“The audience for this declaration was not just the Turkish state, or to Iran, Iraq and Syria which have all colonised Kurdistan as well. It also included international powers that keep Kurds and Kurdistan in this state of limbo.” writes Ferda Çetin for Yeni Ozgur Politika.
Newroz 2022 will be remembered for how it differed from past celebrations in terms of context, attendance and messages it gave.
In Kurdistan, Turkish cities, and in Europe, participation was high and enthusiastic. They elevated the political impact of Newroz 2022 and the power of its messages.
It was not just a cultural activity where Kurds danced around fires, none of the previous ones were either.
Newroz was celebrated in diverse settings, thousands of miles apart, by millions of Kurds coming from various socioeconomic and political backgrounds. They all had similar sentiments, desires, and demands.
In this context, Newroz celebrations could be said to constitute a national congress where the Kurdish people declared their will en masse.
In thousands of villages, towns and cities, Kurds declared what kind of a life they want, what they demand, and what they reject. They have manifested their will.
The audience for this declaration was not just the Turkish state, or to Iran, Iraq and Syria which have all colonised Kurdistan as well. It also included international powers that keep Kurds and Kurdistan in this state of limbo.
The international powers that designed the Middle East launched a plan in 1998 to disband the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). This plan continues today, under various aspects of politics.
Demands and calls made in Newroz are addressed primarily to the United States, which formed the strategic framework for this plan and took the lead in its execution, the European Union, which was the executing force in practice, and NATO.
In the Newroz celebrations the Kurdish people have declared that they are aware of the link between what they call the “International Conspiracy”, how Kurds conceptualise the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, and the “Collapse Plan”, which was devised in a National Security Council meeting in Oct. 2014.
Kurds showed that they are aware that these two were joined together into a single plan, the plan to disband the PKK.
They also said Kurds will not let this plan succeed.
Millions have demanded the freedom of the Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, and clearly and precisely stated that they are loyal to the PKK, and that they will continue their support for the PKK’s struggle.
The Newroz celebrations told the United States and Europe that the plan to involve some Kurds in the plan to disband the PKK would not work. It also included a call to international powers that are part of the same coalition with Kurds in Rojava to refrain from abusing this partnership.
One of the most important messages in this year’s Newroz was that Kurds will not allow international powers involved with them in Rojava to turn Turkey’s possible attacks into a subject of blackmail or good relations with Kurds to be used towards the disbanding of the PKK.
In Amed, Hawreman, Qamishlo, Sulaimaniya, Istanbul, Frankfurt, Paris, London and hundreds of other locations, Newroz celebrations have told the international powers that they cannot conduct activities to “transform Kurds from the inside out” by dividing the Kurdish people, sowing seeds of dissent, etc.
The United States and Europe still want to continue to frame a distinction between “good Kurds” and “bad Kurds”. The Kurdish people have told them their policies have no reflection among the people, and that the “good Kurd” they want is a trait of mere collaboration that is open to abuse.
The national unity of all Kurds in the face of the strategic cooperation to disband the PKK between Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is also among the most important calls made in Newroz this year.
The Turkish state launched airstrikes immediately after Newroz. The AKP government’s detentions, arrests and operations and statements by KDP circles to diminish the grandeur and impact of Newroz are complimentary to each other.
The unease among AKP and KDP circles shows that they have read the messages of Newroz celebrations correctly. That they have understood the messages well.
Millions of Kurds of all ages have declared their awareness and determination to continue the struggle once again. They have put forth that they are loyal to their Leadership and their movement, simply and without the shadow of a doubt.
Newroz 2022 was not just a celebration of hopes, demands and wishes.
With their capacity and dynamics, the Kurdish people have shown that they are ready to take on a transformative and foundational role for a free, equal and just life in all of the Middle East, not just in Kurdistan.