Cemil Bayik, president of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK). Photo: AFP/Bulent Kilic
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - The leader of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) said the Kurdistan Region’s declared independence referendum is democratic and that no one should oppose it.
In an interview with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) media, Cemil Bayik said holding a “referendum is a democratic right,” of the people of the Kurdistan Region and that “no one should oppose it.”
Bayik added the process has “emerged from external and internal political pressures.”
President Masoud Barzani held a meeting with political parties in the Kurdistan Region on June 7 when it was announced that the region would hold an independence referendum on September 25.
Commenting on Shingal, Bayik dismissed claims that the PKK affiliated groups had paved the way for the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi forces to come to the region.
The Hashd al-Shaabi announced that by last week they had brought under control 3,480 square kilometers since they launched their new offensive to drive out ISIS from the areas to the west of Nineveh last month, controlling a stretch of 25 km of the border area that begins from Shingal to the west of Baaj, and then the Iraqi border from the side of the western province of Anbar.
He said Hashd is fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, so it right for them to carry out operations.
The KCK is an organization founded by the PKK to put into practice jailed leader Ocalan’s ideology of democratic confederalism.
Bayik also commented on Kurds in Rojava, saying a final solution to the Kurdish question in northern Syria is not Astana or Geneva talks, but the aftermath of an ongoing operation to reclaim Raqqah from ISIS, the group’s self-proclaimed capital.
The Kurdish “solution is not in Geneva or Astana talks, but after Raqqah is liberated, after Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by Kurds control it. Kurds are the decisive point for resolutions and without Kurds no problem could be solved.”
He has also said in the interview that pushing Turkey back from the Raqqah operation “will result in the withdrawal of the country from the contemporary politics of the Middle East and that [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan will no longer have hegemony over the region.”
The joint command of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) declared last week the operation to retake the city of Raqqa from ISIS and that their forces are advancing on the radical group on three different directions.