PKK Commander: New Ceasefire With Turkey Must Be Mutual

Accuses Erdogan Govt of Starting War to Gain Votes

Speaking today in an interview to a pro-Kurdish news agency, PKK field commander Murat Karayilan rejected Turkish demands that they declare a unilateral ceasefire, saying any return to a state of ceasefire would have to be mutual.

Turkish officials are demanding that before they will consider any ceasefire, the PKK totally disarm and all their fighters relocate to camps in Northern Iraq. Since Turkey launched strikes against PKK camps inside Iraq to end the last ceasefire, this appears to be a non-starter.

Karayilan says that he believes that the ruling Erdogan government started the war largely in an effort to try to gain votes for themselves and to drive down the pro-Kurdish opposition HDP, trying to drop them below the 10% threshold needed for seats in the Turkish parliament.

The HDP had gained 10% for the first time in the June vote, leaving the ruling AKP short of the majority needed to form a government. After unsuccessfully courting the overtly racist MHP, they scheduled new elections for early November.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.