Kurdistan Workers' Party
From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
|Leaders||Abdullah Öcalan (POW) |
|Paramilitary wings|| People's Defence Forces (HPG)|
Free Women's Units (YJA-STAR)
Civil Defense Units (YPS)
|National affiliation||Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement (HBDH)|
|International affiliation||Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK)|
|Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)|
|Active regions||Throughout Greater Kurdistan (Kurdish-majority regions in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.)|
|Size||5,000 (estimate)[note 1]|
|Battles and wars||Kurdish-Turkish conflict|
Iraqi Kurdish Civil War
Syrian Civil War
2017 Iraqi-Kurdish conflict
1982 Lebanon War
The Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK (Kurmanji Kurdish: Partîya Karkerên Kurdistanê[a]) is a Kurdish militant political organization and armed guerrilla movement, which has historically operated throughout Greater Kurdistan, but is now primarily based in the mountainous Kurdish-majority regions of southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq. Since 1984, the PKK has been involved in the Kurdish–Turkish conflict (with cease-fires in 1999–2004 and 2013–2015), utilizing asymmetric warfare to seek various goals, including an independent Kurdish state, autonomy and increased human rights for Kurds within Turkey.
The PKK was founded in November 1978 in the village of Fis (near Lice), by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan. Öcalan was elected the General Secretary and Kemal Pir, Cemîl Bayik, and Mazlum Doğan were part of the Central Committee. It announced its existence the following year. The PKK's ideology was originally a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Marxism-Leninism with Kurdish nationalism, seeking the foundation of an independent communist Kurdistan. The initial reasons given by the PKK for this were the oppression of Kurds in Turkey and under capitalism. At this time, the use of the Kurdish language, dress, folklore, and names were banned by the Turkish state, including the words "Kurds" and "Kurdistan". Following the military coup of 1980, the Kurdish language was officially prohibited in public and private life. Many who spoke, published, or sang in Kurdish were arrested and imprisoned. The PKK was formed as part of a growing discontent over the suppression of Turkey's Kurds, in an effort to establish linguistic, cultural, and political rights for the Kurdish minority.
The PKK has been involved in armed clashes with Turkish security forces since its foundation, but the full-scale insurgency did not begin until 15 August 1984, when the PKK announced a Kurdish uprising. Since the conflict began, more than 40,000 people have died, most of whom were Kurdish civilians. In 1999, PKK leader Öcalan was captured and imprisoned. In May 2007, serving and former members of the PKK set up the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organisation of Kurdish organisations in Turkish, Iraqi, Iranian, and Syrian Kurdistan. In 2013, the PKK declared a ceasefire and began slowly withdrawing its fighters to Iraqi Kurdistan as part of a peace process with the Turkish state. The ceasefire broke down in July 2015. In March 2016, the PKK joined the Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement, an alliance with the aim of overthrowing the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Both the PKK and the Turkish state have been accused of engaging in terror tactics and targeting civilians. The PKK has historically bombed city centres, while Turkey has burned down thousands of Kurdish villages and massacred Kurds in an attempt to root out PKK militants. The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, the EU, Japan, Australia, and other countries. However, the labeling of the PKK as a terrorist organization is controversial; as an array of organizations, people, and NGOs contend that the PKK does not engage in organized terrorist activities, or systemically target civilians. In 2008 and in 2018 the EU court of Justice ruled the PKK was classified as a terror organization with a lack of due process. However, the EU still classifies the PKK as a terror organization. In 2020, the supreme court of Belgium ruled that the PKK was not a terrorist organization, instead labeling the group as an actor in an internal armed conflict.
In the early 1970s, the organization's core group was made up largely of students led by Abdullah Öcalan ("Apo") in Ankara. At this time, expressions of Kurdish culture, including the use of the Kurdish language, dress, folklore, and names, were banned in Turkey. In an attempt to deny their separate existence from Turkish people, the Turkish government categorized Kurds as "Mountain Turks" until 1991. Following the military coup of 1980, the Kurdish language was officially prohibited in public and private life. Many who spoke, published, or sang in Kurdish were arrested and imprisoned. The PKK was then formed, as part of a growing discontent over the suppression of Kurds in Turkey, in an effort to establish linguistic, cultural, and political rights for Turkey's Kurdish minority. The new group focused on the large oppressed Kurdish population in Turkish Kurdistan. Espousing a Marxist ideology, the group engaged in violent conflicts with right-wing Turkish nationalist groups during the political violence of the 1970s.
Following several years of preparation, the Kurdistan Workers Party was established during a foundation congress on 26 and 27 November 1978 in a rural village called Fis in Kurdish and Ziyaret in Turkish. On 27 November 1978, a central committee consisting of seven people was elected, with Abdullah Öcalan as its head. Other members were: Şahin Dönmez, Mazlûm Dogan, Baki Karer, Mehmet Hayri Durmuş, Mehmet Karasungur, Cemil Bayık. Initially the PKK concealed its existence and to the general public only announced its existence in a propaganda stunt as they attempted to assassinate a politician of the Justice Party, Mehmet Celal Bucak, in July 1979. Bucak was a Kurdish tribal leader accused by the PKK of exploiting peasants and collaborating with the Turkish state to oppress Kurds.
During the 1970s, the PKK was involved in urban warfare. PKK tactics were based on ambush, sabotage, riots, protests, and demonstrations against the Turkish government. During these years, the PKK also fought a turf war against Kurdish and Turkish radical Islamist organisations in Turkey. Turkish newspapers said that the PKK effectively used the prison force to appeal to the general population, which the PKK has denied. In Turkey, this period was characterized by violent clashes that culminated in the 1980 military coup.
The 1980 Turkish coup d'état saw the PKK to another stage, with members being executed, doing jail time, or fleeing to Syria, where they were allowed to establish bases by Hafez al-Assad. On 10 November 1980, the PKK bombed the Turkish consulate in Strasbourg, France, in a joint operation with the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, which they described as the beginning of a "fruitful collaboration" in a statement claiming responsibility. Besides, Öcalan managed to compel Qais Abd al Karim, the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), to support the military training of PKK militants in Lebanon. In the early 1980s, some 300 PKK militants were provided with education in Guerilla warfare. With time, similar agreements were met with the Fatah of Yassir Arafat or the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) of Samir Ghawshah. An alliance was also reached with Masoud Barzani's KDP, who permitted the PKK to operate in the valleys of the Lolan region in Iraqi Kurdistan close to the borders to Iran and Turkey.
From 1984, the PKK became a paramilitary group with training at camps in Turkish Kurdistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, Lebanon and France. The PKK received significant support from the Syrian government, which allowed it to maintain headquarters in Damascus, as well as some support from the governments of Iran, Iraq, and Libya. It began to launch attacks and bombings against Turkish governmental installations, the military, and various institutions of the state. The organization focused on attacks against Turkish military targets, although civilian targets were also hit.
In the second phase, which followed the return of civilian rule in 1983, escalating attacks were made on the government's military and vital institutions all over the country. The objective was to destabilize the Turkish authority through a long, low-intensity confrontation. The establishment of the Kurdistan Liberation Force (Hêzên Rizgariya Kurdistan - HRK) was announced on 15 August 1984. In addition to skirmishing with Turkish military, police forces and local village guards, the PKK has conducted bomb attacks on government and police installations. Kidnapping and assassination against government and military officials and Kurdish tribal leaders who were named as puppets of the state were performed as well. Widespread sabotages were continued from the first stage. Turkish sources had also stated that the PKK carried out kidnappings of tourists, primarily in Istanbul, but also at different resorts. However, the PKK had in its history arrested 4 tourists and released them all after warning them to not enter the war zone. The vast majority of PKK's actions have taken place mainly in Turkey against the Turkish military, although it has on occasions co-operated with other Kurdish nationalist paramilitary groups in neighboring states, such as Iraq and Iran. The PKK has also attacked Turkish diplomatic and commercial facilities across Western Europe in the late 1980s. In effect, the Turkish state has led a series of counter-insurgency operations against the PKK, accompanied by political measures, starting with an explicit denunciation of separatism in the 1982 Constitution, and including proclamation of the state of emergency in various PKK-controlled territories starting in 1983 (when the military relinquished political control to the civilians). This series of administrative reforms against terrorism included in 1985 the creation of village guard system by the then prime minister Turgut Özal.
At the Third Party Congress in October 1986, the Peoples Liberation Army of Kurdistan (Arteşa Rizgariye Gêle Kurdistan -ARGK) was founded and succeeded the HRK.
From the mid-1990s, the organization began to lose the upper hand in its operations as a consequence of a change of tactics by Turkey and Syria's steady abandonment of support for the group. The group also had lost its support from Saddam Hussein. As during the international operation Poised Hammer the collaboration between Barzani and Turkey embettered, the situation for the PKK became even more difficult, with Barzani condemning terrorist attacks by the PKK during a Newroz festival. At the same time, the Turkish government started to use more violent methods to counter Kurdish militants. From 1996 to 1999, the organization began to use suicide bombers, VBIED, and ambush attacks against military and police bases. The role of suicide bombers, especially female ones were encouraged and mythologised by giving them the status of a "goddess of freedom", and shown as role models for other women after their death. On 30 July 1996, Zeynep Kınacı, a female PKK fighter, carried out the organization's first suicide attack, killing 8 soldiers and injuring 29 others. The attacks against the civilians, especially the Kurdish citizens who refused to cooperate with them were also reported at the same years. On 20 January 1999, a report published by HRW, stated that the PKK was reported to have been responsible for more than 768 executions. The organization had also reportedly committed 25 massacres, killing more than 300 people. More than a hundred victims were children and women.
In March 1993 Öcalan, in presence of PUK leader Jalal Talabani declared a unilateral ceasefire for a month in order to facilitate peace negotiations with Turkey. At an other press conference which took place on 16 April 1993 in Bar Elias, Lebanon, the ceasefire was prolonged indefinitely. To this event, the Kurdish politicians Jamal Talabani, Ahmet Türk from the People's Labor Party (HEP) and also Kemal Burkay also attended and declared their support for the ceasefire. The ceasefire ended after the Turkish army killed 13 PKK members in Kulp, Diyarbakir province in May 1993.
The fighting and violence augmented significantly following the presidential elections of June 1993 after which Tansu Çiller was elected prime minister. In December 1995 the PKK announced another unilateral ceasefire to give a new Government an opportunity to articulate a more peaceful approach towards the conflict. The government elected in December 1995 did not initiate negotiations and kept on evacuating Kurdish populated villages. Despite the violent approach of the Government to the ceasefire, it was upheld by the PKK until August 1996. Turkey was involved in serious human rights violations during the 1990s. The ECHR has condemned Turkey for executions of Kurdish civilians, torturing, forced displacements and massive arrests.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, in an effort to win increased support from the Kurdish peasantry, the PKK altered its leftist secular ideology to better accommodate and accept Islamic beliefs. The group also abandoned its previous strategy of attacking Kurdish and Turkish civilians who were against them, focusing instead on government and military targets. In its campaign, the organization has been criticized of carrying out atrocities against both Turkish and Kurdish civilians and its actions have been criticised by human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Similar actions of the Turkish state have also been criticized by these same groups. In 1998 Turkey increased the pressure on Syria and ended its support for the PKK. The leader of the organization, Abdullah Öcalan, was captured, prosecuted and sentenced to death, but this was later commuted to life imprisonment as part of the government's seeking European Union membership.
The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Turkey for human rights abuses during the conflict. Some judgements are related to executions of Kurdish civilians, torturing, forced displacements, destroyed villages, arbitrary arrests, murdered and disappeared Kurdish journalists, activists and politicians. As a result of increasing Kurdish population and activism, the Turkish parliament began a controlled process of dismantling some anti-Kurdish legislation, using the term "normalization" or "rapprochement," depending on the sides of the issue. It partially relaxed the bans on broadcasting and publishing in the Kurdish language, although significant barriers remain. At the same time, the PKK was blacklisted in many countries. On 2 April 2004, the Council of the European Union added the PKK to its list of terrorist organizations. Later that year, the US Treasury moved to freeze assets of branches of the organization. The PKK went through a series of changes, and in 2003 it ended the unilateral truce declared when Öcalan was captured.
Cease fire 1999–2004
The third phase (1999–2012), after the capture of Öcalan, PKK reorganized itself and new leaders were chosen by its members. The organization made radical changes to survive, such as changing its ideology and setting new goals. During the 7th Party congress in January 2000, the former military wing the Peoples Liberation Army of Kurdistan (Arteşa Rizgariya Gêle Kurdistan -ARGK) was succeeded by the People's Defense Forces (Hezen Parastine Gêl - HPG) and also declared that it wanted to aim for a democratic solution for the conflict. At the same time, the PKK continued to recruit new members and sustain its fighting force.
According to Paul White, in April 2002, the PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK) and proclaimed a commitment to nonviolent activities. A PKK/KADEK spokesman stated that its armed wing, the HPG, would not disband or surrender its weapons for reasons of self-defense. This statement by the PKK/KADEK avowing it would not lay down its arms underscores that the organization maintained its capability to carry out armed operations. PKK/KADEK established a new ruling council in April, its membership virtually identical to the PKK's Presidential Council. The PKK/KADEK did not conduct an armed attack in 2002; however, the group periodically issued veiled threats that it will resume violence if the conditions of its imprisoned leader are not improved and its forces are attacked by Turkish military, and it continued its military training like before.
In November 2003, another congress was held which lead to renaming itself as the People's Congress of Kurdistan or Kongra-Gel (KGK). The stated purpose of the organizational change was to leave behind nationalistic and state-building goals, in favor of creating a political structure to work within the existing nation-states. Through further internal conflict during this period, it is reported that 1500 militants left the organization, along with many of the leading reformists, including Nizamettin Taş and Abdullah Öcalan's younger brother Osman Öcalan.
Second insurgency 2004–2006
Kongra-Gel called off the cease-fire at the start of June 2004, saying Turkish security forces had refused to respect the truce. Turkish security forces were increasingly involved in clashes with Kurdish separatist fighters. Ankara stated that about 2,000 Kurdish fighters had crossed into Turkey from hideouts in mountainous northern Iraq in early June 2004.
While the fight against the Turkish security forces between 2004 and 2010 continued, the PKK and its ancillary organizations continued to enjoy substantial support among the Kurds of Turkey. In 2005, the original name of the organization PKK was restored, while the Kongra-Gel became the legislature of the Koma Komalên Kurdistan. Turkey's struggle against the Kongra-Gel/PKK was marked by increased clashes across Turkey in 2005. In the Southeast, Turkish security forces were active in the struggle against the Kongra-Gel/PKK. There were bombings and attempted bombings in resort areas in western Turkey and Istanbul, some of which resulted in civilian casualties. A radical Kurdish separatist group calling itself the Kurdish Freedom Hawks (TAK) claimed responsibility for many of these attacks. The TAK is a rival to PKK that since 2006 repeatedly damaged the PKK's efforts to negotiate cease-fires and unlike the PKK, is seeking to establish independent Kurdistan. In 2006 alone, the PKK claimed over 500 victims. On 1 October 2006, the PKK reportedly declared a unilateral cease-fire that slowed the intensity and pace of its attacks, but attacks continued in response to Turkish security forces significant counterinsurgency operations, especially in the southeast.
Cease-Fire and renewed conflict
On 13 April 2009, the PKK declared a cease fire after the DTP won 99 municipalities and negotiations were spoken about. The AKP first spoke of the "Kurdish Opening", then it was renamed in the "Democratic Opening" to appease nationalist interests and then the "National Unity Project."
2012 was the most violent year in the armed conflict between the Turkish State and PKK since 1999. At least 541 individuals lost their lives as a result of the clashes including 316 militants and 282 soldiers. In contrast, 152 individuals lost their lives in 2009 until the Turkish government initiated negotiations with the PKK leadership. The failure of this negotiations contributed to violence that were particularly intensified in 2012. The PKK encouraged by the rising power of the Syrian Kurds increased its attacks in the same year.
During the Syrian Civil War, the Kurds in Syria have established control over their own region with the help of the PKK as well as with support from the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil, under President Masoud Barzani.
2013–15 Peace process
In late 2012, the Turkish government began secret talks with Öcalan for a ceasefire. To facilitate talks, government officials transmitted letters between Öcalan in jail to PKK leaders in northern Iraq. On 21 March 2013, a ceasefire was announced. On 25 April, it was announced that the PKK would leave Turkey. Commander Murat Karayılan remarked "As part of ongoing preparations, the withdrawal will begin on May 8, 2013. Our forces will use their right to retaliate in the event of an attack, operation or bombing against our withdrawing guerrilla forces and the withdrawal will immediately stop." The semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq welcomed the idea of refugees from its northern neighbor. The BDP held meetings across the region to state the pending withdrawal to concerned citizens. "The 8th of May is a day we both anticipate and fear," said party leader Pinar Yilmaz. "We don't trust the government at all. Many people here are afraid that once the guerrillas are gone, the Turkish military will crack down on us again."
The withdrawal began as planned with groups of fighters crossing the border from southeastern Turkey to northern Iraq. Iraqi leadership in Baghdad, however, declared that it would not accept armed groups into its territory. "The Iraqi government welcomes any political and peaceful settlement", read an official statement. "[But] it does not accept the entry of armed groups to its territories that can be used to harm Iraq's security and stability." The prospect of armed Kurdish forces in northern Iraq threatens to increase tensions between the region and Baghdad who are already at odds over certain oil producing territory. PKK spokesman Ahmet Deniz sought to ease concerns stating the plan would boost democracy. "The [peace] process is not aimed against anyone," he said "and there is no need for concerns that the struggle will take on another format and pose a threat to others."
It is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 PKK fighters resided in Turkey at the time. The withdrawal process was expected to take several months even if Iraq does not intervene to try to stop it. On 14 May 2013, the first groups of 13 male and female fighters entered Iraq's Heror area near the Metina mountain after leaving Turkey. They carried with them Kalashnikov assault rifles, light machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers before a welcoming ceremony.
On 29 July 2013, the PKK issued an ultimatum in saying that the peace deal would fail if reforms were not begun to be implemented within a month. In October, Cemil Bayik warned that unless Turkey resumed the peace process, the PKK would resume operations to defend itself against it. He also criticized Turkey of waging a proxy war against Kurds during the Syrian Civil War by supporting other extremist rebels who were fighting them.
Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani backed the initiative saying, alongside Erdogan: "This is a historic visit for me ... We all know it would have been impossible to speak here 15 or 20 years ago. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has taken a very brave step towards peace. I want my Kurdish and Turkish brothers to support the peace process."
2014 action against Islamic State and renewed tensions in Turkey
The PKK engaged the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces in Syria in mid-July 2014 as part of the Syrian Civil War. In August the PKK engaged IS in Northern Iraq and pressured the Government of Turkey to take a stand against IS. PKK forces helped tens of thousands of Yazidis escape an encircled Mount Sinjar. In September 2014, during the Siege of Kobanî, the PKK, receiving direct U.S. military support, engaged with Islamic State forces in Syria who were attacking Kurdish city Kobane, which resulted in conflicts with Turks on the border and an end to a cease-fire that had been in place over a year. The PKK said Turkey was supporting ISIS. The PKK participated in many offensives against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
A number of Turkish Kurds rallied in large-scale street protests, demanding that the government in Ankara take more forceful action to combat IS and to enable Kurdish militants already engaged against IS to more freely move and resupply. These protests included a PKK call for its supporters to turn out. Clashes between police and protesters killed at least 31 people. The Turkish government continued to restrict PKK-associated fighters' movement across its borders, arresting 260 People's Protection Units fighters who were moving back into Turkey. On 14 October, Turkish Air Force fighter-bombers attacked PKK positions in the vicinity of Daglica, Hakkari Province.
Turkish military statements stated that the bombings were in response to PKK attacks on a Turkish military outpost in the area. The Firat news agency, which Al Jazeera describes as "close to the PKK", stated that Turkish forces had been shelling the PKK positions for days beforehand and that the PKK action had itself been retaliation for those artillery strikes. The PKK had already reported several Turkish attacks against their troops months before Turkish bombing started.
July 2015–present: Third insurgency
This section needs to be updated.(January 2021)
In the months before the parliamentary election of 2015, as the "Kurdish-focused" HDP's likelihood of crossing the 10% threshold for entry into the government seemed more likely, Erdogan gave speeches and made comments that repudiated the settlement process and the existence of a Kurdish problem and refusing to recognize the HDP as having any role to play despite their long participation as intermediaries. These announcements increased distrust of the government's good faith among Kurdish leaders. In July 2015, Turkey finally became involved in the war against ISIL. While they were doing so, they decided to bomb PKK targets in Iraq. The bombings came a few days after PKK was suspected of assassinating two Turkish police officers in Ceylanpınar, Şanlıurfa, criticized by the PKK of having links with ISIS after the 2015 Suruç bombing. The PKK has blamed Turkey for breaking the truce by bombing the PKK in 2014 and 2015 continuously.
In August 2015, the PKK announced that they would accept another ceasefire with Turkey only under US guarantees. PKK announced a one-sided ceasefire in October 2015 near election time, but the government refused. The leadership of Iraqi Kurdistan has condemned the Turkish airstrikes in its autonomous region in the north of Iraq.
The number of casualties since 23 July was stated by Turkish government to be 150 Turkish officers and over 2,000 Kurdish rebels killed (by September). In December 2015, Turkish military operation in southeastern Turkey has killed hundreds of civilians, displaced hundreds of thousands and caused massive destruction in residential areas.
In March 2016, the PKK helped to launch the Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement with nine other Kurdish and Turkish revolutionary leftist, socialist and communist groups (including the TKP/ML, THKP-C/MLSPB, MKP, TKEP/L, TİKB, DKP, DK and MLKP) with the aim of overthrowing the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The organization originated in the 1970s from the radical left and drew its membership from other existing leftist groups, mainly Dev-Genç.:127 During the 1980s, the movement included and cooperated with other ethnic groups, including ethnic Turks, who were following the radical left.:127:129 The organization initially presented itself as part of the worldwide communist revolution. Its aims and objectives have evolved over time towards the goal of national autonomy, and democratic confederalism.
Around 1995, the PKK ostensibly changed its aim from independence to a demand for equal rights and Kurdish autonomy within the Turkish state, though all the while hardly suspending their military attacks on the Turkish state except for ceasefires in 1999–2004 and 2013–2015. In 1995, Öcalan said: "We are not insisting on a separate state under any condition. What we are calling for very openly is a state model where a people's basic economic, cultural, social, and political rights are guaranteed".
Whilst this shift in the mid-nineties has been interpreted as one from a call for independence to an autonomous republic, some scholars have concluded that the PKK still maintains independence as the ultimate goal, but through society-building rather than state-building.
The organization has adapted the new Democratic confederalist views of its arrested leader, which aim to replace the United Nations, Capitalism and Nation State with the Democratic Confederalism which is described as a system of popularly elected administrative councils, allowing local communities to exercise autonomous control over their assets while linking to other communities via a network of confederal councils. Followers of Öcalan and members of the PKK are known, after his honorary name, as Apocu (Apo-ites) under his movement, Apoculuk (Apoism).
The PKK has multiple heads in various countries, such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Russia, and West European countries. However, Abdullah Öcalan was the unchallenged leader of the organization. After the capture of Öcalan, authorities induced him to publicly plead for a ceasefire. Though serving life imprisonment, Öcalan is still considered the honorary leader and figurehead of the organization.
Murat Karayılan led the organization from 1999 to 2013. In 2013 Cemil Bayik and Besê Hozat assumed as the first joint leadership. Cemil Bayik, beside Abdullah Öcalan, Kesire Yildirim Öcalan and Haki Karer was one of the core leaders. The organization appointed "Doctor Bahoz," the nom de guerre of Fehman Huseyin, a Syrian Kurd, in charge of the movement's military operations signifying the long-standing solidarity among Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan.
In 1985, the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (Kurdish: Eniye Rizgariye Navata Kurdistan, ERNK) was established by the PKK as its popular front wing, with the role of both creating propaganda for the party, and as an umbrella organization for PKK organizations in different segments of the Kurdish population, such as the peasantry, workers, youth, and women. It was dissolved in 1999, after the capture of Abdullah Öcalan.
The PKK has an armed wing, originally formed in 1984 as the Kurdistan Freedom Brigades (Kurmanji Kurdish: Hêzên Rizgariya Kurdistan, HRK), renamed to the People's Liberation Army of Kurdistan (Kurmanji Kurdish: Arteşa Rizgariya Gelî Kurdistan, ARGK) in 1986, and again renamed to the People's Defense Forces (Kurmanji Kurdish: Hêzên Parastina Gel, HPG) in 1999.
Women's armed wing
The Free Women's Units of Star (Kurmanji Kurdish: Yekîneyên Jinên Azad ên Star, YJA-STAR) was established in 2004 as the women's armed wing of the PKK, emphasizing the issue of women's liberation.
The Civil Protections Units (YPS) is the successor of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), the youth wing of the PKK. In February 2016 ANF reported the establishment of the women's branch of the YPS, the YPS-Jin.
The first training camps were established in 1982 in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and also in Beqaa Valley with the support of the Syrian government. After the Iran-Iraq war and the Kurdish civil war, the PKK moved all its camps to Northern Iraq in 1998. The PKK had also completely moved to Qandil Mountains from Beqaa Valley, under intensive pressure, after Syria expelled Öcalan and shut down all camps established in the region. At the time, Northern Iraq was experiencing a vacuum of control after the Gulf War-related Operation Provide Comfort. Instead of a single training camp that could be easily destroyed, the organization created many small camps. During this period the organization set up a fully functioning enclave with training camps, storage facilities, and reconnaissance and communications centers.
In 2007, the organization was reported to have camps strung out through the mountains that straddle the border between Turkey and Iraq, including in Sinaht, Haftanin, Kanimasi and Zap. The organization developed two types of camps. The mountain camps, located in Turkey, Iraq and Iran, are used as forward bases from which militants carry out attacks against Turkish military bases. The units deployed there are highly mobile and the camps have only minimal infrastructure. The other permanent camps, in the Qandil Mountains of Iraq, have more developed infrastructure—including a field hospital, electricity generators and a large proportion of the PKK's lethal and non-lethal supplies. The organization is also using the Qandil mountain camps for its political activities.
It was reported in 2004 that there was another political training camp in Belgium, evidence that the organization had used training camps in Europe for political and ideological training.
In 1983, the Association of Artists (Hunerkom) was established in Germany under the lead of the Music group Koma Berxwedan. Its activities spread over Kurdish community centers in France, Germany and the Netherlands. In 1994 the Hunerkom was renamed into the Kurdish Academy of Culture and Arts'. Koma Berxwedans songs, which often were about the PKK resistance, were forbidden in Turkey and had to be smuggled over the border.
At the beginning the movement distributed propaganda in the region and tried to gain the support of the Kurdish population for the PKK. PKK tactics were based on ambush, sabotage, riots, protests, and demonstrations against the Turkish government. During these years, the PKK also fought a turf war against other radical Islamist Kurdish and Turkish organisations in Turkey. Turkish newspapers said that the PKK effectively used the prison force to gain appeal among the population which PKK has denied. In the whole Turkey, this period was characterized by violent clashes which culminated in the 1980 military coup.
The organization had sympathizer parties in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey beginning in the early 1990s. The establishment of direct links to the organization has been a question. In sequence HEP/DEP/HADEP/DEHAP/DTP and the BDP, which later changed its name to Democratic Regions Party (DBP) on 11 July 2014, as well as the HDP have been criticized of sympathizing with the PKK, since they have refused to brand it as a terrorist group.
Political organizations established in Turkey are banned from propagating or supporting separatism. Several political parties supporting Kurdish rights have been reportedly banned on this pretext. The constitutional court stated to find direct links between the HEP/DEP/HADEP and the PKK. In 2008 the DTP-party was prosecuted by the constitutional court. It is reported that Turkey has used the PKK as an excuse to close Kurdish political parties.
Turkish-Kurdish politician and conspiracist Abdülmelik Fırat had stated the Democratic Society Party (DTP) was founded by the PKK, and that 80 percent of Kurds do not vote for this party. Senior DTP leaders maintain that they support a unified Turkey within a democratic framework. In May 2007, the co-president of DTP Aysel Tuğluk, published an article in Radikal in support of this policy.
Several parliamentarians and other elected representatives have been jailed for speaking in Kurdish, carrying Kurdish colors or otherwise allegedly "promoting separatism", most famous among them being Leyla Zana. The European Court of Human Rights has condemned Turkey for arresting and executing Kurdish writers, journalists and politicians in numerous occasions. Between 1990 and 2006 Turkey was condemned to pay 33 million euros in damages in 567 cases. The majority of the cases were related to events that took place in southeastern Anatolia In Iraq the political party Tevgera Azadî is said to have close to the PKK.
Şamil Tayyar, author and member of the ruling AK Party, said that Öcalan was released in 1972 after just three months' detention on the initiative of the National Intelligence Organization (Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı, MİT), and that his 1979 escape to Syria was aided by elements in MİT. Öcalan has admitted making use of money given by the MIT to the PKK, which he says was provided as part of MIT efforts to control him.
Former police special forces member Ayhan Çarkın said that the state, using the clandestine Ergenekon network, colluded with militant groups such as the PKK, Dev-Sol and Turkish Hezbollah, with the goal of profiting from the war.
According to official figures, it was stated that nearly 2000 PKK members became itirafçı ("confessors") after their arrest. Some were persuaded or coerced to play an active role in the conflict, particularly under the direction of the Turkish Gendarmerie's unofficial JİTEM unit.
Status in Turkey
In Turkey, anything which could be perceived as a support of the PKK is deemed unsuitable to be shown to the public. In January 2016, the Academics for Peace who signed a declaration in support of peace in the Kurdish Turkish conflict were labbelled and prosecuted for "spreading terrorist propaganda" on behalf of the PKK. In November 2020, a playground for children in Istanbul was dismantled after the municipality decided its design was too much resembling the symbol of the PKK. Politicians of pro-Kurdish like the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) or the HDP were often prosecuted and sentenced to prison term for their alleged support of the PKK. The possession of Devran, a book authored by the political prisoner Selahattin Demirtaş, was viewed as an evidence for a membership in a terrorist organization in 2019 because according to the prosecution it described events involving the PKK.
During this time, the organization said that its violent actions against the government forces were used by "the need to defend Kurds in the context of what it calls as the massive cultural suppression of Kurdish identity (including the 1983 Turkish Language Act Ban) and cultural rights carried out by other governments of the region".
The areas in which the group operates are generally mountainous rural areas and dense urban areas. The mountainous terrain offers an advantage to members of the PKK by allowing them to hide in a network of caves.
The PKK has faced condemnation by some countries and human rights organizations for the killing of teachers and civil servants, using suicide bombers, and recruiting child soldiers. According to the TEPAV, an Ankara-based think tank, a survey conducted using data from 1,362 PKK fighters who lost their lives between 2001 and 2011 estimated that 42% of the militants were recruited under 18, with roughly 9% under 15 at the time of recruitment. The PKK claims that it has complied with Geneva Conventions since 1995 and stated in 2013 that it would end recruitment of children under 16 as well as keep 16-18 year olds away from combat. However, Human Rights Watch stated they have documented 29 cases of children being recruited into the HPG (the PKK's armed wing) and the YBŞ since 2013. Some children were recruited under the age of 15, constituting a war crime according to international law.
Since its foundation, the PKK has recruited new fighters mainly from Turkey, but also from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Western countries using various recruitment methods, such as using nationalist propaganda and its gender equality ideology. At its establishment, it included a small number of female fighters but over time the number increased significantly and by the early 1990s, 30 percent of its 17,000 armed fighting forces were women. By 2020, 40% of the fighting force were women. In much of rural Turkey, where male-dominated tribal structures, and conservative Muslim norms were commonplace, the organization increased its number of members through the recruitment of women from different social structures and environments, also from families that migrated to several European countries after 1960 as guest workers. It was reported by a Turkish university that 88% of the subjects initially reported that equality was a key objective, and that they joined the organization based on this statement. In 2007, approximately 1,100 of 4,500–5,000 total members were women.
In its early stages, the PKK recruited young women by kidnapping them. This forced families whose children were already a member of the organization to cooperate and thus turning them into accomplices, which increased the number of women joining the group, according to the Jamestown Foundation.
In July 2007, the weapons captured between 1984 and 2007 from the PKK operatives and their origins published by the Turkish General Staff indicates that the operatives erased some of the serial numbers from their weapons. The total number of weapons and the origins for traceable ones were:
|The choice and origin of the traceable weapons (July 2007)|
|AK-47 Kalashnikovs||4,500||71.6% from the USSR, 14.7% from China, 3.6% from Hungary, 3.6% from Bulgaria|
|Rifles[note 2]||5,713 (959 traceable)||45.2% from Russia, 13.2% from United Kingdom, and 9.4% from United States.|
|Rocket launchers||1,610 (313 traceable)||85% from Russia, 5.4% from Iraq, and 2.5% from China in origin.|
|Pistols||2,885 (2,208 traceable)||21.9% from Czechoslovakia, 20.2% from Spain, 19.8% from Italy|
|Grenades||3,490 (136 traceable)||72% from Russia, 19.8% from United States, 8% from Germany,|
|Land mines||11,568 (8,015 traceable)||60.8% from Italy, 28.3% from Russia, 6.2% from Germany|
Turkish authorities stated that four members of the organization, who handed themselves over to authorities after escaping from camps in northern Iraq, said they had seen two U.S. armored vehicles deliver weapons, which was widely reported and further stoked suspicions about U.S. policy in Iraq. The US envoy denied these statements. The arms were said to be part of the Blackwater Worldwide arms smuggling reports. The probe of organization's weapons and the investigation of Blackwater employees were connected. The PKK also denied these statements.
Parties and concerts are organized by branch groups. Additionally, it is reported that the PKK earns money through the sale of various publications, as well as receiving revenues from legitimate businesses owned by the organization, and from Kurdish-owned businesses in Turkey, Russia, Iraq, Iran and Western Europe. Besides affiliate organizations, it is stated that there are sympathizer organizations such as the Confederation of Kurdish Associations in Europe and the International Kurdish Businessmen Union which constantly exchanges information and perform legitimate commercial activities and donations.
According to the European Police Office (EUROPOL), the organization collects money from its members, using labels like ‘donations’ and ‘membership fees’ which are seen as a fact extortion and illegal taxation by the authorities. There are also indications that the organization is actively involving in money laundering, illicit drugs and human trafficking, as well as illegal immigration inside and outside the EU for funding and running its activities.
Alleged involvement in drug trafficking
PKK's involvement in drug trafficking has been documented since the 1990s. A report by Interpol published in 1992 states that the PKK, along with nearly 178 Kurdish organizations were suspected of illegal drug trade involvement. The British National Criminal Intelligence Service determined that the PKK obtained $75 million from drug smuggling in Europe in 1993 alone. Members of the PKK have been designated narcotics traffickers by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic security agency, echoed this report in its 2011 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution, stating that despite the U.S Department of Treasury designation, there was "no evidence that the organizational structures of the PKK are directly involved in drug trafficking".
On 14 October 2009, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) targeted the senior leadership of the PKK, designating Murat Karayılan, the head of the PKK, and high-ranking members Ali Riza Altun and Zübeyir Aydar as foreign narcotics traffickers at the request of Turkey. On 20 April 2011, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the designation of PKK founders Cemîl Bayik and Duran Kalkan and other high-ranking members as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Pursuant to the Kingpin Act, the designation freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals.
According to research conducted by journalist Aliza Marcus, the PKK accepted the support of smugglers in the region. Aliza Marcus stated that some of those Kurdish smugglers who were involved in the drug trade, either because they truly believed in the PKK—or because they thought it a good business practice (avoid conflicts)—frequently donated money to the PKK rebels. She also stated that there were reports of PKK supporters in Europe who used their positions and contacts to trade in drugs—and then handed some of the profits to the PKK. And when PKK activists needed more money, they had no qualms about approaching Kurds who trafficked in narcotics. However, according to Aliza Marcus, it does not seem that the PKK, as an organization, directly produced or traded in narcotics.
A report published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) stated that the instability in Iraq has helped the PKK to develop and use Iraq as a hub for the traffic of Afghan heroin. The PKK was reported to collect taxes per kilogram of heroin trafficked to Turkey from the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq borders, with potential profits reaching US$200 million annually.
The EUROPOL which has monitored the organization's activities inside the EU has also claimed the organization's involvement in the trafficking of drugs and human beings to raise funds for its terrorist activities inside and outside the EU.
On 1 January 2012, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the designation of Moldovan-based individuals Zeyneddin Geleri, Cerkez Akbulut, and Omer Boztepe as specially designated narcotics traffickers for drug trafficking on behalf of the PKK in Europe. According to the OFAC, Zeynedding Geleri was identified as a high-ranking member of the PKK while two others were activists. The OFAC stated that the drug trafficking is still one of the organization's criminal activities it uses to obtain weapons and materials.
In 2008, according to information provided by the Intelligence Resource Program of the Federation of American Scientists the strength of the organization in terms of human resources consists of approximately 4,000 to 5,000 militants of whom 3,000 to 3,500 are located in northern Iraq. With the new wave of fighting from 2015 onwards, observers said that active support for the PKK had become a "mass phenomenon" in majority ethnic Kurdish cities in the Southeast of the Republic of Turkey, with large numbers of local youth joining PKK-affiliated local militant groups.
At the height of its campaign, it is alleged that the organization received support from a range of countries. According to Turkey, those countries the PKK previously or currently received support from include: Greece, Cyprus, Iran, Iraq, Russia and Syria. The level of support given has changed throughout this period. Official Turkish sources also report cooperation between the PKK and the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA).
- According to Ali Külebi, president of an Ankara-based nationalist think tank TUSAM, "It is obvious that the PKK is supported by Greece, considering the PKK's historical development with major support from Greece." Külebi said in 2007 that PKK militants received training at a base in Lavrion, near Athens. Retired Greek L.T. General Dimitris Matafias and retired Greek Navy Admiral Antonis Naxakis had visited the organization's Mahsun Korkmaz base camp in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley in October 1988 along with parliamentarians from the center-left PASOK. At the time it was reported that the general had assumed responsibility for training. Greeks also dispatched arms through the Republic of Cyprus. In December 1993, Greek foreign affairs minister Theodoros Pangalos was quoted as saying "we must be supportive of the Kurdish people to be free". Greece declined to join Germany and France and the eleven other members at the EU to ban the organization. During his trial, Öcalan admitted, as quoted in Hürriyet, that "Greece has for years supported the PKK movement. They even gave us arms and rockets. Greek officers gave guerrilla training and explosives training to our militants" at a camp in Lavrion, Greece.
- From early 1979 to 1999, Syria had provided valuable safe havens to PKK in the region of Beqaa Valley. However, after the undeclared war between Turkey and Syria, Syria placed restrictions on PKK activity on its soil such as not allowing the PKK to establish camps and other facilities for training and shelter or to have commercial activities on its territory. Syria recognized the PKK as a terrorist organization in 1998. Turkey was expecting positive developments in its cooperation with Syria in the long term, but even during the course of 2005, there were PKK operatives of Syrian nationality operating in Turkey.
- Republic of Cyprus
- Support of the Republic of Cyprus was stated when Abdullah Öcalan was caught with a Cypriot passport under the name of Mavros Lazaros, a nationalist reporter.
- In the 1990s Abdullah Öcalan appreciated the support for the "Kurdish Cause" by Muammar Gaddafi.
- Soviet Union and Russia
- Former KGB-FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko said that PKK's leader Abdullah Öcalan was trained by KGB-FSB. As of 2008, Russia is still not among the states that list PKK as a terrorist group despite intense Turkish pressure.
- United Kingdom
- MED TV broadcast for five years in the UK, until its license was revoked by the regulators the Independent Television Commission (ITC) in 1999. The PKK has been listed as a terrorist organization since 29 March 2001. In 2008, the United Kingdom detained members of the PKK and seized the assets of the PKK's representative in Britain, Selman Bozkur, alias "Dr. Hüseyin". His assets remain frozen.
- Support of various European states
- The Dutch police had reportedly raided the 'PKK paramilitary camp' in the Dutch village of Liempde and arrested 29 people in November 2004, but all were soon released. Denmark allows Kurdish satellite television stations (such as ROJ-TV), which Turkey says has links with the PKK, to operate in Denmark and broadcast into Turkey.
- Various PKK leaders, including Hidir Yalcin, Riza Altun, Zubeyir Aydar, and Ali Haydar Kaytan all lived in Europe and moved freely. The free movement was achieved by strong ties with influential persons. Danielle Mitterrand, the wife of the former President of France François Mitterrand, had active connections during the 1990s with elements of the organization's leadership that forced a downgrade in relationships between the two states. After harboring him for some time, Austria arranged a flight to Iraq for Ali Rıza Altun, a suspected key figure with an Interpol arrest warrant on his name. Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gül summoned the Austrian ambassador and condemned Austria's action. On 30 September 1995, while Öcalan was in Syria, Damascus initiated contact with high-ranking German CDU MP Heinrich Lummer and German intelligence officials.
- The Chief of the Turkish General Staff during 2007, General Yaşar Büyükanıt, stated that even though the international struggle had been discussed on every platform and even though organizations such as the UN, NATO, and EU made statements of serious commitment, to this day the necessary measures had not been taken. According to Büyükanıt; "this conduct on one side has encouraged the terrorists, on the other side it assisted in widening their activities."
- Sedat Laçiner, of the Turkish think tank ISRO, says that US support of the PKK undermines the US War on Terror. Seymour Hersh said that the U.S. and Israel supported PEJAK, the Iranian branch of the PKK. The head of the PKK's militant arm, Murat Karayılan, said that Iran attempted to recruit the PKK to attack coalition forces, adding that Kurdish guerrillas had launched a clandestine war in north-western Iran, ambushing Iranian troops.
Designation as a terrorist group
The PKK has been placed on Turkey's terrorist list, as well as a number of allied governments and organizations. It is often referred as "Separatist terrorist organization" (Turkish: Bölücü terör örgütü) by the Turkish authorities.
In the 1980s, the PKK was labeled as a terror organization by the Swedish government of Olof Palme. After Palme was murdered in 1986, the PKK was considered a potential suspect - however, in September 2020, the Swedish Government announced it believed that the murderer was Stig Engström, an employee of the nearby Skandia company; one of the first witnesses in the investigation on the murder.
In 1994, Germany prohibited the activities of the PKK.
The PKK has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US State Department since 1997. In 2016, Vice President Joe Biden called the PKK a terrorist group "plain and simple" and compared it to the Islamic State. In 2018, the United States also offered a $12 million reward for information on three PKK leaders.
First designated as a terror organization by the European Union in 2002, the PKK was ordered to be removed from the EU terror list on 3 April 2008 by the European Court of First Instance on the grounds that the EU had failed to give a proper justification for listing it in the first place. However, EU officials dismissed the ruling, stating that the PKK would remain on the list regardless of the legal decision. The EU in 2011 renewed its official listing of the PKK as group or entity subject to "specific [EU] measures to combat terrorism" under its Common Foreign and Security Policy. In 2018, Prakken d'Oliveira Human Rights Lawyers reported that the PKK won another case against its listing as a terror organization by the EU, but the EU kept the PKK on the list as the ruling only concerned the years from 2014 until 2017.
The PKK is also a Proscribed Organisation in the United Kingdom under the Terrorism Act 2000; the former British Prime Minister Theresa May used the phrase "Kurdish terrorism" in 2018, in a certain context.[which?]
France prosecutes Kurdish-French activists and bans organizations connected to the PKK on terrorism-related charges, having listed the group as a terrorist organization since 1993. However, French courts often refuse to extradite captured individuals criticized of PKK connections to Turkey due to technicalities in French law, frustrating Turkish authorities[failed verification].
The following other countries and organizations have listed or otherwise labelled the PKK in an official capacity as a terrorist organization:
Refusal to designate PKK as a terrorist group
Russia has long ignored Turkish pressure to ban the PKK and also the government of Switzerland has rejected Turkish demands to blacklist the PKK. Switzerland does not have a list of terrorist organizations, however it has taken its own measures to monitor and restrict the group's activities on Swiss soil, including banning the collection of funds for the group in November 2008. In March 2020, a Belgian court ruled that the PKK is not to be seen as a terrorist organization. Following this, the Belgian Government announced that the ruling would not affect the current designation of the PKK as a terrorist organization.
Flags of wings
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to PKK.|
Related and/or associated organizations
- Civil Protection Units, Turkey
- Communist Labour Party of Turkey/Leninist
- Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist
- Dawronoye - secular, leftist, nationalist movement among the Assyrian people
- Democratic Union Party, Syria
- Devrimci Karargâh, former far-left organization in Turkey
- Êzîdxan Protection Force, Yazidi militia in Syria
- Êzîdxan Women's Units, Yazidi women's militia in Syria
- International Freedom Battalion
- Kurdistan Communities Union
- Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party
- Kurdistan Free Life Party
- Kurdistan Freedom Hawks
- Maoist Communist Party
- Marxist–Leninist Armed Propaganda Unit
- Marxist–Leninist Communist Party
- Marxist-Leninist Party (Communist Reconstruction)
- People's Protection Units
- Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement
- Revolutionary Party of Kurdistan
- Revolutionary People's Party
- Sinjar Alliance
- Sinjar Resistance Units
- United Freedom Forces
- Women's Protection Units
- YPG International
- It is also rendered as Partîya Karkerên Kurdistan such as on the group's official website
- de Jong, Alex. "The New-Old PKK". Jacobin Magazine. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
- de Jong, Alex (18 March 2016). "The New-Old PKK". Jacobin Magazine. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- "Kurdistan Workers' Party". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) (...) militant Kurdish nationalist organization (...)
- "Handbuch Extremismusprävention". Federal Criminal Office. 10 July 2020. p. 159. Archived from the original on 3 October 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
(...) der inzwischen stärker durch kurdischen Nationalismus geprägten PKK. [(...) the PKK, which is now more strongly influenced by Kurdish nationalism.]
- "Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)". Counter Extremism Project. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
In 2003, Öcalan reformulated the ideological basis of the PKK. Inspired by eco-anarchists Murray Bookchin and Janet Beihl, he advocated for a new anti-nationalist approach he referred to as "democratic confederalism."
- O'Connor, Francis (1 January 2017). "The Kurdish Movement in Turkey: Between Political Differentiation and Violent Confrontation". Peace Research Institute Frankfurt: 16–17.
The PKK has explicitly renounced its demand for an independent state... [Öcalan] describes [his theory] as "an anti-Nationalist movement [...]"
- Wali, Zhelwan Z. "Kurd vs Kurd: Fears of full-scale war rise in northern Iraq". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
The PKK has an estimated 5,000 fighters stationed largely in Iraqi Kurdish region’s rugged mountainous areas
- "Country Reports on Terrorism 2019". United States Department of State. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
The PKK is estimated to consist of 4,000 to 5,000 members
- "Terrorism Profile – Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)". The Mackenzie Institute. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
The exact number of fighters in the PKK is unknown, however, it is widely believed to be approximately 7000
- "Increasing tensions see resurgence of Turkey's far-right street movements". Middle East Eye.
- Barbarani, Sofia. "Fighting intensifies between Peshmerga and PKK in northern Iraq". www.aljazeera.com.
- "Turkey and Iran vow to target PKK in joint military operations". Middle East Eye.
- "Turkey using Israeli-upgraded tanks in anti-Kurd offensive in Syria". The Jerusalem Post. 17 October 2019.
- "Rebuffing former top general, Netanyahu says Kurdish PKK a terror group". The Times of Israel. 13 September 2017.
- "PKK, HDP express solidarity with Palestinian people". Rudaw. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
- "Three Kurds killed in Berlin shootout". The Guardian. 17 February 1999.
- "Lice'nin Fis köyünde PKK'nın kuruluşunu kutladılar". Hürriyet Daily News. 27 November 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Özcan, Ali Kemal (12 October 2012). Turkey's Kurds: A Theoretical Analysis of the PKK and Abdullah Ocalan. Routledge. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-134-21130-2.
- Jongerden, Joost; Akkaya, Ahmet Hamdi (1 June 2012). "The Kurdistan Workers Party and a New Left in Turkey: Analysis of the revolutionary movement in Turkey through the PKK's memorial text on Haki Karer". European Journal of Turkish Studies. Social Sciences on Contemporary Turkey (14). doi:10.4000/ejts.4613. ISSN 1773-0546. Archived from the original on 16 February 2020. Retrieved 30 September 2019 – via JSTOR.
- Bilgin, Fevzi; Sarihan, Ali, eds. (2013). Understanding Turkey's Kurdish Question. Lexington Books. p. 90. ISBN 9780739184035.
- Balci, Ali (2016). The PKK-Kurdistan Workers' Party's Regional Politics: During and After the Cold War. Springer. p. 96. ISBN 978-3319422190.
- Hannum, Hurst (1996). Autonomy, sovereignty, and self-determination: the accommodation of conflicting rights (Rev. ed.). Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 187–9. ISBN 0-8122-1572-9.
- "Kurdish Language Policy in Turkey | Kurdish Academy Of Languages". Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- Toumani, Meline. Minority Rules, New York Times, 17 February 2008
- Aslan, Senem (2014). Nation Building in Turkey and Morocco. Cambridge University Press. p. 134. ISBN 978-1107054608.
- Joseph, J. (2006). Turkey and the European Union internal dynamics and external challenges. Basingstoke [England]: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 100. ISBN 0230598587.
- Michael, Gasper (2019). Lust, Ellen (ed.). The Middle East. CQ Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-1544358215.
The Turkish military responded with a ferocious counterinsurgency campaign that led to the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, most of them Turkish Kurdish civilians, and the displacement of more than three million Kurds from southeastern Turkey
- Abadi, Cameron (17 October 2019). "Why Is Turkey Fighting Syria's Kurds?". Foreign Policy.
- Abdullah Öcalan, "Prison Writings: The Roots of Civilisation", 2007, Pluto Press. (p. 243-277)
- "PKK group says Turkish ceasefire over". Rudaw. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Behdinan (12 March 2016). "Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement established for a joint struggle". Firat News Agency. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- "No Security Without Human Rights". Amnesty International. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- Roth, Mitchel P.; Sever, Murat (2007). "The Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) as Criminal Syndicate: Funding Terrorism through Organized Crime, A Case Study". Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. 30 (10): 901–920. doi:10.1080/10576100701558620. S2CID 110700560.
- "Child Soldiers Global Report 2001 - Turkey". Child Soldiers International. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
- Jongerden, Joost (6 June 2005). "Villages of No Return". MERIP. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Filkins, Dexter (24 October 2003). "Kurds Are Finally Heard: Turkey Burned Our Villages". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Phillips, David (8 July 2020). "Turkey must face a reckoning for its crimes in Iraqi Kurdistan". Ahval. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Ferhad Ibrahim, Gülistan Gürbey. The Kurdish conflict in Turkey: obstacles and chances for peace and democracy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2000. pg. 167. ISBN 0-312-23629-8
- Dahlman, Carl. The Political Geography of Kurdistan Archived 2008-10-03 at the Wayback Machine pg. 11
- "Turkey spy agency denies role in Paris Kurds murder, launches probe". Radio France Internationale. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". United States Department of State. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
- "Turkey 2019 Report" (PDF). ec.europa.eu. p. 5. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- department, Attorney-General's. "Listed terrorist organisations". www.nationalsecurity.gov.au. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
- "MOFA: Implementation of the Measures including the Freezing of Assets against Terrorists and the Like". Archived from the original on 6 April 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Kurdish Fighters Aren't Terrorists". Bloomberg News. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Levy, Bernard-Henri (22 October 2014). "Stop Calling Our Closest Allies Against ISIS "Terrorists"". The New Republic. ISSN 0028-6583. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Rubin, Michael (7 February 2020). "US should follow Belgium's lead and end PKK terror designation". American Enterprise Institute. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Beklevic, Tuna (22 October 2019). "Trump says the PKK is worse than ISIS. I say he's wrong — and I'm a Turk". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
I am Turkish. I am a former government official. And I believe that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK... is not a terrorist organization.
- "The Case for Delisting the PKK as a Foreign Terrorist Organization". Lawfare. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Bodette, Meghan (23 October 2018). "It's time for the US to delist the PKK — here's why". The Region. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Schomberg, William (3 April 2008). Robert Woodward (ed.). "EU was wrong to include PKK on terror list". Reuters (UK). Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "European Court: decisions placing the PKK on the list of terrorist organizations annulled". Prakken d'Oliveira | Human Rights Lawyers (in Dutch). Retrieved 7 September 2020.
- tagesschau.de. "EU-Gericht: PKK zu Unrecht auf EU-Terrorliste". tagesschau.de (in German). Retrieved 17 January 2021.
- Faidhi Dri, Karwan (29 January 2020). "Belgian court rules in PKK's favor in terror cases". rudaw.net. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
- "Belgian government defies ruling of its supreme court on PKK". The Brussels Times. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
- "Turkey – Linguistic and Ethnic Groups". Countrystudies.us. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- Bartkus, Viva Ona, The Dynamic of Secession, (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 90–91.
- Çelik, Yasemin (1999). Contemporary Turkish foreign policy (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 3. ISBN 9780275965907.
- Jongerden, Joost (28 May 2007). The Settlement Issue in Turkey and the Kurds: An Analysis of Spatial Policies, Modernity and War. BRILL. p. 55. ISBN 978-90-474-2011-8.
- "Eski Dışişleri Bakanı Hikmet Çetin: PKK'nın temeli 12 Eylül'de atıldı". Zaman (in Turkish). Cihan News Agency. 3 December 2007. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2008.
PKK aslında nereden şiddetle çıktı. Bana göre Diyarbakır Cezaevi'nden, 12 Eylül'den sonra çıktı. Yani ortam, orada hazırlandı. Çıkış yeri orası. Orada işkenceden insanlar öldü. Sakat kalanlar Avrupa'ya gitti. Öyle bir ortamda.
- Immigration Appeals: 2nd – 3rd Quarter (2004), by Great Britain Immigration Appeal Tribunal
- MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base. "Incident Profile: Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attacked Diplomatic target (November 10, 1980, France)". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 17 April 2007.
- Marcus, Aliza (2012). Blood and Belief: The PKK and the Kurdish Fight for Independence. NYU Press. pp. 55–57. ISBN 9780814759561.
- Marcus, Aliza (2012). p.57
- Marcus, Aliza (2012). p.70
- Shaikh, Thair (23 May 2007). "PKK suicide bomb attack in Ankara". The Independent. London. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- "Paris'te Sabah'a PKK Saldırısı". Sabah. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
- "The Kurdish Issue in June 2011 Elections: Continuity or Change in Turkey's Democratization?: Turkish Studies: Vol 13, No 2". 10 June 2017. doi:10.1080/14683849.2012.686575. hdl:11693/21264. S2CID 55920795. Cite journal requires
- White, Paul (2015). The PKK. London: Zed Books. p. 20. ISBN 9781783600373.
- Matovic, Violeta, Suicide Bombers Who's Next, Belgrade, The National Counter-Terrorism Committee, ISBN 978-86-908309-2-3
- Cordesman, Anthony H. (1999). Iraq and the War of Sanctions: Conventional Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-96528-7.
- "After Saddam Hussein – 92.12". Theatlantic.com. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- Gunter, Michael M. (1993). "A de facto Kurdish State in Northern Iraq". Third World Quarterly. 14 (2): 303. doi:10.1080/01436599308420326. ISSN 0143-6597. JSTOR 3992569 – via JSTOR.
- "Rights Group Decries Missed Opportunity to Prosecute PKK Leader". Human Rights Watch. 20 January 1999. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- Pape, Robert (2005). Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. Random House. ISBN 1588364607.
- Alakoc, Burcu (2007). The Motivations of Female Suicide Bombers from a Communication Perspective. p. 4. ISBN 978-0549422532.
- Gunes, Cengiz; Zeydanlioglu, Welat (23 September 2013). The Kurdish Question in Turkey: New Perspectives on Violence, Representation and Reconciliation. Routledge. ISBN 9781135140717. Retrieved 27 December 2018 – via Google Books.
- Özcan, Ali Kemal (2006). Turkey's Kurds: A Theoretical Analysis of the PKK and Abdullah Ocalan. Routledge. p. 205. ISBN 9780415366878.
- Gunes, Cengiz (11 January 2013). The Kurdish National Movement in Turkey: From Protest to Resistance. Routledge. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-136-58798-6.
- Gunes, Cengiz (2013), p.134
- Randal, Jonathan C. (1997). After Such Knowledge, what Forgiveness?: My Encounters with Kurdistan. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. pp. 302–303. ISBN 978-0-374-10200-5.
- "Group Profile: Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)". MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base. Archived from the original on 9 January 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2007.
- "No Security Without Human Rights". Amnesty International. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- "Turkey and War in Iraq: Avoiding Past Patterns of Violation". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
- Suri, Sanjay (11 May 2005). "Torture and Oppression of Kurds in Syria". antiwar.com.
- "Inside the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- Marcus, Aliza (2012). p.271
- UNESCO. 2002. "Death penalty abolished in Turkey Archived 29 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine". The new Courier n°1.
- "EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS: Turkey Ranks First in Violations in between 1959–2011". Bianet – Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
- "Annual report" (PDF) (The European Court of Human Rights). 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2015. Cite journal requires
- "The European Court of Human Rights: Case of Benzer and others v. Turkey" (PDF). 24 March 2014: 57. Retrieved 29 December 2015. Cite journal requires
- "The prohibition of torture" (PDF) (Torturing). 2003: 11, 13. Retrieved 29 December 2015. Cite journal requires
- Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch. 1998. p. 7. ISBN 9781564321909.
- McKiernan, Kevin (2006). The Kurds: a people in search of their homeland (1st ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 130. ISBN 0312325460.
- Neuberger, Benyamin (2014). Bengio, Ofra (ed.). Kurdish awakening : nation building in a fragmented homeland. [S.l.]: Univ of Texas Press. p. 27. ISBN 978-0292758131.
- Gunes, Cengiz; Zeydanlioğlu, Welat (2014). The Kurdish question in Turkey : new perspectives on violence, representation, and reconciliation. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. p. 98. ISBN 978-1135140632.
- "Police arrest and assistance of a lawyer" (PDF). Echr.coe.int.
- "Justice Comes from European Court for a Kurdish Journalist". Khrp.org. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Whitman, Lois (1993). Laber, Jeri (ed.). The Kurds of Turkey: killings, disappearances and torture. New York: Human Rights Watch. ISBN 1564320960.
- Panico, Christopher (1999). Turkey : violations of free expression in Turkey. New York: Human Rights Watch. pp. 37–8. ISBN 1564322262.
- Ferhad Ibrahim, Gülistan Gürbey (2000). The Kurdish Conflict in Turkey: Obstacles and Chances for Peace and Democracy. ISBN 0-312-23629-8.[page needed]
- "Kurdish rebels abandon truce". BBC. 2 September 2003. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- White, Paul (2015). The PKK. London: Zed Books. p. 19. ISBN 9781783600373.
- Akkaya, Ahmet Hamdi; Jongerden, Joost (2010). "The PKK in the 2000s: Continuity through Breaks?". In Casier, Marlies; Jongerden, Joost (eds.). Nationalisms and Politics in Turkey: Political Islam, Kemalism and the Kurdish Issue. Routledge. p. 149. ISBN 9781136938672.
- Uslu, Emrullah (20 May 2008). "Leading PKK Commander Cemil Bayik Crosses into Iran". Jamestown. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
- Zübeyir Aydar: 'Military operations are going to begin' Archived 3 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine; Interview in English dated 29 April 2010. In this interview Zübeyir Aydar stated: "KCK has an assembly. This assembly is Kongra-Gel. Furthermore, within Kongra-Gel there's an elected executive council... The PKK is a limited segment within the movement which is given the name KCK. Abdullah Öcalan takes the highest position. After that there's the Assembly, and following that the Executive Council. The chairman of the 31-member Executive Council is Murat Karayılan."
- Gunter., Michael M. "Kongra-Gel". Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Archived from the original on 2 October 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- Brandon, James. "The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons Emerges as a Rival to the PKK". The Jamestown foundation. The Jamestown foundation. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- White, Paul (15 August 2015). The PKK: Coming Down from the Mountains. Zed Books Ltd. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-78360-040-3.
- White, Doctor Paul (15 August 2015). The PKK: Coming Down from the Mountains. Zed Books Ltd. pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-1-78360-040-3.
- "Turkey, Iran to Cooperate Against Kurdish Rebels". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- Güneş Murat Tezcür,"Prospects for Resolution of the Kurdish Question: A Realist Perspective, Archived 16 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine" Insight Turkey 15 (Spring 2013): 69–84.
- Salem, Paul (29 November 2012). "INSIGHT: Iraq's Tensions Heightened by Syria Conflict". Middle East Voices. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- "Peace at the end of a long PKK struggle?". Al Jazeera. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "Planned PKK pullout heats up Turkey politics". Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Uras, Umut (8 May 2013). "Turkey's pullout politics". www.aljazeera.com. Al Jazeera. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
- Letsch, Constanze (7 May 2013). "Kurds dare to hope as PKK fighters' ceasefire with Turkey takes hold". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
- "PKK sets date for withdrawal from Turkey". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
- "Baghdad opposes PKK armed groups in Iraq". Al Jazeera. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Letsch, Constanze (7 May 2013). "Kurds dare to hope as PKK fighters' ceasefire with Turkey takes hold". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- PKK fighters arrive in Iraq under peace deal – Middle East. Al Jazeera. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "PKK sets ultimatum for Turkey peace deal – Europe". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "PKK threatens to renew fight in Turkey – Europe". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "Iraq's Kurdistan backs Turkey peace efforts – Middle East". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "PKK joins battle against Isil". Gulf News. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- Dorian Jones. "Turkish Kurds Want Ankara to Declare Stance on ISIL". Voice of America. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "Forming the anti-ISIL Front – VERDA ÖZER". Hürriyet Daily News. 13 September 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- Joe Parkinson (18 August 2014). "Iraq Crisis: Kurds Push to Take Mosul Dam as U.S. Gains Controversial Guerrilla Ally". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
- D. Phillips & K. Berkell (Feb 2016). "The Case for Delisting the PKK as a Foreign Terrorist Organization" LAWFARE (Hard National Security Choices). Retrieved 12 December 2016.
- "Kurdish militants claim deadly ambush in Turkey's southeast". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "Exclusive: Inside the PKK's front-line fight against ISIL". Al Jazeera. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- "Kurds protest against Turkey as IS advances on Kobane". BBC News. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Turkish jets bomb Kurdish PKK rebels near Iraq". BBC News. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Turkey bombs Kurdish PKK targets in south". Al Jazeera. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- Tastekin, Fehim (6 May 2015). "Will Erdogan's backtracking torpedo PKK disarmament? – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
- "Turkey, US to create 'ISIL-free zone' inside Syria – DIPLOMACY". Hurriyetdailynews.com.
- "Kurdish group claims 'revenge murder' on Turkish police". Al Jazeera.
The armed wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has claimed responsibility for killing two Turkish police officers, saying the murders were reprisals for a suicide attack in the border town of Suruc. 'A punitive action was carried out... in revenge for the massacre in Suruc,' the People's Defence Forces (HPG) said in a statement on its website on Wednesday, accusing the two officers of cooperating with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The two police officers were found shot dead at their home in the town of Ceylanpinar on the border with Syria, two days after the Suruc suicide attack that killed 32 people, mostly ethnic Kurds.
- Capelouto, Susanna; Tuysuz, Gul (25 July 2015). "Turkey arrests hundreds of suspected terrorists, Prime Minister says". CNN.
'We will not stay silent in the face of those who kill our police officers in their sleep,' Davutoglu said, referring to PKK's assassination of two Turkish police officers Wednesday. [...] The statement also referred to the slaying of the two police officers, calling it an act of "retribution" carried out by "local branches" without orders from central PKK command.
- "PKK urges US to mediate in its war with Turkey and admits to secret talks with Washington". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "Iraq Kurds condemn Turkish airstrikes on PKK – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East". Al-Monitor.[permanent dead link]
- "Scores killed in clashes between Turkish forces and Kurdish rebels". Al Jazeera. 29 September 2015.
- "Turkey's Campaign Against Kurdish Militants Takes Toll on Civilians". The New York Times. 30 December 2015.
- "Turkey: Mounting Security Operation Deaths". Human Rights Watch. 22 December 2015.
- "Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement established for a joint struggle". Firat News Agency. 12 March 2016. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- Jongerden, Joost. "PKK," CEU Political Science Journal. Vol. 3, No. 1, page 127–132.
- Arin, Yado. "Turkey and the Kurds – From War to Reconciliation?". Working Paper at UC Berkeley's Center for Right-Wing Studies. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- Self, Andrew (3 February 2013). "What Was It All For?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- "Who are Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels?". BBC News. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- Marcus, Aliza (2009). Blood and belief : the PKK and the Kurdish fight for independence (1. ed.). New York: New York University Press. pp. 287–8. ISBN 978-0814795873.
Instead of struggling for autonomy, a federation, or independence, Kurds would now fight for a truly democratic Turkey, in which Kurds and Turks would be unified in the way that Turkey's founder Ataturk had imagined
- White, Paul (2015). The PKK: Coming Down from the Mountains. Zed Books Ltd. ISBN 9781783600403. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- Stanton, Jessica A. (2016). Violence and Restraint in Civil War: Civilian Targeting in the Shadow of International Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 217. ISBN 9781107069107. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- France-Presse, Agence (2 February 2016). "Turkish lecturer to be put on trial for posing exam question on PKK leader". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- Yavuz, M. Hakan (2009). Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey. Cambridge University Press. pp. 176–77. ISBN 9780521888783.
- Casier, Marlies. "Beyond Mesopotamia? The Mesopotamia Social Forum and the appropriation and re-imagination of Mesopotamia by the Kurdish movement" in Gambetti, Zeynep; Jongerden, Joost, eds. (2015). The Kurdish Issue in Turkey: A Spatial Perspective. Routledge. ISBN 9781317581529.
- Akkaya, Ahmet Hamdi; Jongerden, Joost. "The PKK in the 2000s" in Marlies, Casier; Jongerden, Joost, eds. (2010). Nationalisms and Politics in Turkey: Political Islam, Kemalism and the Kurdish Issue. Routledge. p. 156. ISBN 9781136938672.
- See details and sources in article: Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement
- "Democratic Confederalism" (PDF). Freeocalan.org. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- Andrew Mango (2005). Turkey and the War on Terror: For Forty Years We Fought Alone. Taylor & Francis. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-415-35002-0.
- Frank C. Urbancic, "Briefing on Release of 2006 Country Reports on Terrorism," U.S. Department of State, 30 April 2007 
- Bongar, Bruce Michael. Psychology of Terrorism, page 97
- "Kurdish leader continues struggle from jail". Bruns International. 133 (19). Brunswickan Publishing Inc. Associated Press. 18 February 2000. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
...Öcalan sends messages to his guerrillas through his lawyers...
- White, Paul (2015). The PKK: Coming Down from the Mountains. London: Zed Books Ltd. p. 26. ISBN 9781783600403.
- Brandon, James. "The PKK and Syria's Kurds Archived 7 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine," Global Terrorism Analysis, Jamestown Foundation Volume 5, Issue 3 (15 February 2007).
- O'Connor, Francis (2017). The Kurdish movement in Turkey: between political differentiation and violent confrontation (PDF). Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. ISBN 978-3-946459-21-7. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- Gunter, Michael M. "Kurdistan National Liberation Front". Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Archived from the original on 3 January 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- Gunter, Michael M. "Hazen Rizgariya Kurdistan". Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Archived from the original on 15 July 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- M. Gunter, Michael. "Hezen Parastina Gel". Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Archived from the original on 17 October 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- "Yekîneyên Jinên Azad ên Star - YJA STAR". www.yjastar.com. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "Interview with the World's First Army of Women: YJA-STAR". Machorka. 17 August 2015. Archived from the original on 27 October 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- "University students join the ranks of YPS-Jin in Cizre". ANF News. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
- "YPS-Jin Gever announces its establishment". ANF News. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
- "The Workers' Party of Kurdistan (PKK)". Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 9 October 2008.
- Hooper, Simon (11 October 2007). "PKK's decades of violent struggle". CNN. Retrieved 10 October 2008.
- Jenkins, Gareth."Turkey Weighs Military Options Against PKK Camps in Iraq". Archived from the original on 7 November 2007. Retrieved 18 December 2008.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), Global Terrorism Analysis, Volume 4, Issue 33 16 October 2007.
- "Report Of The Committee Against Torture," United Nations OHCHR, 2004, pages 276–277.
- Gunes, Cengiz (11 January 2013). The Kurdish National Movement in Turkey: From Protest to Resistance. Routledge. pp. 112–113. ISBN 978-1-136-58798-6.
- Bezci, Egemen; Borroz, Nicholas (22 September 2015). "The renewed Turkey-PKK conflict has shattered the illusion that Kurds can participate legitimately in Turkey's political system". London School of Economics.
- "BDP'nin adı Demokratik Bölgeler Partisi oldu". Evrensel. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
- Kilic, Ecevit (26 October 2008). "Öcalan'la ilk görüşen paşa Çevik Bir". Sabah (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
- Tuğluk, Aysel (27 May 2007). "Sevr travması ve Kürtlerin empatisi". Radikal (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
- "Önderimiz 99'da İmralı'daydı". Hürriyet Daily News (in Turkish). Retrieved 19 July 2007.
- "JİTEM's illegal actions cost Turkey a fortune". 6 June 2012. Archived from the original on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- Bozarslan, Mahmut (8 December 2018). "Iraqi Kurdish party pushes PKK aside". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- Today's Zaman, 18 October 2011, Tayyar's new book reveals PKK's ties with Turkish intelligence Archived 19 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- Today's Zaman, 8 November 2008, Tenth hearing of Ergenekon trial held yesterday Archived 10 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- Kilic, Ecevit (22 October 2008). "Çarkın'ın itiraflarına soruşturma". Sabah (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 6 November 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
- Today's Zaman, 22 August 2009, Ersöz and PKK's Bayık kept in touch Archived 1 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Turkey: Academics on Trial for Signing Petition". Human Rights Watch. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- "Prosecutors investigate 'PKK symbols' in new layout of recreational park in İstanbul". Bianet - Bagimsiz Iletisim Agi. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- "Turkey: Crackdown on Kurdish Opposition". Human Rights Watch. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- "Former head of Turkey pro-Kurdish party sentenced to 4 years in..." Reuters. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
- English, Duvar (13 November 2020). "Prosecutor deems Demirtaş's book 'terrorist organization document'". www.duvarenglish.com (in Turkish). Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- "Selahattin Demirtaş's book cited as evidence of 'membership in a terrorist organization'". Bianet. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
- McDowall, David (August 2011). A Modern History of the Kurds. p. 443.
- "Öğretmen Necmettin Yılmaz'ın Öldürülmesini Kınıyoruz!". İnsan Hakları Derneği (in Turkish). Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- "Foreign diplomats, countries condemn Cizre attack - World News". Hürriyet Daily News. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- "PKK claims deadly suicide bombing at Turkish police station". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- "Iraq: Armed Groups Using Child Soldiers". Human Rights Watch. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- "The PKK and the 'Child Soldiers'". TEPAV. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- "PKK has complied with the Geneva Conventions since 1995". ANF News. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- "Turkey: monitoring the HPG/PKK's prohibition on using children in hostilities". Geneva Call. 25 July 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
- Ali Özcan, Nihat"PKK Recruitment of Female Operatives". Archived from the original on 15 September 2007. Retrieved 23 August 2010.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), Global Terrorism Analysis, Jamestown Foundation, Volume 4, Issue 28, 11 September 2007.
- Szekely, Ora (2020). "Exceptional Inclusion: Understanding the PKK's Gender Policy". Studies in Conflict & Terrorism: 1–18. doi:10.1080/1057610X.2020.1759265. ISSN 1057-610X.
- "Hepsi kandırılmış çocuklar". Hürriyet Daily News (in Turkish). University of Ankara. Retrieved 9 June 2007.
- Hunsicker, A. (27 December 2018). Understanding International Counter Terrorism: A Professional's Guide to the Operational Art. Universal-Publishers. p. 40. ISBN 9781581129052. Retrieved 27 December 2018 – via Google Books.
- Cragin, Kim; Daly, Sara A. (27 December 2018). Women as Terrorists: Mothers, Recruiters, and Martyrs. ABC-CLIO. p. 67. ISBN 9780275989095. Retrieved 27 December 2018 – via Google Books.
- "İşte PKK'nın silahlarının listesi". Hürriyet Daily News (in Turkish). Retrieved 19 July 2007.
- Ozbag, Didem (23 July 2008). "I saw on TV that PKK terrorists are saying that the US is supplying weapons to PKK members in camps in Kandil Mountain. How do you respond?". Ask the Ambassador Archives. Embassy of the United States. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "US envoy denies PKK claims". Turkish Daily News. 4 July 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2008.[dead link]
- "Blackwater admits employees illegally sold weapons," Tehran Times, 23 September 2007.
- "Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK)". Counter-Terrorism Studies. International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT). Retrieved 1 September 2007.
- "PKK'nin kaynakları ve para trafiği..." [The PKK's resources and money traffic...]. Rudaw.net (in Turkish). Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "Terrorism > Financing of its activities". Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- "EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report" (PDF). Europol.europa.eu. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- Glenn E. Curtis; Tara Karacan (December 2002). "The nexus among terrorists, narcotics traffickers, weapons proliferators, and organized crime networks in Western Europe" (Report). Library of Congress. p. 20. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- "Drug trafficking > Drug trafficking and PKK". INTERPOL. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
- Press Center (14 October 2009). "Treasury Designates Three Leaders of the Kongra-Gel as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers". U.S. Department of the Treasury. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- Friedrich, Hans-Peter; Heinz Fromm (18 July 2012). "Verfassungsschutzbericht 2011". Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz. p. 342. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Treasury Designates Five Leaders of the Kongra-Gel as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers". United States Department of the Treasury. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- Marcus, Aliza (August 2007). Blood and belief: the PKK and the Kurdish fight for independence. New York: New York University Press. pp. 183–184. ISBN 978-0814757116.
- "Kurdish fighters raise flag of PKK leader in centre of Raqqa". Middle East Eye. 19 October 2017.
- "THE GLOBAL AFGHAN OPIUM TRADE : A Threat Assessment" (PDF). Unodc.org. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Treasury Sanctions Supporters of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) Tied to Drug Trafficking in Europe". US Department of the Treasury. 1 February 2012. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Pike, John (21 May 2004). "Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)". Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "6 reasons why Turkey's war against the PKK won't last". Al-Monitor. 8 September 2015. Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
- "Turkey says Greece supports PKK". Hürriyet Daily News. 7 January 1997. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "Greece dogged by Öcalan affair". BBC News. 27 February 1999. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- Faucompret, Erik; Konings, Jozef (2008). Turkish Accession to the EU: Satisfying the Copenhagen Criteria. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis. p. 168. ISBN 9780203928967.
The Turkish establishment considered the Kurds' demand for the recognition of their identity a threat to the territorial integrity of the state, the more so because the PKK was supported by countries hostile to Turkey: Soviet Union, Greece, Cyprus, Iran and especially Syria. Syria hosted the organization and its leader for twenty years, and it provided training facilities in the Beka'a Valley of Syrian-controlled northern Lebanon.
- "Syria and Iran 'backing Kurdish terrorist group', says Turkey". The Telegraph. 3 September 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "N. Iraq: A New Page in Foreign Policy". Hürriyet Daily News. 15 November 1998. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "Russian newspaper: Russia provided money for PKK". Hürriyet Daily News. 28 February 2000. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "PKK-Armenian Relations". kultur.gov.tr.
- Külebi, Ali (9 October 2007). "PKK's Cooperation with the Greeks". Hürriyet Daily News.
- Gunter, Michael M. The Kurds and the Future of Turkey, page 110
- Gunter, Michael M. The Kurds and the Future of Turkey, page 111
- "Ocalan tells Turks of Greek arms and training for PKK, say reports". The Irish Times. 23 February 1999.
- "From Rep. of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- Calabresi, Massimo (30 March 1998). "A Hellenic Haven". Time. Archived from the original on 12 February 2007. Retrieved 22 October 2007.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "The originator of the acts of terrorism in London was standing near Tony Blair". Chechen Press. 11 May 2007. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
- "Renewal of Directions" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Dutch police raid 'PKK paramilitary camp'". Expatica. 12 November 2004. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
- "Denmark, again? Now it is blamed for hosting Kurdish TV station". The Christian Science Monitor. 21 April 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
- Olson, Robert W (1996). The Kurdish Nationalist Movement in the 1990s: Its Impact on Turkey and the Middle East. University Press of Kentucky. p. 122. ISBN 0-8131-1999-5.
...President Mitterrand's, admittedly estranged wife Danielle. So bad had ties [France-Turkey] been at one stage that formal relations had been downgraded to the level of charge d'affaires.
- "Avusturya teröristi uçakla Irak'a gönderdi". Hürriyet Daily News (in Turkish). Retrieved 18 July 2007.
- "PKK'ya yardım eden NATO üyesi Avrupa ülkeleri var". Hürriyet Daily News (in Turkish). 22 May 2007.
- Lacine, Sedat (14 May 2006). "The West and Terrorism: PKK as a Privileged Terrorist Organization". Journal of Turkish Weekly. International Strategic Research Organization. Archived from the original on 4 May 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
- Hersh, Seymour (26 November 2007). "The Next Act". The New Yorker. Retrieved 29 June 2008.
In the past six months, Israel and the United States have also been working together in support of a Kurdish resistance group known as the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan.
- McElroy, Damien (10 September 2007). "Kurdish guerrillas launch clandestine war in Iran". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 22 February 2008.
- "MSB: 'Irak'ın kuzeyindeki Zap bölgesinde tespit edilen bölücü terör örgütü mensubu 6 PKK'lı terörist, düzenlenen hava harekâtıyla etkisiz hale getirildi. Operasyonlarımız hız kesmeden devam edecek.'". Timeturk.com.
- "bölücü terör örgütü PKK Haberleri | Son Dakika bölücü terör örgütü PKK Gelişmeleri - Mynet". Mynet Haber. Archived from the original on 16 November 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
- "Terör örgütü PKK 35 yıldır kan döküyor". www.aa.com.tr.
- "Olof Palme murder: Sweden believes it knows who killed PM in 1986". BBC News. 10 June 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "Was wir über den mutmaßlichen Palme-Mörder wissen". www.t-online.de (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "State Department Maintains Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Designation of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)". U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Turkey. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
- "Joe Biden Says the PKK and the Islamic State Are Equal Threats to Turkey". Vice. 23 January 2016.
- "Turkey hails US stance on PKK leaders, seeks same in Syria". Stars and Stripes. Archived from the original on 8 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
- "Judgment of the Court of First Instance (Seventh Chamber) of 3 April 2008. Case T-229/02: Osman Öcalan acting on behalf of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) v Council of the European Union". European Court of First Instance. 3 April 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Council Decision 2011/70/CFSP of 31 January 2011 updating the list of persons, groups and entities subject to Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism – Official Journal L 028, 02/02/2011 P. 0057 – 0059". Official Journal of the EU. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Terrorism Act 2000". Schedule 2, Act No. 11 of 2000.
- "UK's May uses phrase 'Kurdish terrorism' during Erdogan visit as Kurds protest in London". Kurdistan 24. 15 May 2018.
- Patterns of Global Terrorism 1993. DIANE Publishing Company. April 1994. ISBN 9780788123597. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- Le Roux, Gaëlle (17 October 2012). "Les Kurdes de France victimes d'un "amalgame ethnique" avec le PKK ?" (in French). France 24. Archived from the original on 14 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Demirtaş, Serkan (6 October 2011). "Turkey and France to jointly fight terrorism". Hürriyet Daily News. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Australia declares PKK terrorist organization". People Daily. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Kurdistan Workers Party". Australian National Security. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 31 August 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
listed in Australia (as a terrorist organization) on 17 December 2005
- Walter, Christian (25 June 2004). Terrorism as a challenge for national and international law. ISBN 3-540-21225-6. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
- "Azerbaijan officially recognizes PKK as terrorist organization – Aliyev – PHOTOS". News.Az. 28 July 2011. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Currently listed entities, Public Safety Canada
- "Condemnation of the PKK terrorist attack in Turkey". Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 2008.
- Haeri, Safa (31 July 2004). "Erdogan Back Home From His Tehran Visit Empty Hands". Iran Press Service. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Implementation of the Measures including the Freezing of Assets against Terrorists and the Like". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 5 July 2002. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Kazakhstan Updates List of Banned Terrorist Groups". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan. 12 October 2006. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Le Kirghizistan a connu PKK comme une organisation terroriste" (in French). Azerbaijan Press Agency. 12 June 2008. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Statement of Case to Renew the Designation of Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan [PKK] as a Terrorist Entity" (PDF). New Zealand Police. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Spain arrests six Kurds suspected of financing PKK". Expatica. Agence France-Presse. 12 February 2013. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Balcer, Adam (2012). "An Audit of Power: Turkey's Leverage in the Post Soviet Space" (PDF). Black Sea Discussion Paper Series. Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM). p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Nicht mit dem Finger zeigen". St. Galler Tagblatt (in German). 7 October 2006. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "For Switzerland, there are no terror organizations". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
- "Bundesrat nimmt PKK an die Leine". Berner Zeitung (in German). 5 November 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Turkey summons Belgian ambassador in Ankara over PKK ruling | DW | 11 March 2019". DW.COM. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
- Spielberg, Georg (8 August 2013). "PKK Embleme und Symbole". verfassungsschutz-bw.de (in German). Willkommen beim Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz Baden-Württemberg. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- ANF News Desk (9 December 2018). "KONGRA GEL calls on people to step up resistance". Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê. ANF English. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- "Turkey Takes Aim at the Kurds". Geopoliticalmonitor.com.
- "Bayraklar". hezenparastin.info. Archived from the original on 30 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- "People's Liberation Army of Kurdistan". FOTW. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- Sache, Ivan. "National Liberation Front of Kurdistan". FOTW. CRW Flags. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
- "Kahramanlık Çizgisi Kürt Halkının Özgür Kimliğidir! - YJA STAR". yjastar.com. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
- Arin, Kubilay Yado, Turkey and the Kurds – From War to Reconciliation? UC Berkeley Center for Right Wing Studies Working Paper Series, 26 March 2015
- Öcalan, Abdullah. Interviews and Speeches [about P.K.K.'s Kurdish cause]. London: Published jointly by Kurdistan Solidarity Committee and Kurdistan Information Centre, 1991. 46 p. Without ISBN