The blood of innocent people on the hands of PKK
In the years following the starting of the Syrian civil war, the emergence of ISIS and the heavily armed terrorism in Syria, countering ISIS started to become extremely popular in the Western journalism. As the ISIS threat kept spreading, governments formed alliances to protect civilians from this terrorist organization. This, naturally led the governments to put emphasis on countering ISIS at least in the speeches of politicians to ride the popular tide. Because the western countries did not want to send their own soldiers to counter ISIS and AQ formations in the regions, they decided to use proxies to fight against ISIS. In the meantime, PKK/ YPG claimed they will fight ISIS for them if they are paid enough, armed enough and trained enough. This proposition seemed like a life savor at the time. These people were seemingly willing to sacrifice their lives for a cause the West was not prepared to fight for.
And thus, supporting the Syrian formation of terrorist PKK organization called PYD and calling them “Kurds” - as if their initial opposition doesn't come from Kurdish civilians- has been widely popular. However, in the process, neither the press nor the politicians feel any shame from withholding truth from the people. Just like a great deal of things in the popular press stories, there were too many things in this story, which were withheld from the public in the Western hemisphere. In the meantime, The PKK established several Kurdish cultural and business institutions in Europe with the political support of European countries. These institutions work as the propaganda machine of the terrorist group and also conceal its illegal activities.
Going back to Öcalan's story in this terrorist organization, we are going back to establishment of PKK. In 1979 Öcalan and some of his associates began training the Leninist guerrillas that formed the core of the PKK. In August 1984 the PKK began its armed campaign for a Kurdish state within the borders of Turkey with an attack on a pro-government Kurdish village in southeastern Turkey.
Öcalan’s leadership of the PKK from 1984 to 1999 resulted in heavy bloodshed for the PKK and Turkey. He is alleged to have ordered the murder of large numbers of civilians, the kidnapping of Western tourists, and the murder of many Kurdish comrades and Kurdish civilian families who challenged his beliefs[i]. In PKK guerrilla camps, just like the Soviet Russia, the punishment to try to escape the camp or not follow orders to kill civilians was death.
This part may not counter the interests of European public or politicians. In the end, the civilians who end up dying or the schools, hospitals which end up being destroyed are in Turkey. However, attaining money from the European Union countries citizens through extortion should be the main concern of the European public when their states are supporting this criminal organization. A terrorist organization cannot maintain its perpetuity without adequate finances. Quoting from his own words during the trial, Öcalan admitted getting at least 30 million “German Marks” annually from European societies via extortion. This money is collected primarily in countries like Germany, Romania, Holland, Denmark, France, Italy, Switzerland, [ii]England. The PKK claims these are voluntary contributions to the organization; however, the truth is not what the PKK reflects. PKK gets “insurance fees” in Green Lanes in Northern London. The restaurants that do not pay the fee face [iii]retaliation. The extortion of PKK / YPG in Europe is not limited to that. Also from the confessions fo former PKK members, we learn the details of forcing people to subscribe to certain magazines and forcing people to contribute every year. When they did not, the money is coerced[iv]. Jane’s Terrorism Report points out “the PKK was alleged to have stored in excess of 1 billion USD raised through extortion activities in foreign bank accounts.[v]”
Öcalan, the mastermind behind this criminal empire is no Mandela seeking peace for Kurds, he is, on the contrary, the nightmare of all the Kurds who doesn't want to contribute to a guerrilla warfare, which targets civilians and children. The organizations set up in Europe and the United States to support PKK / YPG under the pretense of Kurdish nationalism give brilliant speeches about female empowerment, freedom and democracy. However, since the organization's earliest days, the PKK has been quick to attack its rivals, the regional unarmed Kurdish groups in Turkey's southeast. This criminal organization, who tries to portray the Turkish state and all Turkish governments in the last 40 years as fascist regimes, has carried out most of its attacks on Kurdish people with the alleged aim of liberating them. Abdullah Öcalan is dubbed “the baby killer” not because he attacked Turkish soldiers to liberate his people but because he killed numerous Kurdish babies in the villages which declined to support the guerillas. The below timeline compiled using Anadolu Agency archives includes only a tiny some of the civilian massacres committed by the terrorist organization PKK over the decades:
- Pınarcık Massacre (June 20, 1987): 16 killed, including 16 children and 6 women
- Behmenin Massacre (May 9, 1987): 11 killed, including 8 children (from the same family) and 2 women
- Haraberk Massacre (July 8, 1987): 9 killed, including 7 children from the same family and 2 women
- Midyat Massacre (July 22, 1991): PKK attacks vehicles carrying civilians; 19 killed
- Savur Massacre (Jan. 1, 1994): PKK kills 21 people, including 11 children
- Ciftekavak Massacre (Sept. 21, 1987): 5 women -- 2 of them pregnant -- and 4 children killed by PKK raid on a village
- Cobandere Massacre (Oct. 10, 1987): 13 people killed, most of them the elderly, women, or children
- Pecenek Massacre (July 8, 1987): A total of 16 people, including women and children, executed by firing squad
- March 28, 1988: PKK terrorists strangle nine shepherds, claiming they were village guards
- Cevrimli Massacre (June 10, 1990): 27 killed, including 12 children, 7 women, and 4 village guards
- Cevizdalı Massacre (Oct. 1, 1992): 30 people killed, including women and children
- Tatvan Massacre (June 11, 1992): PKK terrorists execute 13 people in a minibus by firing squad
- Milan Massacre (August 18, 1987): The PKK kills 25 civilians, including 2 babies, just 3 and 6 months old. The terrorist group claims that those killed were "all" gang members
- Derince Massacre (October 21, 1993): 24 civilians killed
- March 21, 1990: PKK members block a road and kill 9 engineers and a worker by firing squad
- Jan. 1, 1994: PKK terrorists stop two buses for “ID checks.” They kill 8 people by firing squad
- Cetinkaya Store Massacre (Dec. 25, 1991): The PKK attacks a store in the Bakirkoy district with Molotov cocktails, taking 11 lives, including 7 women and 1 child
- Spice/Egyptian Bazaar Attack (July 9, 1998): Explosives planted by PKK terrorists kill 2 and injure 121. The attackers are later caught
- Gungoren Massacre (July 27, 2008): Two separate explosives planted by PKK terrorists claim 18 lives, including 5 children, in the Gungoren district. 154 people are also injured
- Yolac Village Massacre (June 27, 1992): PKK terrorists raid a mosque during prayer time and kill 10 people
- Hamzali Massacre (Jan. 1, 1995): 20 civilians killed, most of them children, women, or the elderly
- Anafartalar Attack (May 22, 2007): The PKK carries out a suicide bomb attack on Anafartalar Market. 9 people, including 1 Pakistani national, killed. More than 100 people are injured
- Ankara Guvenpark Massacre (March 13, 2016): PKK terrorists attack the traffic-filled, central Kizilay square using a bomb-laden car. 36 people are killed and 125 others injured
- Kahramanmaras - Pazarcik Massacre (July 14, 1991): PKK terrorists kill 9 people, including women and children in the Caglayancerit and Pazarcik districts
- Batman - Seki Village Massacre (June 22, 1992): The PKK kills 10 people, including children, in a raid on the houses of 2 village guards. A newborn, 1 month old, was among the victims
- Erzincan - Basbaglar Massacre (June 5, 1993): PKK terrorists set fire to the village of Basbaglar after killing 33 people
- Bingol Massacre (May 24, 1993): PKK terrorists block a road and stop a bus carrying plainclothes soldiers. 33 unarmed soldiers martyred
- Van - Sunduz Massacre (June 18, 1993): 24 people killed, including 14 children
- Bursa - Ulu Mosque Attack (April 27, 2016): One person dies, 13 injured in suicide bomb attack
On February 17, 2016, 28 people, including civilians, were killed while 61 people were injured while 1 person lost his life at the hospital he was treated in the explosion took place in Ankara's Çankaya.
Kidnapping and recruiting children and trafficking children for the insurgency has not been a secret from the human rights organizations, however failed to make the headlines widely in the Western press. In a December 2016 report Iraq: Armed Groups Using Child Soldiers, Human Rights Watch documented 29 cases in northern Iraq of children recruited by armed groups affiliated to the terrorist PKK. According to the report[vi], children under age 15 took part in fighting, staffed checkpoints, and cleaned and prepared weapons. The same PKK activity was also documented in a November 2013 United Nations report called Children and Armed Conflict. The report said Kurdish armed groups recruited boys and girls age 14-17 in Syria’s Hasakah region. “The PKK should categorically denounce the recruitment and use of child soldiers, and commanders in affiliated armed groups should know that the recruitment and use of children under age 15 constitute war crimes,” said Zama Coursen-Neff, children’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Boys and girls should be with their families and going to school, not used as means to military ends.”
The 2014 U.S. State Department Human Rights Report also said the terrorist PKK — the YPG/PKK’s parent group — regularly recruited children in the past, though the number of child soldiers recruited by the PKK that year was unknown. For some reason, suddenly these reports have been. The report also said PKK had kept up abducting and conscribing young people.
However, the demonstrations held by Kurdish mothers to save their children from the terrorist organization[vii] have been overlooked by the Europe and the US, who continue to arm the terrorist organization. You will not see a Kurdish mother who is crying on tv for her kidnapped son or daughter on a European or an American tv station. You will see a film made about a female YPG guerrilla fighter who seemingly “only” fights ISIS but you will not see the drama of a poor Kurdish family whose only baby is killed by the YPG/ PKK because their village decided not to pay or support the organization. You will see PKK supporters speaking of democracy, freedom of thought but you will not see the the reports of protests [viii]the Kurdish authorities clamp down only because they are the Kurds from opposition.
If we are going to be selective in our remembrance of the history, disregarding all the human rights abuses from the movement Abdullah Öcalan created, all the cold blooded murders of the civilians and all the crimes they commit not only in Turkey, Syria and Iraq but in European cities, Abdullah Ocalan or even Adolf Hitler can appear like the next Mandela.
[ii]Özdemir and Pekgözlü, “Where do Terror Organizations Get their Money? A Case Study: Financial Resources of the PKK, ” 92
[iii]Roth and Sever, “The Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) as Criminal Syndicate: Funding Terrorism through Organised Crime, a Case Study”
[iv]Ruehsen, “Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK)” 69
[v]IHS Jane’s World Insurgency and Terrorism, “Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK),” 29