The Structure and Activities of the KCK Terrorist Organization

Prof. Atilla SANDIKLI
14 October 2011
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The PKK terrorist organization has started to lose its influence in the international arena since the 2000s as a consequence of Turkey’s initiatives towards this end. Due to this factor, terrorist organization PKK has been functioning with the purpose of exerting great efforts to regain not only legitimacy, but also the same position that it lost among the Western societies and the world’s public.

As one of the implications of this purpose, PKK has founded Kurdistan Communities Union (Kurdish: Koma Civakên Kurdistan, or “KCK”). With the formation of KCK, PKK intends to form an image of a political structure. With that image of politicization alike, it aspires to create a system whose presence and activities are recognized and seen as legitimate both within Turkey and the international arena. As opposed to the dominant idea in the current conjuncture, KCK does not intend to end the armed struggle of the terrorist organization, nor declare its demands through democratic ground or politics. Instead, KCK wants to maintain its existing armed force and to transfer the armed struggle to cities under different structures and formations.


There have some remarkable factors to be noted as the underlying causes of the formation of the KCK terrorist organization. These factors include: the international atmosphere developing to the disadvantage of the terrorist organization PKK, Turkey’s steps for the settlement of the Kurdish problem, and the fact that PKK has faced difficulties in finding a sufficient number of people for the organization. Turkey in the last decade has made  progress in political, socio-economic and cultural fields for the  settlement of the Kurdish problem, substantially reducing its potential means to be abused by the PKK. After 2000, Turkey has put many laws into force for the extension of rights and freedoms during Turkey’s integration process with the EU. Thanks to these laws and rules, opportunities for the PKK to make propaganda in Turkey have, to large extent, decreased. For so many years, PKK had been claiming that the Kurdish people had been suppressed, exposed to inhumane treatment, kept from  speaking their own mother tongue, unable to have their Kurdish identity  recognized, and forbidden from publishing Kurdish language literature. PKK utilized a sense of Kurdish ‘victimhood’ to serve as a platform for its propaganda, inspiring members within their organization to stay within the PKK cause and to act against the Turkish state for many years. Nevertheless, upon losing these propaganda means, the terrorist organization PKK has not been able to conduct such propagandas in recent years. Additionally, with Turkey’s democratic opening process, the PKK terrorist organization has started to be perceived as the biggest obstacle in the solution of the Kurdish problem.


Developments in the terrorist organization PKK’s internal dynamics show that the PKK established KCK as a means for survival. It does not seem probable for the PKK terrorist organization, which has been carrying out acts of violence as of 1984, to hold its troops together based in the mountains. Furthermore, it is seen PKK members (who have had to live in the mountains and weren’t able to see a Kurdistan come into existence.  It could be also said that PKK members are in frustration, tiredness and despair. Besides, the number of people joining this terrorist organization is decreasing with time. Because of all these factors, PKK has realized that it cannot keep its militants in the mountains in the long-term. Therefore, seeing that there are not enough number of people in the mountains, PKK aims at reaching cities through the formation of KCK.


The KCK system has been established and is acting in compliance with (PKK leader and KCK’s honorary leader) Abdullah Öcalan’s four-way paradigm. This four-way paradigm consists of the following units: the Urban Assemblies, the Academy of Democratic Politics, the Democratic Society Congress, and the Cooperative System.


The Urban assemblies, which are the urban counterparts of the People’s Assemblies, are the most important building blocks of the KCK. The Academy of Democratic Politics has been established within the Southern Anatolia Association of Municipalities. Moreover, for the development of the Academy of Democratic Politics, Campus for Academy of Politics has also been created on a land owned by the Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality. The purpose of founding the Academy of Democratic Politics is to train intellectuals who could lead the illegal formation of KCK. Likewise, Democratic Society Congress (DSC), upon Öcalan’s instructions, is preparing a new constitution asking for  the participation of more people. In this sense, DSC steadily continues its activities. Furthermore, within the scope of the Cooperative System, KCK intends to acquire the economic sources of production in the (southeastern Anatolia and eastern Anatolia) regions. The KCK terrorist organization is quite active in the area with its activities of “money-box” (Kumbara) and “Blue Campaign” (Mavi Kampanya)” (1) and financially contributes to the PKK.


In brief, terrorist organization PKK tries to earn legitimacy by establishing a legal political entity both at home and abroad. It also wants to survive by maintaining its armed force. To achieve these goals, it tries to build the organization KCK. One can see from its structure that KCK has been designed to control the entire lives of the Kurdish population and embodying totalitarian features KCK attempts to present itself as an alternative to the state.  Through this organization, PKK makes use of the opportunities within the Republic of Turkey (especially those on a local scale) for its own interests and tries to form an alternative state. Firstly, KCK  intends to acquire “democratic autonomy” in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.  Afterwards, it plans  to declare “democratic confederalism,” thereby establishing a confederate Kurdistan which is made up of four parts.


The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) had been established upon the arrest of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and in line with his orders and directives, and during its foundation process, The KCK received professional academic support.  What’s more, the contract of KCK comprised of 47 articles was accepted in the Northern Iraqi terrorist camps on May 16-22nd  2005. The organization model is in the shape of a pyramid, formed pursuant to this contract. The constitution-like contract says that KCK consists of the legislative, executive and judiciary powers and is seen as an alternative to the state. This structure has branches in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. The KCK unit that operates in Turkey is called the “KCK Turkey Parliament” (Türkiye Meclisi TM) or “KCK Turkey Coordination,” and these names are abbreviated as “KCK/TM” and “KCK/TK” in the PKK’s documents.


KCK is a system that collects duties and grants its members with KCK citizenship. Additionally, it operates in five fields, namely being the ideological field, the political field, the social field, the people’s defense field and the fiscal field. PKK terrorist organization operates in these five fields in order to dominate the whole social life. This organization intends to first dominate every field of social life in the eastern Anatolia and southeastern Anatolia. Afterwards, it aspires to gradually eliminate the troop basis and survive through the formation of KCK. It also wants to maintain its bargaining power using mass acts of violence in the cities.


When the structure of the PKK organization is analyzed in a general framework, the following structure is seen:

PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan is the founder and the leader of the Koma Civakên Kurdistan (Kurdistan Communities Union) formation.


KJB-Koma Jinen Bilind (Union for Women)
KJB is the women’s union within the illegal organization KCK. It conducts the mission of organizing women in the cities.


1. Kongra Gele Kurdistan-Kongra Gel (People’s Congress of Kurdistan)

Kongra Gel is the highest legislative branch of the KCK terrorist organization. In compliance with the KCK Contract, Kongra Gel consists of 300 members. These members are elected bi-yearly by the KCK’s citizens. Kongra-Gel is based on commissions: these are made up of social, political, ideological, and fiscal commissions, in addition to  commissions for people’s defense and public relations.


The afore-mentioned terrorist organizations conduct their terrorist activities under the name of parties (which report to Kongra Gel). These terrorist organizations (per country) are as follows:


1. PKK - Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) / Turkey
2. PYD - Partiya Yekitiya Kurdistan (Kurdish Union Party) / Syria
3. PÇDK - Partiya Çaresera Demokratik Kurdistan (Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party) / Iraq
4. PJAK- Partiya - Jiyane Azade Kurdistan (The Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) / Iran


2. People’s Assemblies
Kongra-Gel, which acts within the framework of the illegal formation KCK, also represents the related units in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. The People’s Assemblies are the highest legislative organ of the countries in which they operate. The People’s Assemblies comprise of 100-125 people, according to the population density of each country. The main executive organ of these assemblies is the Democratic Ecologic Society Coordinations (DETK). DETK are responsible for carrying out the resolutions of the Kongra Gel and the People’s Assemblies to which they report. They are also in charge of putting the (KCK’s highest executive branch) Executive Council memorandum into practice.


2. a. Provincial-Regional Assemblies 
As Article 21 of the KCK contract details, Provincial-Regional assemblies come into being in compliance with the geographical and ethno-cultural characteristics of the countries in which they operate. They are organized on this basis and they act within the scope of democratic confederalism. These assemblies are the highest legislative organ of the provinces/regions in which they operate. The number of these assemblies is determined in accordance with the population density and how the region or province is organized. The main executive branch of the Provincial-Regional Assemblies is run the Provincial-Regional Coordination. Within the scope of the KCK formation, Turkey has been divided into four Province-Regions. These are namely, Çukurova (one of the provinces in the eastern Mediterranean part of Turkey), Amed (in Diyarbakir, one of the provinces in the southeastern Anatolia), Serhat (Erzurum, one of the provinces in the eastern part of Turkey) and the Aegean region.


2. b. Urban Assemblies
Urban assemblies are the formations that report to the People’s Assemblies that operate in cities. The number of members within these assemblies change according to the growth and population of cities, with this number generally being between 250-400 people. The Urban Execution group comprised of 30 people is formed within the urban assemblies. Urban assemblies produce policies about the places in which they operate and represent. All these policies are produced in line with the objectives of the KCK terrorist organization and similarly the problems are solved through these urban assemblies. Moreover, these assemblies run their mission through a delegation. This delegation consists of a delegate-at-large, citizen delegates and institution delegates.



Delegate-at-large: Locally elected members of parliaments, mayors, aldermen, heads of political parties (those both in the provinces and districts), heads of non-governmental organizations, representatives of provincial councils,

Delegates of people: People who have no legal entity

Delegates of institutions: People assigned by institutions

These are all the delegates at Urban Assemblies.


The objectives of the Urban Assemblies are as follows:
• to control the whole part of the Kurdish people
• to increase the pressure on people by forming district councils
• to consolidate the idea of confederate organizing among people
• to perform acts of violence under the name of democratization
• to carry out racketeering through the cooperative system


2. c.   Organizations of Towns, Quarters, Villages and Streets

Organizations of towns and quarters are the bodies that carry out the alleged democratic actions at towns and quarters. Furthermore, organizations of villages and streets are made up certain formations such as Communes, Communal Governances and Societies (Ocak). Communes try to organize people in line with the objectives of the KCK terrorist organization. As for Communal Governance, it makes it sure that all KCK resolutions and the resolutions taken by the related commune are implemented in well-coordinated manner. Additionally, Societies (Ocak) are the places also labeled as Democracy Houses, where members of this organization are trained.


The Executive Council stands as the supreme executive organ of the KCK terrorist organization. It is responsible for performing the resolutions of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and Kongra Gel, which is controlled by the PKK troops based in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia mountains. In compliance with the KCK Contract, the Executive Council consists of one president and thirty members. This president and members of the Executive council are elected bi-yearly among the KCK’s alleged ‘citizens.’ The President of the Executive Council is assigned duties by the terrorist leader Abdullah Öcalan and approved by Kongra Gel. The execution of the KCK runs through organizations such as the Center for People’s Defense Fields, the Center for Economic Fields, the Center for Political Fields, the Center for Social Fields and lastly the Center for Ideological Fields.

1. Center for People’s Defense Fields

HPG (Hêzên Parastina Gel- People’s Defense Forces) acts as the armed organization of the KCK. With HPG, the KCK terrorist organization intends to carry out armed actions in the metropolitan cities as well.


2. Center for Economic Fields

The 5th Paragraph of the 14th Article of the KCK Contract defines the mission of the Center for Economic Fields as follows: “the Center for Economic Fields develops and implements the fiscal and economic policy of democratic society confederalism. It establishes economic and fiscal organizations that are needed by the society. It initiates projects for resource investments and employment. It encourages people to act in the face of problems and solves the economic problems.” Here, what is implied by these projects and policies are the fiscal activities that are performed for the sake of the PKK terrorist organization. These activities are mainly money transfers and collections, racketeering, drug trafficking, and activities for fund procurement.


The Economic Field activities of the KCK/TM can be summarized as follows:


1. The monies coming from abroad in the name of GöÇ-Der (2) and being distributed among the relatives of the PKK at home
2. The fees coming from abroad and mayoral ties in Turkey and being transferred to the accounts of the KCK militants
3. The revenues deriving from land corruption
4. The activities within the scope of Mavi Kampanya (Blue Campaign) and Kumbara (Moneybox)
5. The revenues coming from the firms who win tenders within the municipalities
6. The money acquired from employment corruptions within the municipalities
7. The activities of the firms that are founded and operate for the sake of the PKK terrorist organization


3. Center for Political Fields

Within the scope of the political field, KCK produces such discourses claiming that the Kurdish people are suppressed and ignored. Thus, they conduct separatist activities against the Republic of Turkey under the name of democratic politics. Activities within the scope of the Center for Political Fields aim at organizing the political activities at abroad and in the regions which are densely populated by Kurdish people. The Center for Political Fields conducts these activities through the following committees:


a. Political Committee
b. Ecology and Local Administrations Committee
c. Law Committee
d. Foreign Relations Committee
e. Minorities and Faith Committee


The activities conducted by the KCK terrorist organization by means of these committees could be summarized as follows:


1. The contact and communication with Europe, Kandil (the mountain where the PKK’s primary base is situated), Imrali (a small Turkish island where PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan is being detained), and with  rural areas in the eastern part of Turkey
2. The activities of the Local Administrations and Urban Assemblies
3. The tender corruption and abuse of the state institutions to the advantage of the PKK organization
4. The preparation of forged documents and passports for travel abroad
5. The Activities of the KCK’s Foreign Coordination Unit in Europe.
6. The activities of the Electoral Commission
7. The activities to orientate DTP/BDP
In addition to these, according to the 4th Paragraph of the 14th Article of the KCK Contract, the mission of the Foreign Relations Committee is defined as follows: It puts into practice the foreign policy line of the KCK. It strives to make the international arena acquainted with struggle of the people in Kurdistan for liberty. It improves means of diplomacy in this context. It tries to establish strategic and tactical alliances.”


4. Center for Social Fields
Within the scope of the activities in this field, with the purpose of controlling all parts of the society, the KCK terrorist organization establishes the required policies and institutions. Eight different committees operate in this field: These committees are:


a. Social Committee
b. Public Health Committee
c. Language and Education Committee
d. Laborer Committee
e. Committee for Solidarity with the Relatives of Martyrs and with War Veterans
f. Youth Committee
g. YJA- Yekiniya Jinen Azad (Union for Free Women) Committee
h. Free Citizenship Coordination


Within the scope of the activities in social field, these could be shown:


1. The organization for martyr funerals
2. The protection of PKK organization members that are in prison or under custody and protection of the martyrs’ relatives.
3. Women and youth activities

5. Center for Ideological Fields

It is responsible for organizing any kind of ideological workings within the illegal KCK formation. It consists of the Science-Enlightenment Committee, the Culture Committee, the PKK Committee, the PAJK (Kurdish: Partiya Azadiya Jin a Kurdistan; English: Kurdistan Women’s Freedom Party) Committee, and the Press Committee. Furthermore, units such as Gün TV, Kürdi-Der, the Kurdish Institute, Tevçant, and the Mesopotamia Culture Center act within the scope of the Center for Ideological Fields. Besides, the aforementioned committees carry out acts of violence in the metropolitan cities under the excuse of Abdullah Öcalan’s being imprisoned and continue with provocations, mass actions during the so-called anniversary and important days of the PKK organization.



The KCK organization is made up of three different courts which report to one superior court under the name of the Court of Administrative Justice. These three separate courts are namely the Courts of People’s Liberation, the Superior Military Courts and the Administrative Courts.


The Courts of People’s Liberation

The 28th article of the KCK contract states that these illegal courts, which are organized with the name of Courts of People’s Liberation, are responsible for “protecting the honor and freedom of people” and for ensuring the implementation of the contract. These courts are also in charge of judging the “surrender and betrayal of people” (4)  and of supporting “people’s freedom and the democratic system.” The Courts of People’s Liberation, the highest court in which people can be tried for their crimes is the superior branch and  have the characteristics of the Court of Appeals while judging the resolutions of the other judicial branches of the KCK organization.


1. The Peoples’ Courts

People’s courts are one of the sub-units of the Courts of People’s Liberation. These courts are accountable for dealing with events and problems among people, attacks against security of life and property, serious disputes in economic, social, political and cultural fields and settlement of these disputes. This illegal branch of the KCK’s judiciary plays a significant role in spreading the philosophy and activities of the terrorist organization KCK.


2. The Superior Military Courts

These courts are responsible for dealing with crimes that are within the scope of the armed wing of the KCK organization. 


3. The Administrative Courts

According to the 30th article of the KCK contract, it is the responsibility of the Administrative Courts to hear the cases of administrative crimes, abuse of the administrative missions and discipline violations that occur within the general branches of the KCK formation. 




(1) Within scope of these campaigns, the KCK has taken a great deal of money from the tradesmen in the region.

(2) The association of culture and social solidarity for those immigrants.

(3)The DTP (Democratic Society Party) was renamed as the present-day BDP (Peace and Democracy Party). 

(4)The surrender of the PKK members to the Turkish military.


Translated from Turkish by Hacer Şartepe

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