The USA Must Not Build A “North Korea” in the Middle East

The fighting in Kobane has once again raised the issue of what approach the USA and Europe should adopt towards the PKK. In order to develop the right strategy, an accurate analysis needs to be made. However the steps taken by the U.S. reveal a number of incorrect assessments.

There are two important facts that must never be forgotten in the fight against ISIL. The first is that ISIL violence will not come to an end through an armed struggle: On the contrary, every aerial bombardment and every military operation will just cause ISIL to grow stronger . The second is that the PKK, just like ISIL, has adopted violence as a stratagem and is a lethal terrorist organization responsible for even more deaths than ISIL. In other words, in Kobane we have ISIL, which resorts to violence because it has spurned the Qur’an, and on the other side we have the godless and atheist PKK, which rejects the concepts of morality and the family and regards terror as indispensible. Supporting one terror organization against the other is a strategy devoid of logic and conscience.

Like many communist organizations, the PKK makes very effective use of propaganda techniques as well. Lies and agitation, the very basis of Leninist propaganda tactics, also represent the basis of the propaganda carried out the PKK. Some parts of the left that have fallen under the influence of that propaganda, or that feel an ideological proximity to the PKK, give the impression in the Western press  that the PKK is a heroic army supposedly defending its own lands. The fact is, however, that the PKK is neither heroic nor a representative and protector of all Kurdish people. The PKK has long been fighting the Turkish military using guerrilla tactics, in other words, in a sly and cowardly way, for many years. However, it lacks the experience and more importantly the courage, to face another group out in the open. The PKK is therefore the very last group to wage a ground war against ISIL in Syria. Indeed, the way that they fled during the first days of ISIL’s assault against Kobane, leaving women, children and the elderly behind, and these words by Cemil Bayık, one of the PKK’s leaders, saying,  “Geographical conditions in Kobane are not appropriate for us to fight there,’ confirm the truth of that.

The PKK, Which Has Killed More Kurds Than Saddam Hussein, Is Not the Representative of the Kurdish People.

One of the mistaken impressions prevalent in the U.S. is that the PKK represents the Kurdish people. Since the PKK has  very effective propaganda power  overseas, they have falsely created such an image. The fact is, however, that the sociocultural characteristics of the Kurds make it impossible for them to accept and embrace such an organization right from the outset. The Kurds are religious people who devoted to their families and loyal to their traditions; they are warm and peace-loving people. The PKK, on the other hand, is opposed to all religions, godless, hostile to the family and devoid of any moral values. It is therefore impossible for the Kurds to willingly and voluntarily go along with the PKK. The rule of the PKK over the Kurds is one formed by force and compulsion.

The PKK made its name heard in the 1980s with acts of terror aimed, not against Turks, but against Kurds. It adopted a strategy of first spreading terror among the Kurds, and thus building a power base. The first target was other Kurdish organizations and political movements opposed to – or an alternative to – itself. After neutralizing them through ruthless killings, it turned its attention to the civilian Kurdish population and sent the message, through its actions, saying, “We are stronger than the state here, and if you are not with us, we will not let you live.” It still maintains its influence on some of  the Kurds through the same approach today.

Some of the actions of the PKK that targeted the innocent Kurdish population making no allowances for women and children are as follows:

PKK members attacked the home of a Kurdish citizen called Şehmus Arık on August 20th, 1987 in Mardin, opening fire with Kalashnikovs and killing two women and three children. The four-month-old Hamza was sleeping in his cradle when he was killed.

On May 10th, 1988, the PKK killed 15 Kurdish civilians in the Nusaybin district of Mardin, not sparing the lives of six children. One of the female babies was slain as she slept in her cradle.

On July 9th, 1989, PKK terrorists attacking the village of Kırım in Diyarbakir also killed a three-year-old girl.

On June 10th, 1990, the PKK killed 27 civilians in an attack on the village of Çevrimli in Şırnak. Eleven of the 27 killed by the terrorists were children.

On August 19th, 1992, the PKK attacked civilians in Lice district of Diyarbakır and raked a baby in its crib with machine guns.

On October 22nd, 1993, women and children in Siirt were again the target of the PKK that killed 22 of our Kurdish citizens. Thirteen children and nine women were savagely slaughtered in the attack.

PKK terrorists attacking the village of Atabinen in Van on July 24th, 1994, again targeted women and children. The PKK murdered six women in their beds, and three babies sleeping alongside their mothers.

As it is clearly seen, PKK leader Öcalan is given the name “baby killer” not as a result of hypothetical assumptions but concrete examples. This violence, of which we have cited just a few examples here, worsened increasingly. In the 1980s and 1990s, backed by the secret state structuring (the Ergenekon Terror Organization), the PKK became the dominant force among the Kurds due to its use of violence.

The number of people who lost their lives due to PKK terror in Turkey exceeds 40,000. In addition to martyred Turkish troops, police officers, teachers and other state officials, the great majority of those 40,000 were Kurds. In short, the PKK that has martyred tens of thousands of Kurds in terror attacks is one of the greatest enemies of the Kurds in the entire region. The Kurdish people are longing for the day when they will finally be rid of the scourge of the PKK.

The Dark Face of Communist Terror: Executions within the Organization

One of the common features of all communist leaders, such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, is their ruthless attitude towards their opponents. The histories of communist countries are replete millions of people sent to prison camps for thinking differently than their leaders, tens of thousands of people ruthlessly slaughtered, political assassinations and tortured before people’s eyes in the middle of the streets. The past of Öcalan, who regards himself as the Lenin of the 21st Century, is equally stained with the blood of thousands of his opponents among which there are many of his comrades he set out together with.

According to Öcalan’s own court statements and the statements of PKK leaders and of people who have left the organization, the number of people executed within the group is somewhere between 15,000 and 17,000. Some of these people were buried alive and shot in the head, some were shot alongside their families and others had acid poured over them. What is more, these murders were published with pride by pro-PKK press organs, saying that ‘spies had received their due punishment.’

Aytekin Yılmaz, who spent 10 years in prison for membership in the PKK, describes how such executions within the organization were celebrated by members of the PKK, in his book, ‘To Kill a Comrade,’ :

“I saw such incidents being celebrated by dancing the halay in two different occasions. The first was when guerrillas (PKK members) attacked a police station and killed 20-30 troops in the 1990s. It seemed very terrible to me. The second dance was  after killing their own comrades.”

Some of these ruthless killings are as follows:

The way that Haki Karer from Ordu, one of the founders of the PKK, came to prominence from time to time disturbed Öcalan. He was suspiciously killed in a coffee house in Gaziantep on May 18th, 1977.

Çetin Güngör, PKK representative for Europe, criticized the leadership at a congress of the organization. He was killed in Stockholm in 1984 on the pretext of being a spy.

Mehmet Çimen, code-named Ali Riza, was arrested during the  September 12th military coup and released after spending 11 years in Diyarbakir prison. He then had a falling out with senior figures in the organization in Germany. He was summoned to Syria, where he was killed by having acid poured over him in a bathtub.

Yıldırım Merkit, one of the founders of the organization and the responsible for the Erzincan-Tunceli area, was denounced as a coconspirator and a spy. He was shot to death in Romania in an armed assault.

Kani Yılmaz (Faysal Dumlayıcı), who was involved in every step of the foundation of the PKK, was declared responsible for the failure to find a place for Öcalan in Europe when he was arrested. He was killed in a car bombing by two PKK agents on February 10th , 2006.

Mehmet Şener, who rose as high as PKK Deputy Secretary General, was denounced as a spy and shot to death by two shooters. (Mehmet Şener was the fiancé of Sakine Cansız, who was killed in Paris.)

Ali Ömürcan, another founding member of the PKK, was questioned and condemned to death by Cemil Bayık in Lebanon.

Halil Kaya, who was promoted to First Deputy Secretary-General at the Third PKK Congress , was shot to death as per the instructions ofÖcalan.

Some 17,000 people have been killed in that way. Most of these killings took their places in  history as unsolved murders although everyone knew who really committed them. For instance, in an indictment drawn up in Germany in 1986, the prosecutor went on record saying that these killings were ordered by Öcalan.

İsmail Beşikçi, an important figure in the Turkish left wing who spent some 18 years in prison, describes the position of the thousands killed by the PKK and their relatives:

“There are hundreds of executions like that of Mehmet Şener within the PKK… People whose daughters and sons are executed by the PKK at the hands of their friends are buried in silence, completely detached of life. There is no authority for these families to apply to. The PKK makes much use of the word ‘democratic’ in the names of organizations and in its talk and writings. Making use of this word intensely they are meaning to give the impression that they are democratic. Frequently referring to a democratic nature, a democratic country, democratic autonomy, etc. does not make you a democrat. There is only one criterion for being a democrat and that is freedom of speech. You cannot be a democrat or democratic without putting freedom of speech in practice.”

As it is seen, members of the PKK are sufficiently immoral as to be capable of killing their friends without batting an eye. And no organization with such a mindset can possibly build a ‘democratic’ and ‘ecological’ system that ‘values women.’  The only system the PKK can establish is a soulless, ruthless and despotic one, like North Korea.

The PKK Is Not a Secular Structure the USA and Europe Can Trust, but is a Communist Terror Organization That Wishes to Drown the World in Blood.

One of the propaganda notions that have been heard frequently in recent times is the nonsense that “The PKK is the only democratic and secular organization in the region that the West can trust.” We have seen above the examples of how, far from being democratic, the PKK responds to the slightest breath of criticism by killing those who criticize it. The claim that the PKK is ‘secular’ is one deliberately intended to create sympathy for the PKK among Western peoples; they thus intend to give the West the impression that, “We are the only people who resemble you and are capable of opposing extremist, radical Islamic organizations.” The fact is that the PKK is not secular at all. It is the enemy of religion. It is not only inimical to Islam, but also to Christianity and Judaism. Secularism bestows freedom of worship and belief to people and it is described in the most accurate way in the Qur’an. According to the Qur’an, everyone is free to believe and live as he chooses. Under the system stipulated by the PKK, however, everyone is forced to live under Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist dogma.

Öcalan is someone who says, “I represent 21st Century socialism in the same way that Lenin did in 1900, and I am building the new socialism by fighting for real socialism and against imperialism.”[1] He described the path he has determined for the PKK as follows: “MARXIST-LENINIST THEORY MUST BE WELL ABSORBED. The leadership cadres must make frequent reference to Marxism and must absorb this teaching in order to create the first step in the implementation of Marxism …”

Some commentators imagine that the PKK has now renounced its Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist ideology. The fact is, however, that “One step forward, two steps back” is one of the main tactics that Lenin taught his followers, and one that the PKK is implementing now. Öcalan said the followings in his message on the 13th anniversary of the foundation of the PKK:

“We give the best reply to those who say, ‘Socialism has collapsed, communism has collapsed,’ by saying, ‘On the contrary, THE MOST POWERFUL, ACCURATE AND LOFTY FORM OF COMMUNISM HAS BEEN REALIZED IN THE PKK’.”

The fact that the organization has removed the hammer and sickle symbol from its so-called flag does not alter the fact that the PKK is a communist terror organization. Every young person who heads off to the mountains receives months of Marxist-Leninist ideological teaching before learning how to shoot. Traces of that education can easily be seen in the language used by members of the organization and the global ideal they describe.

Ignoring this concrete reality will result in a loss of foresight and in serious errors. The PKK is currently following a policy of self-interest and seeking to present itself in the best possible light to the West in order to attract the support it hopes for, and some sections of the Western society regard the PKK as a useful tool for their own ends. However, the cost of strengthening a communist organization for the sake of using it as a tool needs to be cautiously considered. Arming a group that espouses violence, no matter what its ideology and beliefs are, prepares the ground for those weapons to be turned in an unforeseen direction at a later date. The weapons in the hands of the PKK will help the establishment of a communist Kurdish state in the region, and its gradually swallowing up of  the entire region. The price for building a new North Korea in the most sensitive part of the world, while at the same time trying to neutralize North Korea in Asia, will be very high. If an ideal model for the Middle East is to be sought, that is Turkey, with its 90 years of stability, lofty conscience and the efforts it has made on the road to EU membership. It is certainly not the PKK, which has sent tens of thousands of young people to their deaths.

The PKK Did Not Renounce Violence

Those who do not closely follow events in Turkey, or who assess incidents in a biased manner, are under the false impression that the PKK has renounced violence. It is true that the Turkish government is engaged in a peace process intended to put an end to terror; however, it is not true that the PKK has halted acts of violence during this process. The terrorist acts of the PKK have continued even after the start of the peace process. One hundred fifty-four actions are known to have been carried out until June 2013. These include blocking roads and opening fire on security officials trying to open the roads, the burning of workplaces and equipment, carrying out armed attacks against hydroelectric stations, police stations and police vehicles, detonating mines, burning down schools, racketeering and kidnapping workers, teachers, prosecutors and soldiers:[2] Indeed, there has been a significant increase in such actions since June 2014.

In the beginning of October, the PKK attempted to devastate all of Turkey within two days. During this uprising, known as the Events of October 6th-8th, acts of anarchy broke out in 35 cities. Forty people lost their lives; two security officials were martyred. 221 civilians and 139 security officials were injured; a total of 1,113 buildings were damaged or destroyed, including two hundred and twelve school buildings, 67 security buildings, 25 district governor offices, twenty nine party buildings, and another 780 buildings such as nurseries, Red Crescent blood donor centers and municipal offices. Private vehicles, municipal vehicles, ambulances and police vehicles were burned, and a total of 1,117 vehicles were made unusable during these acts of violence.

The spirit of anger and hatred in the PKK militants was exposed clearly in the autopsy reports of a number of 17-year-olds who were lynched in the street during this uprising. [3] Dozens of knife and bullet wounds and signs of trauma were identified on their bodies. One person was thrown off the third storey of a building, the corpse of one had been burnt and one had his throat cut. It is a violation of good conscience on the part of those who object to ISIL’s beheading people to then ignore PKK’s lynching of 17-year-olds and then throwing them off from the building and then burning them and then having their throats cut. Those people who claim that the PKK has renounced violence need to know that this will make them accomplices in future acts of violence conducted by the PKK.

Those people who claim that the PKK should be given arms and those who are putting pressure on Turkey for that to happen need to consider the following: How would America have responded if al-Qaeda had staged protests in U.S. states, burning buildings in New York, for instance, firing guns all around and killing American police officers?  It is as illogical to ask Turkey ‘Why are you not helping the PYD/PKK?’ as it would be to ask the U.S. ‘Why are you not helping al-Qaeda?’

Besides, ninety-nine percent of the population of Kobane is now in Turkey (approximately 192,000 Kurds from Kobane). All civilians are   out of the scene of the fighting and have been rescued by Turkey. Injured members of the PYD are still being treated in Turkey. The Suruj Public Hospital is entirely given over to helping injured people from Kobane. Turkey has sent hundreds of aid trucks to Kobane since the fighting began. Turkey, by providing medical treatment for people who declared Turkey as an enemy, for an organization that points guns at it just because they are injured, has become a role model for the entire world with its unique sense of justice, mercy and protectiveness. It is wrong to try and hold Turkey under pressure with inconceivable logics, when Turkey should be supported and thanked in this respect.

The PYD and PKK Are Not Independent of One Another 

The examples of PKK violence cited here presage the kind of system that the PYD wishes to establish in northern Syria. Contrary to what those people who say the PYD and the PKK are independent entities may say, the PYD is an outright extension of the PKK. The Co-Chairman of the PYD, Salih Müslim, is one of those people who were trained alongside Öcalan. All PYD meetings are adorned by posters of Öcalan. The education given to young men and women in the so-called academies established in northern Syria is “the ideology of Öcalan.” Öcalan is also the one who defines all domestic and foreign strategies of the PYD.

Just like the PKK did in its early years, the PYD strengthened its organization in the Northern Syria by annihilating rival Kurdish groups. It either detained supporters of Barzani and other people holding different ideas than its own, or drove them away or killed them. The PYD opened fire on civilians  protesting against its oppression. Because of the repressive policies of the PYD against the Kurdish people, many of them left their homes and fled to northern Iraq long before the threat of ISIL ever appeared. One of the first groups of refugees that reached Turkey from Syria was made up of Kurds fleeing the evil of the PYD. The despotic attitude of the PYD toward the populace and those opposed to it is described in great detail in reports by Human Rights Watch and Crisis Group. Political assassinations, murders and torture all show the bloody and painful nature of the world of which the PYD envisages.


In determining its strategy against ISIL, the U.S. does not have to choose between the lesser of two evils. It is possible to neutralize all evils, without harming anyone, by adopting a rational and proper approach. It is impossible in military, political and sociological terms for the PKK to cope with ISIL. The PKK acts in the light of a Marxist-Leninist and Stalinist ideology that is totally foreign to the values of the region. Its influence in the region is based on the violence and coercion it executes. As for ISIL, it has an ideological structure that can be influential in the region, even if it is incompatible with the Qur’an. The only effective solution against this is to tell the peoples of the region of the errors in ISIL’s way of thinking; in other words, to explain the truth of the Qur’an in the face of the nonsense added on to Islam at a much later date.

While planning to eliminate ISIL;

·             Abandoning the people of the region to the mercy of a Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist organization such as the PKK/PYD,

·             Raining bombs down from the sky,

·             Trying to put an end to deaths with other deaths, and

·             Laying the foundations for Turkey to be broken up


all mean many more decades of turmoil in the Middle East.


Such turmoil could very well swallow up, not just the Middle East, but the entire world. Neither the U.S., nor Canada nor Europe would have any peace in their own lands. In order to prevent such a tragedy;

·             There must be absolute opposition to all forms of violence,

·             Strategies leading to the strengthening of the PKK and its extensions must be strictly avoided,

·             An intellectual campaign against the ideology of ISIL must be initiated without delay,

·             The idea of seeking a solution through violence must be completely abandoned,

·             And most important of all, the right person to wage that campaign in the most effective manner must be found. [4]

[1] Özgür Yaşamla Diyaloglar, p. 201