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News > World

PKK Leader Warns of 'Heavy Price' amid Turkey's Attack on Kurds

  • PKK fighters prepare for a fight against the Islamic State group.

    PKK fighters prepare for a fight against the Islamic State group. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 August 2015

The Kurdish leader said the Turkish government falsely accused the PKK of killing two policemen in order to justify its attack.

A senior Kurdish leader in the Kurdistan's Workers’ Party, or PKK, said Friday that Turkey would pay a “heavy price” for its operation against the Kurdish rebels.

"We are waging a battle of the wills," PKK's northern Iraq-based leader Murat Karayilan told the Firat news agency. "We are experienced and we know very well what to do. They made a very big mistake by attacking us ... They will pay a very heavy price for that."

Karayilan maintained that his group was still committed to peace and to the message of the PKK's leader Abdullah Ocalan who called for peace talks and a ceasefire with the Turkish government in 2013.

However, he argued that the ruling AK Party had ended the cease-fire after falsely accusing the PKK of killing two police men in the country’s Southeast.

RELATED: A History of the Turkish-Kurdish Conflict

“AKP ended the cease-fire by attacking us on the excuse of the killing in Ceylanpınar of two policemen by a group not precisely affiliated to us,” he said.

Karayilan, who is considered to be the PKK's overall leader in the absence of Ocalan, further accused the Turkish state for last month's suicide attack in the southern town of Sunuc, which claimed the lives of the 32 young Kurdish activists.

“AKP never stopped the war since 2013. We declared a cease-fire in North Kurdistan but AKP attacked Kurds in Rojava and declared a war against them over ISIS [The Islamic State group],” said Karayilan.

Commenting on the remarks that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently made about “ending” the PKK, the top guerrilla leader said "there is an attack being waged on us, with the other side intending to ‘destroy’ us.”

RELATED: Kurdish Women’s Radical Self-Defense: Armed and Political

“We are defending ourselves. Our fight continues in a planned and controlled way. I need to state that we haven't put a war plan into effect yet. We are just conducting retaliatory actions,” he added.

Turkish security forces have arrested more than 1,700 suspects since late last month in police raids nationwide targeting suspected members of the PKK, the Islamic State group and the Marxist Revolutionary People's Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C), reported state-run Anadolu news agency.

The PKK rebelled against the Turkish state 30 years ago demanding Kurdish self-rule and greater rights for the Kurds. The Turkish state responded with major crackdown on the group and any Kurd who was affiliated with it.

Karayilan said that if it had not been for the PKK, “there would be no Kurdishness left today. Our people would suffer the most merciless massacres.”

RELATED: 8 Key Facts About the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party)

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