Tag: PKK

Unheeded Warnings and Turkey’s Multiple Wars

Turkish columnist Cengiz Candar bewails Turkey’s wrong-headed Syria policy and expresses the consensus view that involvement in Syria’s civil war has destabilised his country.

Candar, along with Amberin Zaman and Kadri Gursel, who are also columnists in al-Monitor, are among rare Turkish commentators who can view the events in Turkey from a western perspective and report with little fear or favour.

His article begins with the final paragraph of Turkish author Elif Shafak’s piece in the Guardian post-Reina club attack:

Continue reading “Unheeded Warnings and Turkey’s Multiple Wars”


A divided PKK

yahia alselo pkk


Here is an interesting cartoon that highlights something that is neither seen nor discussed both by the PKK supporters as well as its opponents: the PKK is a confused and divided organisation. Although they all seem to work together in concert, one side destroys what the other side builds.

It can’t be an accident that the cartoonist Yahya Alselo has shown the YPG, YPJ and one of PKK’s charismatic leaders Murat Karayilan on the side that builds something, while other unpopular leaders Cemil Bayik, Duran Kalkan and the PYD’s Salih Muslum are those who destroy it.

It has long been my argument that within the PKK there are two factions, even though they both profess to follow the teachings of the great dear leader Abdullah Ocalan who is imprisoned on a Turkish island.

One faction, led by Karayilan, is more nationalistic, pragmatic and is close to the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq, while the other faction, led by Cemil Bayik, is still old-fashioned communist, dogmatic and is closer to whoever they can take advantage of, which is lately Baghdad, Tehran and Moscow.

I have long copped a lot of flak from friends who support and oppose the PKK for my arguments that it is not a monolithic organisation and that within there are differences of opinion that might well end in open armed conflict, especially if Kurdistan Regional Government declares independence.