Claim: AK Party targets PKK since November elections

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Claim: AK Party targets PKK since November elections

2016-01-26 02:53 GMT
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Delphine Minoui from Le Figaro claims AK Party targets PKK since party's victory in November elections

Peshmerga convoys greeted by Kurds in Viransehir, Turkey on their way to Kobani

Delphine Minoui, in her article published on 23 December 2015 in French newspaper Le Figaro, claims that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey's ruling AK Party (Justice and Development Party) have been targeting the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) since the party's victory in November's snap elections, which came after the party briefly lost its majority in the parliament in June.1 She also accused Turkey of going all out to destroy Kurdish guerillas fighting against the DAESH terrorist group in the Syrian border town of Kobani. 
Minoui said:
 "The army goes all out against the guerilla which, according to the authorities of Ankara, sharpens its skills in its fight against the Islamic state (DAESH), in Kobane, in the north of Syria. With the anticipated victory of his legal party’ in November (elections) -after its small setback during June election-, the party of Islamo-conservative Recep Erdogan today shows its will "to eradicate" the PKK".2
First of all, Minoui mistakenly says that Erdogan still leads the AK Party when in actual fact presidents cannot be a member to any party according to the Constitution of Turkey. Erdogan assumed his presidency on 28 August 2014, having resigned from the AK Party on 27 August 2014.3
The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, NATO and the EU. In early 2013, a peace process between Turkey and the PKK started. Jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan sought to end the armed insurgency against the Turkish state and replace it with political struggle.4 On 21 March 2013, Ocalan called for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of PKK from Turkey in a letter that was read out in Kurdish and Turkish.5 However, the PKK did not withdraw despite initially agreeing to.6
Minoui says the resumption of clashes between Turkish forces and the PKK is because of AK Party’s victory in the November 1 election. However, the ceasefire was ended when the PKK's umbrella group, the KCK (the Kurdistan Communities Union), unilaterally announced it to be over on 11 July 2015.7  the  Right after that, the PKK raided a civilian bus, killing one and wounding two on 12 July 2015. The PKK also set on fire three trailer trucks.8 On 15 July, Bese Hozat, the co-chair of the KCK Executive Council, said that the time has come for a "revolutionary public war" against Turkey.9 On 20 July, Cemil Bayik, the co-chair of the KCK Executive Council, called for people to arm themselves and dig trenches.10 The PKK has also conducted armed attacks on buses, civilian cars and security forces.11 They additionally kidnapped soldiers and policemen.12 On 22 July, two police officers were killed in their homes, with the PKK claiming responsibility for the attack.13
It was not until 24 July 2015 that Turkey started a cross-border air operation into Iraq's Qandil mountains targeting PKK hideouts,14 in addition to police raids on PKK cells in Turkey as part of a fight against terrorism. Within this period, the PKK laid traps of remote control-detonated bombs on roads, conducted attacks using bazookas, dug trenches and placed improvised explosive devices in towns.
Regarding the Syrian Kurds fighting against DAESH, quite the contrary to Minoui’s claims, during the battle in Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobani, Turkey helped the locals by creating a corridor for passage of Kurdish Peshmerga forces from the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government of northern Iraq. Peshmerga forces passed into Kobani through Turkey’s borders in order to fight against DAESH. 15Turkey also opened the borders and accepted thousands of civilians from Kobani escaping from DAESH militants.16 In addition, hundreds of vehicles of humanitarian aid were sent to the area by Turkey.17