Karayılan has been the acting leader of the PKK, a group considered terrorists by Turkey and the US, since its original leader Abdullah Öcalan was captured in 1999.
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has an “ideological inter-relationship” and joint interests with the radical Islamists, Karayılan said in an interview to RIA given in the Qandil Mountains, an area in Iraqi Kurdistan, next to the Iraq–Iran border.
Turkey was fostering Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State from the very beginning, Karayılan claims.“Along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey has been sponsoring jihadists [in Syria] that emerged from Al-Qaeda… These states backed and armed radical Salafi groups, which base all of their actions on sharia [law],” he said.
“We’re 100 percent positive Turkey is maintaining contact with IS, we’ve seen it with our own eyes,” the PKK leader said, stressing that meetings between top Turkish negotiators and IS members have been registered on multiple occasions.
“In this regard we fully agree with the statements of the Russian Defense Ministry,” the Kurdish commander said. Moscow says Turkey has a mutually beneficial relationship with IS, buying oil from the areas captured by the terrorist group and acting as a supply line for arms and manpower.
The militants of Al-Nusra and IS are penetrating Rojava (in Syrian Kurdistan) from Turkish territory, Murat Karayılan stressed.
The Kurdish leader specifically noted that it was due to the “persistent interference” of Turkey and Saudi Arabia that the Kurds were not invited to Geneva for the Syria peace talks.
“Those very Kurds that have been so actively battling IS and shedding blood,” the Kurdish commander said, adding that it exposed forces that actually do not want a settlement of the Syrian crisis.