'The source of the YPJ's strength is the paradigm of Leader Öcalan'

YPJ General Command Member Rohilat Efrîn said that the source of the YPJ's strength and resistance against the Turkish state and ISIS is the Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan’s paradigm.

The Rojava revolution is being defended on the front line by the Women's Defence Units (YPJ). They are the leading force in the fight against ISIS and Raqqa was liberated and the backbone of ISIS was broken under their leadership. The basis of the YPJ is the liberal, grassroots democratic and anti-patriarchal paradigm of Abdullah Öcalan. Abdullah Öcalan is also the source of ideas for the Rojava revolution.

Rohilat Efrîn from the General Command of the YPJ spoke to ANF about the significance of Abdullah Öcalan and the Apoist paradigm on the 25th anniversary of the International Conspiracy against Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan. The founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was abducted from Kenya on 15 February 1999 with the cooperation of international secret services and handed over to Turkey, where he has been subjected to inhumane treatment and held in isolation since. This conspiracy, which violates international law, began with Öcalan's forced departure from Syria on 9 October 1998.

On the 25th anniversary of the abduction of the Kurdish leader, the YPJ commander said: "The attack on Leader Apo (Abdullah Öcalan) is an attack against those whose hearts beat together with him, adopt his philosophy and deal with it, and against those who organise themselves according to his paradigm. In other words, it is the targeting of human values. The capitalist system and the hegemonic states prevent peoples from living with their voice, their culture, their language and their dignity. It is the philosophy of Leader Apo that has created the awareness for this and on which a long-lasting struggle is based."

‘A plot of annihilation and cultural genocide’

Rohilat Efrîn stated that the Kurdish people and their cry for peace and democracy were also targeted: "The international conspiracy was intended to stop the peoples' struggle for language, culture and identity and to deepen the system of genocide. It is a plot of annihilation and denial of languages, a plot of cultural genocide."

‘The Rojava revolution is based on Öcalan’s philosophy’

Pointing to the protests against the international conspiracy, Rohilat Efrîn continued: "All those who heard the name of Leader Apo, those who fought for his cause, the uprisings of the people, the cries of the mothers, those who set their bodies on fire, gave the world a voice. The captivity of Leader Apo was seen as the captivity of a language, a culture and an identity. It is thanks to his philosophy that the revolution in Rojava has reached this level. The fact that we are able to preserve our achievements and strengthen our organization today cannot be considered independently of the struggle and work of Leader Apo here in these lands. His twenty-year struggle in Rojava showed a way of not bowing to the oppression and brutality of the existing system but analysing the system. Leader Apo laid the foundations for a very strong revolution in Rojava. This extends from the love of one's country to the organisation of the women's movement. All circles have analysed Leader Apo’s philosophy, found the truth in it and started to use it themselves."

‘YPJ has fought and grown on the basis of this paradigm’

Rohilat Efrîn remarked that the YPJ has organised itself on the basis of Öcalan’s paradigm, grown and stubbornly held on to it despite all repression and continued to fight. She continued: "The YPJ adopted Leader Apo’s paradigm as the basis for freedom and self-knowledge. If there is no freedom, there is no organization; if there is no organisation, there is no life; if there is no life, there is no defence. In this context, the YPJ determined the principle of life and struggle on the basis of his philosophy. The source of the YPJ's strength and resistance against the Turkish state and ISIS is Leader Apo’s paradigm. If we can preserve our achievements today despite all the attacks, this is directly related to our deep roots in his paradigm."

‘Leader Apo has caused the plot to fail with his defence writings’

Rohilat Efrîn emphasised that the Kurdish People's Leader, with his defence writings, once again raised the consciousness of individuals and enabled them to return to the essence, to move forward in pursuit of the truth, and frustrated the conspiracy, as is understood from his influence and acceptance in the world. She said: "The severe isolation conditions stem from the fear of the hegemonic and occupying powers that even a single word of Leader Apo could get out. The fact that Leader Apo has been held in Imrali prison for years and that he cannot be visited by his lawyers and family members is an expression of the fear of the power of his paradigm. Thus, the isolation of Leader Apo actually isolates more than 40 million people, their language, their culture and their identity."

‘A struggle of all the oppressed’

The YPJ commander highlighted the importance of the international campaign "Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and a political solution to the Kurdish question" and concluded: "Women are leading this campaign, through which peoples demand freedom and democracy with a loud voice. Women have achieved their freedom through Leader Apo and identify their liberation with him. From demonstrations to hunger strikes in prisons, a relentless struggle is being waged to break the isolation of Leader Apo. Not only the Kurdish people, but also all those who suffer from oppression, occupation and persecution are taking part in the struggle, and those who can find themselves in Leader Apo's struggle."