Kurdistan National Congress (KNK)
Rue Jean Stas 41
U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice
[email protected], @Rewards4Justice, @StateDeptDSS
To US Defenders of Democracy and the People and the President of the United States
of America, the Congress and the Senate
On November 6th the newly appointed U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for
European and Eurasian Affairs, Mr. Matthew Palmer, announced during a visit meeting
with Turkish government officials, that the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for
Justice program is targeting three senior members (Murat Karayilan, Cemil Bayik and
Duran Kalkan) of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and “has authorized rewards for
information leading to the identification or location” of them.
We, as the Kurdistan National Congress/ KNK, condemn this flagrantly unjust
decision. It is obvious that this is a political decision to give Turkey greater
latitude to continue with its atrocities against Kurdish people, often with
sophisticated weapons and military intelligence of the NATO. The roots of the
current war lie in the aftermath of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne with the founding of
Turkish state which immediately waged a war against the Kurdish people and other
indigenous people to assert its exclusive nationalism.
The means used by the Turkish state have ranged from state sponsored terrorism,
denial of political rights of freedom of association and expression and cultural
elimination of Kurdish identity. During all the decades of oppression, the
Kurdistan Liberation Movement has only used minimal forms of resistance for
self-defense, peaceful modes of political organization, reclamation of cultural
identity and eschewing all acts of terrorism.
Mr. Murat Karayilan, Mr. Cemil Bayik and Mr. Duran Kalkan are politicians who have
struggled against Turkish fascism, ISIS and Erdogan´s totalitarianism. The PKK
didn’t just fight against ISIS, but took very important steps in creating a new
Middle East based on the fraternity of Arabs, Kurds, Syriacs, Armenians,
Circassians, Persians and Turks with the understanding of democratic nation. These
freedom loving individuals are voluntarily working for achieving peace and
tranquility between Turks, Kurds and other ethnicities and working tirelessly to
achieve democracy at the grassroots level.
The PKK has always called for a peaceful political resolution of the Kurdish
question through mediation by US, EU, UN to open a process of a constructive
dialogue between the PKK and the Turkish state. Mr. Ocalan, the leader of the
Kurdistan national liberation movement, announced a peace process and reconciliation
on March 2013 which ended the hostilities and was promising. Regrettably, Mr Erdogan
ended this process abruptly in June 2015 by resuming hostilities to take political
The Rewards for Justice program makes the US complicit in Turkey’s atrocities and
genocides against Kurdish people, the Armenians and other minorities such aa
Alawites and Yazidis. This is contrary to the professed values liberty and democracy
promoted by the US. Whatever the geopolitical and financial motives behind this
program, it is indefensible and the people of US must realize that their government
is supporting genocidal atrocities.
We are asking the people of America, the president, the federal government, the
senate, the congress and all democratic organizations to respect the political
rights of the people of Kurdistan. Kurdish political parties, intellectuals and
every average Kurd have very good knowledge about the barbaric colonial system of
the Turkish state and will fight for its democratic and national rights no matter
who supports Turkey.
Americans must develop an independent understanding of the Kurdish struggle for
freedom rather than the view fed to them by the Turkish state and Turkish president
Erdogan whose authoritarianism and anti-democratic policies are demonstrable daily.
Democratic forces in the Middle East were expecting that the PKK would be delisted
from the list of terrorist organizations in US and Europe but it seems that Erdogan
can influence governments to continue blacklisting the PKK so that he can wage war
in the name of fighting terrorism.
We will continue to struggle for a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question in all
parts of Kurdistan, including Turkey and will preserve the inherent right of
self-defense and ask friends of democracy and justice to stand by us in these
The Executive Committee of the Kurdistan National Congress/ KNK