You Heard His Name. Learn His Story. Demand His Freedom.
★ Contact: [email protected]
Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2
Duisburg DKTM members take over the Freedom for Öcalan Vigil on Strasbourg………………………2 Judge imposes new 6-month lawyer visit ban on Abdullah Öcalan…………………………………………….2 Lawyers submit another application to visit Abdullah Öcalan…………………………………………………..3
Prisons in Turkey……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
Human Rights Association: There are 1,517 ill prisoners in jail…………………………………………………4 Prisoners in Islahiye T-Type Prison continue their hunger strike to protest violation of rights…………5 Ill prisoner in Ahlat T-Type Closed Prison threatened with death for saying “I am Kurdish”………….5 Relatives of prisoners detained in Istanbul……………………………………………………………………………..6 Artist Dora goes on hunger strike in German prison to protest prohibition to watch Kurdish channel ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………7 Seven prisoners in Kilis L-Type jail on hunger strike to protest violation of rights………………………..8 Seriously ill prisoner Sıddık Güler is left to die, says his family………………………………………………….8
Military Aggressions by Turkey……………………………………………………………………………………………9
Guerrilla doctor: “NATO is using chemical weapons against Kurds through Turkey”……………………9 Karayılan: We will turn Zap into a fortress of victory…………………………………………………………….11 German missile technology used in the Turkish aggression on Zap…………………………………………..15 Village guards deployed to Metina: We cannot move forward, we are mentally down………………….17 Turkey spent 135 million dollars in a year for military activities abroad…………………………………….18
Military Aggressions by Iraq……………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
Riham Hico: They want to break the free will of Şengal…………………………………………………………19
Over 160 people detained in Istanbul on May Day……………………………………………………………….23 HDP headquarters in Ankara besieged by the police……………………………………………………………..24 Six political parties issue joint statement condemning provocation against HDP………………………..25 50 years ago: The execution of revolutionaries Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Huseyin Inan………26 Child wounded by shots fired from Turkish-occupied Serêkaniyê dies in Urfa……………………………27 IHD: What happened in Dersim is a genocide……………………………………………………………………..28 Survivor of Dersim massacre: Betrayal and genocide against Kurds continue……………………………..29
Dr. Brauns: “Öcalan’s paradigm can end wars”……………………………………………………………………..30
Who Are We?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 33
2 The İmralı Post #9
Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan
Duisburg DKTM members take over the Freedom for Öcalan Vigil on Strasbourg
ANF | Strasbourg | 5 May 2022
The Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan Initiative launched a vigil on 25 June 2012 in Strasbourg, to ensure the physical freedom of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and to break the isolation imposed on him. The vigil has entered its 516th week.
Members of the Democratic Kurdish Community Center (DKTM) in Duisburg have taken over the vigil this week. The group includes Haydar Fergil, Özgür Varto, İsmail Minkara and Şerif Ersoy.
Making a statement on behalf of the group, Haydar Fergil said that they took over the vigil on the 516th week with the slogan “Support the leadership is to protect Kurdistan”.
Pointing to the Turkish state’s partnership with the KDP, and the attacks against Medya Defense Areas, and the Iraqi state’s invasion attacks against Shengal, Fergil stated that the Kurdish people are aware of this critical process and are taking action everywhere.
He said that the Kurdish people will remain on the streets until they gain their freedom.
Fergil also said that “the invasion attacks, the use of chemical weapons against the guerrillas and the KDP collaboration are the continuation of the international conspiracy. The Kurdish people will not leave their children and the guerrillas alone. Even if Europe plays the three monkeys, we will speak up against this hypocritical policy with our democratic action.”
Judge imposes new 6-month lawyer visit ban on Abdullah
ANF – Istanbul | 7 May 2022
While no direct news has been received from Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan for over a year (since 25 March 2021), a new 6-month ban on lawyers has been imposed on him before the expiry of the old one.
3 The İmralı Post #9 The old ban on lawyers expired on 22 April. However, the application made by the lawyers to Bursa Exe-
cution Judgeship on 29 April, requesting a visit with Öcalan, was rejected by the judgeship.
It was stated that the reason for the refusal was a new 6-month lawyer visit ban, which was imposed on him on 13 April. No information was given to the lawyers about the reason for the ban.
The ban decision became final on 22 April without notifying the lawyers who appealed to the Bursa Exe- cution Judge on 6 May.
Lawyers submit another application to visit Abdullah Öcalan
ANF | Istanbul | 10 May 2022
Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan’s lawyers, İbrahim Bilmez, Newroz Uysal, Mazlum Dinç and Cengiz Yürekli, have once again applied to the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and the management of Im- rali Island Prison to meet with their client.
On March 14, 2021, rumours spread on social media claiming that Öcalan had died in prison. Immedi- ately, protests were organised around the world demanding an urgent visit by the lawyers to Imrali.
On March 25, 2021, Öcalan was able to talk with his brother Mehmet Öcalan. The short phone conversa- tion happened about a year after a previous call, on 27 April 2020, and it is the first time since then that Öcalan had actual contact with someone outside.
The phone conversation was held under the supervision of the Urfa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and was very short. The call was interrupted pretty soon. Likewise, the phone call by another prisoner on Im- rali, Hamili Yıldırım, with his family was also abruptly interrupted. It was reported that the other two prisoners, Ömer Hayri Konar and Veysi Aktaş, did not make the phone call they were offered to protest isolation.
All applications for visit have been so far rejected or gone unanswered.
The Imrali Delegation, which was able to hold talks with Öcalan within the framework of peace negotia- tions, has not been allowed to visit the prison island since April 2015. Since the last visit of the team of lawyers on August 7, 2019, the Turkish authorities have not responded to any of the continuous requests for visits.
The Turkish authorities use the “roadmap for negotiations” submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in 2009 as the justification for the ban on visits by Abdullah Öcalan’s team of lawyers.
4 The İmralı Post #9
On the other hand, the investigation launched in 2012 against lawyers of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, Rezan Sarıca, Ali Maden, Baran Doğan, Cengiz Yürekli, İnan Akmeşe, Mahmut Taşçı and Mehmet Selim Okçuoğlu, was picked up again at the beginning of 2021.
The lawyers went to the prosecutor’s office and gave a statement. After the statements were taken, the in- dictment prepared by the prosecutor’s office was accepted by the Istanbul 33rd High Criminal Court. Lawyers are accused, among other things, of “membership of a terrorist organization”, and they are ex- pected to appear in court in September.
In the indictment, where lawyer meetings with Öcalan were shown as a criminal element, the lawyers’ re – fusal to accept the accusations against them was also cited as a criminal element. In addition, while lawyer Cengiz Yürekli’s use of his right to remain silent was shown as an element of crime, phone calls made by detainees with their families due to their profession were also considered a crime.
The most interesting subject of accusation in the indictment was that statements such as “isolation is being applied to Öcalan” and “lawyers have not been allowed to see him for 300 days” were cited as criminal ele – ments. These were sentences contained in statements made by the lawyers to the press.
Prisons in Turkey
Human Rights Association: There are 1,517 ill prisoners in jail
ANF | Istanbul | 1 May 2022
The Prisons Commission of the Human Rights Association (IHD) published its updated list of ill prison- ers at a press conference in Istanbul.
According to the IHD, there are 1,517 ill prisoners in jail, including 651 seriously ill. There are some 341,502 prisoners in the country.
In 2021, at least 46 ill prisoners have died in prisons, said the IHD, adding that at least 3 prisoners lost their lives shortly after being released.
IHD co-chair Öztürk Türkdoğan said the number of ill prisoners was increasing. He added that prisoners who cannot look after themselves alone in prison should be released.
Türkdoğan said that the “Forensic Medicine Institute (ATK) should not be the sole authority to decide whether ill prisoners can stay in prison or not.”
5 The İmralı Post #9
He mentioned the ATK’s reports about Kurdish politician and lawyer Aysel Tuğluk, who remained in prison despite being diagnosed with dementia. He also mentioned the case of Mehmet Emin Özkan, an 83-year-old prisoner who remains in prison despite suffering from several illnesses.
Prisoners in Islahiye T-Type Prison continue their hunger strike
to protest violation of rights
ANF | Antep | 2 May 2022
Prisoners İlhami İşçi, Uğur Ürün, Zennar Demir and Hiccet Umui, in Antep İslahiye T Type Closed Prison, are on the 27th day of hunger strike, Reşit Dayan and Uğur Uyar are on the 22nd day and Ümit Özen, entered the 19th day.
The rights violations reported by the prisoners who applied to the Human Rights Association (IHD) An- tep Branch through their lawyers have been detailed as follows: “Strip searches are carried out at the prison entrance. In daily counts, prisoners are exposed to standing, military order counting. Prisoners are forced to march in a military line during the round trip to and from the telephone and visit places. Physical vio- lence.”
IHD Antep Branch Head Sinan Taştekin, who visited the prisoners, said that they were not given enough sugar, salt and lemon, and the hunger strike had been turned into a death fast.
Lawyers from the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD) Mersin Branch last met with the prisoners on Friday, 29 April. The prisoners said they will continue their protest until their demands are accepted.
Ill prisoner in Ahlat T-Type Closed Prison threatened with
death for saying “I am Kurdish”
ANF | Şirnak | 3 May 2022
Naif İşçi, was detained in a house raid in the Cizre district of Şırnak in September 2010, when he was 14. Hewas arrested for “committing a crime on behalf of a terrorist organization without being a member of it”, “making propaganda for a terrorist organization”, “violating the law on meetings and demonstrations”. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
6 The İmralı Post #9
A platinum plaque was placed on the left leg of the young man, who had a traffic accident shortly before his arrest. The platinum plaque, which was supposed to be removed after 6 months, has not been removed for 12 years because İşçi is not allowed to treat his leg properly.
As a result, the young man can no longer walk because he had not been treated for 12 years. İşçi was trans- ferred from Balikesir Bandırma T Type Closed Prison No. 1 to Ahlat T Type Closed Prison 8 months ago, and has been kept in an isolation cell since the first day he was brought to prison. In his weekly phone call with his family, he spoke about the rights violations he was subjected to and stated that he was threatened with death.
İşçi’s mother, Nebahat, stated that the death threat worried her and said that they would never bow to these racist threats by the prison administration. She described the phone conversation she had with her son Naif as follows: “Two weeks ago, my son called me. He sounded down. I asked him what happened, but he said ‘I’m fine’. Then he asked to talk to his brother. He told his brother that the prison administra- tion had threatened to kill him twice. When we asked how he was threatened, he said, ‘An officer from the MHP in prison asked me, ‘Are you a Kurd?’ I did not answer in the first place. Then he came back and asked me, ‘Are you a Kurd?’ I said to him, ‘Yes, I am a Kurd’. He then threatened me with death.”
Stating that her son Naif asked them to go to the prosecutor’s office and file a criminal complaint, Neba- hat İşçi said: “IHD and lawyers should focus on this incident. Tomorrow may be too late. Our children will not bow before threats. We stand behind our children.”
Nebahat İşçi said that if anything happens to her son, the prison administration will be held responsible, İşçi called for sensitivity and said: “All the families of prisoners, should stand against these tortures. We don’t want bodies to come out of prisons anymore. We do not accept these threats on our children. We have to speak out against it.”
—★— Relatives of prisoners detained in Istanbul
ANF | Istanbul | 5 May 2022
Relatives of prisoners have been holding a “justice vigil” in front of Istanbul’s Palace of Justice in Çağlayan for six weeks. The vigil calls for the release of sick prisoners and protests against the measure to make the release of political prisoners after serving their sentence conditional on a confession of remorse. There are many people in Turkish prisons whose regular prison term has long since expired and who are still not re – leased because of their political views.
Fince Akman, the mother of Yakup Akman, who is imprisoned in Silivri Prison, and Cemile Çiftçi, whose seriously ill brother Selim Çiftçi is imprisoned in Ümraniye, took part in today’s justice vigil. The two women marched in front of the court building and drew attention to the rights violations in the prisons.
7 The İmralı Post #9
Lawyers protesting outside the court against the sentencing of Osman Kavala and seven co-defendants in the Gezi Uprising trial expressed solidarity with the women. When Fince Akman and Cemile Çiftçi tried to make a statement, they were surrounded by police officers. The police explained that there was a special ban against women and that they were not allowed to give a speech. The women protested against the measure and were then detained by the use of force. During the police crackdown, journalists were also pushed back with physical force.
The lawyers present protested against the detentions. Lawyer Diren Yeşil described the police officers as torturers and asked the rhetorical question whether Turkey is a constitutional state: “Arbitrariness reigns here, it is obviously a police state.”
Artist Dora goes on hunger strike in German prison to protest
prohibition to watch Kurdish channel
ANF | Stutgart | 5 May 2022
Mazlum Dora, who has been imprisoned for a year in Stammheim Prison in Stuttgart, said that he went on hunger strike.
At the hearing held in Stammheim on 4 May, Dora said that she went on hunger strike on Monday be- cause she was prevented from watching the news channels Medya Haber, Stêrk Tv and MED Muzik, which broadcasts Kurdish music. She said: “When I turned on the TV on Monday to watch it, I noticed that those channels were closed. When I asked why, they said they closed them because they found them inconvenient.”
Dora’s lawyer, Christos Psaltiras, told Yeni Özgür Politika that they would make a written application to stop the unlawful practice.
Following the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu to Berlin in May 2021, 3 Kurdish people, in- cluding artist Mazlum Dora, were arrested.
Dora was detained on 11 May1, when she went to Esslingen town hall, for official procedures. Dora, was sent to Stammheim Prison and is on trial for her cultural activities.
8 The İmralı Post #9 Seven prisoners in Kilis L-Type jail on hunger strike to protest
violation of rights
ANF | Şirnak | 6 May 2022
Human rights violations continue to increase in prisons, where seriously ill prisoners are dragged to death. 7 prisoners in Kilis L-Type Prison went on hunger strike on April 23 against the arbitrary practices of the prison administration, standing count, torture and isolation. The prisoners, who have been on hunger strike for 15 days, stated in their weekly phone calls with their families that they have been exposed to seri- ous human rights violations and that the prison administration has introduced arbitrary practices. They said that they will continue their protests until the violations come to an end.
Uğur Uyar was detained in Cizre district of Şırnak in 2012 and sentenced to 19 years and 25 days in prison on charges of “membership in a terrorist organization”. Uyar, who has been imprisoned in Van High Security Prison for 10 years, was transferred to Kilis L-Type Prison 20 days ago. Uyar, who did not accept the arbitrary and torture practices of the prison administration, went on a hunger strike with 6 of his friends.
Uyar’s mother, Nazlı Uyar (45), said that the pressure on the detainees increased. “My son and his friends went on hunger strike to protest the abuses of the prison administration. My son has been in prison for 10 years. He was arrested as a child. They waited, when he turned 20, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison. He was still going to school. He has no fault. He was unjustly imprisoned.”
Uyar’s mother criticized the silence against the increasing pressure in prisons and said: “This torture in prisons should be stopped. They will not end the hunger strike until their demands are met. Human rights institutions and organizations should also stand up against this. Everyone needs to be sensitive.”
Seriously ill prisoner Sıddık Güler is left to die, says his family
ANF | Izmir | 7 May 2022
The situation of 82-year-old Sıddık Güler, who was deported from İskenderun T-Type Closed Prison to İzmir Menemen R-Type Closed Prison two months ago, and who is on the “seriously ill prisoner” list of the Human Rights Association (IHD), is getting worse by the day.
Due to the Eid al-Fitr, Sıddık Güler’s family held an open visit in prison on Thursday. Ayşe Güler, daugh – ter of Sıddık Güler, said her father suffers from many diseases and is not treated. She said that his condi – tion is worsening.
9 The İmralı Post #9
Ayşe Güler said that her father, who needs constant help, was kept alone in a 3-person ward. Güler said that her father has not yet received medical treatment. Sıddık Güler’s daughter said that she had difficulty in establishing a dialogue due to her father’s being alone for a long time, and added that he had difficulty speaking during the meeting. Güler also noted that his father is forgetting things much quicker than be- fore.
Güler said that her father came to the visit area by holding on to the walls. She added that her father had to buy drinking water and therefore the money sent by the family ran out in a short time, Güler reminded that her father suffered from Covid-19 twice before in Iskenderun Prison.
During the visit, Sıddık Güler told her daughter that he has difficulty walking and cannot stand. Ayşe Güler called for sensitivity to the public and human rights organizations.
Military Aggressions by Turkey
Guerrilla doctor: “NATO is using chemical weapons against Kurds through Turkey”
ANF | Behdinan | 1 May 2022
The Turkish army’s invasion of the guerrilla areas in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq), launched two weeks ago, continues with unabated intensity. The army is attacking from the air and on the ground with the most modern weapons technology and is using chemical warfare agents against the guerrillas. Serbilind Dersim has been a guerrilla doctor for many years and spoke to ANF about the invasion and the war crimes committed by the Turkish army.
Dersim remarked that the AKP/MHP government makes its existence dependent on the genocide of the Kurdish people. The guerrilla doctor recalled the occupation operation that was launched on April 23 last year. When the operation stalled due to guerrilla resistance, he noted, the army resorted to methods that are considered war crimes worldwide, using banned chemical weapons.
The fighters in the “war tunnels”—as the guerrillas call their underground defenses—also caused the chemical weapons attacks to fail over time: “At this point, it must be said that the enemy initially achieved certain results with them. In the later period, our friends strengthened their protective measures and thus prevented further results. For this reason, the Turkish state had to withdraw.”
This spring, Turkey again attacked the Medya Defense Zones, Dersim continued: “The Turkish state is us- ing every conceivable weapons technology. With dozens of fighter jets, helicopters and howitzers, continu –
10 The İmralı Post #9
ous bombardment is taking place. Drones are deployed 24 hours a day. However, the restructured guerril- las were prepared and have welcomed the enemy with new tactics that have left them in a state of shock. The army has suffered 200 casualties in a short period of time. As a result, the Turkish state realized that it was not going to get anywhere this way and used chemical agents again.”
Dersim said that the guerrillas have gained experience in the past year and know how to protect them- selves. He pointed to the Geneva Conventions and the ban on chemical weapons, saying, “There is an or – ganization that is supposed to ensure the implementation of this ban. Nevertheless, the hegemonic powers have continued to use chemical weapons all the time. Today, the Turkish state is also using chemical weapons against us again, but it won’t win the war through that. Last year was not the first time that the Kurds were attacked with chemical weapons. The British used chemical weapons against Şêx Mahmut Berzenci in 1920, the Turks in Dersim in 1937/1938, Saddam in Halabja in 1988. Chemical weapons have been used against our movement repeatedly since the 1990s.”
According to the guerrilla doctor, chemical weapons are all weapons that, unlike conventional weapons, have a chemical effect on humans and animals. He added that the effects are not only lethal, but also tem – porary, such as paralysis, fainting, deafness and impaired vision. “Pepper gas is also a chemical weapon and banned in the military sector. The Turkish army has CS grenades, which violate international agreements. Pepper gas is used very massively in the war tunnels, in closed areas. This leads to health problems in the long term and can even have fatal effects. Therefore, we cannot overlook it. For example, there are always deaths in cities in winter from gas ovens, that is, from carbon monoxide intoxication. This is not a chemi – cal weapon, but if you encapsulate carbon monoxide and turn it into a weapon to kill people, then it is a chemical weapon. The same is true of pepper gas used with large mortar shells against guerrillas.
Last year, the globally outlawed agent Green Cross was also used. We have recordings and evidence of all of this. We call on the international community to act against Turkey. Today, NATO blames Russia for the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, but the use against Kurds and especially against our movement is ig – nored. This is hypocritical. NATO is using chemical weapons against the Kurdish movement through Tur- key.”
Last year, various delegations came to Southern Kurdistan to investigate the chemical weapons allegations. This was prevented by the KDP, said Dersim and continued: “Today we repeat our call upon international organizations to investigate the use of chemical weapons by Turkey in Kurdistan. This also applies to civil society institutions, doctors, in other words, to all those who deal with such cases. They should investigate the use of chemical weapons on the ground and ensure at the international level that the Turkish state is stopped.
The fascist AKP/MHP government is stagnating and wants to achieve military success before the 2023 election. However, the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla is not giving the Turkish military a moment’s peace. The army is being dealt one blow after another. It should be clear to everyone that the PKK is an invinci- ble movement.”
11 The İmralı Post #9 Karayılan: We will turn Zap into a fortress of victory
ANF | Behdinan | 6 May 2022
Murat Karayılan, Commander of the People’s Defense Center Headquarters Command, responded to Dengê Welat radio’s questions about the Turkish state’s newest invasion attacks and the guerrilla resistance in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq).
Karayılan remarked that the Kurdistan freedom fighters in the Zap and Avaşîn regions have fought a valiant war for 15 days and added, “There is no more justifiable cause than the Kurdish people’s fight for freedom. Every guerilla fights the enemy like a lion. We have faith in our reasoning, our ways, and our techniques. We believe in the viewpoint of a revolutionary people’s war. We are able to wage such a war against the enemy with this faith and commitment. The enemy, on the other hand, seeks to achieve results through immoral means and methods. Therefore, the victory will be ours, not the enemy’s.”
We left behind May 1st Workers’ Day. May is also known as the month of martyrs. What do you have to say about this historic month?
First and foremost, I would like to congratulate everyone, particularly Kurdish workers and labourers, on May 1st, which is a day to intensify resistance and battle. I’d like to take this occasion to greet all those re- sisting.
I once again congratulate our people and the entire Islamic world on the Ramadan Feast. I especially con- gratulate the mothers and fathers of our valiant martyrs. Martyrs are commemorated on such significant days. I believe that in the future, Kurdistan will be able to celebrate holidays in a liberated environment. Today is a holiday, yet in our country, there are persecution, carnage, death, detention, and arrests, as well as attacks by the enemy. I hope that this day brings our people together.
We are now in the midst of a holy month. May is a holiday for workers and labourers, an Islamic holiday, and the Month of Martyrs. May 1 is also the anniversary of the martyrdom of Ramazan Kaplan in Garzan and Abdulkadir Çubukçu in Beirut. Our first commanders, Mehmet Karasungur and İbrahim Bilgin, as well as Amed Field Commanders Azad Siser and Çekdar Amed, were martyred on May 2.
Many of the martyrs of democracy and freedom in Turkey also lost their lives in May. May 6 marks the martyrdom of Deniz Gezmiş and his companions, and May 18 is the day of martyrdom of İbrahim Kay- pakkaya. May 17 is the day of action under the leadership of Ferhat Kurtay. May 18 is the martyrdom day of our first martyr, Haki Karer. In the person of these friends, I commemorate all May martyrs with re- spect. Our party is the party of martyrs. This movement has reached this stage thanks to the martyrs of this party. The PKK was founded after the martyrdom of comrade Haki Karer, and each martyrdom fur- ther developed the party. Martyrs are the source of our strength and struggle. This reality continues to this day. Our movement developed moves following the footsteps of heroic martyrs and has reached this stage.
May 2 is the 39th anniversary of Mehmet Karasungur’s martyrdom. Again, May 2 is the day of martyr- dom of Azad Siser and Çekdar Amed. It is well known how Mehmet Karasungur, one of the first com- manders of the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle, put up resistance and led the way in Hilvan and Siverek. At
12 The İmralı Post #9 the same time, he made a great effort for the establishment of national unity and the end the conflict be –
tween the Kurds. While he was carrying out this work, he was martyred along with comrade İbrahim.
Our people still need the effort made by comrades Mehmet Karasungur and İbrahim Bilgin 39 years ago for the establishment of national unity. I hereby once again call for the establishment of national unity; ev- eryone should take responsibility and fulfill their duties in this regard. Once again, in the person of com- rade Mehmet Karasungur, I commemorate all the martyrs of May and the Kurdistan revolution martyrs with respect. I repeat once again the promise we made to them; we will stick to their cause to the end.
The enemy’s attacks on Medya Defense Zones are still ongoing. You mentioned that this war is a battle of existence and non-existence for both sides. At what stage is the war that has been ongoing for 15 days?
The AKP-MHP coalition government is not a typical government. This government was founded in order to crush the Kurdistan Freedom fight and the Kurdish people’s gains. It considers the existence and status of the Kurdish people to be a threat to the Turkish state and hence seeks to eradicate both the PKK and the Kurdish people. This is regarded as an obligation by the government. That is why it has been waging an all-out war against us for the past 7 years.
The war began with the aggravation of the isolation (of Abdullah Öcalan) at Imrali. It was exacerbated by the increased persecution in the dungeons. Once again, a massive offensive was launched against our peo- ple, those who practice democratic politics and struggle in Turkey. In all places, major attacks were con – ducted against the guerillas. Despite all of these attacks, the AKP-MHP administration was unable to suc- ceed. As a result, there were several political, social, and economic crises. They attempted to accomplish victory by invading Garê last year but were defeated by the guerilla resistance. They seek to attain the goals that they were unable to achieve last year by attacking the Medya Defense Zones. In any case, they only have this year. This is the government’s final year in office. If they succeed in their attacks on us, on the Kurdish people, they will maintain their rule. However, if they fail, they will perish. This is a really impor- tant issue for them.
This is particularly true for Erdoğan and Bahçeli. That’s why they have been trying so hard to succeed. If they succeed, they will not only eliminate the PKK, but also all of the Kurdish people’s achievements. A grave risk will exist for the Kurdish people, and a genocide policy will prevail in Kurdistan. That’s why we say it’s a war for both sides’ existence and non-existence. The struggle in Zap and Avaşîn is a national war, one that will define our people’s, and the region’s, future. If the enemy prevails against us, fascism and genocide will rule in Kurdistan, bringing about a terrible time for the region.
What is the difference between the latest invasion attacks of the Turkish state and the others? What tactics do they use in attacks?
There are numerous differences between the previous invasion operation and this one. Last year, the en- emy launched an attack on us for the same reason but was foiled. They made some changes this year, hop- ing to achieve results in this manner. In this most recent operation, the enemy employs more techniques and has prepared outside forces for additional assistance. Most notably, it has increased the activation of the Kurdish collaborative network. In other words, there are secret talks and promises being made between them and the KDP in order to launch an attack from the South Kurdistan line as well. The KDP has also
13 The İmralı Post #9 made preparations for the enemy. The enemy predicted that they would besiege the guerrilla in Zap and
They wanted to reactivate Kurdish collaborationists in Bakur as well as Bashur and involve them in the op – eration. They assemble all of Kurdistan’s village guards and engage them in the operation. Again, leftover ISIS gangs in Syria, particularly those from Turkmenistan, are also included in the operation. They seek to achieve results through enhanced technology, Kurdish collaborators, and, most importantly, the use of chemical weapons. They resorted to these methods last year as well, but this year they hope to capitalize more on the Kurdish collaborationists. They even predict that a conflict will erupt amongst the Kurds. They want to achieve results within this framework.
The enemy’s aggression is said to have commenced on April 17, but was actually launched on April 1, with fighter jets, howitzers, and mortars. Then, on the evening of April 17, at half-past eight o’clock, they suddenly attempted to airdrop soldiers by helicopter in Zap and other regions. They intended to catch the guerrilla off guard by airdropping soldiers in 9-10 locations at the same time. They intended to take the re- gion by taking advantage of the chaos and bewilderment. In other words, they planned to settle in these places in a single day. They were, however, up against the self-sacrificing guerrillas of Kurdistan. It is ad- mirable that the guerrillas in the Zap and Avaşîn areas interfered with the enemy so selflessly and con- sciously. Our comrades demonstrated great bravery. When the enemy sought to airdrop soldiers for 5-6 days in a row, our comrades prevented them and engaged in hand-to-hand fighting. If guerrilla had not re- acted in a timely and proper manner, the enemy could have successfully penetrated several vital locations. However, our comrades’ vigilance, as well as their self-sacrificing, courageous, and fearless response to the attacks, prevented the enemy’s plans from succeeding.
In several regions, the enemy was unable to airdrop troops. True, it was able to do it in some regions, but it only did so after 5-6 days, and they are now stuck there. For example, the forces they airdropped in Kurojahro were in a perilous position. The enemy moved by land to rescue his forces from Sheladîzê. Nonetheless, they suffered heavy losses. A massive war is being fought. The enemy launched air and ground attacks using planes, helicopters, howitzers, and other weaponry. They came from Bakur by land as well. They planned to appall our forces and take advantage of the ensuing chaos in this way. Our valiant comrades, on the other hand, responded to these attacks with great determination and courage, ultimately defeating the enemy troops. The Kurdistan independence guerrillas have had amazing success in this fight, which left 15 days behind.
That is why, through you, I extend my heartfelt greetings to the fighters in Zap and Avaşîn provinces and congratulate them all on their bravery. These heroes should be honored by our people as well, because they prevented a major threat and prevented the enemy from gaining ground.
I respectfully remember all of our martyrs who gave their lives fighting valiantly in this resistance, and we promise once more that they shall be avenged. We will keep their memories alive and take revenge. We will turn Zap into a fortress of resistance and victory. This is how we will take revenge on the enemy.
The enemy has never been able to reach the positions till now, and the allegations made by the Turkish state’s war minister are false. They suffered too many losses. According to our comrades’ estimates, and as far as we can tell, they had roughly 300 casualties. Erdogan and Bahceli have clearly put hundreds and thousands of soldiers’ lives in jeopardy. For example, if they try to airdrop soldiers but are unable to do so,
14 The İmralı Post #9
the helicopter returns. They try to airdrop the soldiers again after 1.5-2 hours, but the comrades intervene and do not allow them to do so. Because the soldiers are unable to return to their bases, they are left all by themselves. They tell the soldiers that they must either die or get stationed. They have no way back.
They send Turkish children, including maybe Kurdish children, to die for their own profit. They send peo- ple’s children to die in order to maintain their rule and cover up their corruption. They also go on televi- sion and lie in front of the people. Maybe they’ve only announced ten losses so far, but that’s not the case. They’ve had far too many losses. They are not telling Turkey’s people the truth. There is a severe war going on, and many people are dying as a result of it. That is why they have resumed the use of chemical weapons.
The enemy is now entrapped, but the burden of our comrades is not so light. We must also support the heroes of Zap in all areas. Everyone, including our people, friends, and Kurdistan provinces, must do their part. Because a national battle is being fought, everyone must do all they can.
We also have comrades who have been martyred in this battle. We announce the identities of our martyrs, but there are some whose names and personal records have not yet been clarified. We shall reveal the names of all our martyred comrades. We never conceal our losses. We are in a major conflict, and we want the entire world, particularly our people, to realize the price we have paid for it. That is why we do not conceal our losses. Our martyrs are a source of honor for us. We are engaged in a major conflict with an enemy who is backed by international forces and employs cutting-edge technological weapons. This is not an easy task, and we will undoubtedly suffer losses. We will continue to publish the identities of our mar- tyred companions.
How did guerilla tactics change in response to these attacks? How does the guerilla withstand such tremen- dous attacks and carry out such successful actions?
The Kurdistan freedom guerrilla has mastered the art of battle. No one would have been able to withstand such huge attacks without reaching such depths. The guerilla resists with immense faith and courage, ac- cording to Rêber Apo’s (Abdullah Öcalan’s) ideology and philosophy. Without a doubt, war is not fought solely with courage, faith, and will. At the same time, the art of battle has depth and rich strategies, which have been advanced by our comrades. A war is being fought using competent and professional tactics. The experiences we had last year, in particular, were quite valuable to us. Many experiences were gathered in the conflict in Heftanîn in 2020, as well as in the areas of Avaşîn, Zap, Metîna, Zendura, Mamreşo, Girê- sor, and Werxelê last year. As a result of these experiences, our comrades progressed to a certain point, and such resistance has been demonstrated against the enemy.
Our comrades’ tactics and methods have also resulted in numerous innovations in guerrilla wars around the world. The guerrilla is devising tactics and methods that will serve as a model not only for Kurdistan but for the entire world. In other words, the battle is not being waged in a single direction. It is carried out with sophisticated strategies, methods, faith, will, and commitment. Because all of these things work to- gether, the guerilla can withstand these devastating strikes. Currently, the enemy is employing chemical weapons. They would be vanquished by the guerrilla in an instant if they did not utilize chemical weapons. People had to escape anywhere they used chemicals. Their own soldiers did not remain there ei- ther. But, for the time being, the use of chemical weapons is not a solution either. Of course, we must fight this; it is not a human thing to do, but today the guerrillas stand against the enemy. A certain level
15 The İmralı Post #9 has been attained. This is a tremendous honour for all Kurds. Such resistance against an army that consid-
ers itself to be NATO’s second-largest army is not common.
They claim the guerrilla cannot hold out for long. No, that is not the case. If there is a force to be defeated in those places, it is the invading Turkish state, the Turkish army. The guerrilla’s resistance, fortitude, and the tactics and methods it creates to provide the foundation of victory. The enemy now depends mostly on its technological superiority and Kurdish collaboration. He has no will to fight; instead, he organizes gangs and guards and conducts operations. This is how he intends to achieve his goals. We, on the other hand, are engaged in a righteous cause. There is no more just cause than the Kurdish people’s freedom cause. We are fighting for our existence, language, and nation. Our power comes from Rêber Apo’s thoughts and our martyrs. This is a belief that every friend is adorned with while fighting. Every guerilla fights the enemy like a lion. All our comrades have great willpower. Again, we rely on our ideas, methods, and ways. We be – lieve in the viewpoint of a revolutionary people’s war. We are able to wage such a war against the enemy with this faith and commitment. The enemy, on the other hand, seeks to achieve results through unethical means and tactics. The victory will be ours, not the enemy’s.
What role do mobile guerilla units play in this war?
The mobile units of the Kurdistan independence guerrilla resist and fight using any and all means at their disposal. Mobile teams play a vital role. They have carried out a number of successful operations. In other words, a small force can do significant damage to the enemy, and shoot the enemy in the heart. Our com- rades can undertake more effective actions as long as no faults are made in the approaches and methods used by mobile teams. Not just one team, but numerous teams, can work together to achieve a common goal. They can, without a doubt, act in different ways all the time when they are side by side. We are in the process of developing new approaches and methods. The mobile team strategy undermines the enemy’s technique. Mobile teams play a critical role.
We are aware that the burden of our comrades is really heavy. The comrades should be aware that they, too, play a historic role. So, be patient, planned, and wise. Deepen your understanding of the ways and methods that arose from the blood of our martyrs. On this basis, comrades can defeat the enemy’s strategy and ensure the success of the revolutionary strategy.
German missile technology used in the Turkish aggression on
ANF | 6 May 2022
German technology plays a strategic role in Turkey’s large-scale attack on the PKK-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq). Videos from the Turkish Ministry of Defense show that “in- telligent” air-to-surface missiles of the MAM-L type are being fired from Turkish killer drones. The Turk- ish war industry website “Savunma Sanayi” (Defense Industry) praises the use of MAM-L missiles in the
16 The İmralı Post #9
invasion operation in the Medya Defense Zones. These missiles have been used before for extralegal execu- tions and massacres. For example, at the end of June 2020 in Kobanê, three activists, Zehra Berkel, Hebûn Mele Xelîl and Amina Waysî, were victims of an extralegal execution by a Turkish combat drone equipped with MAM-L missiles.
The development of this weapons technology is an example of cooperation between Germany and Turkish fascism. As much as the Turkish army claims for nationalistic motives that the missiles are products of the army company Roketsan, crucial parts of the MAM-L and especially the construction plan originate from the German armament company TDW. For the Bayraktar TB-2 drone, the LRAT and MRAT missiles were further developed with the help of TDW. Many parts of the drone itself were also produced in Ger- many. The drone is named after Selçuk Bayraktar, founder of the company and son-in-law of Turkish regime leader Erdoğan. The TB2 is an important cornerstone of the AKP/MHP regime’s neo-Ottoman imperialism and was used in Libya and against Armenia.
The MAM-L missiles carry about 22 kilograms and have already caused countless civilian deaths in Kur- distan, Libya, Yemen, Armenia and, most recently, even Ethiopia. TDW, a German subsidiary of MBDA, a European-based missile systems developer with French and Italian partners, has been cooperating with the Turkish state on missile development since 2010.
TDW sold warheads for LRAT and MRAT missiles to the Turkish military until 2018. According to a re – sponse by the German government to a question posed by the left-wing parliamentary group in September 2018, approval was granted for two arms agreements between the Turkish state and the “smart missile” producing group TDW between January and June of that year. Both agreements are said to be worth 290,000 euros. Subsequently, these missiles were redesigned by TDW to be carried by drones. In addition, licenses for the production of the MAM-L missiles were sold.
By paying the license fee, the Turkish state can produce the missiles with TDW’s technology at its own discretion. This allows German companies to make money easily and without the control of the German government. The Berlin Information Center for Transatlantic Security (BITS) also points to TDW in its report on arms and munitions exports under German responsibility. The report talks about the contribu- tion of weapons produced and designed in Germany to the deaths of many people around the world, with the TDW company playing a particularly important role in this. The guided missiles developed by this company have bunker-busting properties and would therefore cause the death of even more people.
In 2020, following extralegal executions by MAM-L missiles in Rojava and Southern Kurdistan, Monitor magazine investigated Germany’s contribution to these guided weapons. In the piece, Brian Castner, Amnesty International’s weapons expert, noted the modification of missiles for drones, stating, “Develop- ing the technology, the materials, and all the steps simply takes time. Such technology transfers provide a kind of guidance. Turkey can use it to see how German engineers have solved various problems. It’s a kind of shortcut.” Monitor continued, “The ‘shortcut’ came from the German warhead specialist TDW. It is ex- plicitly named as a supplier and also advertises in a company presentation that they have produced war- heads for Turkey. The federal government has listed a number of approvals for development and technol – ogy since 2010, going into 2018. Small numbers, but regular.” Apparently, the quantities should be suffi- cient for Turkey to replicate the warheads itself.
17 The İmralı Post #9
The use of Turkish drone technology has once again come to the agenda with the Turkish war of aggres- sion on the Armenian region of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). In the process, images of debris from drones and unexploded MAM-L missiles surfaced. The pictures show parts that were produced by TDW and the French company ASB Aerospatiale. The launchers for the MAM-L missiles were made in France and carried a NATO code.
Village guards deployed to Metina: We cannot move forward,
we are mentally down
Mezopotamya Agency | 7 May 2022
The invasion attacks initiated on April 17 by the invading Turkish state in collaboration with the KDP on the Zap, Metîna, and Avaşîn regions of PKK-held Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) continue, with intense clashes at several sites. According to reports, the invading Turkish army and special forces affiliated with the KDP, who attempted to enter many areas bombarded by warplanes by land, were forced to withdraw following the clashes.
According to the Mezopotamya Agency (MA), the invading Turkish army hopes to achieve results through village guards in several regions where they are unable to advance. The village guards of Hazım Babat’s family in Şırnak’s Uludere district and Tahir Adıyaman’s family in Beytüşşebap are among the most no- table ones in the region.
The village guards, who were pushed to the borderline by pressure from Tahir Adiyaman, a Jîrkî tribe member, told MA what had happened in the area. According to a village guard, the regions where they were deported were shelled dozens of times by fighter jets, and the guards were then dispatched to the same area. He stated that violent clashes erupted in the areas where they were deployed alongside Turkish troops and that they were forced to retreat after the retaliation of the guerrilla forces.
Another village guard who took part in the invasion operation reported that despite their best efforts, they were unable to make any progress.
Another village guard, a Jîrkî tribe member deployed to the borderline, reported that they were repeatedly taken to the Metîna region and stated, “There, before our eyes, the same place was bombed 20 times by warplanes. The soldiers said ‘whoever was there must have been torn apart’. Then they ordered us to move forward. However, the guerrillas there engaged in fighting anew in less than half an hour after the bom- bardment. It was as if nothing had happened. We’ve been on a lot of missions as village guards previously, but this is the first time we’ve seen such a war tactic and such harsh resistance. We were all taken aback by their new battle tactics, which no one had predicted. Members of the organization (PKK) approached up to 5-10 meters from where we were, but we couldn’t observe this infiltration.”
18 The İmralı Post #9
Remarking that the superiority in the region is in the hands of HPG despite the techniques, UAVs and SI – HAs used by the invading Turkish army, the village guard said, “They know the area like the palm of their hands and they act as they like. They have mobile groups. Very heavy clashes are taking place. When we go the region, we are required to stay for one month. Our psychology deteriorates even throughout that time. I don’t even want to think about the soldiers who are taking part in the operation. Because none of them is familiar with the area and they are experiencing such mountainous terrain for the first time. As a result, regardless of their technical superiority, they cannot gain an advantage. On one side of us, a harassment fire is started, while bombs are fired on the other.”
Expressing that soldiers of the Turkish army could not engage in hand-to-hand combat, the village guard said: “Because the forces are unable to engage in combat, mountainous areas are shelled at random with warplanes, SIHAs, and helicopters for hours. Soldiers have been stationed on some bombed-out hills. However, guerrillas routinely carry out attacks at those sites, and it is impossible to verify where these at – tacks are carried out from. It was literally like hell, and I don’t want to go through it again.”
The village guard also stated that he would not participate in the operation again due to the challenges he encountered.
Turkey spent 135 million dollars in a year for military activities
Bianet | 8 May 2022
Some expenditures reflected in the 2021 Activity Report of the Ministry of Defense of Turkey reveal that nearly 70 billion lira were spent on “National Defense and Security” in 2021.
The report also revealed that 60, 54 million lira allocated for National Defense and Security reached 69,16 million lira as of the end of the year.
According to the report, 2 billion lira was spent in 2021 for the operations of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) within the scope of “supporting and protecting peace” activities abroad. “Supporting and protecting peace activities abroad” include activities in countries such as Lebanon, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Afghanistan in coordination with the United Nations (UN), NATO, and the European Union (EU).
“Within the scope of Military Financial Cooperation Agreements, activities of Turkey continue with Azer- baijan, Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gambia, Georgia, Montenegro, Kyr- gyzstan, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Uzbekistan, Somalia, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine,” was also stated in the report.
Another expenditure item reflected in the report is the wall built on the borders with Syria and Iran. Ac- cordingly, 200 million lira was spent in 2021 for the walls built on the border.
19 The İmralı Post #9 The report also revealed that 284 thermal cameras will be located on the walls at the border as well.
Military Aggressions by Iraq
Riham Hico: They want to break the free will of Şengal
ANF | Şengal | 7 May 2022
After the ISIS genocide in 2014, the Yazidi region of Şengal liberated itself with the help of the guerrilla HPG and the YPG and YPJ from Rojava and established its own self-defense and grassroots self-govern- ment. However, Iraq, South Kurdistan’s ruling party KDP, which is allied with Turkey, and the AKP/MHP regime in Ankara see the self-administration of the Yazidis as a disruptive factor for their plans and are do – ing everything they can to eliminate it. To this end, an agreement was reached between the Iraqi govern- ment and the KDP on October 9, 2020, in which the dissolution of the self-administration and the divi – sion of control over the region between the KDP and the Iraqi government were agreed upon. The agree- ment was signed under the supervision of former Dutch Defense Minister and UN Special Rapporteur Jeanine Antoinette Hennis-Plasschaert and had the support of the U.S., British, and German govern- ments. The Turkish state openly expressed its pleasure with the agreement. Since then, aggression against the self-government of Şengal and the people of the region has increased.
To increase pressure, the Iraqi military began building a wall along the border between Şengal and Rojava in March. The construction was prepared with the laying of barbed wire. The aim is to build a wall 3.75 meters high and 250 kilometers long, which will isolate the Şengal region and make it dependent. Riham Hico of the Free Yazidi Women’s Movement (TAJÊ) spoke in an ANF interview about the situation in the region, the policies of the KDP, and the return of the Yazidis still living in refugee camps in southern Kur- distan.
After the liberation of Şengal, how was the autonomous administration project built and to what extent was your project successful?
Throughout history, Şengal has been subjected to genocide and massacres. 73 times the people here faced an extermination order (ferman). The Yazidi society was permanently in search of means against these genocidal plans and thus in constant resistance. Until the last ferman (the ISIS genocide in 2014), we had always chosen the following path: we saw that we could not defeat the murderers and withdrew to preserve our generation.
But in the last genocide, we understood that we would not survive the attacks even if we retreated and fled. In the past, Yazidis lived from here (Şengal) to Aleppo. Mesopotamia was called the Yazidi land. Since the resistance and methods of struggle were inadequate, the Yazidis were expelled from this land, they were forced into diaspora and only Şengal is left to us.
20 The İmralı Post #9
After the 73rd ferman, we developed a solution project in order not to lose Şengal as well. What was that project? We want to live within the borders of Iraq. This country has a constitution in which Sunnis, Shi – ites, Kurds, Arabs and different religious and ethnic groups should live together. Our project is a project of autonomy to ensure that all these groups live together equally and freely, without disputing each other’s rights. This is because our project addresses everyone in the same way. It is not a project from the outside or a centralist project, it is a project by which we all manage ourselves.
What specific status do you want for Şengal and is this possible under the Iraqi constitution?
Yazidi society has always been forced to be ruled from the outside. There was always an attempt to put someone here from the outside to govern us. In response to this, we have created a system in which the Yazidis can govern themselves within the framework of the laws of Iraq and develop institutions appropri- ate to their nature and needs. There was a serious need to create a self-defense mechanism and structures through which society could govern itself. In fact, the Iraqi constitution allows this; there are articles that say that all ethnic and religious groups living in Iraq should have autonomy. However, because of outside pressure on the central government of Iraq, the central government is preventing our demand for auton- omy from being met. Various pretexts have been put forward and even some laws have been frozen to pre- vent us from claiming our right to autonomy. All other groups in Iraq have used these laws and obtained the right to autonomy. The only community that has been deprived of autonomy is the one in the Şengal region. According to our project, it is foreseen that in the council we are building, all religions, denomina- tions and ethnic groups living in Şengal will be represented in an equal way. Through this equal represen- tation, the problems in Şengal can be eliminated.
There is also a large Yazidi community in the other parts of Kurdistan and in the diaspora. What can an autonomous administration in Şengal contribute to the situation of these Yazidis?
Today, all Yazidis see Şengal as the center of their faith. In Rojava, in Northern and Southern Kurdistan, in Europe and all over the world, the hope of the Yazidi community lies in Şengal, all eyes are on the region. Therefore, our autonomy project will try to represent not only the Yazidis living in Şengal, but also those who live outside. For this reason, we are in contact with Yazidi communities in the other parts of Kurdis- tan and other countries, especially in Rojava. Our women’s council does this best. We need a coordination that represents all Yazidis. The first steps have already been taken for this, but it needs to be strengthened. In the future, there must be more discussions about this issue, because Yazidis face problems not only in Şengal, but everywhere they live. If we do not unite under one roof, we will be even more divided in the future, face more serious problems and will not be able to cope with assimilation.
What institutions of self-government already exist and what is their function?
As TAJÊ we are part of the autonomous structure. We also have our security forces, traffic safety and insti – tutions in the cultural and health sectors, and also the youth movement and similar structures. One of our main problems is in the education sector. Although we have enough teachers, there is a lack of students. Since different circles run schools in Şengal, children do not know which school to prefer, and this poses a serious problem. It is often unknown to people what purpose these schools serve. This is especially true of central government schools.
21 The İmralı Post #9
Children are our future and must be educated well. However, we do not know what kind of curriculum is implemented in these schools and how the teachers are selected. However, as we can see, these schools aim to keep the Yazidi community ignorant and unaware. Because in the schools I am talking about, the chil- dren are not taught according to their identity. The self-governing schools are being pressured by the Iraqi central government. After the October 9, 2020 agreement, the pressure grew. The government prevents us from educating children according to the principles of the Yazidi faith. Education in government-affiliated schools has nothing to do with the reality of the Yazidi community. For example, only Islamic history and Arabic geography are taught in these schools. In schools affiliated with the self-government, the opposite is true; education takes place very close to the reality of the Yazidi community. The same is true for other in- stitutions. All our institutions are organized according to the needs of our society.
I would like to give another example related to local government. There is both self-government munici- pality and central government municipality. The latter does not provide services to the people despite the money allocated to it by the government, while our municipality provides all kinds of services to the peo- ple despite extremely limited resources. Today, if you go to places like Xanesor, Sinûnê, Til Êzer, Zorava or the city of Şengal and ask people about which local government is working for them, you will understand what I mean even better. The people themselves say, “If it weren’t for your municipality, we wouldn’t have water or roads.”
What is the purpose of the agreement concluded on October 9, 2020, and what role did the KDP play in it?
The purpose of the October 9 agreement was to liquidate the Şengal self-government. They (the Iraqi gov- ernment and the KDP) wanted to take away the will of the Yazidis and put them in a situation like before the ferman of 2014. They pretended that this genocide never happened and signed the agreement. They did that because they were aware that the self-government would demand accountability from them for their role in the genocide. The Iraqi government and the KDP saw that the self-government would work diplomatically for international recognition of the genocide. If the world recognized the genocide, those who helped in this genocide and collaborated with the perpetrators would be prosecuted. They saw that and then prepared this agreement to liquidate our self-government. In short, they wanted to prevent the Yazidis from being under their control and living freely.
Now, if I come to your question about the KDP: The KDP has taken a leadership role in this agreement. The Iraqi government is not actually convinced by this agreement, but it is under pressure from the KDP and Turkey. Turkey and the KDP used Iraq’s internal contradictions to pressure the government. The KDP is openly threatening Iraq. Behind the KDP is the Turkish state, which makes the decisions and the KDP implements them. Before the genocide, the KDP considered itself the owner of the region. There were only its institutions and military forces here. But after the betrayal during the genocide – or let’s say their collaboration, because the KDP exchanged some territories with ISIS – the KDP lost Şengal. It has not di – gested that until today. That is why it is now trying to reset Şengal to “factory settings,” so to speak, as if nothing had happened. But the Yazidi community opposes this and says ‘no’. In order for Şengal to come back under the control of the KDP, the representation of the will of the people here, self-government, must first be eliminated. So the KDP played the leading role in the October 9 agreement. But our people put up great resistance to this agreement, they made it clear that they would never allow its implementa- tion. This struggle continues to this day.
22 The İmralı Post #9 Was the construction of the wall between Şengal and Rojava part of this agreement? What is your resis-
tance to this wall right now?
In fact, the KDP and Iraq have been trying to build this wall for a long time. As early as 2017, the “Roj Peshmerga” trained and organized by the Turkish intelligence MIT had aimed to build a wall to Rojava with their betrayal in Xanesor. At that time, the population flocked to Xanesor and resisted it. The so- called “Roj Peshmerga” were set to be stationed on the border between Rojava and Şengal and separate the regions. But they were not successful with this. Subsequently, attempts were made to deploy them there with the support of the KDP’s intelligence service and Turkish air strikes. When that also failed, the Octo- ber 9 Agreement was put on the agenda. In addition to the project of building the wall, repression and vi- olence occurred simultaneously in many areas. They used special war methods, ranging from issuing arrest warrants against representatives of the self-government to deciding to disband the security forces. Thus, Şengal was set to be brought under their control. When they were not successful with that either, it was decided to start building the wall on the border with Rojava. It was claimed that the wall would be built against ISIS. But the KDP and the Iraqi government know much better than anyone else where the ISIS is and who is supporting these terrorists. In essence, this wall is directed against both Rojava and Şengal. Its goal is to tear the two regions apart and subject them to an embargo. It is about encircling Şengal and breaking the will of the people. The connection with the other areas has been severed earlier anyway. Just as Kurdistan was divided, the Yazidi society is now wanted to be torn apart.
Why should the connection from here to Rojava be cut off?
It is important to emphasize that Şengal has always been closely connected with Rojava. There is a spiritual bond between Şengal and Rojava and they want to cut it. Our model of self-government is very close to that in Rojava. When Şengal is in trouble, Rojava comes to the rescue. We saw this best during the geno – cide of 2014. The first to come to our aid were the fighters from Rojava. We are also in close contact with Rojava when it comes to those who have been abducted by ISIS returning to their families. Let’s just say Rojava and we are in the same boat. The war plans against Rojava are the same as those against Şengal. The people of Rojava are very sensitive to the people of the Şengal region.
What is your relationship with the other parts of Kurdistan and the neighboring states?
The self-government has contact with the government in Baghdad. As TAJÊ we have a stronger relation- ship with the society of Iraq than with the government. We have friendly relations with structures in Kirkuk, Baghdad and Sulaymaniyah. However, there are no relations between Hewlêr and the self-govern- ment, nor between Hewlêr and TAJÊ. We have relations with many countries in the Middle East. Among other things, we participated as TAJÊ in a women’s conference in Lebanon.
Part of the Yazidi population lives in camps in Rojava and South Kurdistan. What are you doing for their return to Şengal?
There are very few Yazidis left in the refugee camps in Rojava. Most of those who are still there live in houses and their situation is generally good. In Southern Kurdistan, their numbers are greater and most of them are in danger. The KDP is trying in various ways to prevent these people from returning to their land in Şengal. In cooperation with the intelligence services, they are trying to bring them to Europe. They are being housed in two-room dwellings without any infrastructure. We have repeatedly demanded that
23 The İmralı Post #9
they be allowed to return to Şengal. A self-government return committee has even been formed and we are doing everything we can to help them find their way back. But the KDP keeps spreading propaganda say- ing, “Don’t return to Şengal, it’s not safe there, the Turkish state is attacking every day.” This is part of the special war policy to prevent people from returning. Of course, we have to be self-critical in this regard, because they can come and live just like we do. We just have to convince them of that.
Today, the security situation in South Kurdistan is different from that in Şengal in another way, the secu- rity problem is bigger. There are constant attacks by the Turkish state near camps in South Kurdistan. In these camps, the KDP prevents people from organizing, through which they could be convinced to return. We know very well that our friends who we send there are arrested. But this should not be an excuse for us. Our people here could also convince the people in the camps to return by phone. In these camps, our people are being held captive, people are being used (by the KDP) in elections, diplomacy, politics and business. The KDP confiscates the relief goods that are sent to these camps from outside. It threatens peo – ple, saying, “If you don’t vote for us, we will cut off your food supply.” It has them forcibly dragged into its news channels and propaganda against self-government.
Indeed, this issue is very important and we have to work much harder to convince the people who live in the camps. I would like to make the following appeal again to these people through your agency: There is no substitute for home. Why have you been living in camps for seven years when a life of dignity awaits you on your own land? Your stay in the camps is causing great harm to you, your faith and Şengal. Return to the land where you grew up.
Over 160 people detained in Istanbul on May Day
ANF | Istanbul | 1 May 2022
According to official figures, Turkish police detained 164 demonstrators in Istanbul on May 1. They wanted to take part in an unauthorized protest despite warnings, the Istanbul governor’s office said today, explaining the action.
The arrests were made partly with the use of massive violence and were directed against activists of left- wing structures. Most of the arrests occurred in the Şişli district. Members of the Revolutionary Party (De- vrimci Partisi) met at Osmanbey metro station to walk to the symbolic Taksim Square with a banner read- ing “In Socialism Lies Hope – Long Live May Day” and Turkish and Kurdish slogans. The group was en- circled by police officers, and nearly ten people were detained by the use of force and taken away with handcuffs on their backs.
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Two journalists were also taken into custody while covering the demonstration. Mezopotamya Agency (MA) correspondent Doğan Kaynak and Rozerin Gültekin from the women’s news agency JinNews were put in a police van and their phones were taken away. After a while, they were released.
In Şişli,Harbiye, several dozen members of the United Fighting Forces (Birleşik Mücadele Güçleri, BMG) alliance were intercepted by police as they attempted to march to Taksim. Similarly, students on their way from Beşiktaş to Taksim and members of the Social Freedom Party (TÖP) were stopped by police. Several people were taken into custody, including TÖP spokesperson Perihan Koca.
Square widely cordoned off
While the state forces in Istanbul had previously cordoned off access to Taksim Square as they do every year, an authorized demonstration on the occasion of International Workers’ Day is taking place in Mal- tepe. Since the anti-government Gezi protests in 2013, the Turkish leadership has not allowed any May Day demonstrations in Taksim Square. The authorities only allowed union representatives to lay a wreath there. The 2013 protests had initially been directed against the development of Gezi Park in Taksim. They expanded into nationwide demonstrations against the authoritarian policies of then-Prime Minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The government had the protests brutally suppressed.
Square with symbolic meaning
Taksim Square in the center of Istanbul has a symbolic meaning. A massacre took place there on May 1, 1977, when well over 500,000 people from various provinces of the country took part in a Labor Day demonstration. Many of them had not even entered the square when the first shots were fired. Security forces then attacked with armored vehicles, firing gas grenades and using water cannons. The number of casualties is still a disputed issue; according to official figures, 37 people were killed and about 200 injured. Some people remained on the spot, others ran away, were crowded into corners and run over by the ar- mored vehicles. More than 500 people were arrested.
HDP headquarters in Ankara besieged by the police
ANF | Ankara | 5 May 2022
Turkish police are besieging the headquarters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in Ankara. In the morning, three people carrying Turkish flags were brought outside the building under police protection. The people explained that their children were with the PKK, laid a wreath and then left. The police – obvi – ously disappointed by the peaceful proceedings – remained on the scene. When HDP members protested against this, they were verbally and physically attacked, and injuries were sustained. One policeman shouted in the face of HDP deputy Ayşe Acar Başaran that he would “nail” her.
HDP spokeswoman Ebru Günay said that the police deployment in front of the party headquarters was a targeted provocation directed by the Interior Ministry. Similar attempts had already been launched in
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Amed and Van to block the HDP’s political activity, she said. Günay called for the arrest of the police offi- cer who threatened her faction colleague Ayşe Acar Başaran. “It should be clear that neither women nor the HDP will be deterred from their political work by such provocations. Whenever we become stronger and the HDP represents a ray of hope for the peoples of Turkey, the fascist AKP/MHP coalition unites with sinister gangs who call themselves police and try to provoke us. We will not be intimidated by this and will defend the HDP at all costs,” said Ebru Günay.
A little later, the police tried to break down the door and enter the party headquarters. HDP spokes- woman Ebru Günay and others present were sprayed in the face with tear gas from a short distance. Six people were brutally detained, including HDP politicians Veli Saçılık, Hüseyin Gökoğlu, Ali Özkan and Nazım Karakurt. The tense situation continues.
Six political parties issue joint statement condemning
provocation against HDP
ANF | Ankara | 6 May 2022
Six political parties have issued a joint statement condemning the provocation against the Peoples’ Demo- cratic Party (HDP) in Ankara.
The Labor Party (EMEP), Labor Movement Party (EHP), People’s Houses, Socialist Assemblies Federa- tion (SMF), Turkey Workers Party (TİP) and Social Freedom Party (TOP) in a statement titled “There is no room for provocation!” said that the HDP is not alone.
The joint statement reads as follows:
“Without any respect for the great anger of the people pushed into poverty, the AKP government once again engaged in provocations and bullying targeting Kurds, women and HDP. We warn the government. End this dangerous attitude immediately. These actions will not save you.
The HDP Headquarters was the scene of a provocative action on Thursday. The action against the party’s office in Ankara was ordered by the AKP’s Minister of Interior, who used the police. HDP members, their lawyers and administrators, who made an effort not to be a part of the provocation and to frustrate the initiative, were brutally attacked and detained. HDP Women’s Assembly Spokesperson and Batman MP Ayşe Acar Başaran was threatened to death by a person who was said to be a police officer.
We experienced a similar provocation in Izmir. Our comrade Deniz Poyraz was killed in the Izmir HDP provincial building as a result of such a provocation. This time we will not allow this. Having won the vote and support of millions of our citizens, we reiterate that the HDP is not alone. We support peace and brotherhood.
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We warn the government to end this provocation. The detained HDP members, administrators and lawyers should be released immediately. The police blockade in front of HDP Headquarters should be lifted immediately. An investigation should be initiated immediately against the person who threatened Batman MP Ayşe Acar Başaran. Down with fascism. Long live peace, long live brotherhood!”
50 years ago: The execution of revolutionaries Deniz Gezmiş,
Yusuf Aslan and Huseyin Inan
ANF | 6 May 2022
50 years ago, on 6 May 1972, Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Huseyin Inan were hanged in Ankara. Their trial had begun on 16 July 1971. Gezmiş and his comrades were sentenced to death on October 9 for vio – lating the Turkish Criminal Code’s 146th article, which concerns attempts to “overthrow Constitutional order”. According to legal procedure, a death sentence must be endorsed by Parliament before being sent to the President of the Republic for final assent. In March and April 1972 the sentence was placed before Parliament and in both readings the sentence was overwhelmingly approved.
After joining the Workers Party of Turkey (Türkiye Işçi Partisi), Gezmiş studied law at Istanbul University in 1966. In 1968, he founded the Revolutionary Jurists Organisation (Devrimci Hukukçular Kürulumu) and the Revolutionary Student Union (Devrimci Öğrenci Birliği).
He became increasingly politically active, and led the student-organised occupation of Istanbul University on June 12, 1968. After the occupation was forcibly ended by the law, he spearheaded protests against the arrival of the US 6th Fleet in Istanbul. Deniz Gezmiş was arrested for these actions on 30 July 1968, to be released on 20 October of the same year.
As he increased his involvement with the Worker’s Party of Turkey, and began to advocate a National Democratic Revolution, his ideas started to circulate and inspire a growing revolutionary student base. On November 28, 1968, he was arrested again after protesting US ambassador’s visit to Turkey, but was later released. On 16 March 1969, he was arrested again for participating in right-wing and left-wing armed conflicts and imprisoned until 3 April. Gezmiş was re-arrested on 31 May 1969. The university was tem- porarily closed, and Gezmiş was injured in the conflict. Although Gezmiş was under surveillance, he es- caped from hospital and went to Palestine Liberation Organization camps in Jordan to receive guerrilla training.
On 4 March 1971, Deniz Gezmiş and comrades kidnapped four U.S. privates from TUSLOG/The United States Logistics Group headquartered in Balgat, Ankara. After releasing the hostages, he and Yusuf Aslan were captured live near Siavs following an armed stand-off with law enforcement officers.
Their trial began on 16 July 1971. Gezmiş was sentenced to death on October 9 for violating the Turkish Criminal Code’s 146th article, which concerns attempts to “overthrow Constitutional order”. According
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to legal procedure, a death sentence must be endorsed by Parliament before being sent to the President of the Republic for final assent. In March and April 1972 the sentence was placed before Parliament and in both readings the sentence was overwhelmingly approved.
On 4 May, President Cevdet Sunay after officially consulting the Minister of Justice and Prime Minister Nihat Erim, refused to grant Gezmiş a pardon. He was executed by hanging on 6 May 1972 in Ankara Central Prison along with Hüseyin Inan and Yusuf Aslan.
Deniz Gezmiş was born in Ankara on 24 February 1947. One of the revolutionaries in Turkey who dedi- cated their lives to the socialist cause. In his last letter addressed to his father just before the hanging, he was explaining the spirit of sacrifice by the revolutionary movement of Turkey: “Men are born, grow up, live and die… The important thing is not to live for a long time, but to do more things in the lifetime… My friends who were ahead of me did not show hesitancy before the death… You should not have any doubt that I will not have hesitation….”
Today Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan, Huseyin Inan and the many revolutionaries like them are remembered in several places.
Child wounded by shots fired from Turkish-occupied
Serêkaniyê dies in Urfa
ANF | Urfa | 10 May 2022
Nine-year-old Yusuf Yücel succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday. He had been hit in the head by a bullet and seriously injured in the kitchen of his grandfather’s house in Ceylanpınar district of Urfa bordering Syria on May 7. The shot had been fired from the Turkish occupied zone in northern Syria. According to Turkish security forces, Yücel had been hit by a ricochet. After first aid, he was taken to a special clinic in Urfa, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Threats against the family
The governor and AKP mayor of Ceylanpınar visited the family and threatened, “Do not make yourselves a means of propaganda against our state and do not talk to anyone about the issue.” According to a person close to the family, the relatives cannot talk about it for this reason.
Serêkaniyê occupied since 2019
The Kurdish-majority town of Serêkaniyê (ar. Ras al-Ain) in northern Syria has been occupied since Octo – ber 2019 by Turkey and the proxy invasion corps SNA (“Syrian National Army”), established by the gov- ernment in Ankara and composed of jihadist militias. Until the invasion, the region was self-governing ac – cording to the canton principle of Rojava. In addition, Serêkaniyê was considered a refuge for numerous
28 The İmralı Post #9 internally displaced persons from other parts of Syria. Today, the place is a safe haven for Islamists in the
pay of the Turkish state, who are guilty of serious war crimes.
Today’s Serêkaniyê is – in the geographical context – only a part of the old city. During the First World War, the area was the site of an Ottoman concentration camp for the genocide of Armenians as “Rasü- leyn”. After the war, Serêkaniyê was divided. The southern part of the city became part of the League of Nations Mandate for Syria and Lebanon and thus Ras al-Ain, while the northern part became today’s Ceylanpınar.
IHD: What happened in Dersim is a genocide
ANF | 4 May 2022
On the anniversary of the Dersim Genocide, the Human Rights Association (IHD) Headquarters issued a written statement.
The statement noted that military operations against Dersim began with a decision of the Council of Min- isters dated May 4, 1937, within the framework of the “Tunceli Law” numbered 2884 and dated Decem- ber 25, 1935, and that “tens of thousands of Kurds/Alevis were massacred during these operations. Mili- tary actions lasted until 1938, and the topography of Dersim was substantially depopulated by forced dis – placement as a result of the mass slaughter.”
“Depopulation Policy is Conducted”
Remarking that as human rights defenders, they describe the massacres in Dersim in 1937-38 as “geno- cide” as defined in Article 76 of the TCK, the İHD stated the following:
“The residents of Dersim continue to refer to what happened as genocide. While the IHD describes what happened in Dersim in 1937-1938 as genocide, it contends that facing the past in terms of human rights law is necessary and can only be addressed within this framework. It is possible to confront the past. We noted in our November 25, 2011 statement that we believe it is an important beginning that Prime Min- ister Erdogan used the term “massacre” to describe what happened in Dersim in 2011 at the AKP Provin- cial Chairs meeting and apologized on behalf of the state.
To face Dersim, the state must first form a ‘Truth for Dersim Commission’ within the parliament. Follow- ing the completion of the commission’s work, it is important to create the necessary legal arrangements in accordance with the commission’s recommendations, with a focus on the acknowledgement of genocide, apologies, and restorative justice remedies. Furthermore, without waiting for these steps, we demand the restoration of the name of Dersim, restoration of the dignity of Seyit Rıza and his companions who were executed in the Dersim genocide, revelation of their burial places, duly opening of the other mass graves,
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revelation of the fate of the girls who were not killed but were captured alive as a result of military opera- tions, their reunion with their families, cancellation of the HEPP and other dams that are still under con- struction, ending of the natural and cultural destruction, preservation of the natural and cultural centers in Dersim and their handover to the local representatives of the Dersim people.”
Survivor of Dersim massacre: Betrayal and genocide against
ANF | Dersim | 4 May 2022
One of the biggest and bloodiest massacres in Turkish history took place in Dersim in 1937-38. Today is the 84th anniversary of the massacre, which went down in history as the Dersim Massacre. According to the official figures of the special decree issued by the Council of Ministers on 4 May 1937 and named “Dersim Tenkil Decisions”, 1,737 people were killed in 1937 and 6,868 people in 1938.
According to unofficial data, at least 70,000 people were killed in villages, caves, along streams by bomb- ing, shooting, burning, using chemical gas, throwing off cliffs, and tens of thousands were exiled. The girls who survived the massacre were taken from their families and given to the soldiers for adoption. There was no news of the “missing girls” of Dersim ever since.
84 years have passed, but the pain is still vivid. Not a single investigation has been carried out by the state about what happened. The whereabouts of the executed Seyit Rıza and his friends are still unknown.
On the anniversary of the massacre, we knock on the door of witnesses and survivors.
Many relatives of Hayri Pilavcı, who was 2 years old at the time of the massacre and was one of the few survivors, were killed and exiled.
Pilavcı first sighs deeply and then said: “My family hid in a cave. Then they were caught and exiled. We stayed in Eskişehir for 9 years. We returned, but the exile continues. We could not go to our own village. We have been living in exile since ‘94.”
He spoke of “betrayal” and said: “This is why they were able to massacre the people of Dersim in 1938.”
‘Seyit Riza was betrayed’
Pilavcı said: “We were in exile, the old people used to say. Seyit Rıza said to his son Şêx Hesen, ‘I have a suspicion they will betray us. Let’s go from here. His nephew Rayber sold him to the soldiers. 23 people were killed there. They cut off Şêx Hesen’s head there. They killed not only him, but all of his children. When Seyit Rıza could not persuade Şêx Hesen to get out of there that day, he left accompanied by a few
30 The İmralı Post #9 people. Seyit Rıza saved himself that day when he decided to leave, otherwise he would be one of the mur-
Reminding that Alişer was betrayed as well, Pilavcı said: “Alişer came and settled in the area where Seyit Rıza’s sons were staying in Dersim after the Koçgiri rebellion. Those who showed themselves close to Al – işer committed the biggest betrayal. He was suspicious of them, and warned him. His suspicions came true. Zeynel killed Alişer.”
‘The massacre continues’
Stating that the betrayal continues and that is why the Kurds are still massacred, Pilavcı said: “Betrayal is not new, it has been going on for more than 1,400 years. They made the tribes hurt each other. Some of them served as parliamentarians and they were also executed. Betrayal and genocide against the Kurds are still going on. This problem does not end, this betrayal… Everything has been shaped by the Kurds, from that day until today… They murdered us in 1938, and they kill us now.”
Pilavcı said: “Today, the same betrayal continues within the tribes. I don’t mean all tribes; I mean those who betray. They have never given up on it.”
‘Make an archive of what we say’
Pilavcı makes suggestions to us, the journalists. He said to archive everything he and the other survivors say because there are were few survivors left.
Dr. Brauns: “Öcalan’s paradigm can end wars”
German journalist and historian Dr. Nick Brauns said that Abdullah Öcalan’s Democratic Modernity paradigm offers peoples and different cultures an opportunity to co-exist, which can also apply to the peoples of Ukraine.
ANF | Berlin | 18 March 2022 | by Hakan Türkmen
Historian Dr. Nick Brauns stated that the hegemonic war between Russia and the western states has led to the collapse of Capitalist Modernity and that it is possible to get out of this war through the Democratic Modernity paradigm of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan.
31 The İmralı Post #9 Historian and journalist Dr. Brauns spoke to ANF about the hegemonic war between Russia and western
Dr. Brauns stated that history should be known well in order to understand this war. He said that follow – ing the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US-led NATO attempted to expand into Russia. “Russia promised to reunite Germany and in return asked NATO not to enlarge, but in the last 30 years we saw that East Germany joined the Federal Republic and thus became a member of NATO. Afterwards, NATO gradually expanded towards the borders of Russia, and more and more countries joined NATO. Russia’s weakness was exploited by western countries.
Ukraine Turned Into NATO’s Bridge
Dr. Brauns remarked that 7 years ago, there was a popular uprising against corruption and the autocratic system in Ukraine. “It was an uprising that was manipulated very quickly by the US with the help of the CIA. Neo-Fascist forces played an important role during the uprising, and since then Ukraine has been systematically strengthened by non-NATO members. Ukraine has been turned into a kind of NATO bridge against Russia, which the Russian President considers as a major threat, because of the missiles in Ukraine or the Baltic states, which belong to NATO. These can reach Petersburg or Moscow within min- utes, and this is why Russian President Putin has repeatedly demanded in the past few weeks and months that a diplomatic agreement be introduced that would block Ukraine.”
Ukrainian People Victims of Hegemonic War
Dr. Brauns cited the President of Ukraine, Zelensky, at the Munich Security Conference as saying that “we also want to have nuclear weapons”. He added that if the last war had not broken out, Ukraine could pro – duce its own nuclear weapons relatively quickly.
The German historian remarked that the capitalist world system is a system which promotes capital inter- ests in defiance of the interests of the peoples. “There are banks, corporations, oligarchs, and governments that favour profits against the interests of the people,” Brauns said. Ukrainian people could speak both Russian and Ukrainian, yet Russian was suddenly banned and only “Ukrainian should be spoken and learned”, the German historian pointed out, adding that the Ukrainian people are victims of a hegemonic war.
Öcalan’s Ideas can be Applied to Ukraine
For Dr. Brauns, the paradigm and ideas of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan provide peoples, different lan- guages and cultures with the opportunity to live together as an alternative to the capitalist system. “Öcalan’s idea of Democratic Modernity is a system that can be applied to the peoples of Ukraine as well. If we manage to drive out the imperialists, we can put Öcalan’s old experiences and new ideas into prac- tice. We can foil the imperialists’ ‘divide and rule’ tool which pits the cultural, ethnic, religious and lin- guistic diversities of the peoples against each other,” he said.
Dr. Brauns recalled that the people’s republics in Donetsk and Lugansk had been radical democratic projects until the mafia gangs came to power. “The idea of democratic Republics was the idea of a self-gov- ernment. Who will suffer the most from this war? Who escapes in the first place? Women are fleeing
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now… I think that the idea of Democratic Confederalism that emerged in Rojava will offer a lot to women in Ukraine and Russia. There were a lot of good experiences to get, but in the end, we saw that this socialist system was not working, and this is where Öcalan’s ideas come into play. Gender equality and women’s rights are guaranteed in this model of society that organizes itself democratically, as citizens do not expect everything from the state.”
NATO and Turkey do the Same Thing in Syria
“Now we have to say to those who oppose Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; NATO and Turkey are doing the same thing in Syria, and Turkey cannot attack either Rojava or South Kurdistan without support from the US. The troops stationed in Rojava give Turkey the green light for these attacks. Air strikes against Shengal and Maxmur Refugee Camps cannot be carried out without the permission of the US, which controls air space over South Kurdistan.”
The German historian pointed out that, unlike Russia’s war on Ukraine, it is not possible to see Turkey’s attacks on North Syria in the mainstream media. “Because Turkey is a NATO partner close to Germany and the US. This is an imperialist policy. Neither side is better than the other. We see that, for the Western politicians and the press, some humans are more worthy of living than others. They treat Kurdish children and blond Ukrainian children differently.”
We Should Fight for Democratic Modernity
Dr. Brauns also spoke about Germany’s 100 billion Euro budget for armament and the German govern- ment officials’ remark “Now we have to buy many tanks and weapons to protect and fight for our freedom and democracy.”
“I’m not going to let the government tell me that we need to save money to finance new tanks here in Germany. We should use heating less so that Putin doesn’t make money from us, and at the same time, we need to work harder to finance the armaments program. Socialist Karl Liebknecht (killed in 1919 with Rosa Luxemburg) was the only person who voted against war in the German Parliament during World War I. He said that “the real enemy of every people is in his/her own country. The main enemy of the Ger- man people is not the Russian people or the British people. The main enemies of the German people are German imperialism, German militarism and the German war party. German workers must eliminate them.”
Our task is to fight against the German militarists and imperialists in Germany. The Russian people must fight against Putin and the local Oligarchy. The important thing is that we should not be fooled by the na – tionalist propaganda of the relevant leadership. We must fight against capitalism, imperialism and racism in every country we live in. We must fight for gender freedom and democratic modernity. We must fight internationally; here, in the US, in Russia or in Turkey…”
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Who Are We?
The International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan — Peace in Kurdistan” was founded in March 1999, a month after Öcalan’s abduction from Kenya and his imprisonment by Turkey. Since its initial foundation, the International Initiative struggled for Abdullah Öcalan’s re- lease from prison so that he can play his rightful role in the establishment of a just peace between the Turkish state and Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK). The International Initia- tive also aimed at contributing to the repairing of the ties between the Kurdish and Turkish peoples, as well as all other peoples of the Middle Eastern regions.
In order to achieve its aims, the International Initiative followed several related paths. Influencing international and national audiences through international campaigns to in- terfere with Turkish state’s policies towards Abdullah Öcalan has been one of these paths. A second area of work the In- ternational Initiative committed itself is the dissemination of Öcalan’s views through art, publications and conferences. Finally, the International Initiative has also been active in raising awareness for Öcalan’s conditions and the human rights violations he faces through reports, fact-finding dele- gations and lobbying.
The International Initiative organizes signature campaigns to influence the policies towards Öcalan. One such cam- paign which was launched in 2012 by one thousand prelim- inary signatories including Gerry Adams, Prof. Antonio Ne- gri, Prof. Immanuel Wallerstein, Prof. Achin Vanaik, and other intellectuals, politicians, MPs, and NGOs from South America, Europe, Asia, Russia, and the Middle East. The campaign reached 10,328,623 signatures and may be the biggest signature campaign for the freedom of a political prisoner that the world has ever seen. It significantly chal- lenged the isolation that was enforced on Öcalan and possi- bly paved the ways for the peace talks that the Turkish state and Öcalan led between 2013 and 2015.
The International Initiative also organizes video cam- paigns that educate the public on Öcalan’s life-story, his prison conditions and the demands for his freedom.
The International Initiative translates, edits and publishes books written by Öcalan in different languages including in English, German, French, Spanish and Arabic.
It compiles brochures from his works on specific topics, such as democratic confederalism or women’s freedom.
It edits books on Öcalan that discuss his main ideas.
The International Initiative also publishes regular reports on Öcalan’s prison conditions and his isolation.
The International Initiative organizes biannual conferences and invites scholars, activists, students and politicians to discuss Öcalan’s ideas in order to initiate a conversation be- tween different Movements around the world.
Every year on February 15 , which is the date of the abduc-
tion of Abdullah Öcalan, the International Initiative orga- nizes a group of internationally acclaimed people to take a trip to Turkey for a fact finding mission and publicizes their findings.
The International Initiative lobbies in the European Coun- cil, CPT and other international organizations against the human rights violations against Abdullah Öcalan and his total isolation in İmralı prison.
Art for Öcalan
This campaign aims to express the relationship between Ab- dullah Öcalan, Kurdish people, freedom and women’s free- dom and to educate the wider public on the past and present of the Kurdish people. The International Initiative has already collected art from Brazil, South Africa, USA, South America, Italy, Germany as well as Kurds from differ- ent parts of Kurdistan. These works have been printed in postcards, t-shirts and canvas and made available for solidar- ity sale.
Contact e-mail: [email protected]
Websites: freeocalan.org | ocalanbooks.com ‖ Videos: vimeo.com/freeocalan