Cemil Bayik: Newroz means resistance

Cemil Bayik (KCK) expects an important turnout at this year's Newroz celebrations and said: "The meaning of Newroz is resistance to the enemy and rejection of enslavement."

Ahead of this year's Newroz celebrations, Cemil Bayik, co-chair of the Executive Council of the KCK (Community of Kurdistan Societies) spoke about the meaning of the Kurdish New Year festival and his expectations. Bayik told ANF that Newroz is an expression of historical resistance: "The meaning of Newroz is resistance to the enemy and rejection of enslavement."

The Kurdish people have always preserved their existence by resisting the colonialists. This is a historical tradition, said Bayik adding that "whenever there has been a distancing from the resistance, the existence of the Kurds was threatened and they faced extinction. To overcome this danger, resistance was essential and the Kurdish people have always done so. Apart from resistance, there is nothing the Kurds can use to protect themselves. There is no support to rely on.

Resistance against the colonial system as a struggle for existence

This social and historical peculiarity has led the Kurdish community to express their own reality and feelings at Newroz. Newroz still has a special meaning for Kurdish society today. As in history, the Kurds survive today by resisting. Only then can they attain freedom. That's what Newroz stands for."

Bayik continued: "In the 20th century, a colonialist partition took place in Kurdistan. The uprisings that broke out against it were put down and should be forgotten. A time of denial and annihilation began for the Kurdish people. One's existence can only be preserved by resisting this colonial system of oppression, denial and extermination.

Newroz means resistance

Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] started such a resistance struggle against colonialism and reunited the Kurdish people with Newroz. The Kurds have rediscovered their own nature. Newroz and the Kurdish people complement each other. The people have found themselves again and Newroz has taken on its true meaning. Because Newroz means resistance and the Kurdish people have re-emerged through resistance in very difficult conditions and at an unexpected moment."

From guerrilla warfare to a popular uprising at Newroz

Bayik continued: “This is how Mazlum Doğan's great historical action came about. [On Newroz 1982, Doğan set himself on fire. He left the message ‘Surrender is treason, resistance brings victory’] When the enemy suppressed everything and wanted to force everyone to surrender, he unexpectedly lit a Newroz fire in the dark conditions of the prison, opening a new stage in this struggle. This new story bears witness to the resistance through which freedom and existence are won. For this reason, Mazlum Doğan is popularly referred to as the Kawa of modern times. The people have continued the tradition of resistance started by Mazlum Doğan and revived Newroz. With the resistance shown at Newroz since then, we have preserved our existence. After the beginning of the guerrilla struggle against colonialism [in 1984], the Kurdish people attended every Newroz with great resistance. A serhildan [popular uprising] came out from every Newroz festival. Therefore, Rêber Apo has defined the Kurdish people as 'Newroz people'. Because the people have found their own reality anew for each Newroz and have preserved their existence.

Newroz in response to AKP/MHP fascism

That is still valid today. For the Kurds, Newroz still has the same meaning. To flock to the squares of Newroz and make their will known is the best response the Kurdish people can give to AKP/MHP fascism. We are sure that the Kurds will fill the squares again this year. Newroz will be celebrated with great resistance and enthusiasm. People will once again express their bond with Rêber Apo. For the AKP/MHP fascism, this will be a new hard blow.”