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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 97 12:19:41 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <ats@locust.etext.org>
Subject: The Situation In South Kurdistan
Article: 21820

PKK General Secretary: We Have Strengthened Our Position

KIZ Press Statement, 30 October 1997, published in Kurdistan-Rundbrief, #22/97

On October 30, 1997, the Kurdistan Information Center (KIZ) in Cologne, Germany issued an overview of the present situation in South Kurdistan, with reference to the recent tensions in the region following Turkey's latest invasion:

It is well known how the Turkish government is able to fund its war in Kurdistan. Even [independent] investigations have revealed how members of the Turkish government, various Members of Parliament, and high ranking state and military officials are involved in drug trafficking. This trade brings in 50 million dollars a year.

Turkey's invasion of South Kurdistan (northern Iraq), a violation of international law which began on May 14, is still continuing. It's dimension is increasing as well. Other regional powers are on the verge of intervention. This would mean the outbreak of a regional war. More than 80,000 Turkish soldiers, backed by thousands of vehicles, are in operation from Zakho to Shaklawa. According to their own statements, this is to give protection to Barzani [KDP]. In reality, though, Turkey is carrying out random bombardments of the UN's safe haven. It has become known that in the regions of Role, Zeni, Mawelian, Kospi Chawa, and northwest Erbil, which is controlled by the PUK, the Turkish air force has dropped napalm bombs, which are banned by international law. Despite international warnings and pressure, the Turkish government is seeking to establish itself in South Kurdistan and create a 20-km wide buffer zone.

Following Turkey's invasion, the leader of the PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party], Abdullah Ocalan, stated on the Kurdish television sender MED-TV on October 27 that: In comparison to last year, in particular since May of this year, we have strengthened our position. A large part of the population of South Kurdistan are coming over to our side in this war. South Kurdistan youths are forming a front. They have formed their own army, which is in a position to carry out a protracted struggle. They don't belong to the traditional forces in the region, rather they organized themselves with our support. The regions of Behdinan, Ciyaye Spi, Ciyaya Bexer, Haftanin, Zap, Xankurke, and Gare are now controlled by guerrilla units. [...] Despite [Turkey's planned buffer-zone], the present situation is very different. We have political and military control over two-thirds of the entire region, including strategic areas. [...] The KDP has been defeated. The KDP is now being protected by 80,000 Turkish troops. [...] It is possible that the Iraqi regime will no longer just sit back and watch all this happen. At the present time, the entire Arab world is concerned.

Ocalan went on to point out that the PKK is not fighting a war against the KDP, rather against the Turkish military. Even newly established democratic forces are fighting against the Turkish invasion.

Regional and other interested states are being called upon to finally devise a policy which will bring a solution to this problem. Turkey can no longer continue to carry out its Kurdish policies of the past. Now, more than ever, a political solution is needed. The Kurdish side has repeatedly expressed its willingness for a political solution. Abdullah Ocalan called on the Turkish military to re-think its policies. He called on them to take steps in a positive direction which would make life better for both the Turkish and Kurdish peoples.