Kalkan: Everyone must take responsibility and struggle
KCK Executive Council Member Duran Kalkan evaluates the latest developments in Kurdistan and the Middle East.
An interview with Duran Kalkan, member of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council, on Medya Haber TV about important news with regards to the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan, the 25th anniversary of his imprisonment, the continuing uprising in East Kurdistan and Iran, the importance of the war in the South Kurdish Medya Defense Zones and the likely developments following the recent guerrilla attack in the city of Mersin.
Let’s first talk about the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan. In the last weeks there have been serious developments, especially in the international arena. How should we evaluate the constantly increasing struggle against isolation?
I would like to respectfully salute the historic Imrali resistance and Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan]. Recently, there have been certain developments in the struggle, but the Imrali system of isolation and torture itself has not changed. The torture and oppression continue. No legal principles have any validity there. Those who created this system do not even abide by their own laws. Although they promised to do so, the practices in Imrali have clearly shown how faithful, reliable and credible the current AKP administration is. However, it has become clear that it is not only the Turkish state and the AKP-MHP fascist administration that do not abide by the law in Imrali, but also the European governments that try to lecture everyone on democracy and law. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe was supposed to make a statement by the end of September on how to implement the ECHR’s ruling on Leader Apo. Turkey had allegedly been asked for its opinion on this issue, but it simply did not respond. The ECHR brought up the issue of the ‘Right to Hope’. They wanted Turkey’s opinion on what the Turkish government would do to change the situation on Imrali. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe had asked Turkey to change the situation there. But Turkey did not show any interest in the matter and did not even respond properly. The lawyers said that a statement would be made, that the Turkish administration was forced to do so and thus hope was created that the Committee of Ministers would make a statement in September. Therefore, society developed certain expectations. But now, September is over and there is still no explanation. For the past 8 years they have not put their decisions into practice, and now, again, there is no explanation.
What does this show? It actually reveals the reality of the İmralı system. In other words, it shows that there is no such thing as law there, that the law is completely under the control of politics and serves political interests. This is how the AKP-MHP administration and the European administrations apply law. If the ECHR decision is a legal decision, it is not only the Turkish state that does not comply with it, but also the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. So, basically, no one complies. It is clear that there is no law, no legal process in İmrali. Rather, this is a political hostage system. This hostage system continues to exist and the different actors are doing everything for their political interests. Law is a cover for a system of political hostage-taking. This is very obvious. We really don’t know what the ECHR will say about this. There are all these renowned judges. They are not only one or two. They line up, as if a battalion is marching, announce their verdicts, claim that they are delivering justice, and everyone thinks, hopes and expects this, but then there is nothing.
What does this legal institution think about those who do not implement its decisions? Will it take a decision, or is it just for show? Do its decisions have absolutely no applicability? Is it a game, a procedure, in fact a method of politics, a way of carrying on business in line with their own interests? 8 to 9 years have passed, but still the ECHR does not monitor the non-implementation of its own judgment. If it has no power to enforce its decisions, why does it take decisions and thus deceive the public? Why does it make others expect something from it?
This shows that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adjusts everything according to politics. In fact, its relationship with the ECHR is a relationship of subjecting law to the control of politics. This is a serious problem for everyone. Because the law is not only necessary for Leader Apo and the Kurds, it is necessary for everyone. Those who claim they are delivering justice today, but do not implement it, may one day come to need the law themselves. There is clearly a game being played here. Lawyers have also made many statements recently and created hope and expectations. Now they must address this situation. There must be a way, a method of struggle against this. Why does the ECHR take such a decision? If it does, then how will its decision be implemented? These decisions must be implemented so that they have value. If not, then what is the value of that decision? It only means stalling and deceit. This is exactly what is happening. All this constitutes a very serious situation.
It is necessary to fight, and a struggle is being waged in deed: More than 2000 lawyers have applied to visit Imrali. Some of them have been waiting for 6 months, others for 3 months. Lawyers, intellectuals, artists, scientists, writers from all over the world are applying to go to İmrali. They want to meet Leader Apo. They want to discuss with him and benefit from his thoughts. And they also want to convey their own thoughts to him, but there is simply no response from the authorities. The AKP-MHP fascist administration has shut down everything and does not even follow the requirements of its own law. Everywhere, different kinds of laws are being applied. Specific laws are being applied separately to so-and-so prison and so-and-so person. So there is no law, politics and military methods are being used. This is actually a system of deception. Law, justice, democracy, these are all empty words in this case. These forces do not listen to justice and the law. They are the forces of state politics. Under the name of politics, such a situation has been created. The institution of politics, which should be a domain for the implementation of the vital affairs of society, has been turned into this by the power and state system. This has absolutely nothing to do with society. It has been turned into an institution for the destruction of society, not just the destruction of nature. Still, it is necessary to wage more legal struggles before the ECHR and the Committee of Ministers, and to intervene in every way possible.
On the other hand, we need to increase the efforts of lawyers to go to Imrali. We need to be more assertive. Not only lawyers, but also other groups, MPs, artists, writers, everyone in Kurdistan and Turkey can demand to go to İmrali. It is necessary to create pressure, to break this system of torture, isolation and genocide in İmrali. This is not only about the physical freedom of Leader Apo and about the Kurds gaining their rights, but also about the democratization of Turkey, the Middle East, and the democratization and freedom of humanity. This concerns everyone. There is nothing in the world that the İmrali system does not affect. This needs to be understood well. The struggle against the İmrali system of isolation and torture is everyone’s struggle, it is in everyone’s interest. It is a struggle for freedom from oppression and exploitation. It is necessary to spread the struggle further, to include more groups of society. We need to intensify actions both in the political and the legal realm. We need to promote actions like the ´Dem Dema Azadiyê´ [´The Time of Freedom is Now´] campaign. The anniversary of the International Conspiracy [on October 9, 1998 when Abdullah Öcalan was forced to leave Syria] is approaching. This conspiracy will enter its 25th year. Therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate everywhere against the İmrali torture and isolation system and to call for the physical freedom of Leader Apo. Indeed, only such a struggle can remove this mentality and change the system of oppression. With his stance, his struggle and the values he has created, Leader Apo has created a great basis for this. He has addressed everyone and has shown the truth. We must spread this issue all over the world. We must take this to women, youth, workers and laborers, humanity all over the world. As people become more conscious, they start to struggle and support Leader Apo. This struggle is spreading to all humanity. I would like to salute everyone who is waging this struggle and wish them success.
The International Conspiracy of October 9 is entering its 25th anniversary. How would you describe the current situation of the conspiracy and the struggle against it?
Launched on October 9, 1998, the International Conspiracy, which began with the extraction of Leader Apo from Syria, is now completing its 24th year. It is an attack that has been continuing for a quarter century now. It is very important to understand and evaluate what has happened in this quarter century. This has not been an easy time. Things did not happen by themselves, but there has been a very intense struggle. First of all, I would like to emphasize that the conspiracy was an attack aimed at the annihilation of Leader Apo. Its aim was to destroy the Kurdish existence and freedom in the person of Leader Apo. It was an attack against the free Kurds, against the democratic solution to the Kurdish question. İmrali has since turned into a system of isolation, torture and genocide. There are those forces which are responsible for this, those who made the decisions back then, those who directed and planned the conspiracy. There are those who participated in this attack. There is a wide range of accomplices. A whole circle of criminals. These people should not have acted like that. I would like to invite them to question their own real situation and save themselves from this situation of guilt.
In the past 24 years, a great and sacrificial resistance against the International Conspiracy under the slogan ´You cannot darken our sun´ has taken place and thousands and tens of thousands of martyrs have been given by the Kurds in all four parts of Kurdistan and all over the world. For 24 years there has been a historic struggle against the conspiracy. The success of the conspiracy has thus been prevented. I would like to commemorate with respect, love and gratitude the heroic martyrs of the resistance against the conspiracy in the person of Halit Oral and Aynur Artan, who started this struggle. They made October the beginning of the resistance against the conspiracy. They turned October into the month of martyrs. In combination with the day of comrade Bêrîtan’s martyrdom on October 25, the women have declared this the month of martyrs. Therefore, everybody needs to approach October on this basis.
First of all, it would be useful to restate what this conspiracy means. The aim of this attack is the annihilation of Leader Apo. There is an aggression taking place here, an attack of annihilation. Who did this? This did not fall from the sky. Those who did it are obvious. The President of the United States decided this. Clinton signed it, his aides said that they prepared it and had the President sign it. All this is documented. Biden is also a member of the Democratic Party. Today, the US administration is led by the Democratic Party. Britain and Israel also took part in this conspiracy. And we know very well how much pressure they put on Russia when Leader Apo went there.
Leader Apo went to Europe to urge the countries there to solve the Kurdish problem democratically and he presented an 8-point plan. This was a situation that could have really changed everything. But what did Europe do? They showed him the way to İmrali and deported him. They declared him persona non grata, especially Germany and France. They didn’t even allow him to stay in those countries but drove him all the way to Kenya. Then they gave him to Turkey in 1999 in order to make Turkey dependent on them and to completely exploit the country. Back then, Ecevit said, “We don’t understand why the US has given him [Abdullah Öcalan] to us.” Therefore, there are forces that decided and carried out the International Conspiracy, carried out February 15 [on February 15, 1999 Abdullah Öcalan was imprisoned in the city of Nairobi], and created the İmrali system. All these forces are responsible for this.
Why did they do that? Why did they attack Leader Apo? He wanted a democratic solution to the Kurdish question. He said that the Kurds are subjected to genocide and that they deserve to live humanely in a democratic environment. What harm did this cause to anybody and why did they jointly take a stance against this demand? Thus, they have committed a great crime. I would like to call on all these forces, especially the USA, to re-evaluate the injustices they have done to the Kurds in the wake of the International Conspiracy, to make a conscientious evaluation, to make a democratic and legal assessment and to free themselves from their guilt. If they don’t do this, even if they are called the Democratic Party, even if they pass themselves off as democrats, they won’t convince anyone. They have done a lot of harm to the Kurdish people and they must change this. At the very least, they should end this injustice.
The International Conspiracy still continues. The İmrali torture and isolation system shows that the conspiracy continues. There has not been any news from İmrali for 19 months. If someone’s finger bleeds somewhere in the world, all hell breaks loose. They join hands and talk about human rights. When it comes to Kurds, anything goes. They play the game of ´I didn’t hear, I didn’t see, I don’t know´. What kind of world is this? So what will they demand from the Kurds? What have they given, so that they can ask for anything from the Kurds? There can’t be this much lawlessness. Which world system, justice, law can they even talk about?
The International Conspiracy was directed against the Kurdish question. It was against Kurdish freedom. This is an attack that wants the Kurdish genocide system and mentality to continue. They profit from this. They go against whoever wants to change this. They have created a world system and the world is at war today. There was an International Conspiracy and the Gulf War, which was the second stage of what we call World War 3. The second period started with the conspiracy, then continued with the Twin Towers in 2001 and in 2002/03 with the Afghanistan-Iraq war. Where are we now? The war in Ukraine. The international forces behind the conspiracy prevented the democratic solution to the Kurdish question. They put Leader Apo in a system of isolation and torture, in an Imrali coffin. So what kind of world did they create? They are fighting each other in Ukraine, threatening each other with nuclear weapons. They have brought the world and humanity to the stage of complete destruction, and everyone is in a state of agony. There is militarization, an arms race similar to the early 1900s. Everyone is in a state of panic about their own security. Those who possess nuclear weapons threaten everyone. How many people have died so far in Ukraine? How and who destroyed all those wheat areas? Humanity has been brought to the point of extinction.
They attacked Leader Apo and called this a fight against terrorism. So what have those who attacked him done in a quarter of a century? What have they achieved? The Middle East, Iraq and Kurdistan are now bloodbaths. But they didn’t stop there. Europe is trembling over Ukraine, saying ‘I have no security’. The countries there are experiencing anxiety and fear. This is the world they have created. Can they really say that they have created a good world? The situation is very serious. The International Conspiracy should not be taken lightly. It should not be considered as only an issue of the Kurds. Undoubtedly, Turkey is the main dimension, but what this system has created in the Middle East and the world is also obvious. Leader Apo has said that they want to profit from this by creating an endless Turkish-Kurdish war. Isn’t this what they have created under the name of the ´Submission Plan´[passed by the Turkish government in October 2014] ? They started with ISIS, they attacked Şengal [Sinjar], Maxmûr, Kobanê, then they joined forces with Turkey, they attacked, and they are still profiting from this. They have caused one of the heaviest wars ever. And they want to continue the conspiracy with this war. They have put Erdoğan in charge of the conspiracy. For 20 years they have been using him. They want him to carry out the conspiracy. He thinks he is a hero, more like a sultan than Mustafa Kemal. He says that he will succeed and that he is doing this in the service of the Turks. Which interests? What service? He is simply serving the international conspirators.
The conspiracy was an attack of annihilation. But the Kurdish people, Leader Apo and the Freedom Movement have prevented this annihilation. İmralı is a system designed to make the prisoner rot, but Leader Apo and the Kurdish people have thwarted this. For the solution to the Kurdish question, for the solution to all the problems created by the power and state system, Leader Apo has created both theoretical ideas and practical political projects. Thus, he has impressed everyone with his ideas. They inspire everyone, especially women, to struggle for freedom.
The October 9th Conspiracy was an attack that envisioned the instant annihilation of Leader Apo. On this basis, the goal was to destroy the PKK within 6 months, to thus successfully carry out the Kurdish genocide. Since then, this annihilation plan has evolved into a 24-year-long fierce struggle. This has unmasked the conspirators and has thus revealed their real aims. Today, the level of awareness of this, the degree of organization and the demand for freedom in all parts of Kurdistan have increased significantly. This has put the issue of the solution to the Kurdish question on the political agenda of the world. This struggle has now become a real alternative.
The international conspirators have established a system, and the alternative to this is the struggle for Democratic Confederalism developed by Leader Apo. It is the Democratic Nation that will solve all existing problems. Against all the powers which produce no solution, Leader Apo has created an alternative system in which everyone can freely organize themselves in the framework of Democratic Autonomy and Democratic Confederalism. In the 25th year of the International Conspiracy, these questions will be discussed even more. The war in Ukraine and all the other issues are secondary. The essence of the matter is Leader Apo’s solution of Democratic Modernity as an alternative to the system of capitalist modernity, which brings about all these problems and leads humanity to extinction. So the real issue is the creation of a just, democratic world where people can live equally. Destroying the İmrali torture and isolation system and ensuring the freedom of Leader Apo will help to promote Democratic Modernity everywhere. Therefore, I would like to wish success to all those who struggle on this basis.
All these issues will undoubtedly be discussed in Iran as well in the coming period. Since they have taken to the streets chanting ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî’. This uprising still continues. What is the message of the people there, both to the Iranian regime and the revolutionary-democratic forces?
I would like to commemorate Jîna Emînî and all the martyrs of the struggle for women’s freedom. The recent developments have revealed an important reality. Thus, the slogan ´Jin, Jiyan, Azadî´ has become a reality. This has shown what is needed in Iran and therefore in the world. The leadership of our movement has recently published a statement on this issue. The libertarian forces of East Kurdistan [West Iran] are currently making intense efforts. This is very important. There are a few points we can evaluate here: First of all, under the cover of criticizing the current regime, some people have recently denigrated the February 11, 1979 Revolution and have almost praised the former Shah regime. This is wrong. I myself lived through that revolution and I know very well what the Shah of Iran was like. Therefore, this is not the right way to approach this issue. The February Revolution was an important battle of modernity, a time during which a serious attempt was made to establish an alternative modernity. But this attempt was diverted away from its actual goals and later transformed into an Islamic administration which continues to exist until today. Since then, the various rulers of Iran have made the country part of capitalist modernity. When it was possible to build a system of democratic modernity in Iran, they did the exact opposite.
The ’79 Revolution was different. It was a revolution carried out by a huge alliance in which the whole society participated based on democratic unity. The vanguard of that revolution was again women. All libertarian, democratic, communal socialist forces were involved. Iran has such a social tradition. Therefore, all those who take the stance described earlier are orientalists. They consider Iran as backward and look at the country from a European perspective.
Now, the foundation of the regime has started to shake. No one had expected anything like this. Everybody had thought that there would be massacres, oppression and persecution, but that no one would fight back. But it is wrong to consider the society of Iran to be so weak and backward. This is a hegemonic and imperialist point of view. On the contrary, recent events have shown once again that hope lies in the east and in women. This is really important. It has become clear once more that there are still things for humanity to hope for. Women’s resistance has spread all over the world. Everyone has been affected by this. And everyone is still trying to understand what is going on.
The recent events constitute a revolution. We can clearly say that there is a women’s revolution of freedom taking place in Iran, a women-led revolution of freedom. This revolution clearly has ties with the ’79 Revolution that overthrew the Shah. Iran is a country in the Middle East that has experienced many revolutions and social movements. This is exactly what happened 43 years ago. But in the end, certain forces took over power and called their new system an Islamic state. Those in power in Iran pretend to be against Europe, but they are closely intertwined with the European system. They created a system that brought society into its current situation. All this has nothing to do with the real goals of the ´79 revolution. We should not look at the current situation and then denigrate the ´79 revolution or praise the Shah regime. In the 20th century, one of the most important developments in the Middle East in the wake of the First World War was the fall of the Shah in Iran. The fall of the Shah regime was the most fundamental development that affected all of the Middle East deeply. This regime had been an agent of foreign powers. In fact, it was the center of Middle Eastern reactionary forces. The intelligence organization it created, Savak, is still legendary. They were spilling blood everywhere, just like the MIT [Turkish intelligence service] and MOSSAD. The Shah regime was one of the most severe repression regimes in the region. The fall of this regime allowed everybody to breathe again. But this success was not sustained and was eventually diverted from its actual goals. A new state and a new system of power were established and transformed into a part of capitalist modernity, a statist system. This is where the actual problem lies. Women were very influential in the ´79 revolution. At the time, the regime was afraid of arresting women, let alone torturing them to death. The regime forces could not even raise their hands against women. This is how we need to evaluate the past.
On the other hand, the Iranian regime today attributes everything to foreign powers, calling everybody American agents. Foreign powers may be pursuing their own plans in Iran. A lot of forces are involved and struggling against each other. But it is not right to attribute everything to foreign powers and to try to crush the slightest demand for freedom by attributing it to foreign powers or calling it a sin. The Iranian regime is not acting in the right way. It has recently tried to correct its own stance a little bit. But what should it actually do? It should have talked to the resistance. It should have listened to what this society demands. Instead of looking for solutions, the Iranian regime has resorted to massacres. They should not have done this. The regime won´t get anywhere with these kinds of methods. The women who are demonstrating against the regime forces today were marching with them against the Shah 43 years ago. The workers, laborers, Kurds of that time are now the laborers, Kurds and women who have turned angry at the regime. Have foreign powers done all of this? No, the Iranian regime itself has paved the way for today´s developments. Therefore, there should be a more sensible approach. The demands of the peoples and women must be taken seriously. In fact, this is the kind of approach that we would expect from a government that is connected to society and comes from within the social movements. But the current Iranian regime is showing its traditional attitude, the attitude of the state. This means that it is no longer connected to society. This is why we have condemned the state’s approach. In fact, we expected the state to show the right attitude. This is society´s cry for freedom. We are not in favor of solving the problems in Iran through conflict, war and violence. Society wants to solve the problems democratically, politically, through mass struggle. And this is the right thing to do.
The demands that started in Saqiz, led by women, are very legitimate and libertarian demands. Iranian society wants freedom and has now started an uprising based on this demand. This represents today´s reality of Iran. Their demands and actions are legitimate. They should continue their struggle on condition that they do not use violence. They should increase their organization and continue their actions. The Iranian state should also meet with the protesters. It must change and renew itself on the basis of these demands. Otherwise, things will lead to a more dangerous situation.
Women’s leadership has played an important role in these protests. The women’s movements in the world have reached a certain level and in Kurdistan, through the women’s liberation revolution, this has taken on a combative and assertive form. Leader Apo developed the mentality and theory of this. PAJK [Partîya Azadîya Jin a Kurdistan – Party of Woman´s Freedom in Kurdistan] built up the leadership and organization necessary for this. All this has an important share in the development of women’s liberation movements in the Middle East. And it is only natural that the women of East Kurdistan have also been influenced by this. Leader Apo’s ideas and the courage of the guerrillas fighting for freedom have also organized women and raised their consciousness. They want to live freely, they want to participate in social life equally and with their own identity. Therefore, the Iranian state needs to understand the reality of women. But instead, they are trying to put the blame on women. The people in power are somewhat bewildered and are now showing their attitude of domination and aggression. Women are really crying out. All over the world, women are cutting off their hair and throwing it away so that those in power feel ashamed. Women are forced to do so. No one is doing this for no reason. This attitude of ´I can do as I want, be as I want, others are subject to me, I can dominate as much as I want´ is not the right way. Today’s state of humanity shows that this cannot be the way things work.
Women have turned their hair into a flag of freedom. I would like to salute them all. They will really change the world. The 21st century will indeed be the century of women. The revolution in Iran can indeed become a women-led revolution for freedom. The revolution has already been spreading in Kurdistan and this is also what will happen in other parts of the world. There may be inexperience, but through more organization, education, consciousness, power building and the right struggle, they can definitely triumph. The Iranian reality has shown this once again. This has made everyone reconsider the current situation. But those in power may not do so and may not want to give up their power. Yet, women can change this through their struggle. And they must develop the struggle in their own ways and with their own methods, in their own style, not in the way of others. If they struggle with the style of the hegemonic forces, they will not succeed. Women will develop their own style. The developments in Iran are exciting. They have already had an impact on the Middle East and the world. In the Middle East, the inactivity in Iran had been the reason for a certain weakness and there were many unnecessary conflicts. Now things are coming back on track in Iran. The current demands actually show very clearly what needs to change and how. This has made a great contribution to the situation in the Middle East. By walking in its own lane, the women’s libertarian line will liberate Iran and the Middle East, solve the Kurdish problem and create a new world of women’s liberation. This can be realized; it is not a dream.
The situation in Iran has shaken up things, which is why nothing will ever be the same again. The current regime should not seek to go back to the old way. There will be changes, new developments. Iran’s participation makes the struggle in the Middle East stronger and more fruitful. We are hopeful that this will be successful.
There is a war in the South Kurdish areas of Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna in the Medya Defense Zones that has led to this consciousness and identity that we just talked about. What is the latest situation with regards to the war?
We have evaluated the war centered on Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna before. There is no need to repeat our evaluation. A savage attack is taking place. Using all the instruments of crime – chemical weapons and banned tactical nuclear bombs – an attempt is being made to carry out a Kurdish genocide. The goal is to destroy the free Kurdish identity. And against this there is the heroic resistance of Kurdish women and men. This resistance is really superhuman. It must always be saluted and the heroic martyrs must always be commemorated. Most recently, friends have been martyred on ´Hell Hill´ [Cehennem Tepesi] with chemical weapons. I would like to commemorate these martyrs under the command of Comrade Zinar with respect and gratitude. I would also like to commemorate all other martyrs of Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna on their behalf. Our Central Headquarters Command has announced recently that the war continues to escalate. The parties involved in this war are mobilizing all their forces to achieve results. The PKK and the Kurdish people are resisting on this basis.
This is a very intense situation and a very critical process. We have always said in our previous evaluations that political events are taking place in different places, but that they are not decisive. What is decisive is war. And this war is happening mainly in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna. Those in Kurdistan and Turkey who say that they will live in a conscious way and do politics must acknowledge this reality. Without doing this, their words will not be appropriate, their plans will not be right and their work will not succeed. The war in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna is at its peak. Crimes are being committed there every day; crimes against humanity and war crimes. This has been documented and published, but there has been no reaction so far because all this is directed against Kurds. Everyone is complicit in these attacks. Prohibited weapons are being used. The Turkish press is currently discussing whether Russia will use tactical nuclear bombs, etc. Well, Turkey itself has been using these weapons for years. They consider it their right to do this.
We have asked NATO and the US and told them that the Kurdish people want an explanation about this issue. If Russia is giving these weapons to Turkey, let them say that Turkey is getting them from Russia. But Turkey is a NATO member and these weapons are NATO weapons. They should explain whether they know about this and whether they allow it. They are complicit in the AKP-MHP’s crimes. They give all kinds of support and this has been exposed. This shows what kind of world we are living in, how relations work and how states are networks of interests.
What has our Central Headquarters recently said? That this war concerns everyone. Everyone should participate and fight where they are. The genocidal colonialist enemy is using all kinds of attacks to get results, to crush the guerrilla. It uses forbidden and criminal tools. It wants to get support from all over the world by selling Turkey’s means and resources.
The resistance must grow. Everyone must take responsibility and struggle. Nobody can say that this is none of their business. Nor should anybody say that they can’t do anything. Instead, everybody needs to show strength and courage. If they cannot do it alone, they should organize themselves. The guerrilla is waging a war. There have been clashes in the Botan area [North Kurdistan], in the Zagros area and in Amed [Diyarbakir]. I commemorate the martyrs of Amed with respect, love and gratitude. Indeed, they resisted heroically and made superhuman efforts to prevent the enemy from passing through Amed, to protect the land of Amed, to breathe and live freely.
Yes, the center of the war is in the Medya Defense Zones, in Xakurkê, Heftanîn, Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna, but the war is also spreading everywhere in North Kurdistan, Turkey and South Kurdistan. It has partially spread, and has also remained incomplete in some areas. Everyone has a responsibility to make up for the shortcomings. This is what our call is about. We shouldn’t say we can’t do it. There is something everyone can do. As long as you look for it, want to do something, call the enemy what it is and call injustice by its name. Everybody should have the intention of doing something and take a decision accordingly. A method and the necessary means can definitely be found. Currently, some people still fail to fully and correctly see and understand what is happening. There is retreat, individualism, timidity. All this must be overcome. There must be a stronger struggle. The guerrilla is heroically resisting with all its strength to achieve results. And if we unite around the guerrilla, we will definitely succeed. There is no other solution anyway. Therefore, I agree with the call of our Central Headquarters and call on everyone to act more responsibly, to organize more and join the struggle, to take part in the overthrow of AKP-MHP fascism.
The HPG recently carried out an attack in the city of Mersin in Turkey. What is the meaning and importance of this attack in Mersin during a time of so much pressure and attacks?
As we have said before, war is spreading. It is very important to understand the attack in Mersin correctly. Its place in the general war, but also its impact on the war must be understood well. Statements have recently been published by the HPG Press Center (Hêzên Parastina Gel – People´s Defense Forces) and our Central Headquarters. These were important and meaningful statements. The Turkish administration has repeatedly claimed that there were no guerrilla forces left and that they were monitoring them completely. But the attack in Mersin has negated all that. Just like the uprising in Iran has shaken up everything, the Mersin action also did. Turkey´s National Security Council was forced to hold a meeting afterwards. Now everybody is talking about this attack. There is a line of resistance called the ´Zîlan line´ in the Kurdish Freedom Struggle. Carrying out the struggle like Zîlan means walking on the line of victory and success, defending the reality of the Leadership [Abdullah Öcalan]. On May 6, 1996, in the face of the attack on Leader Apo, the struggle of Zîlan took place and developed into a clear line of resistance. The attack in Mersin is the most recent link in this line of resistance. It means defending Leader Apo in the way Zîlan did and waging the struggle for freedom like her. As the International Conspiracy is entering its 25th year, the attack in Mersin has emerged as the most recent link of the defense of Leader Apo against the system of isolation and genocide. This is how we should understand this attack. The line of conducting the war of freedom at the highest possible level, with the highest courage, sacrificially focused on victory. I would therefore like to commemorate with respect, love and gratitude the comrades Sara and Rûken who carried out this attack.
They have achieved great success and have given an answer to the 25th year of the International Conspiracy. They have shown everybody how we need to fight and how the youth and women of the Kurdish people will struggle from now on. Everyone should look at the Mersin attack and criticize and question themselves on this basis. These discussions have already started. Leader Apo has said, “Zîlan is the commander; we are following her commands.” Sara and Rûken are our commanders and we are their fighters. This is the right attitude. All Kurds, patriots, women, Turks, workers and laborers will evaluate their current situation accordingly. Of course, the state and those in power will also question themselves. Erdogan and his cohorts are talking cheaply. What have you done to these Kurdish women that they are forced to organize so many attacks and that they decide to take up this struggle? You did this. You cooperate with everyone, you slaughter them, you put them in prisons, you put their leaders, workers and laborers in prison. There is no cruelty left you have not committed in North Kurdistan, South Kurdistan and East Kurdistan. These women are the soul of free humanity, the most distinguished representatives of free life. They do everything based on knowledge and understanding. But who forced them to carry out such an attack? The one who forced them is still talking instead of being held accountable. You have allied with everyone to exterminate the Kurds. Who is the traitor, who is the terrorist, who is practicing terror, is there a bigger traitor than you!?
From now on, Kurdish youth, women, simply everyone will be like this. For 30 years we have all fought like Zîlan and from now on everyone will fight like Sara and Rûken. Those in power deserve to face such attacks. Do they really think that they will not be held accountable for what they have done? Leader Apo and our leadership have warned many times: Kurds are not like the Kurds of the past anymore. They have become more conscious. They know the world and have learned to struggle. Come to your senses, otherwise you will suffer the consequences. But we are still faced with sadistic fascist aggression and with a racist, chauvinist nationalism. The Turkish rulers must see the truth. If they re-evaluate the current situation, they can understand the message of the Mersin attack.
For the revolutionary democratic forces, the Kurdish people, women, youth and the patriots, this constitutes the main line of resistance. This is the right line, the line of resistance of the vanguard. So if you can, be like them. And if you can’t, pray for those who do, don’t oppose them. No one has the right to be arrogant. The Kurds are in a life and death situation. When the Zap war started, our leadership declared that this was a war of annihilation and destruction. Only by fighting and by defeating these attacks can we live freely. The most brave way of doing this is the attack in Mersin. I would like to congratulate and salute our HPG and YJA Star commanders who carried out the attack in Mersin. And I would like to wish them continued success. I would also like to remember the comrades Sara and Rûken once again with respect and gratitude. They are the ones who will always show us the right way. We will walk in their path and will therefore definitely win.