Cemil Bayık, co-president of the Executive Council of the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK) answered the questions of Sharpress regarding the ‘Kurdish question’ in Turkey and the role of international parties in helping to frustrate rather than create a peaceful resolution to it.
“The US labels our freedom movement with the ‘terrorism tag’ in order to please NATO-member Turkey, despite the fact that there is an immense repression and genocidal policies against the Kurds are being implemented. On 6 November 2018, three executive members of our freedom movement were placed in its warrant list with rewards being promised for their arrest. Society calls this a ‘head hunt’. Actually, Turkey has received the biggest support from the US in conducting genocidal policies and in imposing all kinds of tyranny against the Kurdish people,” Bayık said.
Bayık stated that the ongoing Turkish campaign launched on 23 April in the Metina, Zap and Avashin regions in Iraqi Kurdistan was also ‘given support’ by the US and Europe. He also stressed that the perception that the “US supports the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party]” – created by the Turkish state and media – is a lie used to “provoke the US to provide more support to its genocidal policies.”
“The US took advantage of the struggle of the Kurds against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Rojava, but in the end, they have paved the way for Turkey to occupy the lands of Rojava. In the places occupied by Turkey, Kurds are being destroyed, yet the USA remains silent. They actually normalise such occupations. They have shown disloyality to the Kurds, who gave more than 10,000 martyrs in the battle against ISIS,” he said.
Bayik further added that “the US provides support to Turkey in its war against us. Because when the Kurdish question is ‘solved’, Turkey would be indebted to it. Europe and Russia, too, takes advantage of this ‘soft spot’ of Turkey. That is why they do not use their influence for any ‘solution’. In order for a process of peace and for a ‘democratic solution’ to be initiated by Turkey, the US and Europe’s backing of Turkey should be withdrawn. As long as Turkey receives the support of these powers and legitimises its war in this manner, it will continue with its attacks and genocidal policies.”
Bayık addressed the prerequisites for a peaceful and democratic solution to the ‘Kurdish question’. “First of all, the existence of the Kurds should be accepted alongside acceptance of their language and culture. It is not the lack or excess of political demands that creates the deadlock for the solution, but the fact that they want to destroy the existence of the ‘Kurds’. The institutions and leadership of the Kurds who represent their political will should be recognised. What has been done to the Kurdish people’s leader for 23 years is seen by the world. Let alone the guerrilla, any Kurd giving voice to the demands of freedom and democracy is sent to prison. As long as these policies are not changed, no one should have any expectation of a peaceful democratic solution to the ‘Kurdish question’,” he said.
In response to the question: ‘Are there any organic relations between the US and the KCK?’, Bayık replied: “Many powers would like to initiate links with such a massive movement like us. We have been waging a struggle for more than half a century and we have influenced the political balance not just in Turkey, but throughout the Middle East. Considering that the Middle East is a territory where World War III takes place and the new balance of the world order is being established on its territory, it is understandable that many states and political powers initiate relations with the PKK and the KCK.”
He continued: “We do not have direct relations with the USA, but we have indirect relations. Our struggle affects US politics as well. Therefore, indirect relations continue from time to time. We have relations with many democratic powers and institutions around the world. The US forwards us some messages over various other powers.
“We have sent communications to all administrations in the USA since the international plot in 1999: this includes Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden. We stated that the imprisonment of leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] is an injustice to the Kurdish people and this injustice needs to be ended. We would, of course, send our thoughts, letters and demands on these issues. We know that the people of the US would not accept the genocide against the Kurds and such an injustice that has been applied to leader Apo.
“We have always stated that the US has an ‘influence’ on Turkey and it could play a role for the ‘democratic solution’ of the ‘Kurdish question’. If it would play a role against facilitating the Kurdish genocide, why would we refuse that? If that is done, they can act by promoting the Fourteen Points of Wilson.”