomous region in the Dersim province. Rudaw reports:

“We declare our self-management,” said Muhsin Kula, who claimed to be part of the new government. “Our villages and cities have been turned into ruins. The latest Varto case is proof that humanity is dead.”

Varto is a town in eastern Turkey where on or around August 10 a female PKK fighter named Ekin Van was allegedly raped and killed before her naked body was dragged through the streets by Turkish security forces. The incident has outraged Kurds throughout the region.

“We will not recognize state institutions in this region. We hereby declared that we manage ourselves,” Kula said.

In July, Rudaw and Turkish outlet Zaman reported that Turkish forces struck Iraqi Kurdistan, far from Turkey’s original targets. A few days later, PKK claimed Turkish airstrikes destroyed a health clinic, and 30 Turkish F-16s killed 200 Kurdish militants.


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