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Murat Karayılan, commander of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant wing known as the People’s Defence Forces, spoke about the current developments in eastern Turkey and neighbouring Kurdish-inhabited regions on a special program on Stêrk TV on Sunday evening.

Karayılan has led the PKK since the capture of Abdullah Öcalan in 1999 by Turkish intelligence agents in Kenya.

The PKK were established in 1978 with the aim of creating an independent Kurdistan in eastern Turkey, and is thus designated as a terrorist organisation by Ankara. In this struggle, over 40,000 people have been killed, mostly Kurdish civilians.

ANF News published some excerpts from the broadcast with Karayılan.

Karayılan during the broadcast said that the Turkish state aims to commit genocide against the Kurdish people and that “the Kurds are intended to be prevented from having their own identity.”

He then highlights that “there is also a covert strategy” by Turkey to recreate the Ottoman Empire.

“The time of cooperation with Turkey is definitely over, because the Turkish state carries out one attack after another,” he said, adding that “no one should be fooled into using the PKK as a justification.”

The PKK commander highlighted that in the area that ISIS committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq, the Turkish air force is now bombing the very same region.

Karayılan then asked that tourists from Europe, including Russia, do not go to Turkey for tourism because Ankara is “conducting a genocide policy against the people of Kurdistan.”

“The money that tourists spend in Turkey becomes a bullet directed against the Kurdish people. That is why they should not come to Turkey,” he explained.

He then warns that because Turkey is an active war zone, tourists could be at risk.

“I’m not saying that we will target them [tourists], but there is a war going on here. If they come into the war zone and suffer damage, we cannot take responsibility,”  Karayılan emphasised.

“This country is at war with our people and we are legitimately resisting it,” he concluded.

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