The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Executive Committee member Duran Kalkan commented on the political situation of Sinjar in Iraqi Kurdistan, the hunger strikes that are taking place in Turkey’s prisons, and the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP’s) and Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP’s) ruling reform discourses. Kalkan criticized the policies of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and stated that the autonomy of Sinjar was not against the laws of the United States (US) or Iraq.
Hunger Strikes in Turkey
Referring to the hunger strikes launched on 27 November by imprisoned members of the PKK and the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) to protest against the prison isolation of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, Kalkan said: “To exist and to live is already a significant struggle for them. They have added a hunger strike as well. Thus, they have intensified the current resistance. They are joining the ongoing campaign taking place outside the prisons. They demand that the isolation and torture system that is being implemented in İmralı Prison is destroyed and they seek leader Öcalan’s physical freedom. Because isolation in İmralı means isolation for everyone”.
Kalkan also stated that the hunger strikes were an encouragement to the resistance and also a cause for self-reflection: “If we struggled more effectively against the fascism of the AKP and the MHP alliance, our comrades would not face such great difficulties. In this sense, I understand our responsibility. Everyone should understand it. All revolutionary democratic forces should see it”.
The reform discourses
Kalkan stated that the AKP-MHP’s ruling reform discourses that have been expressed in recent days in Turkey have arisen because of the election results in the US presidential election: “The MHP has discerned these (reform discourses) as an attempt to restrict its relations with power, being removed from government and ending its alliance with the AKP. In fact, Alaattin Çakıcı threatened Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He saw that threat and immediately Bülent Arınç and others acted. He is in a state of surrender”.
Attacks against Sinjar
The Iraq government and the KDP signed an agreement on Sinjar on 9 October. The agreement’s content includes the removal of the self governance and self-defense of the people of Sinjar in the region. Kalkan responded to this agreement by stating that the autonomy of Sinjar was not against the laws of the United States (US) or Iraq. He also criticised the KDP’s stance and added these comments regarding the overall situation facing Sinjar: “You cannot be a hero if you attempt to massacre people that the PKK rescued from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS’s) genocide. You are more likely to become a kind of shadow of ISIS. You will be a part of ISIS. It is not a good thing to be remembered with ISIS. I hope that they will not make us regret withdrawing from Sinjar and then making the PKK intervene”.
Referring the campaign “End Fascism, Isolation, Occupation: It is time for freedom”, Kalkan stated that “everywhere” has turned into a resistance area. He drew attention to the actions that are taking place in the prisons, the resistance waged by women and the actions of the Peace Mothers. Kalkan lastly stated that democratic politics is resisting and he called upon everyone to join in the struggle and resist.