May 11 2022
An interview with Besê Hozat, KCK co-Chair, about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world, including the KDP´s role in Turkey´s attacks on South Kurdistan, the impact of the war in Ukraine on the Middle East and possible early elections in Turkey:
The KDP and the Barzani family claim to act on behalf of the government of South Kurdistan while at the same time intensifying their relations with Ankara. The media recently reported in detail about existing gas and oil agreements and the KDP’s trade relations. What kind of deals are being agreed upon here in the background?
Before answering your question, I would like to pay tribute to all the important revolutionary May-Şehits [martyrs]. Mehmet Karasungur and Ibrahim Bilgin fell on May 2, Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan and Hüseyin İnan fell on May 6, and Haki Karer, `the Four` and İbrahim Kaypakkaya fell on May 18. They were all very important leaders of the revolutionary movement in Kurdistan and Turkey. I would like to commemorate these important revolutionaries and at the same time remember with respect, love and gratitude all the Şehits of the revolution and the struggle for freedom. All of them live on today in the form of our ongoing struggle.
May 6 is also the day when an assassination attempt was made against Önder Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] in 1996. This conspiracy continues to this day in the form of the isolation [of Abdullah Öcalan on the Turkish prison island Imrali] and the genocidal attacks. I would like to therefore condemn here in the strongest terms all the forces behind this conspiracy.
At the same time, May 4 marked the 85th anniversary of the Dersim Genocide of 1938. I commemorate here Seyit Rıza and Besê, Alişêr and Zarife and Nuri Dersimi with respect and gratitude, and would like to remember all the people who resisted against the Dersim Genocide with dignity and lost their lives in the process. The genocidal and colonialist Turkish state will be held accountable for its actions sooner or later. Because this genocidal policy is still continuing. Even today, attempts continue to complete the genocide. The genocidal colonialism is currently trying to complete the genocide that has been going on for one hundred years with the help of the recently started occupation attacks on [the South Kurdish region of] Zap. However, the resistance of the guerrilla forces and the people will prevent this from happening and will usher in a phase in which the Turkish state will have to answer for the genocidal policy it has been pursuing for one hundred years.
To return to your initial question: It is an open secret that the KDP [Kurdistan Democratic Party] has concluded very comprehensive agreements with Turkey. It can be clearly seen that these two forces are jointly planning to transfer South Kurdish oil and gas to Europe via Turkey and that this is being supported by the U.S. and Europe itself. A gas crisis has recently occurred in the wake of the war between Russia and Ukraine. Yet, only assessing the plans of the KDP and Turkey as part of these developments and as an attempt to mitigate the current gas crisis does not fully reveal the full scope of this issue. Because the KDP has been selling South Kurdistan’s oil and gas to Turkey for years. The KDP itself has stated that it has concluded an agreement with Turkey in this regard that is valid for 50 years. This agreement also represents an important reason for the KDP’s problems with Iraq and the PUK [Patriotic Union of Kurdistan].
With the help of this agreement, Turkey seeks to extend its political and military control in the region to Mosul and Kirkuk, thereby realizing its century-old dream of enforcing the Misak-ı Milli borders [national pact; awards Turkey large parts of Rojava/North Syria and South Kurdistan/North Iraq]. By occupying all of South Kurdistan and Rojava, the Turkish state ultimately wants to annex these areas completely as soon as the political conjuncture permits. This is definitely the strategic goal that Turkey wants to achieve through its occupation attacks. So it wants to enforce the borders set in the Misak-ı Milli. Because it perceives the PKK as a major obstacle to the realization of this goal, the Turkish state considers the destruction of the PKK as a matter of being or not being. This is because the PKK stands like an insurmountable wall in the way of the genocidal, occupation and annexation policies of the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state.
The KDP supports Turkey’s plan to enforce the Misak-ı Milli borders. It has apparently reached an agreement with the Turkish state to turn South Kurdistan into a province of Turkey as part of this plan. This secret agreement can also help to explain why the KDP actively supports the Turkish occupation of South Kurdistan and Rojava and is trying hard to give it legitimacy. Turkey intends to occupy South Kurdistan, later annex it completely and thus turn it into a province subordinate to Turkey. This plan also includes appointing a representative of the Barzani family as provincial governor. It seems like the KDP and the Turkish state have agreed on this joint plan.
With the help of the KDP, Turkey has already occupied a significant part of South Kurdistan. It has tripled the number of its military bases in recent years. From these military bases, the Turkish army regularly conducts operations in South Kurdistan. The KDP provides the Turkish state with the opportunity to carry out attacks from South Kurdish soil. From [the South Kurdish city of] Şeladizê, the occupying army has been trying to advance into [the area of] Kurojahro, while Turkish military helicopters regularly leave for their missions from Turkish bases in South Kurdistan. The KDP provides extensive intelligence and logistical support to the occupying army while guaranteeing its security, providing housing for Turkish soldiers, and securing supply routes. In this way, the KDP is directly participating in this war. Recently, it has also been reported that Turkish soldiers in Peshmerga uniforms have conducted operations in some critical locations. So it is clear that the KDP is actively involved in the plan to crush the PKK.
Mesrur Barzani recently visited England and held talks there. In the course of these talks, he spoke of the possibility of turning Iraq into a confederation and undertook an initiative to that effect. The Barzani family has repeatedly been accused of wanting to destroy the Kurdistan Freedom Movement and give up the independence of South Kurdistan. Against this background, how do you assess this latest initiative?
It is remarkable that Mesrur Barzani traveled to England for talks immediately after his meeting with Erdoğan. This clearly shows that he concluded certain agreements with Erdoğan and now wants to gain the support of England and Europe for this. At the same time, this also highlights England’s role in this war. Mesrur’s statement that Iraq can be shaped into a confederation must be seen as an attempt to conceal the KDP’s dirty deals with the Turkish state and its direct involvement in Turkey’s genocidal attacks.
The KDP is actively participating in the Turkish state’s occupation attacks. Mesrur Barzani recently held talks with Erdoğan to plan these attacks together. This is a fact. At the same time, Mesrur is trying to disguise this truth and create a different impression by talking about Iraq being able to be divided into different states and organized as a federation. His aim is to cover up the KDP’s dirty deals with the Turkish state and to deceive the Kurds. We must also understand his recent statements as an attempt to completely split off South Kurdistan from Iraq and officially make it a province of Turkey.
So the KDP is working together with the Turkish state to turn South Kurdistan into a Turkish province. When Mesrur Barzani speaks of a confederation, he means that Iraq will be divided into small states, these will take on a new political form in the form of a confederation, and the South Kurdish small state will be annexed to Turkey. Barzani does not think of South Kurdistan remaining a part of Iraq. Rather, he is expressing his vision of a South Kurdistan that is completely split off from Iraq and made a part of Turkey. Current developments are aimed precisely at this. Already in its current state, South Kurdistan resembles a province of Turkey. Today, Turkey has very extensive control over political, economic, cultural and military matters in South Kurdistan.
The KDP does not pursue any goals in the interests of the Kurdish people. Its only goal is to sell all of Kurdistan’s resources to the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state in order to further increase its already existing wealth. This has now reached such proportions that the Barzani family can compete with the richest in the world because of all its possessions in the USA, Europe, Turkey and the Gulf States.
Recently, it has been repeatedly reported that the KDP has stationed sometimes smaller, sometimes larger contingents of its own troops in many places in the Medya Defense Zones. KDP forces have also reportedly attempted to advance into the Kurojahro and Metîna areas on several occasions. As the KCK, you have repeatedly called on the KDP to refrain from such undertakings. Against this background, how do you assess these attempts by the KDP?
Wherever the Turkish state itself does not succeed in advancing, the KDP stations its own special forces, i.e., the Zêrevan units, Gulan units and the Roj gangs. It surrounds the guerrilla areas, blocks the guerrillas’ ways, and provides intelligence to the Turkish state, which it uses to attack guerrilla units. The mountain tops are held by the occupying army, while the KDP tries to control and hold the slopes, valleys and roads. Through its joint attacks with the Turkish army on the guerrilla forces, the KDP is making itself the mainstay of the occupation of South Kurdistan. Since the KDP is directly involved in this war, it is quite natural that it has not responded positively to our numerous calls. Today, it is a part of the plan to crush the PKK. So it is a fact that the KDP plays an active role in the occupation attacks on Kurdistan.
The decisive reason for the occupation is the genocidal policy supported by the collaborators and traitors. The collaboration and the betrayal of the KDP in South Kurdistan hinder and endanger the national unity. The KDP continuously tries to prevent the democratization of South Kurdistan and thwarts all efforts in this regard. It imitates Turkey’s ruling class, spreads Turkish culture – an indispensable part of its oppressive and tyrannical rule – in South Kurdistan and thus transforms Kurdistan into an area where the Turkish nation can spread. This anti-democratic attitude of the KDP prevents the PUK, Goran and the other South Kurdish parties from taking steps towards the democratization of South Kurdistan. The KDP forces all these parties to follow its anti-democratic policies. It is one of the greatest weaknesses of these parties that they are not able to defend democratic values against the pressure of the KDP and to initiate a break through of democratic politics. If the PUK and all opposition parties were to wage a determined struggle for democracy, the collaborationist policies of the KDP would have no influence. Then neither South Kurdistan would be occupied by the Turkish state, nor would the South Kurdish society have to suffer from such a lack of freedom, democracy, justice and from poverty.
While the Turkish state and the KDP are making common cause regarding the occupation of South Kurdistan, the PUK and other South Kurdish forces have issued statements against the occupation. How does the KCK view these statements of the South Kurdish forces regarding the struggle against the occupation?
The people of South Kurdistan are angry about the occupation attacks of the Turkish state, which are taking place with the active participation of the KDP. The anger of the population is huge. This also applies to the people’s anger towards the KDP, which plays an active role in this genocidal war through its collaboration and betrayal. In addition to the people of South Kurdistan, numerous parties, politicians, artists, intellectuals and civil society institutions have protested against the occupation. Led by a left-wing coalition, protests also took place in Hewlêr [Erbil]. The people of Suleymaniye, Raperin, Çemçemal and Xaneqîn have recently clearly expressed their anger at the occupation and collaboration in the streets. In addition to the PUK, Goran and Tevgera Azadî, numerous South Kurdish parties have publicly condemned the occupation and collaboration. All of this is very significant.
Undoubtedly, the occupation will not be prevented by protests and declarations. Our people, who are filled with a great anger against the occupation and collaboration, must stand up against the occupation everywhere. Here, the political parties, institutions and initiatives must take a leading role for the people. If every party that is against the occupation and collaboration makes the social circles it addresses move and stand up, all our South Kurdish people – young and old – will become active. Then all those who have not yet been able to express their protest against the tyranny and oppression of the KDP will also join the resistance. The PUK, Goran, the communist party, the `Zahmetkeşan` party and the Islamic parties must live up to this historical responsibility. Each party has influence on an important part of the people. Therefore, they must take a clear stance for the freedom of the Kurdish people against the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state and the collaborating KDP and thereby lead the people`s resistance. All of them are faced with this historical responsibility today.
The KDP has established a dictatorial regime in South Kurdistan. Numerous journalists from the Behdinan region are still in prison. Many of them are also on hunger strike. The population of South Kurdistan suffers from poverty and corruption. Due to the war resulting from the suppression and collaboration of the KDP with Turkey, many people are now also unable to go to their villages. How do you assess the current situation in South Kurdistan?
Without the collaboration and betrayal of the KDP, the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state could not carry out its occupation attacks against South Kurdistan. Thus, the current attacks are taking place at the demand and with the participation of the KDP. The KDP participates in these genocidal and occupation attacks out of its own will. Hundreds of villages have already been depopulated because of these attacks. The people there lived in almost paradisiacal conditions. Now they have to abandon their villages to the occupiers and are forced to live a miserable life. The KDP has abandoned all rural areas of Kurdistan to the fascist genocidal Turkish state. It has destroyed the rural areas, plundered the nature in the region, allowed the clearing of forests and the poisoning of all the living beings there with chemical weapons. With the approval of the KDP and based on the intelligence it provides, dozens of airstrikes are being carried out every day. Through these attacks, the mountains, rocks, trees, plains and waters of our paradisiacal land of Kurdistan are being turned into a desert. The KDP is responsible for this destruction of Kurdistan. Through its collaboration and betrayal, it is allowing the genocidal fascist Turkish state – the enemy of the Kurds – to attack the Kurdish people and their nature. For its own family kingdom, the KDP is destroying the free future of the Kurds.
The KDP has signed an oil and gas agreement with the Turkish state that is valid for 50 years. It sells the gas and oil of South Kurdistan to Turkey in order to use the money to buy property in Turkey, the USA and many other countries for billions of dollars. The KDP has stored enormous wealth on its accounts at the biggest banks in the world. At the same time, the population is in great need. Agriculture has collapsed and production has been destroyed. Civil servants have not been paid for years. Even the students live in poverty. Unemployment, poverty and hunger have reached enormous proportions. Violence against women has reached alarming levels. The population of South Kurdistan has been put in the miserable position of having to live off Turkey’s waste products. South Kurdistan has been turned into a market for cheap Turkish products, that is, into Turkey’s garbage dump. While people cannot bring food home, teachers have not been paid for years and youth are leaving South Kurdistan because of their hopelessness, the KDP elite is busy filling their own pockets and buying pompous palaces.
Many intellectuals, politicians and journalists who informed society about these facts are now in prison. In order to hide the dirty truth from the people, the KDP is silencing all opposition voices. Just like AKP-MHP fascism in Turkey throws all critics in prison. And all those whom the KDP considers a serious threat are simply put out of the way.
Another remarkable development are the Iranian missile attacks on Hewlêr [Erbil]. Why does Iran attack the city? In March, missiles were fired at Hewlêr from Tabriz. Shortly after, this attack was described in the Iranian press as a message to Turkey. What is your assessment of this issue?
Turkey is pursuing a neo-Ottoman policy in the Middle East and is trying to increase its influence in the historical area of the Ottoman Empire. In this context, it has made it a basic strategy to enforce the Misak-ı Milli borders and thus bring Mosul and Kirkuk under its control. With the help of KDP’s support and collaboration, Turkey aims to achieve these goals. Of course, this strategy and policy of Turkey causes discomfort on the part of Iran, as it is itself involved in the struggle for hegemony over the Middle East. This is because, historically, Iran and Turkey have long been in a struggle for regional hegemony. The NATO member Turkey is trying to expand in the region with the help of the collaborating KDP. Against the background of its own interests, Iran, of course, cannot consider this acceptable.
It seems that Iran is also dissatisfied with the KDP’s policy in Baghdad and considers this policy harmful to its own interests. For years, the KDP, with the help of the U.S. and Turkey, has pursued a policy of dividing the Shiites in Iraq. By dividing them, the KDP is trying to position them against Iran. Parallel to this policy in Baghdad, the KDP is making the U.S. and Turkey the dominant forces in South Kurdistan. It is common knowledge that the U.S., at the urging of the KDP, has deployed its forces that it withdrew from Iraq in South Kurdistan. The U.S. has enormously increased its military presence in South Kurdistan. In the same way, the KDP has turned the fascist Turkish state – a NATO member – into an influential force in South Kurdistan. Currently, Turkey has almost 50 military stations there. These are also NATO military stations. The MIT [Turkish intelligence], CIA and MOSSAD are active everywhere and cooperate with the Parastin [KDP intelligence]. It may well be that Iran sees all these developments as detrimental to itself. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the missile attacks on Hewlêr are directly related to these developments.
It is obvious that Iran considers it a threat to its interests that the U.S., Turkey and Israel are gaining more and more influence in Iraq with the help of the KDP. It is a fact that the U.S. strongly prefers it for its own interests and for Israel’s security if Iran is weakened, Iran’s Islamic regime is replaced and Iran is integrated into the system of international capital. We all know that the U.S. has been pursuing a political and economic embargo against Iran for years in order to achieve the previously mentioned goals. The assassination of Kasim Suleymani in Baghdad was a clear message to show what the U.S. and Israel can do to Iran. In this context, the missile attacks on Hewlêr can be understood as a message from Iran to the U.S., Israel, Turkey and the KDP.
Turkey seems to be benefiting from the war in Ukraine at the moment. Is it possible that Turkey launched its attack on South Kurdistan at such a time independently of the U.S.?
In the war between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey has clearly taken a position on the side of NATO. This is because Erdoğan had already initiated a political U-turn earlier in order to gain U.S. and European support for his genocidal policy against the Kurds and to secure his power. He has been working hard for some time to improve relations with Israel, the Gulf states, Egypt, Greece and Armenia. He has also always kept his relations with Ukraine intact. Erdoğan has provided Ukraine with extensive arms shipments, particularly armed and unarmed drones. Before the war in Ukraine, the two countries manufactured drones together. Although Erdoğan sends positive signals toward Russia from time to time to maintain the existing balance, he has always been acted in accordance with U.S. and NATO interests. His recent decision to close Turkish airspace to Russia was a logical consequence of his close relations with NATO. Thus, Erdoğan intends to gain even more U.S. and NATO support for his genocidal policy against the Kurds. He assumes that Russia will make efforts to maintain its relationship with Turkey, as it is currently facing great pressure and heavy attacks. Erdoğan is trying to profit from his relations with Russia in this context. He is using Turkey’s geostrategic position to benefit from the United States and Russia, both of which attach great importance to Turkey’s position. In this course, he has significantly increased the genocide of the Kurds and his occupation attacks. It is obvious that the recent attack on [the South Kurdish region of] Zap has been carried out within the framework of this political conjuncture.
The U.S. and Europe have not taken any stance against this occupation so far. The very forces that accuse Russia of occupying another country and indulge in huge indignation over it have not a single word to say about the Turkish state’s occupation and genocidal attacks. Those who condemn the occupation carried out by Russia turn deaf and mute when it comes to Turkey’s occupation and genocidal attacks. We strongly criticize this mendacious and dirty policy of the USA and Europe. With their current stance, the U.S. and Europe are making themselves complicit in the genocide of the Kurdish people and are committing human rights crimes. The Turkish army is using chemical weapons in Kurdistan. The use of chemical weapons constitutes a war crime. While Biden calls for Putin to be tried in The Hague, he remains silent on Turkey’s use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish people. Why are you silent on the Turkish state’s use of chemical weapons? All those who participate in this genocide will be remembered by humanity only with contempt.
Just as the occupation attacks on Rojava took place with the approval of the USA, today the occupation of South Kurdistan is also taking place with US approval. The U.S. pursues two goals. First, with the help of NATO member Turkey, it wants to secure its presence and interests in the region, increase its influence on the ground, and in this way implement its Iran, Middle East, and Central Asia policies as smoothly as possible. The second and ultimately decisive reason for this policy lies in the U.S. goal of breaking the influence of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement. By continuing the International Conspiracy, the USA is trying to eliminate the leadership of our Freedom Movement and to use the values created by this struggle to serve its own interests. The attitude of the USA can be described as follows: `No to Önder Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] and the PKK. Yes to the values created by the freedom struggle as long as they benefit US interests.` The US silence on the genocidal attacks of the Turkish state is a result of the US support for this very policy. If the U.S. wants, it can close Iraqi airspace to Turkey. This is because Iraq’s airspace is used with the permission of the US. Iraq is not acting independently of the US. Yet, at the same time, the US opens Iraqi airspace to Turkish warplanes.
The Iraqi government has built a wall along the border with Rojava. Recently, strong Iraqi forces and heavy weapons were also deployed to Şengal [Sinjar]. So there’s the newly built wall on the one hand and the attempts to disarm the YBŞ [Sinjar Resistance Units] and YJŞ [Sinjar Women Units] on the other. What is your assessment of these developments?
There are absolutely no problems between the Iraqi people and the Ezidis or Şengal. Only the Kadhimi government has a problem with Şengal. Because of its relations with Turkey, the U.S., and the KDP, the Kadhimi government takes an aggressive stance toward Şengal. In a sense, it is attacking Şengal on behalf of Turkey and KDP. Kadhimi is thus fulfilling the promises he has made to Turkey and KDP. Without the consent of Turkey and KDP, the Kadhimi government could never build a wall along the border between Şengal and Rojava or install barbed wire barriers there. Cutting off the connection between Şengal and Rojava would undoubtedly amount to encircling Şengal and Rojava. The encirclement of Şengal is being enforced at the instigation of Turkey and the KDP. There are reports that even the concrete blocks and all other materials necessary for the construction of the wall were provided by Turkey and that the KDP also provided support. This wall is thus a continuation of the wall that Turkey has built along its border with Rojava. The fact that Kadhimi’s attacks on Şengal coincided with Turkey’s occupation attacks on Zap fuels concerns that all of this was done on the basis of joint plans with Turkey and KDP. In this way, Kadhimi is providing legitimacy to the Turkish state’s attacks on South Kurdistan and at the same time trying to put pressure on Şengal’s administration and break its will in order to force Şengal’s people, their [internal security forces] Asayish and the YBŞ to surrender.
Turkey and the KDP are trying to create enmity between Iraq and the Ezidis. However, this policy has absolutely no benefit for Iraq and Kadhimi. Making the Ezidis hostile to Iraq does nothing at all for the country, but only causes it massive damage. The Ezidis are among the most oppressed communities in human history. They have already suffered 74 genocides. The last of these genocides occurred when the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga surrendered Şengal to the Islamic State [IS] [in 2014]. Iraq and the KDP have made themselves guilty toward the Ezidis and must therefore take a self-critical stance. The Iraqi government and the KDP must first account for the last genocide against the Ezidis. They must take the demands of the Ezidis seriously on the basis of the Iraqi constitution and a basic democratic attitude. Iraq’s most appropriate self-criticism toward the Ezidis is to officially recognize the Şengal Autonomous Administration.
Why should it hurt Iraq if Şengal is administered by the People’s Council of Şengal and this People’s Council has its own Asayish forces? This would significantly increase Iraq’s prestige and strengthen the country’s democracy and unity. Recognition of the current Şengal administration is also a logical necessity stemming from the Iraqi constitution. The constitution gives all of Iraq’s religious and ethnic communities the right to govern themselves. This right is clearly guaranteed by the Iraqi constitution. If the Iraqi state and the Kadhimi government put these guarantees of the Iraqi constitution into practice and recognize Şengals’ self-administration, they will gain the support and respect of the Ezidis and thus significantly increase their strength.
The people of Şengal have shown a very impressive attitude against the recent attacks. In defense of their freedom and dignity, they have protectively rallied around their military forces. This dignified stance deserves great respect. The women of Şengal stood in the forefront during this resistance and thereby sent very meaningful messages. As long as the Ezidi women maintain this dignified attitude filled with a great passion for freedom, the Ezidis will win their rights and freedoms and protect their existence and self-administration. This attitude will also ensure that the KDP’s plans to depopulate Şengal and use the refugee camps [of Ezidi refugees] for its own interests with the help of its special war methods will come to nothing.
The KDP is currently using the tensions in Şengal to intensify its psychological warfare. It is mobilizing all its resources to literally abduct the population from Şengal. For years, the KDP has been using the Ezidi refugee camps for its own political interests. It holds the Ezidis hostage in these camps and uses them to receive money from international institutions and secure votes for itself in elections. At the same time, it turns these camps into weapons against Şengal by organizing Ezidi youth living there as armed groups.
This is exactly the same policy that the AKP has been pursuing in Turkey for years. It has intensified the war in Syria and brought the refugees from that country to Turkey. For years, it has been conducting politics on the backs of these refugees. With this ‘refugee weapon’, the AKP has been blackmailing Europe. In this way, the AKP lets Europe fulfill all its wishes and even receives money for this. It has organized thousands of members of Islamist proxy forces in these camps and has used them in the war against the Kurds. The KDP has learned this policy from the AKP, with whom it collaborates. For years, the KDP has used the Ezidi camps as political leverage against Iraq and many other countries around the world.
For quite some time, the KDP has been using the Ezidi identity of Viyan Daxil and has made her a part of its special war. Viyan Daxil should not let herself be used in such an easy way. She should not insult her own society and values just to satisfy the collaborating KDP. Hoşyar Zebari, one of the dirtiest members of the KDP, also seems to have completely forgotten his own betrayal and has been attacking the Ezidis again and again recently. We trust in the justice and conscience that characterize human history. The day will definitely come when Hoşyar Zebari and all the others will be held accountable to the Ezidis and the Kurdish people.
The AKP had originally planned to hold early elections after the success of the Garê operation [in February 2021]. Now it has launched a new war of occupation. The possibility of early elections [in Turkey] continues to be vividly discussed. Do you think early elections will actually happen?
Turkey has actually been in an election campaign for quite some time. But developments in the country are not just aimed at elections. Rather, the elections are part of a comprehensive plan. The plan is to bring the genocide of the Kurds to a conclusion, and then to institutionalize AKP-MHP fascism and put it on a constitutional footing. Therefore, the elections scheduled for 2023, whether they will be held early or not, are being approached very strategically. Whether the elections are held a few months earlier or later depends on the atmosphere that the AKP-MHP fascist government can exploit for itself and the results it achieves in the current war. As soon as this government thinks it has achieved the desired results through its attacks, it will immediately hold new elections. This is absolutely clear.
For the AKP-MHP government, the year 2023 has an extremely historic significance. This is because this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne. It also marks the anniversary of the division of Kurdistan into four parts and the recognition of the policy of denial and annihilation against the Kurdish people. At the same time, 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the genocidal, colonialist and fascist Turkish nation-state system. The AKP-MHP government intends to crush the Kurdistan Freedom Movement on the 100th anniversary of Lausanne and the founding of the Republic in order to bring the genocide of the Kurds to a conclusion. It dreams of achieving this goal in order to subsequently win the elections and, with the help of a new constitution tailored to a fascist dictatorship, secure the genocidal and colonialist Turkish nation-state system for a long time to come. For this reason, the character and objectives of the coming elections are very different from the past elections.
The attack on Zap , which the occupying army launched from the air on April 14 and also from the ground on April 17, is the most decisive link of this very comprehensive plan. The aim of this attack is to completely crush the Kurdistan Freedom Movement and annex all of South Kurdistan and Rojava.
At the same time as the occupation attacks, which are taking place under the leadership of the AKP-MHP, both the government and the opposition of Turkey seem to be planning a future without Kurds, but without openly stating this. In parallel, the HDP ban is still being discussed. What kind of policy stands behind all this?
The policy that aims at genocide against the Kurds is a policy of the [Turkish] state. This is a policy that the state has taken to a whole new level when the AKP came to power on the basis of a Turkish-Islamic synthesis. For the genocide of the Kurds, the state has created an alliance between religious fanaticism and racist nationalism and involved both in power. This coalition based on religious racist nationalism is the most brutal and dangerous government since the founding of Turkey. It is a genocidal, racist and deeply black fascism. This fascism aims to complete the genocide of the Kurds in order to ultimately destroy all revolutionary and democratic dynamics in Turkey.
The banning of the HDP is a part of this attempt to carry out the Kurdish genocide and to establish a fascist dictatorship. Thus, the HDP ban is to be enforced as part of the comprehensive genocidal plan against the Kurds. The CHP, İyi Parti, Deva, Gelecek Parti and all other state parties – that is, all forces outside the democratic opposition – are silent about all the political and military attacks. Because they support these attacks. All these state parties want the Kurdistan Freedom Movement to be crushed and the genocide against the Kurds to succeed. If this were not the case, they would take serious steps to solve the Kurdish question, take a clear stand against the HDP ban, and give the HDP their full support. They would openly take a stand against the political genocide operations and resist all the attacks. In the same way, they would not defend [Abdullah Öcalan’s] isolation on Imrali and would not support the occupation attacks.
It is obvious what kind of policy the fascist AKP-MHP government is pursuing by trying to ban the HDP. By removing the obstacle that the HDP represents for it and crushing all democratic dynamics, it wants to establish a constitutionally secured fascist dictatorship. If with the HDP the strongest democratic opposition party is eliminated, there will be no more obstacles in the way of the fascist AKP-MHP dictatorship. In order to prevent this, the democratic opposition must unite all its forces and strengthen its common struggle. All institutions, organizations, circles and individuals who see themselves as leftist, socialist, revolutionary and democratic must support the HDP and form a democratic struggle alliance together with it. These steps are indispensable if a democratic future for Turkey is to be secured. Therefore, the Sol Parti [`Left Party`] and the TKP [`Communist Party of Turkey`] must reconsider their current stance and join the democratic alliance. Due to their divided stance, the democratic forces have so far failed to generate strong synergistic forces. The fascist AKP-MHP government benefits from this divided and frayed attitude of the democratic forces.
As usual, the CHP plays the prop for the AKP-MHP government. It is increasingly becoming a new İyi Parti. Just as the AKP has completely evolved into a second MHP, the CHP is increasingly becoming another İyi Parti. The `National Coalition` [Millet İttifakı] is significantly shaped by the mentality and politics of the İyi Parti. This coalition fights against the `Republican Coalition` [`Cumhur İttifakı`] by copying its mentality, policies, expressions and methods. Thus, both coalitions are increasingly becoming two identical twins. These two coalitions united in spirit have nothing to offer to the peoples of Turkey except harm and bad. A ‘National Coalition’ that is afraid of supporting the HDP and does not consider this to be in its interest does not stand on the side of the peoples, but is the extended arm of the fascist AKP-MHP government.
The solution lies in the ‘Democracy Coalition’. This coalition, led by the HDP, is capable of democratizing Turkey and leading it to a free, equal and just future. The more the `Democracy Coalition` gains strength, the faster fascism, which is already in the process of collapse, will fall. Neither by banning the HDP, nor by occupying Zap, this fascist government will be able to protect itself.
Among the most important issues currently being discussed in Turkey are the economic crisis and possible new elections. The population in western Turkey has been put in a position where it is practically oblivious to the war that is going on in Kurdistan. How should we understand the political-economic crisis in the country, as well as the either statist or apolitical attitude of the Turkish population regarding the war?
A significant part of Turkey’s society is under the influence of racist-nationalist politics and propaganda. This part of society has been poisoned by this rhetoric. It has lost its common sense and clear thinking ability. This part of the population agrees with the anti-Kurdish policies and genocidal attacks. These people understand the hostility and all the injustices perpetrated against the Kurds as necessary and legitimate. So, we are dealing with a social structure that was built according to the genocidal-colonialist state ideology. The fascist government and the statist opposition promote this continuously. The main argument for the spread of nationalism in Turkey’s society is the hostility towards Kurds, Armenians, Greeks and Alevis. These genocidal ideological arguments are constantly kept alive in a certain section of society thus turning these people into a fundamental support of the fascist state and the current government. These people are turned into fascists and lose all their social characteristics. This part of society does not perceive in the least the enormous destruction and pain caused by the war in Kurdistan. Instead, they applaud from afar and demand more and more war. Those who are best at waging war against the Kurds are rewarded by keeping them in power or bringing them to power.
There is no doubt that an important part of Turkey’s society wants democracy, freedom and justice. But while a strong struggle is essential for this, this section of society has a leadership problem and therefore falls silent in the face of the intense repression. The society groans under hunger and poverty. It does not recognize clearly enough that the absence of democracy, freedom and justice and the economic crisis are a result of the war policies. The democratic opposition does not succeed sufficiently in explaining this to society. Because of this situation, a sufficiently strong social struggle against the war policy does not emerge.
Turkey is using all its resources for the war against the Kurds. Thus, the genocidal war against the Kurdish people is the decisive reason for the economic crisis in the country. Billions are being made available for the war budget. While the peoples of Turkey suffer massively from hunger and poverty, the government of the country tries to keep itself in power through war, oppression and tyranny. The fascist government draws its strength from the society that suffers from destruction, poverty and hopelessness. Through the special warfare, a blind, dumbed-down and herd-like mass has been created in Turkey. It is called a society, but it is rather a mass of people who have been completely deprived of their social characteristics. This mass considers various forms of humiliation, tyranny, hunger and poverty as its destiny and as a kind of test. Through their slave-like attitude, they transform themselves into a source from which the fascist government draws its strength. It is simply impossible for a community that has fallen into such a state to perceive the genocidal war against the Kurdish people and take a stand against it.
At the same time, enormous ecological destruction is also taking place in Kurdistan and Turkey. This is a part of the genocidal attacks. The society of Turkey is simply watching these events. Although not at the same level as in Kurdistan, ecological destruction has now reached frightening levels in Turkey. The fascist government has made the entire nature of the country available for plundering. It is drying up the country’s rivers with dams and clearing the forests for mining. All this represents a huge war against society and nature. But society’s attention and struggle against these developments are extremely weak. Again, the special war has poisoned society.
Without a doubt, important parts of the society cannot be taken in by the special war of the fascist state and government. An enormous social struggle is taking place. If the effect of the special psychological warfare against the society of Turkey is broken and the society is resolutely led, an enormous social resistance will come to light. Therefore, it is extremely important that the democratic opposition reaches all parts of the society, organizes the society through local works and mobilizes it to fight against fascism. In the current phase, all this is indispensable. The democratic potential of the society of Turkey is huge. The problem is to organize and activate this potential. As soon as this succeeds, the fascist AKP-MHP government will fall and the way for the democratization of the country will be paved. Then Önder Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] will achieve his physical freedom and all the problems of Turkey regarding freedom, democracy, justice and economy will be solved, especially the Kurdish question.
The Kurdistan Freedom Movement has repeatedly made statements regarding the war that has recently begun, while the Kurdistan guerrilla forces are providing practical responses to the attacks on the front lines. What can the Kurdish population in Europe in particular and the Kurdish youth living there do?
The guerrilla is offering a truly heroic resistance to the occupation carried out by the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state. It is filled with an Apoist-selfless spirit and keeps dealing heavy blows to the occupying army. In the course of the resistance in Zap and Avaşîn, very valuable comrades of ours have fallen as Şehits. I would like to take this opportunity to remember these valuable comrades and all other freedom Şehits with respect, love and gratitude. And I respectfully and lovingly salute all those friends who are resisting today with a truly superhuman will. The YJA-Star guerrilla is very actively and successfully participating in the current resistance in Zap and Avaşîn, just as it did previously in 2020 and 2021 in the areas of Heftanîn, Metîna, Zap and Avaşîn. The YJA-Star guerrilla forces have carried out many successful attacks in the course of this resistance. The women guerrilla forces are increasing the quality and success of the resistance through their skills, discipline and military performance. This is a development that makes us very proud. From the bottom of my heart, I salute the entire commandery and all members of the YJA-Star and congratulate them for their resistance. Under the leadership of the free woman, we will defeat this enemy who has nothing but enmity against all peoples and women. We will liberate Kurdistan and consequently democratize Turkey and the whole Middle East.
Our people living in Europe are contributing very decisively to the current resistance. With all my heart I salute and congratulate the resistance of our people. But the fighting and resistance potential of our people in Europe is many times greater. It can bring its power to bear much more effectively and successfully. The protest action in England was very successful. The guerrilla mekab [shoe of the guerrillas] that a South Kurdish mother raised there against Mesrur Barzani completely shocked him.
Europe is behaving mendaciously, keeping silent about the attacks and supporting Turkey militarily. It is therefore participating in these attacks. The struggle of our people living in Europe and our international friends may well force the states of Europe to reconsider their support for the Turkish state. Our people, through their solidarity and unity with the societies of Europe, can strengthen the common alliances of struggle there. If thousands or tens of thousands of European citizens participate in the protests, this will have a huge political impact and influence the policies of the states there. Our people in Europe have been successfully playing the role of an international advocate for the Kurds for a long time. They will enormously strengthen our people’s struggle for freedom and democracy by increasing the number of our international friends, building strategic alliances and establishing joint fighting alliances. Our people living in Europe have the necessary awareness, will, ability and energy to succeed in all this.