CNN expert, Lt. Col. Rick Francona, said Kobane will be taken over by ISIS, and, there is nothing anyone is going to do about it, including Turkey. Rick says most of Kobane’s citizens have been given sanctuary in Turkey, and only a handful of Anti-ISIS fighters, remain. Rick give the impression these fighters will soon give up, and flee into Turkey where they will be safe with their brethren. What Rick does not tell World Viewers, is, that many of the fighters are women who have been dying for the beliefs of the PKK, that many have labeled a terrorist group. These are Leftist Feminists, who oppose male dominated cultures and religious addicts who take pride in shaming and oppressing women, just like Liberal American Women oppose the shaming of the Christian-right.
For a week the President of Turkey had bee promising he will not let Kobane fall. He lied! He was hoping it would fall within hours like other cities ISIS has attacked. As these Women Warriors held on, the Turks walked-back their promise. They demanded the Fighting Kurds of Kobane, distant themselves from the PKK fighters, and, then he might help. Rick said it would be nice if Turkey and established a “buffer zone”. Against, whom?There already is a buffer zone, a human shield of Kurds who have killed many ISIS monsters. How many demons have the Turks killed? None!
For ten years I have been studying the Roza Mira (Rose of the World) cosmology that has taken root in Russia. I am going to suggest to Democratic Leaders they put boots on the ground and create the sovereign state of Kurdistan, because America has no friends in the Levant. Biden was right, Turkey is not on our side. It has let in thousand to go into Syrian in order to fight ISIS.
Rick said Turkey has always let the U.S. use their airbases to launch attacks against the friends of terrorists. Why isn’t the U.S. Airforce bombing ISIS that is out in the open – all around Kobane? The only answer can be, the Turks are making more promises, more lies. In the New Nation of Kurdistan, I am sure America will be welcome to build permanent bases.
Liberal Democratic Women would be interested in seeing a New Democracy in the Levant established upon their ideal, and not the ideals established my Abraham so long ago, because they don’t work. Let Freedom Loving Liberal help build an Oasis of Equality in the middle, and under the noses, of the Armed Enemy of Humankind!
Nothing is perfect in the Levant. I do not suggest the PKK be used as a model. What I suggest is we not fight our way to the ideal, but, build it – now! Stop reacting to terrorists! Take the initiative. Build everything they hate. Raise up, everything they tear down. Otherwise, Americans have no business in the Levant.
In the short clip, Webster repeats, “Wives, submit yourself to your own husband,” and, “She should submit to me. That’s in the Bible.” As religion scholar Julie Ingersoll wrote after Webster protested that his words were taken out of context.
Although UK operations are currently limited to Iraq the US has been striking targets within Syria, mainly “strategic” sites such as oil refineries.
This site is devoted to Daniel Andreev, Russian poet and religious thinker of the middle of the XX century. His best known book “Roza Mira” (“The Rose of the World”, “Роза Мира”) which was written mostly in prison at Stalin’s time, is about religion in the modern world. Along with world religions such as Christianity, he also considers mythical revelations of different cultures which together compose the “religion of total”, the Rose of the World. For Daniel Andreev, the Rose of the World is a spiritual flower whose roots are in heaven: each petal is an unique image of the great world religions and cultures, and the whole flower is their joint co-creation with God.
Andreev defends the distinctness of the feminine nature in human culture, as reflecting Divine reality, against the modernist tendency to treat men and women as interchangeable or as interchangeable if women aren’t oppressed. He also defends the primacy of feminine nature over the masculine. The masculine nature in humanity is seen as out of control, manifesting in terms of violence, heartlessness and egoism, with disastrous consequences for humanity. The Rose of the World is envisioned in the development of the feminine nature in humanity: abhorrence for cruelty and violence, the expression of tenderness and love, the central concern for children, and the love of the beautiful. Women will assume positions of leadership, inspiration and wisdom. The current patriarchal order will be, at least partially, transformed under this empowered feminine influence in the Rose of the World
Indeed, submission is a central tenet of Gothard’s teachings. His evangelical critics have described the insular world of Gothard’s organization as “a culture of fear” and Gothard’s teachings as a “parody of patriarchalism,” the “basest form of male chauvinism I have ever heard in a Christian context,” and “anti-woman.” The core of Gothard’s authoritarian teachings is a chain of command of spiritual authority from God to the husband and father, who is responsible for seeing to his wife’s and children’s obedience in order to ensure their eternal salvation. ATI families, a former Gothard follower told me, “basically ate, breathed, lived, and slept ATI and Mr. Gothard.”
In service of the anti-Planned Parenthood agenda, Gothard’s acolytes continue to spread misinformation about contraception. Michelle Duggar has recounted how, early in her marriage, she became pregnant while on the pill and that the pill then caused her to miscarry. This folklore fulfills two common religious-right myths about oral birth control: that it is both ineffective and harmful. Duggar says that this incident led her to follow God’s will and forego contraception altogether. As she told the Values Voters Summit last year, “Our motto is obey first, understand later.” For religious-right political elites — although not, apparently, most evangelical women, since they use birth control at about the same rates as American women in general — Duggar is the model Christian woman, the model that is driving GOP policy.
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party,[nb 1][nb 2] commonly referred to by its Kurdish acronym, PKK, is a Kurdish political and military organization which from 1984 to 2013 fought an armed struggle against the Turkish state for cultural and political rights and self-determination for the Kurds in Turkey, who comprise between 10% and 25% of the population and have been subjected to official repression for decades. The group was founded in 1978 in the village of Fis (near Lice) by a group of radical Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan. The PKK’s ideology was originally a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism, seeking the foundation of an independent, Marxist–Leninist state in the region known as Kurdistan.
Since his capture and imprisonment in 1999, however, Öcalan has abandoned Leninism, leading the party to adopt his new political platform of “Democratic Confederalism” (influenced strongly by the libertarian socialist philosophy of Communalism) while ceasing its official calls for the establishment of a fully independent country. In May 2007, former members of the PKK helped form the KCK, an umbrella organisation of Kurds from Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan on 20 March 2005, described the need for a democratic confederalism and went on to say:
- The democratic confederalism of Kurdistan is not a State system, it is the democratic system of a people without a State… It takes its power from the people and adopts to reach self sufficiency in every field including economy.
In 2013, the PKK accepted a ceasefire agreement and began slowly withdrawing its fighters to the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq as part of the so-called “solution process” between the Turkish state and the long-disenfranchised Kurdish minority.
The name ‘PKK’ is usually used interchangeably for the name of its armed wing, the People’s Defence Force (HPG), which was formerly called the Kurdistan National Liberty Army (ARGK). The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization internationally by several states and organizations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the United States, and the European Union.[
In the early 1970s, the organization’s core group was made up largely of students led by Abdullah Öcalan (“Apo“) in Ankara. The group soon moved its focus to the large Kurdish population in south-east Turkey. A meeting on 25 November 1978, in a tea house near Diyarbakır is considered the founding meeting. On 27 November 1978, the group adopted the name Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Espousing a radical left, Marxist ideology, the group took part in violent conflicts with right-wing entities as a part of the political chaos in Turkey at the time. In 1979, as an act of “propaganda of the deed,” the group tried to assassinate the Kurdish tribal leader Mehmet Celal Bucak. They claimed that he exploited the peasants, and collaborated with Turkey. This marked a period of intense urban warfare among other radical political elements.
The 1980 Turkish coup d’état pushed the organization to another stage, with members (such as Sakine Cansız, one of the co-founders) doing jail time, being subject to capital punishment, or fleeing to Syria. On 10 November 1980, the PKK bombed the Turkish Consulate in Strasbourg, France in a joint operation with the Armenian radical group ASALA, which they claimed as the beginning of a “fruitful collaboration.”
Starting in 1984, the PKK transformed into a paramilitary group, using training camps located in France. It launched attacks and bombings against governmental installations, the military, and various “institutions of the state” — some of which were connected to the Southeastern Anatolia Project. The PKK became less centralized, taking up operations in a variety of European and Middle Eastern countries, especially Germany and France. The PKK has attacked civilian and military targets in various countries, such as Turkey, France, Belgium and Iraq.
Beginning with the mid-1990s, the organization lost the upper hand in its operations as a consequence of a change of tactics by Turkey and Syria’s steady abandonment of support for the group. In the mid-1990s, it also began a series of 15 suicide bombings, 11 of which were carried out by women. In the late 1990s, Turkey increased the pressure and the undeclared war between Turkey and Syria ended open Syrian support. In 1999, Öcalan was captured, prosecuted and sentenced to death, but this was later commuted to life imprisonment as part of the government’s seeking European Union membership.
With reduced security concerns, the Turkish parliament began a controlled process of dismantling the legal control, using the term “normalization” or “rapprochement,” depending on the sides of the issue. It partially relaxed the bans on broadcasting and publishing in the Kurdish language – although significant barriers remained. At the same time, the PKK was blacklisted in many countries. On 2 April 2004, the Council of the European Union added the PKK to its list of terrorist organizations. Later that year, the US Treasury moved to freeze assets of branches of the organization. The PKK went through a series of changes, and in 2003 it ended the unilateral truce declared when Ocalan was captured.
Since Post-invasion Iraq, 2003–present, Turkey alleges that Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the US-led coalition forces have not done enough to combat with the PKK and dislodge it from its base in the Iraqi mountains.
The organization originated in the 1970s from the radical left and drew its leaders, members from other existing leftist groups, mainly Dev-Genç.:127 The organization initially presented itself as part of the worldwide communist revolution. The organization’s aims and objectives have evolved over time towards the goal of national autonomy, and what Ocalan dubs “Democratic Confederalism”.
During the 1980s the movement included and cooperated with other ethnic groups, including ethnic Turks, who were following the radical left.:127 The organization initially aimed to establish a fully independent Kurdistan covering land in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.:129
In 1999, following the capture of Ocalan, the organization announced a “peace initiative,” and spoke more often about cultural or linguistic rights. However, the group renounced its self-imposed cease-fire in 2004. Besides the activities directed towards Turkey, on 17 July 2005, one of the chief executives Hasan Özen was murdered in Austria. Hasan Özen wanted to leave the organization, and the PKK is widely thought to be responsible. In Diyarbakir, on 6 July 2005, Hikmet Fidan, the former founder of the legal branch the People’s Democratic Party (HADEP), was also murdered. Hikmet Fidan had tried to form an alternative, non-violent Kurdish political party called the Patriotic Democratic Party (PWD) with Osman Ocalan, the brother of Abullah Ocalan. At least 3 other persons involved with the PWD were also killed. The PKK is widely thought to be responsible for these killings also.
The PKK has multiple heads in various West European countries. However, Abdullah Öcalan was the unchallenged leader of the organization. After the capture of Öcalan, authorities induced him to publicly plead for a ceasefire. Though serving life imprisonment, Öcalan is still considered the honorary leader and figure-head of the organization.
Murat Karayılan has the control of the organization in practice, although undergone numerous conflicts between Cemil Bayik. Cemil Bayik beside Abdullah Öcalan, Kesire Yildirim Ocalan, and Hakki Karaer was one of the core leaders. Cemil Bayik’s military skills and leadership were criticized by Abdullah Öcalan during his 1999 trial. The organization appointed “Doctor Bahoz,” the nom de guerre of Fehman Huseyin, a Syrian Kurd, in charge of the movement’s military operations signifying the long-standing solidarity among Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan.
The first training camp was established in 1982 in Bekaa Valley (which was then under Syrian control), with the support of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Syria. This main camp moved to north Iraq in 1998, under intensive pressure, after Syria expelled Ocalan and shut down all camps established in the region. At the time, North Iraq was experiencing vacuum of control after Operation Provide Comfort. Instead of a single training camp which could be easily destroyed, the organization created many small camps. During this period the organization set up a fully functioning enclave with training camps, storage facilities, and reconnaissance and communications centers.
In 2007, the organization was believed to have camps strung out through the mountains that straddle the border between Turkey and Iraq, including in Sinaht, Haftanin, Kanimasi and Zap. The organization developed two types of camps. The border camps were used as forward bases from which militants infiltrate into Turkey. The units deployed there are highly mobile and the camps have only minimal infrastructure. The other camps, in the Qandil Mountains, have more developed infrastructure—including a field hospital, electricity generators and a large proportion of the PKK’s lethal and non-lethal supplies.
There are also training camps in other countries: the organization’s training camp near Eindhoven in the Netherlands, was well-hidden in the woods, but was dismantled. The following raids resulted in arrests and seizure of materials in The Hague, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Capelle aan den IJssel. There was another training camp in Belgium, evidence that the organization uses training camps in Europe for political and ideological training.
The organization had sympathizer parties in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey beginning in early 1990s. The establishment of direct links to the organization has been a question. In sequence HEP/DEP/HADEP/DEHAP/DTP and the latest Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have been accused of sympathizing with the PKK, since they have refused to brand it as a terrorist group. As of June 2007 report by the European Union Institute for Security Studies stated that “It is an obvious secret that DTP is connected to PKK in a way and PKK is a terrorist group.”
Political organizations established in Turkey are banned from propagating or supporting separatism. Several political parties supporting Kurdish rights have been banned on this pretext. The constitutional court claimed to find direct links between the HEP/DEP/HADEP and the PKK. IN 2008 the DTP-party was prosecuted by the constitutional court.
Kurdish politician Abdülmelik Fırat claims that Democratic Society Party (DTP) was founded by PKK, and that 80 percent of Kurds do not vote for this party. However, senior DTP leaders maintain that they support a unified Turkey within a democratic framework. Aysel Tuğluk published an article in Radikal in May 2007 as the co-president of DTP, to prove that claim.
Several parliamentarians and other elected representatives have been jailed for speaking in Kurdish, carrying Kurdish colors or otherwise “promoting separatism”, most famous among them being Leyla Zana.
Alleged drug trafficking
On 14 October 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) targeted the senior leadership of the PKK, designating as significant foreign narcotics traffickers, Murat Karayılan, the head of the PKK, and high-ranking members Ali Riza Altun and Zubayir Aydar. On 20 April 2011, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the designation of PKK founders Cemil Bayik and Duran Kalkan and other high-ranking members as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Pursuant to the Kingpin Act, the designation freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals.
However, according to Kurdish activists all these are allegations used by the US administration in order to de-legitimate PKK assisting Turkey as a major ally. On the contrary, many activists claim that the Turkish intelligence service (MIT) has been involved in drug trafficking in the border with Iran similarly to the Iranian intelligence. Some cases like the Susurluk scandal case is one of the cases of drug trafficking by high Turkish officials that the Turkish MIT has hidden its details.
According to research conducted by journalist Aliza Marcus, the PKK did rely substantially on support from Kurdish smugglers in the region to fund themselves. A number of these were tacitly known to have been participating in international drug trafficking even before the 1980s, and some did indeed end up contributing money to the PKK throughout the course of the conflict, whether for ideological or economic reasons. In Europe, a few PKK supporters reportedly used their influence and connections to sell drugs on the side, and ended up contributing some of the money made back to the organisation, and party activists short on funds were often not hesitant to seek donations from Kurds known to be involved in the narcotics trade. But though it was true that the PKK may not have been very concerned with the sources of donations (given the much more pressing need to buy supplies), “it does not seem that the PKK, as an organisation, directly produced or traded in narcotics.”
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic security agency, echoed this finding in its 2011 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution, stating that despite the US designation, there was “no evidence that the organisational structures of the PKK are directly involved in drug trafficking”, at least in Germany.
During the controversial Ergenekon trials in Turkey, allegations have been made that the PKK is linked to elements of the Turkish intelligence community.
Şamil Tayyar, author and member of the ruling AK Party, claimed that Öcalan was released in 1972 after just three months’ detention on the initiative of the National Intelligence Organization, and that his 1979 escape to Syria was aided by elements in MIT. Öcalan has admitted making use of money given by the MIT to the PKK, which he says was provided as part of MIT efforts to control him.
Former police special forces member Ayhan Çarkın alleged that the state, using the clandestine Ergenekon network, colluded with militant groups such as the PKK, Dev-Sol, and Hezbollah, with the goal of profiting from the war.
According to official figures, nearly 2000 PKK members became itirafçı (“confessors”) after their arrest. Some were persuaded or coerced to play an active role in the conflict, particularly under the direction of the Turkish Gendarmerie‘s unofficial JİTEM unit.
During its establishment in the mid-1970s, amid violent clashes country-wide, the organization used classic terrorism methods, such as the failed assassination of Mehmet Celal Bucak as a propaganda-of-the-deed. After the 1980 military coup, the organization developed into a paramilitary organization using resources it acquired in Bekaa valley in part of ex-Syrian-controlled Lebanon. After 1984, PKK began to use Maoist theory of people’s war. There are three phases in this theory. The militant base during the initial years was coming from different sources, so the first two phases were diffused to each other.
In the first phase (1978–1984), the PKK tried to gain the support of the Kurdish population. It attacked the machinery of government and distributed propaganda in the region. PKK tactics were based on ambush, sabotage, riots, protests, and demonstrations against the Turkish government. PKK has also been accused of violent attacks on individual civilians or residential areas (Kurds and non-Kurds alike), who refused to co-operate with the PKK or were suspected of collaborating with the Turkish authorities. During these years, the PKK fought a turf war against other predominantly Kurdish organisations in Turkey. The PKK effectively used the prison force to gain appeal among the population. In the whole Turkey, this period was characterized by violent clashes which culminated in the 1980 military coup.
During this time, the organization argued that its violent actions were explained by the need to defend Kurds in the context of what it considered as the massive cultural suppression of Kurdish identity (including the 1983 Turkish Language Act Ban) and cultural rights carried out by other governments of the region.
In the second phase (1984–1999), which followed the return of civilian rule in 1983, escalating attacks were made on the government’s military and vital institutions all over the country. The objective was to destabilise Turkish authority through a long, low-intensity confrontation. In addition to skirmishing with Turkish military and police forces and local village guards, the PKK has conducted suicide bombing on government and police installations, as well as at local tourist sites. Kidnapping and assassination against government officials and Kurdish tribal leaders who were named as puppets of the state were performed as well. Widespread sabotages were continued from the first stage. PKK also carried out kidnappings of Western tourists, primarily in Istanbul but also at different resorts. Its actions have taken place mainly in Turkey and against Turkish targets in other countries, although it has on occasions co-operated with other Kurdish nationalist paramilitary groups in neighboring states, such as Iraq and Iran. PKK has also attacked Turkish diplomatic and commercial facilities across Western Europe. In effect, the Turkish state has led a series of counter-insurgency operations against the PKK, accompanied by political measures, starting with an explicit denunciation of separatism in the 1982 Constitution, and including proclamation of the state of emergency in various PKK-controlled territories starting in 1983 (when the military relinquished political control to the civilians). This series of administrative reforms against terrorism included in 1985 the creation of village guard system by the then prime minister Turgut Özal who is of partial Kurdish descent.
PKK members in Sweden came into conflict with the Swedish government, and in 1986 PKK became the first main suspect for the assassination of Olof Palme. The illegal investigation of these suspicions led to the Ebbe Carlsson affair.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, in an effort to win increased support from the Kurdish peasantry, the PKK altered its leftist secular ideology to better accommodate and accept Islamic beliefs. The group also abandoned its previous strategy of attacking Kurdish civilians, focusing instead on government and tourist targets. In its campaign, the organization has been accused of carrying out atrocities against both Turkish and Kurdish civilians and its actions have been criticised by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Actions of the Turkish state in the past have also been criticised by these same groups.
All in all, this low-intensity conflict has lasted more than 30 years.
The third phase (1999–2012), after the capture of Öcalan, according to Maoist theory of people’s war claims that conventional fighting should be established to seize cities, overthrow the government and take control of the country. This stage has never been achieved. In effect, after the capture of Öcalan, activities of the organization never reached previous levels. At the same time, the PKK continued to heavily recruit new members and sustain its fighting force.
In April 2002 at its 8th Party Congress, the PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK) and proclaimed a commitment to nonviolent activities in support of Kurdish rights. A PKK/KADEK spokesman stated that its armed wing, The People’s Defense Force, would not disband or surrender its weapons for reasons of self-defense, however. This statement by the PKK/KADEK avowing it would not lay down its arms underscores that the organization maintained its capability to carry out armed operations. PKK/KADEK established a new ruling council in April, its membership virtually identical to the PKK’s Presidential Council. The PKK/KADEK did not conduct an armed attack in 2002; however, the group periodically issued veiled threats that it will resume violence if the conditions of its imprisoned leader are not improved, and it continued its military training and planning.
In late 2003, the group sought to engineer another political face-lift, renaming the group Kongra-Gel (KGK) and brandishing its “peaceful” intentions, while continuing to commit attacks and refuse disarmament. The organization was said to be involved in drug trafficking and acts of terrorism in Turkey, and it frequently changed its name.
In January 2004 the US Government announced that Kurdistan Workers Party and its aliases, the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress and the Kurdistan People’s Congress, were terrorist organizations that were designated as such under US law. The Coalition Provisional Authority, coalition forces and Iraqi security forces would treat the PKK/KADEK/Kongra-Gel as terrorists. Although Kongra-Gel included some former militants, the group in recent years had developed a political platform that renounced terrorism. Kongra-Gel called off the cease-fire at the start of June 2004, saying Turkish security forces had refused to respect the truce. Turkish security forces were increasingly involved in clashes with Kurdish separatist fighters. Ankara claimed that about 2,000 Kurdish fighters had crossed into Turkey from hideouts in mountainous northern Iraq in early June 2004.
While the fight against the Turkish security forces between 2004 and 2010 failed to achieve any significant military progress, the PKK and its ancillary organizations continued to enjoy substantial support among the Kurds of Turkey. In 2005 the original name of the organisation PKK was restored. Turkey’s struggle against the Kongra-Gel/PKK was marked by increased violence across Turkey in 2005. In the Southeast, Turkish security forces were active in the struggle against the Kongra-Gel/PKK. There were bombings and attempted bombings in resort areas in western Turkey and Istanbul, some of which resulted in civilian casualties. A Kurdish separatist group calling itself the Kurdish Freedom Falcons (TAK), widely believed to be affiliated with the Kongra-Gel/PKK, claimed responsibility for many of these attacks. In 2006 alone, the PKK claimed over 500 victims. In October 2006, the KGK/PKK declared a unilateral cease-fire that slowed the intensity and pace of its attacks, but attacks continued in response to Turkish security forces significant counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism operations, especially in the southeast. On 21 October 2011 Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced Iran would co-operate with Turkey in some military operations against the PKK.
2012 was the most violent year in the armed conflict between the Turkish State and PKK since 1999. At least 541 individuals lost their lives as a result of the clashes including 316 militants. In contrast, 152 individuals lost their lives in 2009 when the Turkish government initiated negotiations with the PKK leadership. The failure of this negotiations contributed to violence that were particularly intensified in 2012. The PKK encouraged by the rising power of the Syrian Kurds increased its attacks in the same year.
During the Syrian civil war, the Kurds in Syria have established control over their own region with the help of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party as well as with support from the Kurdistan Regional Government in Irbil, under President Massoud Barzani.
In late 2012, the Turkish government began secret talks with Öcalan for a ceasefire. To facilitate talks, government officials transmitted letters between Öcalan in jail to PKK leaders in northern Iraq. On 21 March 2013, a ceasefire was announced. On 25 April, it was announced that the PKK would leave Turkey. Commander Murat Karayilan remarked “As part of ongoing preparations, the withdrawal will begin on May 8, 2013. Our forces will use their right to retaliate in the event of an attack, operation or bombing against our withdrawing guerrilla forces and the withdrawal will immediately stop.” The semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq welcomed the idea of refugees from its northern neighbor. The BDP held meetings across the region to explain the pending withdrawal to concerned citizens. “The 8th of May is a day we both anticipate and fear,” explained party leader Pinar Yilmaz. “We don’t trust the government at all. Many people here are afraid that once the guerrillas are gone, the Turkish military will crack down on us again.”
The withdrawal began as planned with groups of fighters crossing the border from southeastern Turkey to northern Iraq. Iraqi leadership in Baghdad, however, declared that it would not accept armed groups into its territory. “The Iraqi government welcomes any political and peaceful settlement”, read an official statement. “[But] it does not accept the entry of armed groups to its territories that can be used to harm Iraq’s security and stability.” The prospect of armed Kurdish forces in northern Iraq threatens to increase tensions between the region and Baghdad who are already at odds over certain oil producing territory. PKK spokesman Ahmet Deniz sought to ease concerns stating the plan would boost democracy. “The [peace] process is not aimed against anyone,” he said “and there is no need for concerns that the struggle will take on another format and pose a threat to others.”
It is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 PKK fighters reside in Turkey. The withdrawal process is expected to take several months even if Iraq does not intervene to try to stop it. On 14 May, the first groups of 13 male and female fighters entered Iraq’s Heror area near the Metina mountain after leaving Turkey. They carried with them Kalashnikov assault rifles, light machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers before a welcoming ceremony.
On 29 July, the PKK issued an ultimatum in saying that the peace deal would fail if reforms were not begun to be implemented within a month. In October, Cemil Bayik warned that unless Turkey resumed the peace process, the PKK would resume operations against it. He also accused Turkey of waging a proxy war against Kurds during the Syrian civil war by supporting other rebels who were fighting them.
Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani backed the initiative saying, alongside Erdogan: “This is a historic visit for me … We all know it would have been impossible to speak here 15 or 20 years ago. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has taken a very brave step towards peace. I want my Kurdish and Turkish brothers to support the peace process.”
2014 action against Islamic State
The PKK engaged Islamic State (IS) forces in Syria in mid-July 2014 as part of the Syrian Civil War. In August the PKK engaged IS in Northern Iraq and pressured the Government of Turkey to take a stand against IS. PKK forces also helped “tens of thousands of Yazidis escape an encircled Mount Sinjar.”
The PKK also engaged Islamic State forces in Syria in September 2014 during the Siege of Kobane, which led to conflict with the Turks on the border and an end to the cease-fire that had been in place over a year.
The areas in which the group operates are generally mountainous rural areas and dense urban areas. The mountainous terrain offers an advantage to members of the PKK by allowing them to hide in a network of caves and making military air operations, especially helicopter use, hazardous for the Turkish Armed Forces.
The PKK’s Marxist ideology claims to support equality of gender. At its establishment, it included a small number of female militants. Over time, however, this number has increased significantly and by the early 1990s, 30 percent of its 17,000 armed militants were women. In much of rural Turkey, male-dominated tribal structures, and conservative Muslim norms are commonplace. The organization increased its number of members through the recruitment of women from different social structures and environments, such as women from families that migrated to several European countries after 1960 as guest workers (German: Gastarbeiter). It was reported by a Turkish university that 88% of the subjects claimed that equality was a key objective. In 2007, approximately 1,100 of 4,500–5,000 total members were women.
In July 2007, the weapons captured between 1984 and 2007 from the PKK operatives and their origins published by the Turkish General Staff indicates that the operatives delete some of the serial numbers from their weapons. The total number of weapons and the origins for traceable ones were: