Mustafa Karasu, a prominent member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) Executive Council, shared his insights on various recent developments in and around Turkey during a recent interview with Medya Haber TV on Thursday.
Karasu emphasised the deliberate evasion of democracy to hinder the Kurdish community’s progress. He explained, “To prevent the Kurds from benefiting, democracy is being avoided, anti-democracy is being practiced.” Karasu defined the Turkish system as not an electoral one, but a “special war democracy” with elections which do not genuinely contribute to the democratisation process.
“Labour and Freedom Alliance is one of the greatest achievements of the Kurds”
Regarding the pro-Kurdish Labour and Freedom Alliance, Karasu stated that it “should have been able to reach wider sections of society,” and “should not be seen solely as an electoral alliance, but as a broader movement encompassing various goals.” However, Karasu also cautioned against divisive debates and criticised certain approaches and discussions, particularly regarding Kurdish representation. He warned that criticisms should be fair and not directed by specific individuals, cautioning against harmful evaluations that weaken the Kurdish political struggle. He suggested that there may be manipulation and enmity against Kurdish people in the name of Kurdishness originating from the Turkish government and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) circles. “We can even say that one of the greatest achievements of the Kurds is that they have reached the peoples of Turkey by realising such an alliance,” he noted.
“True democracy can only be achieved through a united struggle alongside the Kurds”
Karasu also highlighted the challenges faced by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), urging against simplistic judgments against it. He particularly warned against isolating the Kurds from democratic forces in Turkey, stating, “The Kurdish people should be wary of the attempts by Turkish intelligence organisation (MİT), Justice and Development Party (AKP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and the longstanding colonialist policy to divide them from the democratic forces in Turkey.” He noted that “Their aim is to isolate and oppress the Kurds, seeking to eradicate their existence. It is crucial for the Kurds not to be deceived by these tactics. True democracy in Turkey can only be achieved through a united struggle for democracy alongside the Kurds, who represent the most vibrant and dynamic democratic forces in the country.”
Karasu cautioned against the potential genocidal policies targeting the Kurdish people through the alliance between HÜDA-PAR and the Justice and Development Party (AKP)-Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) coalition.
The importance of the historic June 1 offensive
Karasu also touched upon other topics, including the historic June 1 offensive and its connection to the establishment of a federation in Northern Iraq (Bashûr, meaning South Kurdistan). He commented, “If there is now a federation in Bashûr, if they are still talking about certain gains, it is the move of 1 June 2004 that made this possible.”
The “June 1 offensive” holds significant historical importance in the Kurdish freedom movement. It took place following a period of relative peace and multiple ceasefires that originated from Kurdish leader and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) founder Abdullah Öcalan’s declaration of a ceasefire on 1 August 1999. At the time of the ceasefire declaration, Öcalan was in captivity in Turkey after being abducted and brought there through an international conspiracy. However, the Turkish state failed to respond adequately, wrongly assuming that Öcalan’s capture signalled the end of the PKK and the Kurdish struggle. This misconception hindered progress in resolving the Kurdish problem, as subsequent governments lacked substantial initiatives and instead pursued strategies aimed at eliminating the Kurdish movement. The “move of 1 June” occurred when Kurdish guerrillas reaffirmed their commitment to self-defence, leading to the termination of the unilateral ceasefire. Since then, this date has become a significant turning point in the ongoing struggle for Kurdish rights and self-determination.