Medya News presents excerpts from Abdullah Öcalan’s writings, which were originally compiled by Jin News, regarding his perspective of self-defence.
Defining self-defence as the “security policy of the moral and political society”, Öcalan states that if a society has lost its capacity to defend itself, it is doomed to lose its moral and political characteristics.
“Such a society,” he writes, “is either colonised, in decay or in resistance to re-establish its moral and political characteristic. Self-defence is the name of this process. A society, which insists on being itself and not anything else imposed on it; which rejects all ex parte impositions and colonialism, can only develop this attitude by means and institutions of self-defence.
“Self-defence is not only about external threats. Conflicts and tensions are always likely to occur within the inner dynamics of a society. It is essential to be always prepared and ready to act in self-defence in a way to limit the attacks and exploitation of the capital and monopoly powers to be able to become a democratic society and to be able to maintain such an existence.”
In this regard, Öcalan does not only explain self-defence from an anthropocentric perspective, but also explains it with an analogy between the workings of nature and human societies by its reflections in nature, through which he presents his theory of self-defence as the “rose theory”:
“All living creatures need nutrition, protection and reproduction. Even non-living beings have self-defence systems, at atomic level. I always give the example of rose. Rose grows thorns to protect itself. You cannot imagine a rose without thorns. That is why, I say once again: Protection is a must. All living creatures need protection just as much as they need nutrition and reproduction. This is science and that is why I keep on reminding this.
“I call this the ‘rose theory’. I have deliberated on the rose a lot. The rose has its thorns almost as an act of self-defence. So even a rose, a plant has self-defence. It is sufficient just to look at nature to see the instances of self-defence. Don’t we have the right to act in self-defence as much as a rose? Self-defence is sacred.”
Öcalan then reminisces about his childhood years, quoting from a wise, elderly villager, who had an impact on him shaping his thoughts on self-defence:
“I remember there was an elderly man living in our village. ‘We [Kurds] are like dry pieces of wood,‘ he used to say.
“Once I asked him, ‘How?’.
“He replied, ‘Even a tree reaches down into the earth, even into a rock, and takes root in order to survive. Are we not even able to achieve that much?‘”.
Öcalan advices all, especially women and youth, to develop their own self-defence conceptions and mechanisms based on their own circumstances:
“Legitimate self-defence is for everyone. That is why I developed this concept. All groups, everybody and women, especially the women shall defend themselves. They need to develop their own self-defence. Everyone should know how to protect themselves with their own consciousness and will. It’s strange that there have been many times I defended those, who needed to defend themselves. But all should know that, everybody acts in self-defence based on their own circumstances, wherever they are.”
In his appeal to women, Öcalan says, “Do not let anyone to claim your body, your soul, yourself,” and introduces a new insight into his perspective of “love”:
“In love affairs in capitalism, there is no labour, no genuine affection, and love. Love requires care, labour. Farhad and Shirin is an example to that. That myth takes place in Qandil region, it’s an historic event. Farhad, in order to reach Şirin, breaks a great deal of sweat, endures a great deal of pain. As a matter of fact, Ferhat needed to topple down the rule of Iran’s shah for his love.
“When he failed to accomplish that, when he failed to topple down the Iranian rule, he jumped off a cliff high above the mountains. The kind of love, which does not know how to sacrifice for love’s sake, for its people’s sake, means nothing.”
Abdullah Öcalan calls out to all women around the world with the following appeal:
“I call on the women, women can protect themselves with a self-consciousness and a strong will. I have been interested in women’s issue since I was seven. They even called me a man ‘crazy for women’! I have always shown great interest to the women who joined our ranks, I warned them about the challenges of our struggle, I told some of them not to join if they did not believe in themselves to overcome these challenges. I have always told women that it is not easy to break the culture based on thousands of years of patriarchy, that it required a bone-deep struggle.
“I have always been protective of our female friends, but my protection was only up to a level. It was and it is always the women who protect themselves. Honour, in our ranks, has nothing to do with sexuality. Honour is self-consciousness and strong will.”