Mustafa Karasu, Executive Council member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) recently spoke on a special programme broadcast by Medya Haber TV. He touched on issues such as the continued persecution of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and the international community’s indifference to the use of chemical weapons by Turkey against the Kurds.
Karasu shared his comments on the bizarre and petty disciplinary punishments imposed on the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan “as explained by the Imralı Prison administration to the lawyers firm of the Kurdish leader.
One of Abdullah Öcalan’s lawyers, Newroz Uysal recently shared information that Öcalan was subjected to the withdrawal of visitation rights from his lawyers and family as disciplinary punishments given by the prison authorities for the crime of “pacing up and down a courtyard taking fresh air.”
This is not only a practice that targets Abdullah Öcalan, Karasu emphasised, but the entire Kurdish people as a whole.
“For 23 years, there has been an ongoing psychological war against leader Apo (Abdullah Öcalan). There is a special kind of persecution and oppression. They are taking revenge against leader Apo for organising the Kurds around around their demands; for motivating the Kurds to struggle,” he said, adding, “That is why, now, they are imposing disciplinary penalties on him so that he cannot be visited by his family and his lawyers.”
“Of course, it is not only Turkey, who is responsible for such treatment,” he said, “but also the US, Europe and all those powers who took part in the international plot against him.”
“This is also a practice of the US, a practice of Europe. We do not see this only as Turkey’s method of treatment. Because if that was so,
they would make a big deal out of this. ‘How can you punish someone for pacing up and down, for sharing few words with fellow inmates?’ they would ask.”
Sharing his views on the ongoing Turkish offensive in northern Iraq, Karasu defined the Kurdish fighters’ current battle against the Turkish military in Zap, Metina and Avashin regions of Iraqi Kurdistan as the “Greatest heroic war that history has ever witnessed”.
“Such a heroic resistance is a unique example of its kind in history. Hundreds of our friends resist against tens of thousands of Turkish soldiers, against all kinds of fighter jets, against all kinds of drones. And they also now resist against chemical warfare. This is a culture; they are giving birth to a culture,” he said.
He criticised the US administration and European governments for remaining silent against Turkey’s use of chemical warfare that clearly constitutes a war crime and is a violation of all international conventions:
“If it was Syria or any other country, which deployed chemical warfare, they would make a scene about it. But NATO, Europe and the US all remain silent about this. That’s why, in our view, we believe that these chemical weapons are deployed by NATO, the US and Europe. NATO, the US and Europe approve of Turkey’s use of chemical warfare, this is what we understand, because remaining silent means you approve of these attacks. ”
Karasu also shared his opinions regarding the recent widely reported incident of the usage of the word “Kurdistan” in Turkey.
Cemil Taşkesen, a shopkeeper in Siirt (Sêrt), a mostly Kurdish populated city in Turkey, was detained after his shop was visited by nationalist opposition İyi Party’s leader Meral Akşener, after his remarks to Akşener:
“Our language, identity, and Kurdistan are being denied. We are against this. We exist.”
“So if you vote yes to the war motion and then go to Kurdistan, you will see some reactions. That shopkeeper reacted to her, telling her, ‘This is Kurdistan’. Where the Kurds live is Kurdistan. This is what the history tells us. This is what the whole world knows. It’s only the Turks who do not accept that,” Karasu said.
“Even Iran calls it Kurdistan. Iraq calls it Kurdistan. Now Syria also accepts this. So everywhere where the Kurds live is Kurdistan, but where the Kurds live in Turkey is not Kurdistan, but Turkistan! How can this be so?”