Sakık: Iran took weapons back after PKK declared cease-fire
In this file photo, ex-PKK commander Şemdin Sakık is seen in court. He is currently being held in prison. (Photo: AA)
Şemdin Sakık, a former commander of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has claimed that Iran took the weapons it had given to the terrorist group to support its fight against the Turkish military after the group declared a cease-fire in 1993 in a recent testimony to a civilian prosecutor in Diyarbakır.
Sakık told the prosecutor that he would provide him with information which he had kept secret for 19 years. “Iran said that it had given us [the PKK] the weapons to hit [Turkey]. It decided to take the weapons back after we declared a cease-fire in 1993,” the ex-terrorist commander reportedly said.
Sakık is currently in prison in Diyarbakır. He was captured in northern Iraq 14 years ago and brought to Turkey, where he was sentenced to life for terrorism-related crimes.
Sakık said he had realized that a large number of weapons were missing as he was controlling a list of arms and explosives the terrorist group possessed when he served as a PKK commander responsible for the group’s activities in the eastern province of Ağrı. The ex-terrorist commander asked his aide about the missing weapons, and he learned that Iran had reclaimed the weapons it had given to the PKK after the cease-fire. “The man [my aide] told me that the weapons were not missing. He said Iran had given us the weapons to fight against Turkey. And the Iranian administration decided to take them back when the PKK declared a cease-fire, saying that we would not need the weapons any longer,” Sakık asserted.
The PKK declared a cease-fire in 1993 in response to efforts by then President Turgut Özal to establish a dialogue with the PKK to solve the Kurdish question. However, the cease-fire ended when a group of 150 PKK terrorists blocked the Elazığ-Bingöl road, stopping several buses transferring unarmed Turkish soldiers in civilian clothing on May 24, 1993. The terrorists dragged the soldiers from their vehicles and executed them.
Sakık also claimed that he had been detained in Iran once, but was immediately released after officials who detained him learned that he was working for the terrorist PKK. “[Now-jailed PKK leader Abdullah] Öcalan told me that he was sending me to a very important post in Iran. He said his men would help me arrive in Iran and assume the new post. Some men who knew Öcalan helped me get on the plane from Damascus. I landed in Tehran. They [Öcalan’s men] had given me a piece of paper which included the name and phone number of a man [who would help me in Iran]. They [the Iranian security forces] were suspicious when they realized that I did not speak Persian at the airport. They took me into custody. I gave them the piece of paper, and they called the man whose phone number appeared on the paper. And they immediately set me free. If I am not mistaken, the man whose name and number appeared on the paper was a senior member of the Iranian intelligence service,” he said.
The former PKK commander also claimed that Iran and Syria normally adopt the same position in relation to the terrorist group. “Whenever Syria opens its arms to the PKK, Iran does the same. The two counties adopt the same position regarding the PKK,” he said. According to Sakık, many PKK terrorist are currently hiding out in the mountains around Ağrı. The members prefer to arrive to those mountains from the terrorist base in Kandil by bus as it takes around three months to walk between the two locations. “Trucks going to Kandil bring many PKK members near Ağrı on their way back to Turkey,” he said.
PKK uneasy about intra-party talks over Kurdish question
Recent developments suggest that a meeting between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for a solution to the decades-old Kurdish question has caused unease within the terrorist PKK.
Senior PKK commander Cemil Bayık spoke to the pro-PKK Yeni Özgür Politika newspaper this week, and said the meeting was a political maneuver to stall the Kurdish population in Turkey and urge the PKK to retreat from its fight against the Turkish military. Bayık called on supporters of the terrorist group not to be “deceived” by the meeting, and respond to the meeting with “resistance.”
“The Kurdish question cannot be settled unless Kurds are regarded as a political power, and our demand for a democratic autonomy is not accepted [by Turkey]. The new policy of the Turkish state is to stall Kurds on the one hand, and on the other, make Kurds accept its own policy [against Kurds]. [Deputy Prime Minister] Beşir Atalay revealed the new policy when he made mention of the government’s plan to make the PKK lay down arms and make the Kurdish language an elective course in schools. This is what they plan to circumvent our demand for Kurdish to be taught in schools as a mother tongue. … The government is trying to create an atmosphere that something will be done for the settlement of the Kurdish question. No one can talk about a settlement under such circumstances. We can only talk about a struggle against AK Party policies and the stepping up of the struggle against those policies. We should not think about anything other than responding to AK Party’s attacks with resistance,” the newspaper quoted Bayık as saying.
In the meantime, Turkish security forces killed three PKK terrorists on Monday, including two women, in an armed fight in an urban area in the Çukurca district of eastern Hakkari province. A statement released by the Hakkari Governor’s Office said an armed fight erupted between security forces and PKK terrorists early in the day. The fight resulted in the killing of three PKK members. Security forces also seized a few weapons, walkie-talkies and documents belonging to the terrorist group from the dead terrorists.