PKK moving for de-facto autonomy in Dersim
PKK moving for de-facto autonomy in Dersim –
PKK militants manning a checkpoint n Dersim.
NOW – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in recent days has moved to establish autonomous zones in southeast Turkey, raising fears among the ranks of the country’s security services.
In a dramatic escalation of its conflict with Turkey, the PKK on Tuesday announced it had formed an autonomous administration in the country’s remote eastern Tunceli province (Dersim in Kurdish).
Iraqi Kurdish outlet Rudaw News ran a report on the move, which the PKK heralded with a video showing its militants running a checkpoint in the mountainous region.
“We as guerrillas, under the right of self-defense for ourselves and our nation, declare democratic autonomy in Dersim,” Rudaw quoted one of the fighters in the video as saying.
In a similar move, Kurdish politicians in the Silvan district of Diyarbakir and Batman province issued statements on August 15 declaring autonomy.
The declarations comes as part of a series of statements made by officials in the Democratic Regions Party—a Kurdish organization sympathetic to the PKK— declaring autonomy in areas of southeastern Turkey starting on August 10.
The decades old Kurdish-Turkish conflict reignited several weeks ago, when the PKK announced its ceasefire with Ankara—in effect since 2012—was over, following the bombing of a number of PKK sites by Turkey as part of its two-pronged offensive against the Kurdish group and ISIS.
The PKK has killed a number of Turkish security forces members since in hit-and-run ambushes as well as bombings. Meanwhile, Turkey’s bombing campaign against PKK sites, including ones in northern Iraq’s Qandil Mountains, has continued unabated.
On July 27, a top PKK official said that his party—which was formed in 1978 and launched an insurgency against Turkey in 1984—was once again backing a move toward establishing autonomous regions.
“Our struggle should not remain contented with inflicting blows on [Turkey’s ruling] AK [Party] and exposing it, it should be grounded on the building of democratic self-administration,” PKK executive committee member Duran Kalkan told Kurdish TV MED NUCE.
Turkish forces move to quash autonomy
On Wednesday, Turkey’s state-controlled Anadolu Agency published parts of a security forces report which announced that a hard handed military campaign would stop efforts by the PKK to set up a self-ruled area in southeastern parts of the country.
Citing from the report, the agency said that “continuation of decisive security operations will be able to obstruct the path of [the PKK’s] goals.”
“The organization is planning, in what it has declared ‘self-rule’ areas, to increase actions aiming at preventing the entry of security forces and taking control, such as digging trenches and setting up ambushes.”
The report added that the PKK was trying, with the help of groups that support it, to “implement procedures [that will let it] control [movement in and out of] those areas, in order to give the impression that it actually controls them.”
The Turkish security report went on to say that “operations… in the past two days in several districts have given rise to a state of great panic and confusion among the [PKK’s] leaders.”
“They have pushed a large number of their terrorists into the field and ordered them to launch attacks regardless of whether they have experience or not,” the bombastic report further claimed.
“This is in spite of their awareness that they will be in a tough position if security operations continue.”