Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Co-chair Cemil Bayık spoke about latest developments in Kurdistan, Turkey, the Middle East and the world, focusing on Turkish operations in Northern Iraq, Kurdistan Regional Government’s attitude towards Kurds not affiliated with its establishment, the pressure Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) faces in Turkey, the impact of NATO affairs on Kurds, Turkey’s policy in Syria, and the prison conditions of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founder Abdullah Öcalan.
Second part of the interview, abridged and lightly edited for clarity from KCK’s original, follows.
Danger of Iraq Falling Apart
Iraq is under pressure from various forces. All actors see that it is weak and want to take advantage of the situation. Some are even directly intervening in order to increase their influence and impose policy on the government.
Baghdad has not spoken out about the war in Zap. The few statements they made came when they had no other option: The people of Iraq and the Arab world would not have accepted them not voicing any criticism at all.
Kurdistan Regional Government’s ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Turkey and the United States all know this weakness well. Iraqi airspace is controlled by Washington. Without US approval, Turkish jets could not fly over Iraqi Kurdistan. Another clear sign that NATO stands behind this war, together with Washington, because of Turkey’s membership in the alliance. Without this support, Turkey could not take control of Kurdish cities in Iraq or Syria, bomb them, cut down their forests, and depopulate them.
Iraqi people and the Arab world need to acknowledge that Turkey’s policies constitute a huge threat to all of the country and could take it apart. They must understand a coalition between Kurds and Arabs to be vital for the latter. Then they could stand against neo-Ottomanism, promote democracy and protect freedom in Iraq.
Harm of KDP Policy for the Kurdish People
Turkey launched a television program in 1987 specifically to spread deception and fake news about our movement and our people. The program, A View from Anatolia, depicted alleged guerrillas who had regretted fighting against the state to manipulate public opinion. Today, the messages KDP media spread are very similar. They have clearly been trained by Turkey for deception, both against Kurds and the international stage. KDP should refrain from such special warfare policies, as it does not serve the party’s own interests – or the Kurdish people’s.
Kurdish people are faced with a historic opportunity to achieve freedom, which they can do via building national unity. We have made many calls, but the KDP still works with the Turkish state and serves their policies instead, destroying all respect it had among Kurds, the people of Behdînan, and even KDP supporters.
We are not saying the KDP must support us. We simply ask them to not serve Turkey and Turkey’s genocidal policies.
Recent Murder of Mihemed Zekî Çelebî in Sulaimaniyah
Mihemed Zekî Çelebî was a true patriot. Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) was threatening him, but he merely made these threats public on television, taking on just the right attitude. He was warning all Kurdish patriots against the tricks of the occupier. I would like to extend my condolences to his friends and family, as well as the Kurdish people.
I salute all Kurdish patriots who refuse to give in to the Turkish state, who choose to stay in Kurdistan and work in Sulaimaniyah or Behdînan, not giving in to blackmail and threats by the MİT or KDP’s secret service Parastin.
Turkey’s attacks send a message that there is no stability in Iraqi Kurdistan, that if patriots do not give up their ideology, they will not live. They seek to intimidate patriots and the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. Therefore, patriots from the north who have settled in the south must never cede any ground to the Turkish state.
Huge Pressure on HDP in Turkey
Kurds are jailed and killed in Turkey, even human remains have been attacked. Prisons refuse to release inmates despite qualifying for parole. Everything Kurdish is banned, including music and concerts in Muş (Mûş), Bitlis (Bedlîs) and major Turkish cities. The Turkish state is clearly saying Kurds have to give up their language and identiy. No music, no theatre, no education in Kurdish. Kurds have to become Turkish and work for Turks. Only then they will be allowed to live.
The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) continues to fight against all these attacks in the democratic arena. HDP does not side with the government or the opposition, because the opposition’s positions in fact serve the interests of the government and further the Kurdish genocide. They do not have any different policies.
Meanwhile, the HDP’s policy is the “Third Way”. It does not accept the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) line, and faces enormous pressure because of it. The party’s prominent members, including deputies and former co-chairs, are imprisoned. There is an ongoing case to shut it down. All of its mayors have been dismissed and replaced with government appointees. Party offices are shot up, deputies are attacked in front of party headquarters. The ongoing lynching policies want to rid the HDP of its ability to function as a legal party.
A HDP conference was banned in Diyarbakır (Amed). As a response, the party held its conference in the streets. This was the absolute right thing to do. HDP must keep this up. The AKP government is on the brink of collapse, that is why they attack.