The co-chairs of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council, Besê Hozat and Cemil Bayık, have responded to questions by Medya News on a number of topics. We present you the second part of interview about the topics including the hypocrisy of USA and EU towards Erdogan Government, the unjust and illegitimate implementations of banning and criminalisation of PKK, the existential importance of self-defence arm struggle for Kurdish People’s liberation struggle, the imprisonment conditions, background of the captivity, and grassroots actions for Abdullah Ocalan’s immediate freedom from prison, and the worldwide inspiration on Kurdish Women Revolution.
The KCK is a Kurdish political umbrella organisation, committed to implementing Abdullah Öcalan’s (imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK) paradigm of democratic confederalism.
Today we are publishing the second part of the interview. You can read the first part from here.
What’s your assessment of the political-economic situation in Turkey? You recently made an assessment in your annual meeting that the political administration in Turkey is on the verge of collapse. The Kurdish votes have always been decisive in the elections in Turkey, and while the opposition parties are asking for the support of the Kurds, they use the same ‘terror’ rhetoric with the governing parties and try to keep their distance with HDP as much as possible. What’s ahead for Turkey?
We, as the Kurdish Freedom Movement have been in a continuous struggle against AKP-MHP fascism. Our determined struggle against AKP-MHP fascism enabled other democracy forces in Turkey to struggle against AKP-MHP fascism as well. It has given them courage and strength. In the end AKP-MHP fascism has come to the verge of destruction. We have evaluated all these in our last KCK Council meeting extensively and taken important decisions.
Turkey cannot go any further with AKP-MHP fascism. AKP-MHP has so to speak, hit the wall. At the moment the AKP-MHP government can survive leaning on foreign powers. The USA and the European states keep supporting the AKP-MHP government for their political and economic interests. They prevent a collapse of this government. If this was not the approach of the USA and the European states the AKP-MHP government would collapse. Because the AKP-MHP government has developed all its policies on the basis of completing the Kurdish genocide, and bringing the Kurdish movement and struggle to an end. The AKP-MHP government is mobilizing all economic, political and diplomatic potentials of Turkey for this purpose. Responding to many economic demands from the people Erdoğan has responded quoting the price of a bullet which demonstrated the situation they have faced. Thus everything has been deposited to the Kurdish war and this is made no secret of. However, the Kurdish people and our movement has shown a great resistance against and invalidated these policies of AKP-MHP. Not only invalidated but also brought the AKP-MHP fascism to the verge of collapse. Now everyone is saying that it is not possible for Turkey to go any further or to survive with AKP-MHP mentality.
Kurds have reached a level such that they are an important factor in the political arena in the Middle East. The Kurds are in such a position in Turkey. Thus it is correct that the Kurds and HDP has a “key role”. This is stated on the occasion of the elections to the extent of the position and the approach of the Kurds and HDP is very important for the future of Turkey as well. The Kurds have a positive influence on the whole of Turkish society with their democratic nation approach. The alliance policy of HDP is in a position to determine the political future of Turkey. The AKP-MHP government is trying to stop this and to eliminate this factor since the beginning. When they did not succeed in pushing HDP away from this policy through oppression, imprisonment and killings, they opened a closure case against HDP trying to create a new situation. However we do not believe that the Kurds or other HDP voters will give credence to it if they do it. It is certain that they will act, so as to invalidate such a step by the AKP-MHP government. On the other hand we cannot say that the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the other forces within the opposition alliance are showing the necessary courage to back the HDP. However without HDP it is not possible that they will win against AKP-MHP. Besides if it was not for the Kurds and the democratic forces in Turkey AKP-MHP fascism would had have swallowed everything. There would not be such a thing as the opposition alliance. Everybody in Turkey are indebted to this resistance performed so far.
The Kurdish freedom struggle has been criminalized in many European countries, as well as Australia, Canada, the US and the UK, on grounds that the PKK is designated a ‘terrorist group’. On the other hand there are different, even conflicting court decisions involved, the most important one being a decision by a Belgian court, which states that the PKK is not a terrorist group. What’s your assessment?
Since Turkey is a NATO member, it has always supported Turkey against our movement. Besides the political and military support given by USA and the European states to Turkey within NATO, they also had the attitude of criminalizing our movement. Germany was the first in this stance. Because within NATO Germany was given this task to implement. It is easy to see that there is something abnormal when we look at the approach of the German state to our movement and their decisions regarding us. The approach of the German state to our movement and the struggle of the Kurdish people was just like that of the Turkish state. The attitude of other European and NATO states have also been negative. The European law and jurisdiction has been politicized due to the relations with the Turkish state and the NATO alliance.
Banning of our movement in Europe by court decisions and it being included in the terror list is a totally political approach and a political decision. The banning and criminalization of the PKK has politicized European law and jurisdiction and put the same in the service of political interests. There have been some corrective decision taken by the jurisdiction in countries such as Belgium. We see these as positive steps however this approach should be accepted by all European countries. If this is done then European justice will able to let itself free from implicated in guilt of this illegitimacy.
What’s the level of your international relations? Which organisations, global institutions and states are you in close contact or in solidarity with?
As KCK, we are trying to develop diplomatic ties with everyone who is present in politics. Kurds became an important force in the Middle East. No one can make policies or show their presence in the Middle East without having ties with the Kurds like they used to do earlier. We are making policies based on the strength of the Kurds. In this sense, we have diplomatic and political ties with many powers. But our diplomatic and political relations are not limited to the national states.
We have strong ties with the people of the world and the region itself, the women and democratic circles, and we are in solidarity with them. In the Middle East, strong ties with the Arabs have been developed within the context of our democratic nation approach. Within the context of democratic nation approach, the existing Kurd-Arab alliance represents the paramount social, political and, thus, diplomatic force in the Middle East.
Besides, the peoples and women around the world embrace and support Leader Apo as a pioneering personality, and the liberation struggle led by our movement. All these supports carry us to a stronger position in our political relations.
There are discussions and many indications that armed struggle for political ends is getting less common in the world. The armed struggle in countries like Northern Ireland, Mexico and Colombia have been abandoned, most of the time after negotiations and peace talks. How do you evaluate the situation is for the Kurdish freedom struggle to the extent of your movement’s self-defence principal?
Kurds have taken arms not by a voluntary preference but as a mandatory precaution. The fact that the Kurds have not yet been extincted and still maintained their existence, has only been possible with the armed struggle itself. Kurds did not take up armed struggle to have their political demands accepted nor to improve their political sphere. Their very existence is under threat and their struggle is essential to their survival.
Kurds are still fighting to exist against the fascism of the AKP-MHP (Justice and Development Party- Nationalist Movement Party) to this day. This struggle is vital for the Kurdish people. Kurds will never give up so long as their existence is under threat.
The arms will be laid down if the existence of the Kurds is formally recognised, and if there is a political progress towards the resolution of the Kurdish question. Otherwise, Kurds will not give up their self-defence. It is not open for discussion to ask Kurds to stop defending themselves or to end resisting. Those who expect the Kurds to take that course of action are either against the righteous and legitimate fight of the Kurds, or they do not acknowledge the characteristics of the Kurdish question and the colonialist mindset of the Turkish State.
Giving up the resistance and laying down arms is currently not on our agenda. The fascist alliance of AKP and MHP is attacking us on every front to wipe out our movement and succeed with their top policy of Kurdish genocide. There is an intense ongoing psychological and special warfare against our people. Our democratic political space is being narrowed down and our politicians are being detained and thrown into prison. As a movement and as people we have constantly being resisted against these threats.
Your leader, Abdullah Öcalan, has been incarcerated for 23 years under severe isolation in an island prison. The Turkish president Erdoğan speculated a short while ago on alleged divisions in the Kurdish political movement and pointed to Öcalan’s name. On the other hand, more recently, French presidential candidates from left wing circles called for the release of Abdullah Öcalan, with one comparing him to Nelson Mandela. Do you have projections about what is likely to happen in the short-term regarding Mr. Öcalan’s imprisonment?
As a movement, we have been struggling for the immediate physical freedom of Leader Apo. In the latest central KCK and PKK meetings, this aim has been highlighted and 2022 has been planned accordingly. Our people are in an intense struggle at both in Kurdistan and abroad to obtain the physical freedom of the Leader Abdullah Öcalan, .
It is 24 years since the international conspiracy began against our leader. For 24 years, Leader Apo has been held under absolute isolation and exposed to torture in Imralı. The purpose of the international conspiracy is to leave the Kurdish and the Middle Eastern people without an alternative leadership while the Middle East was got under re-designing process by super powers. Leader Apo and the PKK represented a hopeful alternative for the Kurds and the Middle Easterns. However, Leader Apo’s determination, ideological and theoretical concentration prevented the conspiratorial plans to be carry out.
Today, Leader Apo’s democratic-nation resolution has meet with a highest degree of approval, and has been implemented in Kurdistan and the Middle East. The Rojava and the Arab-Kurd alliance in Syria is based on this principle.
The common ground that has been developed between Turkish Democracy and the Kurds is growing in strength and it is at a point where it can be decisive on the future of Turkey’s politics.
The people of the Middle East have been heavily influenced by the ideas of Leader Apo. Women have been embracing the Leader Apo and adopting his ideas. AKP-MHP fascism and the Turkish state held Leader Apo under heavy isolation to reduce and break his influence on the middle eastern people and on women in particular. The belief is that if the absolute isolation on the Leader Apo is lifted and his ideas reach the people directly, it will have a greater impact on the people of the Middle East, and that is why Leader Apo is a threat to them and has been put under heavy isolation.
AKP-MHP alliance’s policy of absolute isolation is approved by the USA and the European States too. The Western nations are exhibiting their approval of the Turkish State when they do not raise a voice against both this policy of absolute isolation and the mass destruction of Kurds.
The statements given by Tayyip Erdoğan about Leader Apo in recent times are completely manipulative. What the Turkish State and Erdoğan are doing is a complete hypocrisy. On one hand Leader Apo is held under strict isolation measures and his communication with the outside is muzzled, on the other hand his own thoughts are supposedly being voiced by Erdogan. Can there be a much bigger fraud and hypocrisy than this one? Erdoğan and the AKP-MHP are extremely weak and stuck in the corner. The colonialist and genocidal policy of the Turkish State is on the brink of collapse at the moment.
What weakened AKP-MHP and Tayyip Erdoğan is our movement’s and people’s decisive resistance against the genocidal fascism of the AKP-MHP alliance. Therefore, they are trying to play political fraud games as they know they are being gravely weakened. These manipulative policies are part of the special warfare tactics being used by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
On the other hand, Leader Apo knows very well the circumstances that Turkish State and the AKP now find themselves in. No one knows the Turkish state better than Leader Apo. He has being exposed to such extreme solitary confinement because he is not acting the way the AKP-MHP alliance want him to do. Therefore, Leader Apo’s view on the AKP-MHP alliance is very clear.
People from many different circles worldwide support and work for Leader Apo’s physical freedom. This is being demonstrated, in a variety of ways and actions, right across the world. We are very thankful for those who make any effort towards the physical freedom of the Leader Apo, especially to the women, intellectuals, writers, academics, and all else.
Leader Apo worked and fought for the freedom of the peoples. That is why he was captured as a hostage via an international conspiracy operation. Leader Apo continued to give his efforts to the democratization of Turkey and the liberation of the people in spite of have being put under extreme solitary confinement for 24 years. Therefore everyone, not only Kurds, should be helping towards guaranteing the physical freedom of Leader Apo. In fact, we can see these mobilisation already in action, people are embracing Leader Apo as their own pioneering leader all over the world. Intellectuals, writers, artists, politicians, and many progressive, democratic and leftist circles are working for the physical freedom of Leader Apo. The women, youth, and many people are working hard for his release.
Some people have compared Leader Apo to Nelson Mandela. We evaluate tha this comparison is not wrong at all. Mandela fought for the freedom of the South Africans, and he was imprisoned for years because of this struggle. Leader Apo has been fighting for the liberation of the Kurds and the Middle Easterns. He was captured by an international conspiracy. For 24 years he has been struggling for the free future of Kurdish people and the people of the Region, while under extreme solitary conditions and being exposed to torture. Therefore the Mandela example is a right comparison.
What’s the KCK’s stance on the women’s liberation movement and its assessment of the potential they represent in creating social and political change both in Turkey and the Middle East?
Leader Apo improved women’s resistance against the patriarchal mindset and system, and advanced and based the struggle of women liberation on a strong ideological foundation. A philosophy of a free life was advanced based on the centrality of the women liberation.
Today, Kurdish women have become ideological role models across the world. Leader Apo sees women as the foundation of the freedom of the people. He believes that ascertaining women’s freedom as more important than the fight of the classes or even of the nations, and in this way his approach to women liberation is the first in the history. For this reason, women have being embraced Leader Apo to the very larger extent in everywhere of the world and fighting for his physical freedom.
The Kurdistan freedom fight, which was led by Kurdish women for almost half a century, created a massive revolution in the mentality of the Kurdish people. The level of freedom the Kurdish women reached has caused a renaissance in Middle Eastern women and society. Arabic women have being particularly influenced and motivated by the pioneering works of the Kurdish women movement.
There is no doubt that the offenses against our movement are attempts to prevent the revolution in the making at the Middle East, which our movement leads.
In the Middle East, women are carrying out the main change and transformational works. It is because that whatever belongs to sociality and freedom in the Middle East are very embeeded in women themselves and their nature. These are universal values, as well. Historically, it was male dominance that developed class civilization, and therefore, the exploitation and inequality, while women have always been the groups that resisted against these practices. The places where these processes started for the first time were the Middle East region. Throughout history, women have struggled to protect their free-living mentality and feelings against exploitation and inequality, both within the family and tribal structure, and in all other pores of society. Now women are revealing these values through their struggles, which is the basis of great change and liberation.