PKK Executive Committee member Murat Karayılan interviewed

The Executive Committee member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Murat Karayılan was a guest on a Stêrk TV broadcast on the anniversary of the PKK’s foundation. Stressing that the struggle against the AKP-MHP regime in Turkey has reached an important stage, Karayılan said, “We have paid the price for everything, but the regime is going to lose. Everybody should know that we can now defeat this regime”.

Karayılan also commented on the elections in the United States and the possible consequences for the Middle East and Kurdistan.

“Due to the defeat of Trump, Turkey panicked, because there is no one to lean on now”, he said. “They are surrounded by fear. They give messages to Europe and the Biden administration. In this respect the 43rd anniversary of the PKK will not be an ordinary year and will be full of struggle”.

Below are some of Karayılan’s most important remarks from the interview:

Leader Apo started the struggle in a period when the politics of genocide and assimilation was realized in Kurdistan. A national resistance decision was taken at the meeting held in Fis village of Lice on 27 November 1978. Kurdish people said, “We should exist as a community, we should do whatever is necessary to attain our goal.” A party was necessary and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was established on this axis. Our leader Öcalan started with criticism. He criticized all that came before, he criticized the society. The existing society had to change and a new patriotic and revolutionary society had to be created. In this framework, cadres had to be formed to lead this. A strong, talented, well-developed and determined cadre stance had to be created. Our leader taught the cadres that honor, dignity, freedom, and loyalty to the country were essential to them. This strengthened the Kurdish society. The ideological, political, organizational, social, and military struggle was a hope and a belief for the Kurdish people. Kurds have become the most dynamic actors in the Middle East today. Above all, we have won our existence as a nation; we prevented annihilation and assimilation. Now is the time for freedom.

Saddam attacked Kuwait in 1990. On this basis, there was an intervention against the Saddam regime led by the USA in the late 1990s. At that time, the US administration sent a message saying, “Let a Kurdish delegation come to Washington”, through Madame Mitterrand, the wife of the President of France.

Since 1975 the relations of America with the Kurds has not been very close. Probably there was no relationship left. There were not high level relations, if any, but such a delegation was invited at a high level in 1990. At that time, it was said, “Let the delegation consist of four parts and include the PKK in it”.

We as the PKK argued and said, “We do not want to go as the PKK, but you go and we will support you. Mr Mam Celal (Jalal Talabani) was ruling the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in those days. Mam Celal replied to us by saying, “If the PKK does not take part in this delegation it will not be absent. The PKK should consider our situation. For the people of Southern Kurdistan, the PKK should be included in this delegation”.

Why did he say that? Because the war was weakened in other parts of Kurdistan in those days. But there was a war in Northern Kurdistan; people were resisting. Mam Jalal is not alive now, but Ehmed Bamerni is alive and knows all these incidents.

As the PKK, we did not go to the USA ourselves, but İsmet Şerif joined the delegation on our behalf and went to America and read that message in Washington. The PKK was very powerful for all other parts of Kurdistan back then and still is.

Our societies are affected by each other. Our people in the South observed that although the Turkish state so powerful, our people in the North have risen against it and are resisting. The Iraqi state, on the other hand, was in a very weak position due to the war with Iran and also because of the US attacks. Our people in the South took this opportunity and stood up. In this respect, the rebellion in the North has a very serious influence over the Kurds in the South.

In 1992, after the 36th parallel line came under the control of international powers, a vacuum was created in Southern Kurdistan, and the opportunity for the Kurdish people to form an administration emerged. That’s when the parliament in Bashure Kurdistan was on the agenda. The Turkish state would never have given way to a Kurdish rule in the South if PKK was not very powerful in those days. No one should forget that.

The eyes of the Turkish state were always on the South. Turkey never wanted any Kurdish administration and status to emerge there. Since the Turkish state was weakened because of the struggle in the North between 1991 and 1992, that allowed the formation of a parliament in the South.

However, Turkey had only one condition: they wanted them to fight against the PKK, but they accepted that. Organisations in the South also accepted this and in this way a parliament was formed and a Kurdish administration was established. In other words, the Kurds were able to gain because of the influence and balance created by the PKK in the region.

Now, regarding the latest situation in Iraqi Kurdistan, as we have outlined in previous statements, we would never want a war between the Kurds. We are in favor of solving all problems through dialogue. The Turkish state has always tried to provoke Kurds against each other, which is what Turkey tries to do now. If Turkey could end the PKK- even though we know they are not able to do so – then it goes without saying that Turkey will try to end the KDP and the South.

However, Kurdish people are aware of this threat and all Kurds have been developing a stance against the civil war between Kurds for a month. This is quite a significant stance.

Moreover, the crisis has deepened economically, militarily, politically, and socially in Turkey. Especially in the last few days, President Tayyip Erdoğan and the people around him have been talking about reforms and human rights. They have been in power for 18 years. They have been cursing Europe and the European values, but now they say, “Our place, our direction is Europe”.

It turns out that they have been leaning on Trump so far. Trump’s defeat in the US presidential election has also weakened them. There is no one to lean on. They are in a panic. They have reversed everything they have said so far. They give messages to Europe and the US administration of Biden, “We will surrender to you”. So they wave a white flag. They give the message of “reforms” to the society as well.

This shows that the next year, the 43rd year of the PKK, will not be an ordinary year. Our people should know this and organize themselves according to this. The isolation in Imrali should be lifted. Leader Apo’s captivity must end now.

With this hope and belief, we wish success to all the fighting groups in the 43rd year of the PKK and congratulate all of our people, comrades, and friends on the anniversary of the foundation of the PKK.

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PKK Executive Committee member Murat Karayılan interviewed

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