Negotiations with the Taliban, how about the PKK? 

Dialogue is one of the most important solutions to conflict ever since Socrates. We should talk and remove the violence situation in any case.

On 10 September a footage about a clash between PKK warriors and Turkish police officers was showed on social media. That incident took place on 27th of June in Silopi, a district of the Şirnak province of east Turkey. The attack was executed by the PKK with heavy weapons while the guerrilla passed through the Turkey and Iraq border by a pickup truck. 

I have never seen anything like this before, the guerrillas being recorded by camera. I was stunned and felt sorry for the Turkish police officers. Why do they keep dying? Desperateness makes people sick and nervous in Turkey. Because demanding peace is strictly forbidden out there. But somebody should stop this war anyway. Kurdish and Turkish youth already kill each other for 40 years.

And meanwhile, we saw another astonishing development which was a negotiation with the Taliban in Camp David, prepositioned by President Trump. Trump eventually canceled the meeting, but he was planning that meeting with the Taliban, around the anniversary of 9/11 the terrorist attacks. Plus the Taliban keep declaring that if they get a new chance they will do a new attack like 9/11 over and over again. 

The Taliban were founded in 1994 by Mullah Mohammed Omar in Kandahar to impose a puritanical Islamic order on Afghanistan. The Taliban’s current leader, announced in May 2016, is Haibatullah Akhunzada. Their roots can be traced to the Pakistani-trained mujahideen who fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Which the US itself trained, prepared and had them fight against the Soviet occupation then. What do we think about what Texas senator Charlie Wilson’s war was? All Charlie Wilson’ did was giving heavy weapons to the Afghan “warriors” and trained them. 

While the Taliban hosted al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden’s group ran training camps and planned and executed numerous terrorist attacks, including the multiple airplane hijackings and strikes against the United States on September 11, 2001. In the aftermath of 9/11, the Taliban rejected a U.S. ultimatum to turn over Bin Laden and kick out al-Qaeda. In response, the U.S. and allied countries invaded Afghanistan and swiftly deposed the Taliban government. 

In conclusion the Taliban has done pretty hideous things so far. Flagellation and stoning to death are among their brutal practices. Any kind of cinema, music or artistic activities has been strictly forbidden. On top of it Taliban banned buying some vegetables like carrot or cucumber from women, because they assume these vegetables may increase their sexual desire. And at the same time they impose regular enforcements on the population. If you prefer to read how a country could survive invasion, war, bigotry and unclear future, I suggest reading Khaled Hosseini’s book named Kite Runner. Both the Soviet Union’s occupation and the USA’s support were the main source of the current bad situation.

But now lo and behold the USA wants to make an agreement with the Taliban! Do we agree solving every problem with dialogue and negotiation instead of violence? Then let’s take a look at another fight story between Turkey and PKK.

PKK was founded by Abdullah Öcalan in 1974 as a Marxist-Leninist separatist organization and formally named the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in 1978. The group, composed primarily of Turkish Kurds, began in 1984 its campaign of armed violence, which has resulted in more than 50,000 casualties. The PKK’s goal has been to establish an independent Kurdish state in southeast Turkey, northern Iraq, and parts of Iran and Syria. In the early 1990s Turkish state started to evacuate Kurdish villages and burn down more than 3000 Kurdish villages across the east of the Turkey.*

PKK’s response was escalating the war by the time of Öcalan’s capturing. Turkish authorities captured Öcalan in Kenya in early 1999, and the Turkish State Security Court subsequently sentenced him to death, a sentence which was later commuted to life imprisonment following the abolition of the death penalty. In August 1999, Öcalan announced a “peace initiative,” ordering members to refrain from violence and requesting dialogue with Ankara on Kurdish issues. Whether we like its way of struggle or not, as a result, the PKK is a national liberation movement. PKK’s activities are for example not considered as terrorism in Belgium lately.

As a conclusion to be Kurdish means that despite all this cruelty including rapes and massacres bearing to the slanders, you have to be modest and submissive. Benign politics, over-politicized sanity, persecution and submissive performance aggravate the situation. Being most reasonable means being most vulnerable and weak. Me, as a writer of Kurdish descent, I refuse such a “sane” policy in a world where Trump is ruling, where leaders like Bolsonaro can leave the Amazon burning and where negotiation with the Taliban is allowed. We Kurds are the only people who have to comply strictly with the universal declaration of human rights. Doesn’t freedom deserve being some insanity?


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Mehmet Sezgin (1981, Agri, Turkije) is politiek activist en journalist. In Turkije schrijf hij voor linkse (Koerdische) kranten en tijdschriften over politiek en filosofie. Ook was hij hoofdredacteur van het filosofiemagazine Democratisch Modernisme. Mehmet woont sinds 2017 in Nederland en levert regelmatig een bijdrage aan RFG Magazine.