The Kurdish Institute supports the letter addressed to the international representatives and diplomatic missions in Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan). The reason is on one hand to denounce the Turkish invasion that started in northern Iraq since April. Another attack on the sovereignty of a neighboring country.
On the other hand, to warn the addressees that the Turkish regime is trying to foment a conflict between the Kurdish forces in a sneaky way. An example of this is the accusation that the PKK is responsible for an attack on members of the Peshmerga. Something strongly denied by Murat Karayilan, head of the HPG (the military wing of the PKK). An internal conflict between the Kurdish parties would obviously serve Turkey very well.
The letter was drafted in English by representatives of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK). Please find below the full letter.
To the Foreign Representatives and Diplomatic Missions in Erbil
Subject: Clarification of Events During Turkish Occupation Campaign in South Kurdistan
KRI, June 12, 2021
Honorable Consul and Representative,
We are writing this letter to you to inform you about the latest developments in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq related to the Turkish invasion that started on April 23 this year. This invasion is part of the historical policy of the Turkish state that denies the fundamental rights of the Kurds in all parts of Kurdistan. This has especially been the case under the ultra-nationalist government of the AKP and MHP which has increased the annihilation policy against the Kurdish population. This government does not accept any Kurdish political status in any part of Kurdistan. For now, it may have good relations with the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) but this only serves the purpose of gaining support to continue its dirty war against the biggest Kurdish resistance group, the PKK.
Whatever the claims and intentions of the Turkish authorities may be, the reality is that the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and Iraqi territory have been occupied by Turkish forces. Turkey has established forty-seven (47) military bases in the region. These military operations have severely impacted the civilians and the sovereignty of Iraq. If the PKK is weakened, the AKP-MHP government will implement its plan B to destroy the gains and status of Iraqi Kurdistan. We have also seen this geostrategic policy of Turkey when it occupied Afrin and continued its occupation operation in Serekaniye and Gire Spi. Now, Turkey is trying to occupy all the areas along its southern border all the way to Iran. This dirty war against the Kurdish population and status in Syria, Turkey and Iraq is only causing new problems and is destabilizing the whole region. It is also destroying the basis for coexistence of the ethnic and religious groups in this area.
Honorable Consul and Representative,
we would also like to clarify with this letter certain events that took place in the course of the last 49 days of the Turkish occupation campaign in South Kurdistan. The Kurdish guerrilla is waging a huge resistance against this operation and has prevented Turkey from achieving its operational aims. Unfortunately, parallel to this huge resistance there have been tensions between different Kurdish groups after the KDP deployed its military forces to guerrilla areas where KDP forces had not been present for 25 years. Propaganda was spread that some Peshmerga members were targeted by the PKK guerrilla in the Metina area. We strongly believe that these accusations and tensions are also based on Turkish efforts to promote conflicts between the different Kurdish parties in order to weaken the resistance against Turkey`s occupation of South Kurdistan. Murat Karayilan, commander of the HPG (People`s Defense Forces) Central Command, clarified the position of the PKK regarding the latest events in a recent interview on April 10, 2021: „We strongly reject the allegation that we attacked the convoy. There were no instructions from our side to attack Peshmerga forces. No such decisions had been made, nor have there been any activities in this direction. An internal Kurdish war is tantamount to a catastrophe for us. We see it as the greatest possible mistake, which we do not want to make under any circumstances.“ Murat Karayilan also called for an investigation of this unfortunate event in Metina: “We have demanded that a delegation consisting of representatives of both sides or an independent delegation conduct on-site investigations. We have not attacked these people. We are concerned that there is a premeditated plan and provocation behind this incident. We would like that to be investigated as well.”
Despite the given facts and the repeated calls of PKK representatives for a dialogue between all Kurdish parties, we have unfortunately witnessed one-sided statements by state representatives (US, British, German and French) creating the impression that the PKK was responsible for the recent death of Peshmerga members in Metina. Maybe these statements were published because of false information provided by KRG representatives which do not depict the reality of the event. In his recent interview, Murat Karayilan strongly rejected any inter-Kurdish confrontation: “This is not a problem between the different parties. We absolutely must solve all the existing problems between the parties. Because the Kurds in general are facing a great danger. The fascism of the Turkish state is a great danger for the existence and future of the Kurdish people. The Turkish state wants to destroy all the achievements of the Kurdish people.”
“The Kurdish people have the right to live a free life in this country. But the Turkish state wants to take this right away from them”, said Murat Karayilan at the end of his interview. We agree with this serious warning.
We would welcome a clear stance of all representatives and diplomatic missions in Erbil against Erdogan’s aggressive regional policies, occupation campaign and his Neo-Ottoman dreams.