Besê Hozat: Guerrillas wage a relentless struggle against the Turkish state’s genocidal attacks

Besê Hozat, co-chair of the KCK Executive Council said that "the Turkish state is committing war crimes every day, every hour, and every minute."

In the third part of this interview, Besê Hozat, co-chair of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council, spoke about the "relentless struggle" waged by guerrillas against the "Turkish state's genocidal war."

The first part of this interview can be read here 

The second part of this interview can be read here

It is known that the Turkish state has increased its chemical attacks against the guerrillas, particularly in the Medya Defense Areas. What can be said about these attacks and the resistance of the guerrillas?

The freedom guerrillas are waging a relentless struggle against the Turkish state’s genocidal war. Everyone, especially the Kurdish people, is curious about the course of this war. It is clear that there is a distortion in the press releases made by the circles around the AKP-MHP, which makes it difficult to fully understand the developments of the war. The war continues to maintain and increase momentum. The attacks continue very intensely in Metina and in the west of the Zap area. Chemical weapons are being used very intensively, but generally, all kinds of banned weapons are being used against our comrades. The Turkish state is committing war crimes every day, every hour, and every minute. There are bombardments every other day. The Medya Defense Areas are under very intense, continuous bombardment by warplanes and tanks.

In Metina, the KDP has literally paved the way for the Turkish state. It has handed over Metina and Zap as a whole to the Turkish state and has completely opened that area to occupation. It also provides all kinds of intelligence and logistical support. It is also facilitating its advance, clearing roads, and leading the way. The Turkish state is currently advancing in Metina piece by piece, step by step. Our comrades are putting up a very serious resistance against this. There have been many intense actions carried out by the guerrillas in the recent past. The Turkish army suffered many casualties in Metina. It is the same in Zap. They are using banned weapons in all forms against the positions of the guerrillas. In Qendil, Xakurke, and all over Behdinan, there is intense, daily bombardment by warplanes. We anticipated that in late May or early June, the war would intensify and gain scope, and this is what is happening now. The attacks, bombardments, and efforts to deploy from the ground are intense. And against this, as I have already pointed out, our comrades are developing a strong resistance. On this occasion, I send my greetings to these comrades.

Especially this June, very strong actions developed in central Metina and the center of West Zap. The enemy will continue to take very big blows if it insists on war. Had they been able to occupy West Zap, the Turkish state planned to launch an operation that included Bradost, even extending to Gare. This is what they aimed for, and this plan is still on the agenda. But they needed stronger support to put this plan into practice right at the beginning of June. For example, they held talks with Iraq and asked for open support. Because right now, the Turkish army is stuck. Despite using the most advanced technology in the world, including banned weapons, the Turkish army is in deadlock. They are stuck in Zap and Metina and cannot proceed. That’s why they need Iraq’s support; they want the peshmerga and Iraq to take part in this war more openly and actively. That is why they held meetings with Iraq; they wanted to create a joint operations room in order to coordinate the war together. But it is clear that they still have not reached a full agreement with Iraq on this issue. They are pushing and pressuring Iraq, but Iraq has obviously not fully accepted Turkey’s imposition. That is why the Turkish army cannot take any further steps. The Turkish state does not have enough power for this.

The state and this regime have already collapsed. Its economy and politics have collapsed. It does not have the power to extend its occupation to Gare, Qendil, and Bradost on its own. It lacks military and economic power. No matter how much technology it owns or how many inhumane weapons it uses, they cannot progress. It has been using banned weapons regularly for three to four years now. It is fighting with warplanes and all its technology against the guerrillas, but it can’t yield results. Instead, it is stuck. If Iraq does not offer support and if the peshmerga as a whole does not get involved, it cannot succeed. It does not have that power. That’s why they are now trying very intensely to involve Iraq. The KDP focuses more on the PUK. It is trying to bring them to the line of the KDP. It still hasn’t given up on this. It continues these efforts. But it is not getting the results it wants. Thus, they are unable to put their second plan into practice. With the KDP’s intelligence, logistical support, pioneering, and deployment of forces from here to there, the enemy is trying to develop piecemeal attacks. It is trying to dominate and fortify itself in the places it enters. This is the kind of war that is currently being waged in southern Kurdistan.

We usually always focus on the South, but the war continues in the North as well. Of course, the South is an area where the war is very intense right now. But there is an even more intense war in the North. Without any breaks, there are continuous operations in every province of northern Kurdistan. Every month, every day, every summer, winter, spring, and fall, there have been non-stop attacks and operations there for years. Dozens of UAVs and UCAVs are in the sky. From fighter jets to helicopters, All kinds of forces, from simple gangs to professional forces, are in constant operation in every province of the north. Indeed, our comrades are developing tremendous resistance there. They show great willpower. I congratulate the guerrillas in the north from the bottom of my heart. It is really great courage, a great commitment, and self-sacrifice that they live. Our comrades resist all these attacks uninterruptedly. At the moment, there are guerrilla forces in all provinces, resisting all kinds of attacks and protecting their positions.

In the same way, the Turkish attacks continue against Rojava. I appreciate the will of our people and military forces there. In these last months, the attacks of the Turkish state against the infrastructure of the people have intensified once more. The Turkish state is attacking living spaces, service centers, and public buildings. All of these are war crimes. The Turkish state wants to change the demography of the places it occupies in Rojava. It provides education in Turkish, appointed governors everywhere in Afrin, Serekaniye, and Gire Spi, and factually occupied and annexed these areas. They are giving special warfare training in Afrin and have even opened a school of special warfare, providing professional training to the mercenaries there. They are waging a genocidal war. There is resistance against this, but the Turkish state continues. As long as Kurdish denial and extermination continue, these attacks will continue in south, north, east, and west Kurdistan. Wherever Kurds struggle and resist, the Turkish state, which leads the genocidal colonialism, will continue its attacks. But without a doubt, the resistance against this will also continue. We have seen what can be achieved through resistance. It has now put the Turkish state into a process of collapse. This fascist genocidal power is starting to collapse.

The month of June is known within your movement as the month of self-sacrifice. How did this develop?

June is the month of ‘fedais’. I commemorate with respect, love and gratitude all the martyrs of June and the revolution in general. I especially commemorate comrades Zilan, Sema, and Gulan. Apart from these friends, many other valuable friends were also martyred in June. Especially Hanim Yaverkaya, one of our first June martyrs, and Raperin Amed, Berivan Zilan, Ali Piling and Fazil Botan. Again, many years ago, in the month of June, ten of our comrades  martyred fighting with the Palestinian people, resisting against Israel’s genocidal attacks. At the same time, the martyrdom of commander Abu Leyla, a member of the Minbij Military Council, also occurred during this month. The martyrdom of Huseyin Cevahir from the Turkish Revolutionary Movement is also in June.

June is a month in which many valuable revolutionaries were martyred, be it within the Kurdish freedom movement, the Turkish revolutionary movement, or the Arab revolutionary movement. I commemorate them all with respect, love and gratitude.

Comrade Zilan’s action went beyond military action. The political, social, and ideological consequences of this action are very important. She carried out her action against the conspiracy targeting Rêber Apo on May 6, 1996, in Damascus. This was the first conspiracy aimed at us. It was aimed at the physical destruction of Rêber Apo. Comrade Zilan put forward an attitude and responded to this conspiracy. This can never be regarded as a mere military action. It is not correct to just say, “She went and did a sacrifice action, and so many soldiers died.” Conducting such an action in a place like Dersim caused great military trauma to the enemy. Yes, it caused defeat for the Turkish army, but this is not the entire picture.

Comrade Zilan is a woman who represents freedom. In this sense, the message she gave to her enemies and the attitude she showed were very meaningful. Comrade Zilan understood what Rêber Apo meant for the Kurdish people, for women, and for humanity as a whole. She revealed this in her action. After her action, the enemy never dared to attack Damascus again. She struck fear into the heart and mind of the Turkish state and demonstrated a very strong power of meaning by better understanding and comprehending the reality of Rêber Apo. She revealed and developed unmatched ideological power. Rêber Apo always regards comrade Zilan as a manifesto of freedom. He always said, “Zilan is the line of victory in war and the line of free women in life.” Comrade Zilan is really a personality with such qualities. She paved the way for the further development of the guerrilla. She paved the way for the new tactics and mentality of fedai in the guerrillas.

This action had multidimensional, significant consequences, and of course, the impact it had on women was huge. Comrade Zilan rejected the traditional woman, the traditional society, and the traditional family. In fact, she took a big stand against the reality of the enslaved woman and the dominant man and struck a blow to this reality. This led to a very strong change, transformation, and questioning in both women and society. We know that the current structure of the family is a male-dominated family. It is based on the domination of the man and the slavery of the woman. Therefore, it swallows and freezes the energy of both men and women. It destroys their dignity, devalues them, and objectifies them. In such a relationship between men and women and in such a family structure, there is no freedom. The current structure of the family is a male-dominated, sexist family based on materialistic understandings that essentially appropriates the woman and the child. It is this family reality, this family culture, that constitutes society. The nation-state system and all state power systems feed on this family reality. In fact, the family is the prototype, the nucleus of the state. Power feeds the state system: just as women and children are the property of men in the family, society has become the property of the state power system. Just as the woman in the family are the slave of the man, society has become the slave of the ruling state. In other words, the family constantly produces slavery. It produces dependent relationships and develops slavery. The family has been designed to be one hundred percent dependent on men. Can a woman who is dependent on a man, who is a slave, be free? Can a woman who is not free, live free or equal with a man? Can that family be a free, equal family, a democratic family? Is it possible? Never. The reality of the existing family is one of terrible disrespect, lack of love and worthlessness towards women.

Comrade Zilan was also married. She rejected that relationship. She realized that in such a relationship, there is sole dependency and possessiveness. She realized that it was a slave-sovereign relationship, an enslaving relationship; she rejected it. Now, of course, there are thousands of Zilans who struggle along this line. But comrade Zilan raised the standards of free life, free society, democratic families, free men, and free women. She became a line. She became a line of freedom, a manifesto of freedom. This is very meaningful. The women’s liberation struggle gained great momentum on the axis of this line. After Zilan’s action, Rêber Apo’s analysis of women’s freedom deepened a lot. Compare Rêber Apo’s analysis of women in 1998 and after. Look at his analysis of men, his analysis of the family and society, and his analysis of the state; it has become very deep. Intellectually, ideologically, and philosophically, Zilan also fed Rêber Apo and the women’s liberation struggle. Now, the Kurdish women’s movement is the strongest movement in Turkey, Kurdistan, the Middle East, and even the world. Today, it ideologically leads the world’s women’s movement. The ideology of freedom deepens alongside the reality of Rêber Apo, which developed through the sacrifice of such comrades. It developed with women’s reality and struggle.

Now the AKP-MHP fascist government is targeting the women’s movement tremendously. Because it is the strongest movement in Kurdistan and in Turkey. It is the strongest resistance movement. It feeds society, changes it, and transforms it. It mobilizes society. It is the main pioneering force. It is the force that challenges this fascist regime the most. So what does the state do? It attacks the women’s movement in many dimensions. Here in Kurdistan, it is attacked as part of its genocide attacks. For example, one of the main things targeted through the appointment of trustees is the co-presidency system. They don’t want the system of equal representation to be institutionalized and cultivated. Because this will lead to the creation of a new society, a free, democratic society based on the freedom and equality of men and women. The state cannot tolerate the co-presidency system in politics, so they attack and throw the co-chairs in jail. Right now, the prisons in Turkey are full of female revolutionaries, female politicians, and female activists. The state attacks everywhere. Drugs, rape, and prostitution are special war attacks against women’s liberation in order to regress and degenerate the women’s freedom movement. All of this is violence against women; policies are developed consciously and systematically to break the will of women, to subjugate women, to create an enslaved society, to make women unable to struggle, and to intimidate them.

Some people chant the slogan, “Violence against women is political.” This is very narrow. Violence against women is not only political; violence against women is mainly ideological. It is political because it is ideological. It is based on an idea; it is based on male-dominated thought and tradition. Violence against women is based on five thousand years of male-dominated rape tradition. The state takes practical steps according to this ideology through politics. This policy is based on an ideology, an idea, and five thousand years of male-dominated culture and sexist tradition. The other day, I was watching TV. In some schools, some teachers and imams raped children. There were some protests against this where people raised a banner saying, “Child abuse is political.” What abuse? Why are you softening it? How could one’s approach to rape be so liberal? Why are they legitimizing it with this expression? It is rape. It is the massacre of a child. This regime really wants to create an enslaved society. This has been its aim and goal from the beginning. The state wants to create an enslaved society. What does it take to realize this goal? It targets women. It wants to weaken the women’s liberation movement. The state knows that they do not have the power to eliminate the woman completely, so they try to weaken her, break her will, and intimidate her. That is why the state is carrying out an attack in many dimensions. One dimension is rape, violence, prostitution, and drugs. Another dimension is economic destruction. Women are massively unemployed, are almost condemned to domestic labor at home, are enslaved, their labor is not valued, and they are put into a condition where they are economically unable to manage themselves. Their arms and wings are broken, and they are disempowered. The state is doing the same thing in the field of education. Now they have come up with an education curriculum that is completely misogynistic and really anti-social. A curriculum that is hostile to beliefs is monist, religious, and racist. It wants to shape future generations in this way by changing their mentality with an education system according to this ideology.

A group of young female students were not allowed to attend their own graduation ceremony on the grounds of their attire. It’s an attack that is branching out like this. It is a policy of feminicide. There is psychological violence everywhere. They humiliate the woman, belittle her, and make her feel worthless all the time. It is on the news 24 hours a day. Whether she is a well-known writer, journalist, or politician, you look closer and see that she is enduring violence at home. Whether she is a famous artist or a politician, she endures violence at home. They are subjected to violence from their husbands and lovers; they are murdered.

This fascist government, the AKP-MHP fascist government, has carried out a policy that has intensified sexist tradition the most and increased violence against women tenfold. It is already impossible for them to get results from this. The women’s freedom movement is developing everywhere, but it needs to gain more strength. One by one, we need to hold the male state and the dominant male to account for their crimes. Women are strong enough to do this.