Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council Co-chair Cemil Bayık spoke to Kurdish news agency ANF ahead of the anniversary of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founding on the movement’s history and how women have played an integral part in its establishment and growth.
“Back when the movement was first organising in Ankara, before even Turkish left groups knew much about it, (PKK founder Abdullah Öcalan) wanted to include women,” Bayık said. “There were some discussions on women’s participation at the time, but (Öcalan) believed women would strengthen the group. He had a different approach than many other friends.”
Öcalan “considered women as a nation”, Bayık said. “He believed they were a nation that had a downfall by sovereignty.”
Any approach not based on women’s liberation cannot succeed, no matter how much it fights for freedom and democracy, Bayık said. “The path to freedom, democracy and socialism is through women, Öcalan said. Society cannot develop freedom without women’s liberation.”
The PKK leader “rose women from the sleep of death, like he resurrected the Kurdish nation”, Bayık continued. According to the co-chair, women had been “torn away from her truth, history, culture, identity and values. As such, women’s enslavement went deeper than men’s. This is why (Öcalan) said women’s freedom would free society”.
Similar to the classic “Workers of the world unite” slogan, “Jin Jiyan Azadi” is spreading throughout the world and creating a “purpose, spirit and emotion”, Bayık said. “The struggle is spearheaded by women now.”