Co-chair of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Figen Yuksekdag, said on Sunday that her party relies on the pro-Kurdish armed movement active in Syria, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Speaking in Suruc District of Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa Province after a visit by her party to Kobane, Yuksekdag said it doesn’t hesitate to declare its link with the PYD and YPG.
“They say about our party - the HDP - relies on a terror organisation. I will answer those who don’t understand. We rely on those who are fighting against ISIS [ISIS] in Kobane and Rojava. We rely on the YPG and PYD and we see no harm in saying that,” she said.
Turkey considers the PYD to be the Syrian affiliate of Turkey’s outlawed PKK.
A group of HDP deputies visited Kobane on Sunday on the anniversary of the “Rojava Revolution” announced by the PYD in 2012. The PYD claims control over three areas in northern Syria - Afrin, Jazira and Kobane - and unilaterally declared these autonomous “cantons” in the “revolution.”
The YPG has clashed with various Syrian groups in order to carve out Kurdish enclaves in the region. Kobane, or Ayn al Arab in Arabic, was besieged by ISIS in September 2014 and was the scene of a bloody battle for four consecutive months resulting in thousands of casualties.
Meanwhile, one of the leaders of the outlawed PKK, Cemil Bayik, called on the Kurdish people to bear arms and be organised in order to achieve victory in armed struggle.
Participating in a TV program on Sunday, Bayik said that everybody should look to “Rojava revolution” and defend all of “Kurdistan.”
“There must be organised systems of underground, tunnel and emplacement in villages, cities and quarters against ISIS and all imperialist powers. Our people should be organised around defence and become conscious,” said Bayik.
The KCK (Group of Communities in Kurdistan) issued a statement on July 11 saying that the truce which was reached with the Turkish government at the end of 2012 has ended and threatened Turkey with attacks.
The KCK is an umbrella organisation which brings all of the members and factions of the PKK together.
Stating that it has been two and a half years since a disarmament call was made by imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 2013, the leadership of the KCK said “The Turkish government has failed to comply with articles of the agreement which will lead to continuous armed conflict.”
A peace process was initiated in 2012 by Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to resolve the 30-year-old armed conflict between the PKK and the Turkish government which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people and injured thousands more, mainly in the country’s southeastern provinces.