Originally published: https://kck-info.com/interview-hozat-mar0123/

01 March 2023

Parts of an interview with Besê Hozat, KCK co-Chair, about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world, including the spread of the democratic nation paradigm as part of the international struggle for the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan, the need for a continuation of social solidarity against attempts to instrumentalize the consequences of the earthquakes in North Kurdistan and Turkey and the upcoming elections as an opportunity to build a democratic Turkey and solve the Kurdish question politically:

Spread of Democratic Nation Paradigm as Part of International Struggle for Freedom of Abdullah Öcalan

“The 25th anniversary of the conspiracy has coincided with a major earthquake. This has naturally affected the plans to protest against the conspiracy. There was going to be a big protest in Turkey, in North Kurdistan, a demonstration towards Gemlik. But this protest had to be postponed. The planned protests in Europe were also affected. But at the same time, especially in Rojava and in North and East Syria, huge protests took place. There have been very serious protests in North Kurdistan for several months, not just limited to February. There are ideological, political and diplomatic efforts against the conspiracy. In this context, there is a struggle in Kurdistan and abroad. Huge protests have also taken place in Europe and South Kurdistan [North Iraq]. I salute all these protests of our people. Of course, our international friends have also made very serious efforts in this regard. They have really contributed a great deal and worked very hard to put the isolation and the physical freedom of Leader Apo on the international agenda. As the ideas of the Leadership [Abdullah Öcalan] and his paradigm spread, the effects of this in the region and the world are becoming stronger. There is really a great support of women, the peoples, the democratic public, intellectuals, writers and artists. Recently, important concerts also took place at the international level. In this sense, a very serious level of support has emerged in the art community as well.”

“We can see the following very clearly: As the paradigm of the Leadership is introduced to the world and society, a very strong level of support emerges. Because everyone sees their future and freedom in this paradigm. Free life and a democratic, free and equal system are realized based on this paradigm. Everyone understands this. This is very important. This whole process, the struggle against the conspiracy that has developed over the years has made very clear that the 21st century and the centuries to come will be centuries in which the democratic nation paradigm and the democratic confederal system will come to life. This is being discussed by many circles in the world today. The democratic confederal system based on democracy, ecology and women´s freedom is being discussed as the main solution and as an alternative to the current crisis. As a fundamental solution to the problems of humanity, to all the problems faced by peoples and societies, to all the problems faced by women, to the ecological problems that have reached a catastrophic level. It is being discussed as the basic solution, as an alternative way of life. And the respective consciousness is gradually evolving as well. The search is increasing. Organizations for this cause are developing. All this is very important and valuable. This will gradually increase. It will spread and be organized by societies in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and all over the world as a fundamental solution, as an alternative way of life. The centuries to come will be centuries in which the fascist nation-state system will be destroyed, the democratic confederal system based on autonomous democratic communal structures will develop, and the democratic nation philosophy, ideology and paradigm of Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] will be organized and built. Thus, humanity will be able to sustain itself and continue its existence. It will live freely and democratically, justly and fairly. I truly believe in this. The groundwork for this has already been laid in every respect.”

“For Turkey, this constitutes a fundamental solution in every aspect, that is, in overcoming the current problems, in solving the Kurdish problem, in democratizing Turkey, in building a democratic republic. The project of Leader Apo, the democratic nation project, is a fundamental solution project for Turkey as well. Today, those who defend the rule of law cannot establish a democratic rule of law in Turkey without putting an end to the lawlessness in İmralı. Those who defend justice in Turkey cannot build a just system in Turkey without putting an end to the injustice in İmralı, without taking a stance against it. Those who defend democracy, equality and freedom in Turkey cannot build a democratic, free and equal life without opposing the lawlessness, injustice, unscrupulousness and immorality in İmralı, without opposing this policy that is being carried out there. This is a fact. In this sense, a very strong struggle against the conspiracy took place in 2022. In the coming year, this struggle will increase in order to ensure the physical freedom of Leader Apo. We will definitely achieve the physical freedom of Leader Apo in 2023.”

Need for Continuation of Social Solidarity Against Attempts to Instrumentalize Consequences of Earthquakes in North Kurdistan and Turkey

“Turkey and Kurdistan are an earthquake zone. This is a known fact. But until now, there have been no appropriate architectural measures. Precautions have not been taken accordingly. Now, a huge earthquake took place there, a great disaster happened. The fascist government also talks about this and calls it the biggest disaster of the century. The press affiliated with the ruling circles also covers this topic very intensely and refers to it as the disaster of the century as well. So is this earthquake really the disaster of the century, or is it the mentality and the government? This is a very serious matter of debate. It is clear that the AKP-MHP regime is the disaster of the century. Earthquakes are natural disasters. In many parts of the world, earthquakes far stronger than this one regularly occur. The example of Japan has been discussed a lot recently. Japan experiences earthquakes with a magnitude of over 9, but there are no serious losses of life there. The buildings in Japan are higher than the buildings in Turkey, but they do not suffer any damage. This is the case in many parts of the world. So why is there so much destruction in Turkey? Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives. Millions of people have suffered great pain and have been traumatized for years and decades. This has happened because of the fascist government in Turkey which is the real cause of the disaster. The greatest disaster of the century is the fascist AKP-MHP government.”

“Erdoğan says, ´this is destiny, we need to understand this as fate´. He really takes people for fools, for a herd. But this period is over now. He has done this a lot until now and has achieved a certain level of results. He made a certain section of people believe in the perceptions created by him. Those who didn’t believe in it, he gathered them around himself with the help of nationalism, religion and racism and aligned the opposition with the slogan of ´homeland, nation, Sakarya´. But now this period is over. The fascist dictator Erdoğan can no longer deceive society by calling the recent developments destiny. The opposite is the case: Now the people and society will determine Erdoğan’s destiny.”

“There are reports that Erdogan has collected more than 100 billion [Dollars] since 1999. Some say 48 billion, other 83 billion. But most likely the amount of money collected exceeds 100 billion. Where did this money go? Let’s leave the earthquake tax aside for a moment. Every day a lot of taxes are being collected from the people, billions [of Dollars] are being collected. These taxes are collected to serve the people. Everywhere in the world, states collect taxes for this purpose. This money is supposed to be returned to the people in the form of services. So where do these taxes go? Besides the earthquake tax, where do these taxes go? These taxes are spend on the genocidal war against the Kurds. They go to the war of sociocide in Turkey. The money goes to the war of genocide against nature and is turned into profit. It goes to the AKP’s and Erdoğan’s trolls. It goes to Erdoğan’s Sadat [private military company in Turkey] and to his Islamist proxy-forces. For 11 years, an army of tens of thousands of Islamist proxy fighters has been established. The Turkish state, this fascist government, provides all the training and equipment, logistics, ammunition, maintenance, livelihood and shelter to these gangs. Where does this money come from? From the taxes paid by the people. The genocidal war against the Kurds is being waged with the taxes of the people. Every day tons of bombs rain down on the mountains of Kurdistan. The price of each bomb is hundreds of thousands of dollars, as they themselves admitted. Since the recent earthquake, thousands of bombs have continued to be dropped non-stop. All the taxes are spend on this, they go to profit-seekers, to their own lackeys and supporters. An elite has formed around the palace, a bourgeoisie has formed and this bourgeoisie is getting richer every day based on the people’s taxes. They each have billions of dollars in different banks around the world.”

“What is happening now in Turkey and Kurdistan is definitely a sociocide. Whole cities have disappeared. Hatay, Adıyaman, Antep, Malatya, Maraş and Iskenderun, their districts and villages have been wiped off the map. In other words, a whole region has been completely destroyed. The governor of Şırnak said recently that the number of lost lives was 5 times higher than the official numbers. At that time they had already announced 40 thousand deaths. Multiply this by 5 and you can see that he was talking about 200 thousand deaths. But there are also more than 200 thousand people missing. People are still under the rubble. A sociocide has been perpetrated. People have been left to die everywhere. We have always said that this state is a genocidal state, that this is a genocidal government. This is obvious because this state has been pursuing such a policy against the Kurds for 100 years. It has also been carrying out an all-out genocidal attack on the Kurds for the last 7 years. Now it has inflicted the same kind of genocide on the society of Turkey and Kurdistan in the 15 to 17 days after the earthquake – in front of the eyes of the world. This will have very heavy consequences. There is a measure they call the construction amnesty. This amnesty means opening the geography of Turkey and Kurdistan to plunder, extortion and theft. It means to provide a legitimate ground for opportunists and thieves.”

“The area where this earthquake has taken place is a geography historically inhabited by Kurds and Arab Alevis. They [AKP-MHP government] will implement a very serious migration policy in this geography after the earthquake. We know that they have already started to implement it. They will want to bring the genocide plan to a conclusion here by gradually changing the demography in this area. This is one of the first areas where the Eastern Reform Plan [Şark Islahat Planı] was implemented. The Maraş Massacre [in December 1978] was also carried out on this basis. The main aim of the Maraş Massacre was to completely uproot the Kurdish Alevis from west of the Euphrates river. The aim was to kill those who lived there and to force the remaining people to migrate. It was to completely de-Kurdify and de-Alevize this geography. It was to purge all Kurdish Alevis from this area. The same policy has also been pursued against Arab Alevis over the years. Now this is being carried out in a very intense way. With this earthquake, they will put this policy into practice even more seriously. There are already signs of this. People are being displaced and forced to migrate. Especially to the towns and villages where a lot of Alevis live, no aid went to these villages and towns where both Kurdish Alevis and Arab Alevis live. The people there were completely left to die. The approach was that those who died would die and those who were left would be forced to migrate anyway. Now a serious policy is being implemented in this regard. This is a 100-year old policy of the state. The AKP-MHP government wants to bring this to a conclusion. It wants to use the earthquake for this. This is very clear. But our people are aware of this.”

“We have been waging a great struggle against this genocide policy for decades. There is a serious awareness among our people with regards to this issue. They should never fall for these policies. Our people should not leave their places and land. They may experience difficulties and pain. But they should never leave their land. In the areas they might migrate to, they will face pain ten times greater than this. They will face great hardships and lose their honor, all their values, memory and their history there. Migration will lead to such severe consequences. Therefore, our people must endure the current hardships and suffering and not allow to be separated from their geography, even only for a period of time. Our people in the country and abroad need to provide very serious support to our people, develop serious projects and rebuild all the affected areas in the spring. The Kurdish and Alevi villages and towns there can easily be rebuilt. One or two-storey buildings can be built very easily in the spring. So far, with the support of our people, there has been serious help both from inside and outside the country. If this solidarity and support continues, we can really rebuild our villages. We can rebuild our towns and we can rebuild them very solidly. With solidarity, a common spirit and financial support, we can turn these places into living spaces again. The fascist, genocidal and colonialist state and the government pursue a plan to completely de-Kurdify and de-Alevize these areas. This is a genocide plan and it must never be allowed to happen. Displacement constitutes genocide. In order to defeat this plan, the people should not leave their land. They should also not sell their land and places to the state. They must not fall for such games and traps. This is very important right now. Because the people are very desperate. They are in great distress and pain. Based on this desperation, a lot of games, traps and plans are being made by the genocidal forces. Everyone should be very sensitive about this. The people should not sell their land, place and homeland and should stay in their places. We must rebuild these places and re-establish our lives in our lands. This is important. This is how the genocide plan will be defeated. This is also a struggle, this is also resistance.”

“A really strong social solidarity has emerged. Both from other cities, villages and towns of North Kurdistan and from South Kurdistan. The KDP and the Turkish state tried to prevent the help of our people from South Kurdistan, but they showed a very serious example of solidarity. Even though Rojava and the people of North and East Syria were themselves affected by the earthquake, they showed serious solidarity and support for North Kurdistan and the earthquake zones in Turkey. A significant number of our people from this earthquake zone have been living in Europe for years. A very serious example of solidarity has emerged there as well. There was a very strong solidarity from our international friends as well. In Turkey, the HDP, HDK, DTK, DBP, other non-governmental organizations, cemevis [Alevi places of worship] and the Democratic Islamic Movement have shown very strong support. Many lives were saved with their help. People were pulled out from under the rubble. Those who came out from under the rubble found a tent, food and water. This is a great example of solidarity. A great national consciousness, national spirit and national solidarity have emerged among the Kurds both at the international and national level. The same is true for the women’s movement. Both the Women’s Movement in Turkey and the Kurdistan Women’s Freedom Movement have mobilized all their resources. They have shown a very strong example of solidarity. In all cities, all women worked hard, and all non-governmental organizations as well. Organized, oppositional, democratic political structures worked hard. All these structures organized themselves very quickly. And they intervened very quickly. Thus, they have really shown a great example of solidarity.”

“In this sense, it have really been our people, the civil institutions and the democratically organized structures that intervened in the earthquake zones. There was no such intervention by the state. On the contrary, the state obstructed the solidarity of the people and the civil society organizations. The intervention of this fascist government, this fascist state, was mainly directed against the structures that were in solidarity with the society. Due to this solidarity, some of the wounds of society have been healed and society has been able to remain on its feet. It is important to continue like that. This must be transformed into a form of permanent organization. This earthquake has revealed how important self-organization is, how great a need self-administration is, how necessary all this is. In a way, this earthquake has also led to the collapse of fascist nation-state system. It has shown how unnecessary these centralized fascist nation-state systems are, how anti-social they are, how anti-human, anti-society they are. It has revealed how vital self-administrations, democratic autonomous structures, democratic confederal systems and self-organization are. In this sense, this has also been a test of Leader Apo’s democratic nation, democratic autonomous system and democratic confederal system. The social solidarity has revealed how much these projects resonate with the society in Turkey and how strong the grounds for this are. And it has also revealed that Turkey will no longer be the old Turkey. In other words, Turkey cannot be governed by such a rigid, centralist, fascist nation state system and administration. The construction of a democratic republic based on self-administration can sustain Turkey and keep it alive. This is also true for the whole world. This is a global trend. In Turkey, this reality imposes itself as a sine qua non. It is necessary to organize the people on this basis.”

Upcoming Elections as Opportunity to Build a Democratic Turkey and Solve Kurdish Question Politically

“Now, the main agenda is the consequences of the earthquake. On the other hand, while this debate continues, the political climate in Turkey is also being discussed. The social structure of Turkey is being discussed, as well as the question of how the next phase and the future social structure of the country will be. There are very intense discussions with regards to the issue of self-administration. Before the earthquake, the Democratic Republic Conference took place. There were very serious discussions about self-administration, the democratic autonomous system, the importance of this for Turkey, the democratization of Turkey, the solution of the Kurdish question on a democratic basis and a solution on the basis of self-administration. Then the earthquake happened. In a way, the discussions held at that conference were confirmed during this earthquake. This is very important. These discussions will continue even more intensely from now on. And they need to continue. On the other hand, of course we are in an election process. The elections are being discussed. The AKP-MHP fascist regime is also discussing about postponing the elections. It has put this on the public agenda through people like Bülent Arınç. It is trying to measure the pulse of society. In this sense, I personally don’t consider Bülent Arınç’s statements independent of this fascist power and government. This issue is consciously put on the agenda in order to see what society and the public think. But they saw that there was a very serious reaction. If the election process is prolonged, the protests will increase, this regime will lose in a much worse way and very different situations will emerge. The political crisis, the social crisis and social protests will intensify in Turkey. The economic crisis will deepen as well. They see this. In this respect, there are obviously some discussions in the government. There are some discussions about holding the elections on time on June 18, if not May 14.”

“Now there are discussions about holding the elections on time. Let’s see. Of course, they are measuring the daily reactions. Accordingly, they change their style and policy on a daily basis. Turkey is in an election process. We can clearly foresee the following: This fascist government will increase the repression even more, especially until the elections. It will intensify its genocide policy, its war and violence against the Kurds. It has mobilized all state means for this. At the same time, it will continue to intensify the pressure on the society in Turkey, on the democratic forces and on both the democratic opposition and the opposition within the system. It will intensify the pressure on the democratic press, on the public and on society. In this way, they will try to usurp the elections through pressure, violence, force and tyranny. They will try to remain in power, but all their attempts are futile. This government has completed its time. Until now, this fascist genocidal power has survived because there has been no effective opposition, no strong social resistance and struggle. But from now on, neither society nor the opposition will allow this to continue.”

“Turkey cannot be democratized through restoration. A democratic rule of law cannot be established in Turkey through restoration. A democratic, fair and just system cannot be established in the country through restoration. A democratic republic cannot be built in Turkey through restoration. The way to a democratic republic is through a democratic solution to the Kurdish question. The democratic solution to the Kurdish question means the construction of a democratic republic based on self-administration. It means the reconstruction of Turkey on a democratic foundation based on self-administration. In this sense, the fascist, denialist and exterminationist nation state mentality must be radically overcome. It means the reconstruction of a democratic republic through the solution of the Kurdish and Alevi problems on a democratic basis. The current phase has created the ground for this. A serious awareness has also developed in society with regards to this issue. This earthquake has, to a certain extent, led to overcoming the perceptions against the Kurds, the Kurdish Freedom Movement and democratic politics which had been created by the fascist government on the basis of racism, religion and special warfare. In this sense, an important basis for the democratic struggle has emerged. The society, the leaders of society and the revolutionary-democratic political leaders need to make use of this development. In this sense, the opposition’s approach to this election based on a common attitude will take this government down. Both the democratic opposition and the ´National Alliance´-opposition are gradually developing a common policy to bring down this fascist government. This is important. But this must lead to an approach based on the democratic solution of the Kurdish question and the democratization of Turkey. The main perspective is not to carry out a restoration of Turkey. It is to build Turkey on a truly democratic basis. It is to create a democratic republic. The strengthened parliamentary system should be based on this perspective, this philosophy, this understanding of construction. In other words, the strengthened parliamentary system should not lead to a pre-AKP parliamentary system since it was also based on the mentality of denial and annihilation. The strengthened parliamentary system needs to be based on the democratic solution of the Kurdish question and the construction of a democratic republic with self-administration as its basis. This will lead Turkey to a democratic, free and just future. This is what I truly believe in.”