The Turkish original of this article was published as PKK’nın Cizre planı on 11th September 2015.
Şırnak province’s Cizre town, which is the county seat, has been under curfew since 4th September [it was due to end at 07:00 a.m. today, 12th September — tr. note] There is nothing heartening about the news. Many seem to be dead and wounded. Hence, too, the public has become curious about what is going on in Cizre. The regional sources that I have been able to reach all point to 12th August and various statements by Cizre Mayor [Ms] Leyla İmret. These recent incidents appear to have begun with the PKK’s 12th August declaration of “self-government” in Cizre. Ditches were dug across roads and streets; quarters were barricaded; YDG-H militants said to be numbering in the hundreds launched a rebellion. Armed with guns, RPGs, mines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices), they virtually took and held the county seat hostage.
It has fallen to Mayor Leyla İmret to explain the aims and objectives of the armed militants that established themselves in Cizre: “We are waging a civil war in Cizre against Turkey.” In her statement to the British media, she defines Cizre as “the focal point of the civil war [they] have launched against Turkey.” The HDP mayor is not even trying to hide the fact that they are engaged in starting a civil war intended to spread from Cizre to the Southeast and all Turkey.
* * *
Yes, after proclaiming “self-government” in Cizre as of 12th August, the PKK deployed around 200 armed YPG-H militants to the county. It fed them a steady diet of the legend of Kobane, and imposed a task on them of “defending the town through force of arms come what may.” The PKK wanted to fashion Cizre into another Kobane. But things did not go according to plan. The government imposed a curfew in order to isolate and nullify all armed elements one by one. And this approach prevented the PKK from becoming effective. The previous day one of their local leaders phoned a PKK-related television channel to cry as he described the latest situation in Cizre during a live broadcast: “There are 200 armed youth in the city, and if the state keeps coming at them they may all die, somehow the organization has to stop this.”
This conversation also reflects how the PKK is leading all the young people that it has armed to their death. Having armed and mobilized numbers of youth through myths and legends of “autonomy,” “self-government,” or “the Kobane resistance,” Kandil was counting on having them slaughtered by the state at Cizre in order to spread the flames of civil war throughout the Southeast. As a result of the terror unleashed by the PKK, the HDP’s own provocations, and the MHP’s contribution, this fire has shown signs of jumping to the west. There have been various acts of aggression against the Kurds in Turkey’s western provinces. Despite the government’s sensible efforts, the PKK and the HDP are still persisting in trying to plunge Turkey into civil war.
* * *
The Kurds, however, have not been supportive of the PKK’s attempts to launch a civil war. It is perhaps for the very first time that the Kurds have been able to see, up close and personal, the extent to which it is the PKK and the HDP that are responsible for turning life in the Southeast into pure hell. There is not a single count on which the PKK can claim to be right in its present war against the state. The people of the region have once more clearly seen that it is the PKK that has put paid to the potential for peace.
In the face of all the PKK’s attacks, the government has been able to get its act together however belatedly. The state has begun to bring its power and determination to bear on the organization. Interior Minister Selami Altınok held a press conference yesterday [10th September] to inform the public of Cizre-related developments. Noting that Cizre was still under curfew, Mr Altınok said that so far, 800 kilos of explosives, 21 RPGs, and some dozens of assault rifles had been captured. He emphasized that no civilians had been harmed during the operation.
Of course the state has to take extra care to prevent further loss of life in Cizre. The PKK is trying to get as many young people as possible killed by the security forces in order to open impossible to heal wounds between state and nation. The government must not fall into this trap.
Let us now come to the most crucial question of all: In whose name or on behalf of what forces is the PKK trying to plunge Turkey into civil war? Why is Kandil after destroying all Turkish-Kurdish brotherhood? It is high time for political and media groups, too, that have been aiding and abetting the PKK and the HDP in fomenting civil war to start asking these questions.