Turkey- Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) History
According to Songun, ever since the Turkey Kurdistan Worker’s Party was established in the 1920’s they have had ongoing conflict with the Turkish Government. The formation of the PKK was due to the establishment of the Turkish Republic. Problems arose because of the Turkish Republic’s secular changes, where they emphasized more of the Turkish identity and language which lead the Kurds to break away and try to create their own Kurdish state. At first, this didn’t prove many problems because the Turkish militiary was able to sustain their actions until around 1984. In 1984, the PKK began armed attacks directed by Ocalan from his based located in Syria.
The President at the time Turgut Ozal began trying to negotiate with leaders of the PKK and finally they were able to create a cease fire, which came to an end quicker than they perceived due to the death of the president from a heart attack. Despite the push towards a positive, peaceful relationship that was occurring before the death of the president, things began to move backwards. The following years continued on just as it had been before the president passed away, with continuous struggle between the two parties. In 1933, Ocalan was captured and sentenced to a lifetime in prison which was thought to put a stop to the PKK, but it did not.
The PKK and Turkish Government Today
According to Sly, the Turkish military attacked the Kurdish members of the PKK on Tuesday October 14th, which was the first time they had attacked in around two years. This attack only escalated the problems between the Turkish Government and the current members of the PKK and other Kurdish citizens in Turkey. The disagreements that were in place were due to the fact that the Turkish government were denying the Kurds of any assistance in protecting the town of Kobane against the Islamic State militant group.
Without help from the Turkish government the United States has stepped in and has been sending airstrikes into Kobane to accompany the Kurds against their fight to retain control over the city. So not only is Kobane being bombed by the United States to help the Kurds, Kobane is also being bombed by Turkey’s government to drive the Kurds out along with the Islamic State. Around twenty one airstrikes were carried out by the United States on Tuesday, which proved to have a positive impact for the Kurds because they were able to recapture a strategic hill that they had lost control of some time ago.
The denial of help from the Turkish government has led to many inner problems between Turkey and surrounding countries. The Kurds have begun protesting across the world and there has been attacks between both the government of Turkey, the Kurds, and members of the PKK. Different Kurdish factions from surrounding countries have been meeting to discuss ways to calm down the turmoil that was occurring are trying to persuade the Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD) that looks over the Turkish PKK that is in Korane to work along side the Kurdish National Council. So the Kurdish people are all trying to band together within Turkey and other countries but it is proving unsuccessful due to previous differences, while the Turkish government is threatening to not let support reach the Kurds in Kobane if PYD and the Kurdish National Council band together.
Not only is the country of Turkey being attacked and in jeopardy of being taken over by ISIL, but they are having an internal disputes with their Kurdish people. They have denied them help in fighting against ISIL and have now turned to fighting against both ISIL and the PKK, trying to decimate both organizations rather than joining together against one specific group.