The PKK: Who, What and Why

“We reached the point where weapons should go silent and ideas speak.”

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)

The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is a Kurdish militant organization which fought from 1984-2013 against Turkey during its unsuccessful struggle for independence and quest to create Kurdistan, a state which would unite the thirty or so million Kurds throughout Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Iraq who make up the world’s largest stateless population. This bloody struggle which has killed over 40,000 people “ended” on March 21 2013, when Öcalan, the captured leader of the Kurds, declared a ceasefire and with it a new goal for the Kurds: a peaceful fight for some sort of autonomy within Turkey instead of its own state (Kurdistan). “We reached the point where weapons should go silent and ideas speak,” Öcalan exclaimed, beginning a ceasefire that lasted until just last week when Turkish warplanes bombed Kurdish PKK rebels near the Iraqi border. The Kurds, who have faced unimaginable oppression and maltreatment throughout recent history are currently extremely angry at Turkey for not helping to save Kobane, not arming them against IS, and not allowing them to fight alongside their Kurdish brothers just across the border in Syria and Iraq. The brutal history between the Kurds and Turkey has created a rough road which they must now navigate together as they struggle to unite against IS.

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