Originally published: https://kck-info.com/statement-oct0721/

23 Years too Many: Let’s Increase our Struggle for Önder Apo’s Freedom!

Filled with great anger, we condemn the International Conspiracy of October 9, 1998, which was perpetrated against Önder Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] and thus against the entire Kurdish people. Today we find ourselves at the beginning of the 23rd year of this International Conspiracy. With great respect and love, we salute Önder Apo who, through his continuous and incomparable resistance against the International Conspiracy and the conditions of his imprisonment, brought all the plans related to it to failure. We remember and bow to all our heroic fallen comrades. Against the International Conspiracy, they created a protective wall of fire around Önder Apo under the slogan ‘You cannot darken our sun’. We salute the struggle and resistance of our patriotic people and their international friends against the International Conspiracy and their support for Önder Apo.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the imperialist states that dominate this world refused to recognize the Kurds as a people or nation with its own language, culture and identity. They denied the existence of the Kurdish nation and thus excluded it from the nation-state system they had created. As a result of their agreements with each other, they adhered to the strategy of dividing Kurdistan and the Kurdish people. The largest part of Kurdistan was thereby assigned to the colonialist Turkish nation-state. On the basis of the international agreements made at that time, the colonialist nation-state of Turkey has been implementing a policy of systematic denial and annihilation against the Kurds for almost 100 years now. Currently, it continues to intensify and maintain this policy. Thus, a genocide against the Kurds has been taking place for almost 100 years. Against this, Önder Apo and our Freedom Movement have developed and organized the necessary will to resist and have kept it alive until today.

The biggest dream of the USA, the leading power of the capitalist system, was to implement the `Greater Middle East Project` in the 21st century. It identified Önder Apo and the Kurdistan Freedom Movement as the biggest obstacle to its implementation. It therefore worked to turn the Kurds back into a disorganized, identity-less, status-less, and enslaved people of the 21st century. Even before it intervened in the Middle East within the framework of the `Greater Middle East Project`, it concluded numerous dirty agreements and made compromises in order to hand over Önder Apo to the colonialist genocidal Turkish state in a most adventurous way, in violation of international law. The aim of this dirty International Conspiracy is to prevent the Kurds from developing into a free, strong-willed and identity-conscious people in the 21st century. In addition, the USA aims to reorganize the entire Middle East, especially Kurdistan, according to its own colonialist interests and capitalist ideas.

But the hegemonic powers’ plans for the Middle East have not fully worked out. The ongoing struggle of the Kurdish people illustrates this fact well. Meanwhile, 23 years have passed since the International Conspiracy of October 9. Still the Third World War continues with Kurdistan at its center. Within the framework of this war, the Kurds have waged a tremendous struggle and have made important achievements as a result. In contrast to the 20th century, the Kurds today have organized themselves on the basis of a political-intellectual will. They have reached a high political-military level, built their own self-defense forces, and developed into a people with its own democratic social organization and institutions. Their languages, cultures, identity and politically-organized forces have become much stronger compared to the past. Thus, they have developed a social attitude that does not bow to the colonialist and genocidal nation-states and is characterized by a conscious, dignified, democratic, libertarian and belligerent character.

The present reality of the Kurdish people is an expression of its rise from an identity-less slave existence to a common attitude of ‘nothing but a free life’. This in turn is the work of Önder Apo. He has cured Kurdish society of the disease of disorganization due to which it had ceased to be itself. As a result, he now occupies a firm place in the hearts and minds of the Kurdish people. The Kurdish people now know that only an organized society can be free. With this awareness, they have set out once and for all towards a free life. In this sense, the Kurdish Freedom Movement is the concrete expression of the Kurdish people’s determination to live a free life. This people has decided for a free and self-determined life and is ready to pay the necessary price for it. Such a people can never again be forced into a life of slavery, no matter how many modern weapons all the capitalist nation-states have at their disposal. This fact has been clearly proven by now.

Önder Apo has created the spirit of friendship among the Kurdish people. While the hegemonic nation-state system is trying to homogenize Kurdistan and the Middle East, Önder Apo has initiated the necessary awareness and struggle with which the region is once again beginning to find back to its multicultural essence. Despite the incredible violence and unimaginable pain that the Kurdish people are facing, today they are following Önder Apo’s ideas. They have defeated their pain and transformed it with determination into a source of a free and moral life. The renewed flourishing of the different identities and cultures of the Middle East, as well as their peaceful coexistence, represents a breathtaking development for the whole of humanity. It is Önder Apo’s anti-racist, anti-nationalist and democratic ideas that have paved the way for all these developments. Apoist ideas are ideas that are completely free from racism and nationalism.

Önder Apo has transformed the speechless and identityless slaves of yesterday into the bearers of hope of today. In doing so, he has given one of the greatest gifts to humanity. Through his new ideas and his incomparable struggle, Önder Apo has given new life and a new dawn to cultures threatened by extinction, to women who have been declared nothing, and to poisoned nature. For his ideas include the revival of cultures with all their beauty, the renewed, much deserved rise of the free woman and the reunification of humanity with Mother Earth. Today, the democratic Kurdish nation is emerging as an out-of-state, new and democratically constituted nation. Thus, it represents the greatest security for the freedom of all of us. The resistance of the Kurdish women today, through the strength and morality given to them by Önder Apo, represents the hardest slap in the face of the capitalist rape system.

With each passing day, more and more people and new circles get to know Önder Apo’s democratic, ecological and women’s freedom based ideas. The more this happens, the more these ideas are being implemented and defended. Because the ideas of Önder Apo offer no place for fascism, racism, nationalism, sexism, injustice and immorality. Therefore, defending Önder Apo means taking a stance against capitalism. It means taking a stance against racism, nationalism, the hegemony of man and the destruction of nature. Defending Önder Apo means standing up for 21st century values such as social democracy, freedom and equality. Defending him is an expression of an anti-capitalist and democratic-socialist attitude.

The ‘International Initiative Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan’ had called for protests in Strasbourg on October 2, where the message of our people and their international friends has once again expressed the above-mentioned reality. For this very reason, the French state was not able to show the necessary democratic tolerance for a tent camp set up on the spot. The French police were then instructed to attack the protesters in a manner that was in no way inferior to the fascist police of the AKP-MHP. By taking this stance, the French state has made it clear that it supports the fascist Erdoğan-Bahçeli regime. We condemn the French state for this support to fascism. And we salute the democratic protest and resistance of our people and their international friends who participated in the protest in Strasbourg, spreading very important democratic messages there and resisting against the attacks on them.

Our enemies are currently making a new attempt to annihilate our people and our movement. They want to destroy all the democratic achievements and values of the Kurdish people that have been achieved through the incomparable sacrifices of Önder Apo and our movement. In doing so, they are driven by the desire to throw the Kurds back to the time before the PKK and Önder Apo’s awakening. They deny our struggle, which has lasted for almost 50 years, and all the democratic achievements of the Kurds. In this way, they try to force the Kurds back into their former position and their old fate. In doing so, they simply do not want to realize that this is no longer possible. These are also precisely the goals they are pursuing with the complete isolation of Önder Apo. Because a people is not free as long as its leader is kept in captivity and isolation. For this reason, our people and their international friends are on the streets every day demanding Önder Apo’s freedom. And for exactly the same reason, the unparalleled and deeply legitimate resistance of the Freedom Guerrilla, which has been going on for 38 years, has reached a new peak today. But at the same time, the genocidal occupying state of Turkey and its supporters are intensifying Önder Apo’s isolation with each passing day. The international hegemonic powers also continue to prefer to tolerate the isolation because of their own interests. International human rights organizations and institutions such as the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) continue to ignore the total isolation on Imrali and the anti-Kurdish policies of the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state. Thus, they refuse to fulfill their assigned role and responsibility. Thus, they are complicit in the crimes of the fascist AKP-MHP special war regime. Our people and their international friends raise this issue at each of their protests: The Council of Europe and its associated international human rights organizations must finally stop acting blind, deaf and mute to the total isolation on Imrali and the AKP-MHP regime’s anti-Kurd genocidal practices.

The Council of Europe and its human rights institutions are recognized as very important institutions by the peoples of the world, including the Kurdish people. It is therefore imperative that they play their part in ending Önder Apo’s legal, political and human isolation and in finding immediate practical answers to the demands of the Kurdish people and their international friends. Our people and their friends are voicing what they mean by practical solutions in the streets every day. Accordingly, a CPT delegation must immediately travel to Imrali to inform the Kurdish people, our movement and the democratic public about the current situation of Önder Apo and his three comrades. In addition, it must be immediately ensured that Önder Apo’s lawyers and family can visit him regularly.

It must also be achieved that the ‘Aggravated Life Sentence’ is removed from the Turkish Penal Code. It was introduced by the colonialist and genocidal Turkish state to punish Önder Apo and was later imposed on dozens of other prisoners. According to a ruling of the ECtHR, it violates the European Convention on Human Rights. We call on the Council of Europe and its responsible commissions to stand by their own decisions and live up to their duties and responsibilities.

The Kurdish youth and women have the most important leadership role in the 23rd year of the struggle for the end of the International Conspiracy. On this basis, we call upon all our patriotic people in all four parts of Kurdistan and abroad, especially the Kurdish youth and women, and their international friends to intensify their struggle with full determination according to the slogan ‘Time for Freedom’ until the physical freedom of Önder Apo is achieved. We also call on them to organize themselves even more, to increase their willpower and to continue their resistance and protest without interruption.

08 October 2021


KCK Executive Council