Role of the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan

The Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) has been involved in a guerrilla war against the oppressive Turkish regime since 1984. Originally defined as a Marxist-Leninist organization with the goal of an independent Kurdistan — Kurds make up 18 percent of the total 83 million people in Turkey and are a majority in the southeast — over the last decade the PKK has dropped Marxist-Leninist ideology and set its goal as autonomy within Turkey.

PKK leader Ocalan has been imprisoned since 1999. For the last few years the PKK had observed a ceasefire with the regime, while attempting to negotiate an end to the fighting.

The PKK has never used “terror” tactics directed at civilians but has carried out a war of liberation against the Turkish ruling-class oppressors. In the past year, the PKK and its sister party in the Kurdish regions of Syria have shown themselves to be effective fighters against the Islamic State. Nevertheless, the U.S. and the European Union continue to define the PKK as “terrorist.”

The Erdogan regime has purposely smashed the peace talks through its brutal attack on Kurdish organizations and Turkish leftists. The PKK called the regime’s bombing attacks “a very serious error,” implying it can retaliate. (, Aug. 2)

The Erdogan regime has pushed the class struggle in Turkey closer to civil war, and U.S. imperialism stands right behind it. In their struggle against the Erdogan regime, the PKK deserves the solidarity of progressive and working-class forces worldwide.