Extract of remarks by Abdullah Öcalan published by Kurdish Info; translated from Turkish.
2 March 2011
The events taking place in Egypt, Libya and Sulaimaniah are dramatic. Indeed in Turkey and in the region as a whole there is a real potential for change. Our people have a greater capacity for action even than the people of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Sulaimaniah. We shall observe developments until Newroz, and evaluate the government’s position. We need to take into account the possibility that tensions could also influence the solution process negatively. However, there should not be any big clashes where the state is put into a difficult position. This is because we still believe that there is a hope for a resolution.
The youth should not take such action where they burn themselves. I tell them that they should under no conditions burn their own bodies, not for me nor for any other reason. I propose that they abandon such actions. I do not find it appropriate that such actions should be taken to support me. I do not approve of this method, because there are always other ways and means of struggle.
The state implemented a merciless policy of denial and annihilation for the past 80 to 90 years against the Kurds and since the 1950s they have been totally involved in NATO’s Gladio. But they have now arrived at a point where they accept the existence of the Kurds. As a result of the struggle we have waged there is a change in the perceptions of the state. The annihilation and denial of the Kurds have been stopped. My efforts here have contributed to this. The existence of the Kurds is now accepted. The process of a resolution should come into play. But of course it is not so easy to abandon the 80-90 year old perceptions. But the stage we are at shows that the state has now arrived at a point where it shall abandon its denial policy.
The approach of the AKP has been a total disaster. Even on the issue of an amnesty for students they infringe the rights of tens of thousands of students because of me. Don’t they know that I shall no longer go and enrol in the final year of my studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences!
What the Kurds need to do is to raise their struggle against the AKP’s elimination and denial policies. There should be commissions of the DTK but they should act together. The DTK should work in unity.
It seems Democratic Autonomy cannot be explained properly. I talked about the solution of a democratic nation. I mentioned eight components of it. Democratic autonomy is only the political expression of it. In my final defences I have made some concrete proposals for the solution to the Kurdish question. It would be beneficial if the Road Map is shared with the general public. There is a project laid down in the Road Map, this is a solution project. The state’s approach to this Road Map is also positive. They too are aware of what is happening, as well as the dangers involved. In my final defences I evaluated the solution of democratic nation comprehensively and in all its dimensions. The solution of Democratic nation must be handled in its entirety. There are the economic, social, cultural, juridical, security/self-defence and diplomatic dimensions to it. Each of these dimensions has an importance but one should handle them together in relation to democratic nation resolution. It is not right to only put forward the democratic autonomy aspect of it alone. Democratic autonomy is only the political expression of all these different aspects.
I believe my thesis on the democratic nation resolution is one of the most important theories in the world today. It may also be a resolution model for the Middle East. The developments in the Middle East, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Sulaimaniah indicate that I am right. The nation-state that they have created in the Middle East has now collapsed.
The demands of the people are of course right. But if this is how we analyse it then it won’t be sufficient. Both Britain and the US can now see that the regimes they established are now collapsing and that they need to be overcome. Hence they too are intervening in their own way. They too are now in it. What they wish to present as a solution is the model of what they call liberal Islam something similar to the AKP. However this as yet has not resolved any problems within Turkey and even the Kurdish issue continues in all its intensity. The AKP is trying to avoid finding a solution. The solution is what we propose and that is the democratic nation resolution. In my previous defence titled “Civilization in the Middle East and the Resolution of Democratic Civilization” I talked about the democratization of the Middle East and how to ensure that a democratic culture is dominant. This defence pointed at exactly these questions and made relevant proposals. In “Freedom Sociology” I also have made some important evaluations in relation to this issue.
Hosni Mübarak played a role in my expulsion from Syria. He was the mediator between Syria and Turkey. But in the end the system he served could not protect him and they got him out of his own country. Gaddafi told me to “come to Libya, we can create opportunities here” but now he cannot even save himself. Gadaffi’s Green Book did not offer any real solutions. The regime they all established has now brought them to a point of self-destruction and is collapsing. Despite the oppressive conditions I am held under we are stronger and getting ever more strong.
A few points about the election
The Kurds can try and form alliances in order to overcome the election threshold. The alliance could include the other left wing parties, democratic forces, minorities, unions, environmentalist groups and the Greens; they could all form a democratic block. Hence all opposition forces which complain about the system and the Kurds should take their place in this block. If the preparations were done for the formation of such a block then the threshold may be overcome but it might be too late now. It looks as if we would go into the elections with independent candidates. But of course one does not need to be so hasty. One should consider all the options.
The BDP may think it logical to go into the elections with independent candidates. They may not want to take any risks. But the option of such an alliance can be considered. Indeed if they had very early on worked for a democratic block then they may have overcome the threshold. I had previously called it the democratic nation block.
They can make various efforts to attain this. They should go and meet with the democratic circles, left wing circles, various unions, workers, the oppressed, ÖDP and EMEP. They guess that BDP will be at 7-8 %. I think not though, I think it is much higher. But to achieve that they need to have a broader framework. The number of MPs should be at least around 30 to 35. If they work well they could even attain 40 seats.
We are trying to develop the democratic constitutional solution by convincing the state of the democratic block. I evaluated this previously that there are three blocks within Turkey. They go back in history. First block: the nationalist block of the 1920s represented today by CHP and MHP. They used to represent the first group in the assembly back then. The second block is the conservative-Islamist block.
The DTK should gather all NGOs together in the shortest possible time. The DTK should convey their demands both to the government and KCK in relation to a resolution. They should see what the approach of both the PKK and the government shall be towards their demands. If the PKK approaches such demands negatively then they could condemn the PKK. But, of course, it is the position of the government that shall be vital. This way it shall be properly understood who wants a solution and who wants war. It is not sufficient just to pressure PKK all the time. Hence they should not help the AKP who has not taken a single step for the resolution of the Kurdish question and who is an obstacle to a solution. I find it strange they say “silence the weapons”. It is not meaningful to say this all the time when there is no effort made. What weapon? Are we using weapons? We are not using weapons against anyone; we are forced to use weapons.
We are trying to develop the democratic constitution solution. A Democratic Constitution Conference must be developed. They should work on this until the elections. I have not lost my hopes for a resolution. I still have my hopes. A resolution is being developed and is becoming more profound.
The people’s just demands and pressure have been influential in the CHP’s adaptation of a new position. The AKP should be similarly pressured into change in order to resolve the issue. Presently I think the CHP is more progressive than the AKP. They sometimes make positive statements.
Who to talk to
The AKP does not aim the resolution of the Kurdish question. They are trying to generate advocates for themselves. Their aim is to annihilate the Kurds. The AKP is recently in dialogue with Şıvan Perwer and Kemal Burkay. They are trying to bring them to Turkey. If Kemal Burkay is so sincere instead of criticizing us on TV he should come and take his place in the democratic politics and contribute to the struggle. We are not an obstacle. The AKP is trying to achieve some benefit out of them. They are trying to show the military that they are “eliminating the free Kurds and binding the rest with themselves”. But do Kemal Burkay and Şıvan have any supporters? But what about those in Turkey are they not Kurdish? Why don’t they talk to them, why don’t they start a dialogue with them? For example, why don’t you meet Ahmet Türk? He represents millions of Kurds. There are other people who represent millions of Kurds. Why doesn’t the AKP meet them? There are many NGOs, why don’t you meet them? There are millions of Kurds here with just demands and they have their own representatives. Why don’t you see them and instead after a couple of names in Europe? It must be that you are not sincere when it comes to this issue. It is clear that you have other interests. I tell Şıvan Perwer to come and to take his place within the democratic solution process but he should not get himself used. But if they shall act with the AKP then they shall have no worth left in the eyes of the people. I do also say that they should come and take their place in the democratic solution process. Anyone who is in favour of a solution can come and take their place in this process.
I, at least for now, do not suggest we adopt the method of the non-stop uprising like in Egypt and Tunisia. We do not have the aim to mobilize our own potential just yet. But everyone should know that it is much more advanced than those in Egypt and Tunisia. This is due to us being organized for many years and the experience of our struggle. My dialogue with the state continues, the process of dialogue continues. I am still hopeful of these meetings. I am still hopeful that the dialogue continues. There should be no problems until 21 March. I think there could be some developments. This situation may continue from 21 March to June. I am working quite hard to develop the democratic constitutional solution in order to resolve the Kurdish question.
There should be a freedom square in Diyarbakır. Its name could be Azadi (Freedom) Square. I am making a practical proposal. I propose that democratic solution and peace tents are set up in a square in Diyarbakır. These tents can stay there until the elections. Everyone should gather at these tents. Such tents may also be set up in Van, Batman and other major towns and cities. They can discuss their demands and solution proposals in these tents. Since this is a democratic action I do not think that the government or the police shall move against it. They would show understanding during the period of the elections. These tents could also be the centre for election activities. For example all the candidates from all parties can come to these tents and explain their programmes. The people can come to convey their demands and proposals for a solution. Whoever shall agree to implement their demands and develop a solution would get the votes. They can name these tents the democratic solution and peace tent.
The KCK court case continues
The tents may be used to this end during and before the election. Their lawyers can visit the tents before and after the hearings. As I mentioned, our potential is high whether it be taking action or people’s participation. We have more opportunities to initiate processes similar to those of Tunisia and Egypt. We have the strength and potential but it would be more appropriate to take part in elections in a more democratic way and through the establishment of such tents.