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Cemîl Bayik

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Cemîl Bayik (born 1951 in Keban, Elazığ) is one of the five founders of the Kurdish movement Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK),[1] and is among the organization's top leadership. He is a member of the 12-man leadership council of the Koma Civakên Kurdistan (KCK), a Kurdish political umbrella organisation that the PKK is part of,[2] and is also part of the three-man PKK Executive Committee, the leading body of the organisation, which consists of himself, acting PKK leader Murat Karayilan and Fehman Huseyin, a Kurd from Western/Syrian Kurdistan who is the PKK's military commander.[3][4]

Cemîl Bayik
Born1951 (age 67–68)
Keban, Elâzığ Province, Turkey
Years of service1978 – present
RankMember of PKK Presidency Council
Vice-Chairman of KCK Executive Council
Former ARGK commander
Battles/warsKurdish-Turkish conflict (1978-present)

Cemîl Bayik has accused Turkey of protecting and supporting ISIS. He has also asked international observers to study Turkey's bombing raids against IS militants.[5]

Cemil Bayik with two other PKK leaders are wanted by the United States Department of the Treasury and the Government of Turkey for recruiting child soldiers, involving in drug trafficking, targeting Turkish government officials, police and security forces, and indiscriminately injuring and killing civilians.


In the PKK's first meeting in 1978, Bayik was appointed Deputy Secretary General of the organisation, making him the PKK's second man (after Abdullah Öcalan)[6] and until 1995[7] he served as the leader of the PKK's military wing, the Arteshen Rizgariya Gelli Kurdistan (ARGK) or Peoples' Liberation Army.[2] In the early nineties he was the camp director at the Mahsum Korkmaz Academy, the PKK's training camp in the Syrian-controlled Beqaa Valley in Lebanon.[8]

After the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, Bayik and Murat Karayilan were voted to lead the PKK. According to Turkish claims, reformist leaders such as Osman Öcalan, Nizamettin Tas (who previously backed Bayik against Osman Ocalan in a leadership struggle[9]) and Kani Yilmaz left the organisation, Karayilan served as acting leader of the PKK with Bayik's support.[2]

Bayik had several times stated that PKK is ready for peace process and he has made several ceasefire decisions. Bayik has stated that "the war can't solve the Kurdish-Turkish conflict in Turkey and it would have been solved long time ago if the solution process had started earlier.[10]

In November 2018 the USA declared, they are offering a bounty of 4 Million US-Dollars for information that lead to the capture of Bayik.[11]


Suspicions of drug traffickingEdit

On 20 April 2011, at the request of Turkey, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the designation of PKK founders Cemîl Bayik and Duran Kalkan and other high-ranking members as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers (SDNT) pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act). Pursuant to the Kingpin Act, the designation freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals. However, years later the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution says that there is no evidence that the organisational structures of the PKK are directly involved in drug trafficking.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Foreign Terrorist Organizations". U.S. Department of State.
  2. ^ a b c Leading PKK Commander Cemil Bayik Crosses into Iran. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  3. ^ New PKK Leadership Takes Over Insurgency Archived 2015-06-26 at the Wayback Machine. (2008-05-25). Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  4. ^ "Turkey 'faces choice between democracy and dictatorship'". The Independent. 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  5. ^ "PKK leader: Turkey is protecting IS by attacking Kurds". BBC. 10 August 2015.
  6. ^ The Jamestown Foundation: PKK Leadership Under Pressure in the Post-Öcalan Era. Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  7. ^ Michael M. Gunter (15 May 1997). The Kurds and the Future of Turkey. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-0-312-17265-7. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  8. ^ Markus, Aliza (October 2011). Blood and belief Archived 2014-10-07 at the Wayback Machine. p. 159. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2012-08-20.
  9. ^ Nizamettin Tas Archived June 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ PKK leader says ready for new Turkey ceasefire Archived October 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, AFP, 2010-10-09.
  11. ^ "Rewards for Justice - Wanted for Terrorism - Cemil Bayik". rewardsforjustice.
  12. ^ Press Center (April 20, 2011). "Treasury Designates Five Leaders of the Kongra-Gel as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers". U.S. Department of the Treasury. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  13. ^ Bundesministerium des Innern (2012). "Verfassungsschutzbericht 2011" (PDF). Berlin. p. 342. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-10-11.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Mahsum Korkmaz
  Military Commander of the PKK
1986 – 1995
Succeeded by
Nizamettin Taş