Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • In the second half of 2014, a new force fighting against ISIS emerged in Syria and Iraq. The

  • Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK helped thousands of ISIS-targeted religious minorities escape

  • the Islamic State. However, they have officially been listed as a terrorist organization by

  • Turkey, the US, and other NATO countries. So, is the PKK a terrorist group?

  • Well, it depends on who you ask. The PKK was originally established to fight for Kurdish

  • independence from Turkey. The Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in the country, and

  • control an autonomous region of neighboring Iraq, known as Iraqi Kurdistan. Although the

  • Kurds make up nearly a fifth of the Turkish population, their language and culture are

  • marginalized. Theyre also banned from forming a political party to gain representation in

  • Turkey’s government.

  • Since it’s founding in 1978, the PKK has had many skirmishes with the Turkish military.

  • Between 1984 and 1999, the two fought a guerrilla war. During its course, Turkey destroyed an

  • estimated 3,000 Kurdish villages, and displaced more than 378,000 Kurds. Since then, a number

  • of temporary ceasefires and negotiations have taken place. Because the PKK operates in Iraqi

  • Kurdistan, Turkey has made multiple incursions and airstrikes in the neighboring country.

  • The two groups have continually gone back and forth attacking each other.

  • Despite their designation as a terrorist group, a European Union court attempted to remove

  • their international terrorist status in 2008. This was on the basis that no reason had been

  • given to include them in the first place. However, the EU ignored the ruling and refused.

  • The PKK has also been accused of being a drug trafficking ring by the US and other countries.

  • While research uncovered some drug smuggling and low-level sales to fund the group, it

  • was concluded that the PKK did notdirectly produce or trade narcotics”.

  • Whether the PKK are deadly terrorists, freedom fighters, or both, is primarily based on which

  • side of the conflict you support. In 2013, a new ceasefire was called, and the PKK promised

  • to withdraw from Turkey. However the ceasefire was breached during the PKK’s recent fight

  • against ISIS. The PKK warned that tensions would rise again unless a roadmap to peace

  • could be established. Whether they will be able to transition to some form of autonomy

  • and stop fighting forever is yet to be seen.

  • If you want to learn more about how the PKK got started, check out Seeker Daily’s video

  • on its founder. There is a link to that story in the description below, and make sure you

  • subscribe now so you don’t miss a single video from TestTube News!

In the second half of 2014, a new force fighting against ISIS emerged in Syria and Iraq. The

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it