Kalkan: The struggle against Imrali system of genocide is spreading both in Kurdistan and abroad

Duran Kalkan said: "We must expose the system in Imrali, which is based on illegality and immorality."

KCK Executive Council member, Duran Kalkan, spoke about the struggle for the physical freedom of Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan and the ongoing conflict in Medya Defense Areas.

To begin with, we would like to talk about the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan. There has been no new information from the prison island of Imrali or about Öcalan for over three years. The isolation continues, but so does the resistance, which seems to have increased significantly in recent months. How do you assess the current situation?

First of all, I respectfully greet Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], the pioneer of the Imrali resistance. The attacks, isolation, torture, and solitary confinement continue in Imrali, where at the same time the most comprehensive and meaningful resistance in history is also continuing. There has not been any change in this regard lately. We have already pointed out before that those so-called ‘disciplinary penalties’ are developed as an excuse for this isolation. But this was not only an excuse for isolation or to prevent meetings with Rêber Apo; it was actually a legal cover to prevent the resumption of his trial and his physical freedom within the framework of the so-called “Right to Hope”. It was already expected that the Turkish state would play this card again, and indeed, they issued another disciplinary penalty. Of course, they give no reason or explanation for this decision, which makes it even more unacceptable. One can state that Rêber Apo is the most disciplined and organized person in this world. Thousands, tens of thousands of people know this. In fact, the rulers of the Turkish state who imposed these fraudulent penalties are also very aware of this. This is something that needs to be well understood.

On the other hand, the fact that this attack is being heightened to such an extent is proof that there is a great resistance in Imrali and that, in fact, the international conspiratorial forces and particularly the Turkish state, with their genocidal system, have failed and were defeated in the Imrali struggle. There is a great resistance that continues on the basis of condemning the fascist, colonialist, and genocidal mentality and politics. It is also necessary to understand this aspect, and according to this, one ought to correctly and adequately join this resistance. This is of great importance.

We must expose the system in Imrali, which is based on illegality and immorality. As we pointed out before, the legal struggle is also of great significance in this regard. Many lawyers and jurists do this through various meetings and conferences, which is very important and meaningful. Imrali is a unique example of immorality and lawlessness. Those who believe in the justice of the law, will refuse to accept this. One does not even have to be a democrat or a leftist, socialist to feel the urge to oppose this system. In other words, those who believe in the law cannot legitimize or accept the system and regime in Imrali. In this respect, it is very important to expose, decipher, unmask, and reveal what kind of immoral and lawless attack the Imrali system is.

The struggle against the Imrali system of genocide is spreading and developing both in Kurdistan and abroad. The struggle has gained facets and diversified a bit. Since October 10, on the basis of our global freedom campaign, there has been a spread, enrichment, and growth in actions aimed at the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Of course, the demand for the freedom of Rêber Apo needs to grow more. We should definitely not be content with the stage which has been achieved. It is necessary to develop the campaign further in every field, to make it much bigger, in order to be successful in this struggle. Because only through struggle can results be achieved. Any other path is a dead end.

I would like to take this opportunity to once again greet all those who play an active role in this campaign. For example, those who conduct actions in and around prisons. They continue without the slightest regression or weakening. Gradually, the mass actions around the prison resistance are growing step by step. This development is of great value. In every field, mass actions continue. There has been significant pressure on the ‘European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’ (CPT) in this process. When the fact that it did not fulfill its legal duties was revealed and reflected in public opinion, many actions were developed. There were actions by women, actions where letters signed by publicly known intellectuals were sent, writers, artists, workers, trade unionists, democrats, leftists, socialists, friends of the Kurds, in fact almost all segments of society that are the brains and hearts of societies that believe in law and justice, from almost all states in Europe. Their letters were sent to the CPT, which was asked to uphold its mandate. A call was made, and several demands were put forward for the CPT to go to Imrali and get information. The CPT was called upon to uphold its duty and responsibility.

This is very important and needs to be continued and further developed. It has become clear that as the lawlessness and injustice in Imrali grows, so does the resistance to freedom and democracy. This resistance stems from Imrali and continues to spread to more and more segments, spreading in the form of waves to societies all over the world. Wherever this wave reaches, people are opposing this lawlessness; they care about the struggle for the freedom of Rêber Apo and participate in this struggle in various ways. This is a very important and meaningful situation. Firstly, no one can stand in the way of a struggle which has reached such heights. No one can prevent the success of the global freedom campaign that has been launched for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. This campaign will definitely succeed. Artists, intellectuals, and all other circles are participating in this campaign. The actions of young and women continue as well. We need to spread this; we need to make it bigger.

Though this global freedom campaign, this massive struggle for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, was announced on October 10, 2023, it started long before. There is, for example, the Freedom Vigil in Strasbourg, which started 12 years ago and, since then, uninterruptedly continues to carry out the vigil for Rêber Apo’s freedom. This vigil is largely conducted by Kurdish patriots living in Europe. Young people, women, workers, and laborers from different countries in Europe come together from different places every week, to keep vigil together. On June 25th, this action completes its 12th year. It has been announced to the press that there will be a mass demonstration on this anniversary. Importance should be given to this action, not only because it is one of the longest-lasting freedom actions, but also because it is an action that paved the way for today’s global campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the democratic solution to the Kurdish question. It should be seen in this way. We call on strong participation regarding the mass demonstration on the 12th anniversary of the vigil in Strasbourg.

The diaspora in Europe should particularly take this into consideration. For 12 years, this action has continued uninterruptedly. On behalf of our party leadership, I congratulate and greet everyone who participated in this action. They will be successful, and they have already created the foundations for strong hope, will, and finally success. They have influenced all the Kurdish people, our people living all over the world, as well as all the freedom-seeking and democratic circles of the world. Now their actions have grown and have become a benchmark. In fact, it has become the most fundamental pillar of our current global freedom campaign. I am convinced that it will develop even further, that it will continue, and that it will yield important results. Based on this, I once again greet everyone who has participated in this action and wish them success.

As the Turkish state continues to attack the Guerrilla Areas (Medya Defense Areas), the actions carried out by the guerrillas, particularly the downing of drones and UAV’s, seem to have put the Turkish army in deadlock. How do you evaluate the ongoing conflict?

Recently, there have been guerrilla actions across the Medya Defense Zones, in Avashin, Zap, and Metina. There have also been actions in Xakurke and these continue. The guerrillas continue to deal blow after blow to the invading, aggressive AKP-MHP fascist hordes on a daily basis.

What [the Turkish army] relied on the most, was their technological advantage. They had named the war “a war of technology and intelligence”. Right now, the situation of their intelligence officers is similar to that of their technology. Of course, from the outside, this is not seen so easily because [the Turkish army] operate covertly. On their part, many details are not being disclosed. Neither the public in Turkey, nor the foreign public are aware of the activities of the Turkish army. But some things can no longer be hidden. In one way or another, the activities of the Turkish army are being revealed. The HPG-BIM has reported on the latest developments in the war and various other circles among the press are also spreading the information. Now the debris of the AKP-MHP is raining down from the sky. This is what has become of South Kurdistan.

It was said that Zap and the Medya Defense Areas as a whole would be turned into the grave of fascism. Right now, fascism is collapsing exactly there. Not that fascism is getting stronger; this aggravation is proof that the fascist AKP-MHP is trying to keep itself alive through force. It is trying to prolong its life, and this is a process that should not be underestimated.

For years, the stooges of the AKP and their TV channels propagated about how their UCAVs fly. They use every opportunity to exhibit those UCAVs flying and attacking, but for some reason they do not show how the UCAV’s look when they are falling. That is why we are showing this to the world; let everyone see this.

The latest strikes on May 27 and June 6 were, again, important. Obviously, there is now a balance in the technological gap. The AKP-MHP fascists will no longer be able to act as they want. Therefore, I congratulate both the comrades who struck those heavy blows against the fascist hordes of the AKP-MHP, especially in Zap, Avashin, Metina, and Xakurke, and all those who contributed to the downing of these UCAVs. I salute the HPG and YJA STAR command and fighter force, who are fighting in the most difficult conditions in order to smash the AKP-MHP fascism.

Accordingly, I commemorate with love and gratitude all the great martyrs of this heroic struggle, especially comrades Zîlan, Şahan, and Serhat, the latest martyrs of Metîna. They struggled according to the Apoist tenets of self-sacrifice and stayed loyal to the memory of the martyrs. The commanders of our Central Headquarters have issued many press releases lately, stressing that our people ought to observe and understand the recent developments. This is important. Yes, the UCAVs are falling, but our people must ask how they are falling. The fascist hordes are taking blow after blow. A week ago, the HPG disclosed the balance sheet for May, which showed this reality clearly. This war is very serious. A balance sheet was also disclosed for the death tolls in Gaza. They are talking about ten, twenty, and even thirty thousand people! This is an atrocity. Could it be this easy to kill thirty thousand people? Those who are being killed are people! In fact, that who is being killed there is not only a group of people, but humanity as a whole. This needs to be questioned. Right now, there is slaughter taking place.

People must ask themselves how it is possible that this group of people can put up resistance to such an extent. How do they manage to hold out against such a large army that is completely supported by NATO, 24/7? They are not only defending themselves but dealing this army serious blows. For us, our people must learn to understand how this is possible. It’s not enough that ‘the guerrillas exist; they will fight and strike’. The guerrilla is so much more than this. There must be a widespread awareness, conviction, will, resistance, courage, and sacrifice. All Kurds, whether young or old, women or men, but above all young people, must come to terms with this. They must learn to understand and feel this. They must internalize this spirit and live accordingly. Any other way of living is not right and would be unacceptable.

The level the guerrillas have reached is really important, it is impressive. In the 80s, our people in Europe used to shout slogans like “the guerrilla strikes [the enemy] and builds Kurdistan”. Now, against an international conspiracy-based attack, the guerrillas are striking and building a free Kurdistan step by step. Together with the resistance of the women, the youth, the guerrillas, and the people as a whole, there is indeed a new life being created. They create a free life, form a new morality, and build new life standards. A new people, free people, is being created, and the basis for free relations is being laid. There is not just bloodshed here. Of course, there is war, and there are difficult conditions, but there is also another side to the coin. What kind of war is being fought? What kind of consciousness and belief will come along with it? What kind of personality is created by it? How can life be reshaped based on principles of freedom? How will women’s freedom and free will based on the coexistence of differences, be shaped? Freedom and democracy are being created. This needs to be seen. Guerrilla warfare is the vanguard of all this, and the war is being waged on this basis. This needs to be understood and supported correctly.

We need to spread this war further. It should not be limited to the guerrillas in the mountains; it should spread more to the cities as well. There is already a certain amount of activism in the cities; I salute those responsible for it, but that is not sufficient. We need to turn this into a war of self-defense everywhere. Without waging such a war, we cannot achieve freedom or establish democracy. It is necessary to be aware of this reality. In this respect, the guerrillas play a leading role. The Kurdish people, pioneered by the youth, are supporting this struggle with all their strength. The guerrilla’s sacrifice and the people’s patriotism are complementary to one another. This is essential, since the war will obviously continue. In the coming period, guerrilla activity will diversify, enrich, spread, and develop. I can announce this.