our interviews

october 20, 2023

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the international conspiracy [meaning October 9, 1998, the day Abdullah Öcalan was forced to leave the Middle East, which led to his odyssey through half of the world and ended with his abduction to the prison island of Imrali], I would like to respectfully and gratefully commemorate all our martyrs, especially those who gave their lives for the goal of preventing the conspiracy from achieving its goal. All those who have fought under the slogan “You cannot darken our sun”, who have raised this sacrificial struggle, like the martyred comrades Rojhat Zîlan and Erdal Şahin who carried out the sacrificial attack in Ankara. Once again, it has been proved that the freedom struggle of the people of Kurdistan, which continues following the martyrs and Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], will be successful.

On behalf of our movement, I would like to respectfully greet all those who are participating in the campaign “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question” that was launched on October 10 in more than 100 countries worldwide. I would like to congratulate them on their decision to start this struggle. The emergence of the campaign is the result of 50 years of tireless struggle of Rêber Apo. He has made great efforts for all the peoples of the world and especially for women. For the past 25 years, he has been in severe isolation on Imrali. Especially since March 25, 2021, the isolation has become so severe that there is no information about our leadership. With the campaign launched on October 10, oppressed peoples, those struggling for liberation, intellectuals, artists, women and the ecological movement express that they see their freedom in Rêber Apo’s ideas and philosophy. This shows the power of Rêber Apo’s ideas and his paradigm.

It can be stated that Rêber Apo is no longer only the leader of the Kurdish people or the peoples of the Middle East, he has become a universal leader. This is very important and significant. This campaign shows that it has become inevitable to give Rêber Apo his physical freedom. It also demonstrates very well that the only solution that will put an end to the Kurdish question, to the problems experienced all over the world and to the massacre of women carried out by the male-dominated system is ‘democratic confederalism’, the unity of ‘democratic nations’ and peoples. Rêber Apo is the pioneer of these concepts and has sacrificed his entire life for the struggle for the freedom of peoples and women. The fact that he has been severely isolated for 25 years, that he has not been heard from for 31 months, and that today there is a struggle for his physical freedom all over the world, shows the power of his paradigm. Therefore, the campaign launched on October 10th is a historic, important and strategic step. Securing Rêber Apo’s physical freedom is necessary.

Since the international friends of our people launched this campaign, there have been daily statements of support in Kurdistan and the Middle East. As the Kurdish Freedom Movement, we have been struggling relentlessly for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the solution of the Kurdish question for 25 years, we have lost thousands of martyrs and paid a high price. Today, I believe that we will succeed in this struggle and ensure the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Therefore, I believe that our people, our international friends, democratic and socialist forces, and all those who see hope for themselves in the thoughts and philosophy of Rêber Apo should not limit this campaign to statements. This campaign should continue in other, new and creative ways and methods. This is very important. It is also important that the campaign is led by women and youth.

I salute the young people who were blocked and deported by the Turkish police. Their struggle is very important. I believe that especially the internationalist youth will be the vanguard of the campaign. Also in the last period, the fascist Turkish state, especially shocked by the sacrificial action in Ankara, has increased its attacks to prevent the protests against the international conspiracy. Once again, we have seen the importance of Rêber Apo’s paradigm in the current Israeli-Palestinian war.

Our comrades Rojhat Zîlan and Erdal Şahin, the guardians of the Kurdish freedom struggle, had so many explosives and weapons with them that they could have carried out a much different attack and caused much greater damage to the enemy, but they focused their attack on sending a message. Rêber Apo once said, “Even if we had the power to control the whole world, we would not attack anyone. But even if the whole world attacks us, we will defend ourselves at all costs. This is very important. The attack in Ankara has shown this once again. The occupying, fascist mentality of the AKP-MHP government used this as an excuse to attack North and East Syria. They bombed wheat warehouses, oil installations, hospitals and water tanks. The same mentality is supposedly defending Palestine right now. Their true face has been revealed once again. As long as the Kurdish question is not solved, the words of any Turkish official are meaningless.

The fascist AKP-MHP is a government that still bans the Kurdish language. It still bans the Kurdish names of cities and villages in Kurdistan, but on the other hand it says that genocide is taking place in Palestine. Of course, genocide against the Palestinian people is unacceptable. The Palestinian people should also have their rights. Our movement has already made the necessary statements on this issue. But it should also be known that those who play dirty politics on the tears of Palestinian women and Palestinian children are the same ones who are massacring the children of Rojava. Thousands of people from Rojava are still in camps in Şehba and other regions. Also, our people of Mexmûr [Makhmur], who were expelled from their lands 29 years ago, have been bombed twice recently by the Turkish state. They bombed the people’s mosque. This shows the mentality of the state. On October 8, 29 sons of our people, the Arab people, were martyred in an attack on members of the anti-drug unit of the Internal Security Forces in Northern and Eastern Syria. I would like to pay my respects to the 29 martyrs and send my condolences to their families. These brutal attacks show the true face of the AKP-MHP government.

The campaign “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question” has two main goals. As long as the physical freedom of the leader of the Kurdish people, Abdullah Öcalan is not guaranteed, the Kurdish question cannot be solved and as long as the Kurdish question is not solved, it is not possible to achieve peace, tranquility and unity in the Middle East. It is the work of Rêber Apo and the great resistance of the freedom guerrillas that have brought the struggle to this stage. I salute the guerrillas of HPG and YJA Star who are doing their duty properly. Kurdistan’s freedom guerrillas are the honor of all of us. They are the honor of everyone whose heart beats for freedom. Especially in the [southern Kurdish] Medya Defense Zones, Zap, Metîna, Avaşîn, Xakurkê, [and the northern Kurdish areas of] Serhat, Bagok, Garzan, Dersim, Botan, Zagros, the guerrillas are putting up great resistance. In all areas, they strike great blows against fascism. In October, the guerrillas increased their attacks and achieved great results. The enemy, who has been trying to achieve results for a year and a half, is trapped in Zap and cannot make a move.

The guerrilla is fulfilling its role and mission. That is why the enemy uses all kinds of forbidden weapons. Against this, the youth of Kurdistan, the youth of Turkey, the international youth, the Arab youth must lead the campaign “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question” and join the guerrilla. Today, the guerrilla is waging a struggle according to the legacy of martyrs like comrade Bêrîtan and Kemal. Right now we are commemorating the anniversary of the martyrdom of comrade Bêrîtan and are also celebrating the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Free Women’s Army. Kurdish women have been leading the first autonomous, free women’s army in Kurdistan, the Middle East, and the world for 30 years. Today, Arab, Turkish, Persian and other women are participating in this army. On this occasion, I would like to congratulate the Free Women’s Army and its heroes. Today, this great struggle, this war in Kurdistan does not only concern the peoples of the region. We see in this campaign that many people see hope in the guerrilla. We have to emphasize that, first of all, this campaign is led by the freedom guerrilla. Secondly, our people and the people of the region are taking up the struggle following Rêber Apo.

The reason why the isolation against Rêber Apo is so severe is that he does not compromise on his paradigm. The campaign “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question” was developed on the basis of this reality. I believe that there won’t be a 26th anniversary of the international conspiracy because this campaign will be successful. Once again, all those who have participated and will participate in this campaign have to continue their struggle until results are achieved. I believe that the struggle will continue in this way until the physical freedom of Rêber Apo is guaranteed and the Kurdish question is solved. Once again, I greet all the participants of the campaign and wish them success.