EXCLUSIVE: Former top PKK commander Osman Ocalan, brother of Abdullah Ocalan, speaks to Rudaw
I will, of course, highlight the interesting bits and add commentary
In an interview with Rudaw, Osman Ocalan, the brother of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan, spoke about the PKK and its financial supporters. Osman Ocalan, who has been a notable commander within PKK ranks, said currently the party has $50 million in annual income, which it gains through taxing local and regional merchants and smugglers. Ocalan said some wealthy businessmen in Kurdistan and abroad also help the PKK on a regular basis. He said the person in charge of finances within the party is Mustafa Bayek, the brother of Jamil Bayek, who is a co-leader of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK). The KCK is an organization founded by the PKK to put into practice jailed leader Ocalan’s ideology of democratic confederalism.Osman Ocalan does NOT answer the question of how the PKK was financed only to say "I was aware that people were supporting us economically" Who are "that people"?
Ocalan said the Iraqi Kurdistan-based Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) helps the PKK economically in return for PKK political support through its media. Ocalan denied the party was involved in illicit drug businesses, but said it has been charging drug smugglers, especially those from Armenia and Russia.
Rudaw: How did the PKK finance its armed struggle in the beginning?
Osman Ocalan: As a member of the PKK since the early days, I was aware that people were supporting us economically. Most guerrillas were working to be able to buy a Kalashnikov rifle. I was working too; for two months, just to be able to buy my pistol. All PKK members bought their guns with their own money.
Q: What were the financial sources of the party in the 1980s and 1990s?Ocalan obfuscates yet again!! He does not answer the question, again! The question was: "How did the party use the money" And his answer? Himself relying on handouts?! This is absurd. Why would we believe the PKK depended on "handouts", YET, they somehow managed to be “very organized in terms of weapons and military uniforms” including a “powerful media outlet”! On handouts from individuals? Just ordinary citizens? I don’t believe that for a second and one would have to be an absolute fool to think that is true!
A: During that period ordinary people were helping us. And even Kurdish people in Europe were helping us too, especially Kurds in Germany. The PKK had annual fundraising campaigns in Europe. People would give us clothes and food here. This was the way until 1995 when the PKK set up taxation and customs and charged people and businessmen.
Q: In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the PKK was very organized in terms of weapons and military uniforms and had a powerful media outlet. How did the party use the money it received?
A: I was in charge of the PKK activity in Eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan between 1988 and 1992. I was based in the city of Urumia. I remember I borrowed money from a friend of mine to by clothes and make uniforms for the guerrillas.
Surely Assad regrets this move now
Q: There are people who claim Iran and Russia were helping the PKK, is there any truth to that?
A: Russia has never sent any economic help and even Iran, which was seen as close to us, did not help us either. On the contrary, Iran sometimes seized some of the equipment and supplies we received from elsewhere.
Q: What about the Syrian government?
A: Syria played a role, especially in terms of movement and transportation in the country. The Syrian government wanted its Kurds to join the PKK and fight Turkey. That is, it fought Turkey through the PKK. Even in terms of financial aid, there were some Syrian groups that supported us in Lebanon. They often supplied us with weapons. Once even the Lebanon communist party helped us.
Q: You were talking about Lebanon; the PKK had military bases in the Beqaa Valley. Were the bases funded by the Palestinians or someone else?Ocalan does not answer the question of how were the bases funded? Palestinians or someone else?
A: Until 1985 the PKK had close relations with the Palestinians. They supported us. Even our food was from them. We had cooperation with all the Palestinian organizations.
Was it Israel? That seems very likely.
Q: From 1995 onwards the PKK had larger economic sources and found new ones. In which part of Kurdistan did it receive the most?
A: As of 1985 until now, the PKK has been holding fundraisers in Europe. Only through those campaigns, $20 million dollars were raised. But also ordinary people were helping the PKK too on a monthly basis, which would be in the neighborhood of $10 million. After 1995, the PKK set up a number of border customs checkpoints which would charge people who moved across the borders between Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
Most of the revenues came from South (Iraqi) and Eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan; some $3 million in total, annually. The PKK would impose taxes on merchants and smugglers who moved in the area. Those who were lawful businessmen did not pay that much in taxes, but they paid an amount too. I want to say, some of the wealthy people would help the party voluntarily. And sometimes we visited local people with economic assets and persuaded them to help us and they did.So the PKK is akin to organized crime! It's very clear they were taking a piece of the action and extracting protection money from who ever they could . Read on, if you have any doubts the PKK did not profit from crime. Drug running. And likely worse.
Can it be any more clear? The PKK were 'helping' Kurdish drug dealers. Oh sorry wealthy Kurdish businessmen. These drug dealers paid the PKK for favours, and not just to ask, but to have the PKK do their bidding. They paid the PKK to and for transport of their products.
Q: In Russia and Armenia there are wealthy Kurdish businessmen. Were they helping the PKK voluntarily or were they charged?
A: Some of them were drug dealers. The PKK taxed them and was paid by them. It varied from person to person. But the other ones would help us on their own. The party taxed some companies. Some paid the PKK just to ask us favors. The PKK would not allow them to transport their products if they did not pay the party.
Q: The PKK is frequently accused of being involved in drug-related deals in Europe and the Middle East. How true are these allegations?There is no evidence of drug dealing if one has no eyes to see it
A: In the border gates where the party had checkpoints and customs houses, there were people who would smuggle illegal drugs. We just taxed them. The bulk of the smuggling of drugs was between Eastern (Iranian) Kurdistan and Northern (Turkey) Kurdistan. But the PKK has never been engaged in drug dealing.(LOL) It does not use drugs either. (LOL) In 1991 a party member named Qadir tried to join some drug smugglers and make money for the party. When I found out I ordered he be jailed for a month and did not let him do that. (Grade A bullshit. Propaganda. Spin, Lies)
Q: This means that no one has been engaged in drug affairs?
A: What can I say? There is no evidence of that. Guerrillas often smoke cigarettes and drink tea.
Q: How did the money change hands? What roles did the banks play?So all these profits went directly to the PKK who then bought massive quantities of weapons etc.,
A: Banks played no role. It was our own guerrillas or our supporters who would carry the money to us in the mountains.
All this under the nose of NATO nation Turkey and US occupied Northern Iraq.
Q: Does the PKK have an investment project or factories?ROFLMAO- This guy has spelled out the fact the PKK is an organized crime syndicate, funneling, funds from crime to destabilize a nation and their is no corruption?
A: In Western (Syrian) Kurdistan, Rojava, we have had some factories. In Afrin the party had an olive factory. Even in Europe and Syria the party has a number of factories which are in the hands of PKK supporters. These are revenue sources.
Q: Who is in charge of the financial affairs in the party?
A: At the moment it is Mustafa Bayik, the brother of Cemil Bayik; he is in charge of that. He administers all PKK assets on Mount Qandil.
Q: Is there financial corruption in the PKK?
A: Generally there is no corruption within the PKK, but there could be people who are corrupted. In general terms though, no, there is none.
So, the PKK has no good relation ship with PUK, but, the PUK has given the PKK 20 million dollars! Sounds like a good relationship to me.
Q: How large is the PKK’s annual income?
A: It is a bit different now than in the past, since the PKK struggle is more comprehensive now. I think it has $50 million in annual revenue.
Q: How were PKK media outlets established? Who played the key roles?
A: The late Bahce Camturk and Savas Buldan, who was the husband of Parvin Buldan, now a member of the Turkish parliament. These two individuals had an enormous impact on PKK media. Daily papers, Med TV and the Ulke newspaper were established by them. They were wealthy and had wealthy people around them. They were raising funds for the party. They were both killed because they helped the PKK.
Q: Are there any economic ties between the PKK and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) or Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)?
A: The PKK has no good relations with the KDP, but it has good contacts with the PUK. The PUK has aided the PKK with $20 million since the start of the war against the Islamic State. Mulla Bakhtiar and Hero Ibrahim Ahmad have had a major role in that. The KDP has also helped the PKK, but not as much.
Q: How does the sale of oil in Rojava take place and what happens to the revenue?Hmmmmm. Wasn't it supposed to be ISIS that was selling oil out of northern Syria (Rojava)?
A: I have no knowledge about oil in Rojava and have no idea how it is managed.
Q: Why did the PKK blast the Kurdistan pipeline? Do you think it will happen again?The PKK may have blasted the pipeline to for any number of reasons. One being sympathy in western media. And there may be disagreement between the PKK and Barzani- Competition?
A: [Kurdistan Region Prime Minister] Nechirvan Barzani commented on PKK-Turkish relations just days before the blast. The PKK on Mount Qandil criticized Barzani’s comments. The blast was in reaction to that comment. I don’t think the PKK will blast the Kurdistan pipeline again, because they will harm their public support very much if they do.
Think about my very well supported theory on KurdIShIS?
How many posts are here pointing out the too numerous synchronicities, to possibly be coincidence, between the two groups
Recall this post?
ISIS Supplying Half of all Afghan Heroin Entering Europe
And then from above interview " The PKK is frequently accused of being involved in drug-related deals in Europe and the Middle East"
And what do you have? Yet another KurdIShIS Symbiosis
Cohesion. The cohesion is there. It's obvious.
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