Kurd vs. Kurd: internal clashes continue in Turkey

Metin Turcan writes: In Turkey, people primarily remember two organizations when recalling southeastern Turkey in the 1990s, when state authority had been badly eroded: the leftist and staunchly secular Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the militant, Sunni Islamist Kurdish Hezbollah. Their bloody clashes left behind some 500 unsolved murders, many of them executions.

The scenes from recent violent street clashes in many parts of Turkey protesting the Islamic State (IS) siege of Kobani, across the border in Syria, and Turkey’s inaction toward it make one wonder whether PKK-Kurdish Hezbollah fighting might be on the verge of escalating. Armed violence between the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), the PKK’s armed youth wing, and Huda-Par, successor to Kurdish Hezbollah, have already resulted in fatalities that might bode ill for the Kurdish political movement. Huda-Par had been trying to become a political actor, steering clear of armed violence.

A call bound to escalate tensions between Huda-Par and the PKK appeared Oct. 7 through a Twitter account said to be belong to the YDG-H. It read, “To the attention of all our security units in Kurdistan and Turkey. Arm yourselves. Hezbollah-contra-Huda-Par members are to be executed wherever they are seen.” After the tweet, YDG-H members began attacking Huda-Par religious centers, associations and party premises in Diyarbakir, Batman, Bitlis and Siirt, where they are known to be strong. Huda-Par responded with arms, and the clashes intensified. [Continue reading…]

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