Turkish state media claims armed Kurdish groups involved in protests in Iran

Turkish state media claims armed Kurdish groups involved in protests in Iran
Update: 26 September 2022 21:36
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An "analyst" has said "the protests, presented as a women's rights movement, generate a favorable environment" for Komala and PJAK who "see themselves as taking part in women's liberation."

While protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in custody continued for a tenth night in Iran and as Iran's President targeted the protesters by labeling them as "vandals," Turkish state news agency AA "warned" on Monday that "armed groups began to get involved in demonstrations."

AA cited a "Turkish-based analyst" saying that "perception of protests as centering on women's rights generates win-win situation for terrorist PKK-affiliated groups."

Cagatay Balci told AA:

"Although the protests started independently of the armed groups, these groups soon sought to steer this process, and the IKPD, PJAK -an Iranian terror group affiliated with the terrorist PKK- and Komele groups began to get involved in demonstrations concentrated in Kurdish-majority cities."

He added that the "Kurdish armed groups" exploited the fact that Mahsa Amini's hometown was Saqqez, in "Iran's Kurdish region," (Kurdistan Province of Iran), and that "her death was seen as an attack on Kurdish identity in Iran, or discrimination against Kurdish society, or subconscious discrimination."

Analyst: Protests "presented as a women's liberation movement"

AA continued citing Balci saying that the protests were "presented and perceived as a women's liberation movement, particularly abroad," and that since Kurdish armed groups like Komala and the PJAK "see themselves as taking part in a women's liberation movement," the protests as a women's rights movement "generate a favorable environment."

Columnist: "No uprising is spontaneous"

AA's warning "analysis" is not the only critical reporting in Turkish media on the protests in Iran.

A government media columnist Mehmet Barlas recently tried to discredit the protests by claiming that they were incited by CIA. He said in daily Sabah on Sunday:

"We know from our own experiences that no uprising is spontaneous. There are 'global powers' and particularly the CIA behind it. All the world now knows about Soros-sponsored uprisings, dubbed 'orange revolutions.' The recent incidents in Iran are no different."

Mahsa Amini

22-year-old Mahsa Amini became a symbol of defiance against oppression in Iran following her death in custody on 16 September, only a few days after she was arrested by the so-called "morality police" for allegedly failing to adhere to hijab (headscarf) rules. As authorities claim that she died from underlying health reasons, her family and many Iranians believe that she died as a result of the violence she was subjected to.

About Komala and PJAK

The Komala Party, mentioned in AA's report, has a history of more than five decades. The party's headquarters are presently in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). It has an armed wing that has a history of leading the Kurdish resistance. The Komala advocates for Kurdish self-determination.

The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) is a leftist pro-Kurdish political party that is aligned with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated a "terror group" by Ankara, the EU and the US. PJAK has an armed wing that has been engaged in fighting with Iranian forces since 2004. PJAK seeks self-determination and some degree of autonomy for Kurds in Iran.