Our Interviews

january 23, 2023

Parts of an interview with Cemil Bayik, KCK co-Chair, about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world, including the total isolation of Abdullah Öcalan as an attempt to prevent his voice from reaching the world, the need for international pressure on France to prevent a cover-up of the recent Paris massacre, the end of the internal and external support for the AKP-MHP government, the heavy social consequences of Turkey´s war in Kurdistan and the possibility for Syria to solve its problems with the Kurds:

Total Isolation of Abdullah Öcalan to Prevent His Voice From Reaching the World

“Since the occupying fascist Turkish state pursues a policy of genocide against the Kurdish people in the person of Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], our friend Veysi Taş took a stance against this dirty policy, refused to accept it and thus proudly marched to martyrdom. On this occasion, I would like to respectfully commemorate our friend Veysi. He spent time in the Diyarbakır prison where he was tortured after September 12 [military coup in 1980]. In recent years, he had been imprisoned again. Only 6 months ago he had been released from prison. However, the patriotism of Kurdistan, especially the patriotism of Mardin, was deeply rooted in the personality of this friend. Without this, he would not have supported Leader Apo, the people of Kurdistan and humanity this much. There is a video he left behind in which he explains the purpose of his action. I invite every patriot to watch this video, because Veysi Taş did not fall martyr for himself. He fell martyr for the Kurdish people. Our friend Veysi was martyred for opposing the annihilation policy against Leader Apo and the Kurdish people. With his action, he called on everyone to take a stance against this policy. It is true that people have taken a stance against it and that this has had a certain effect. But it is not enough. Everybody must oppose the policy of isolation and genocide at the highest level. Otherwise there is a real danger. Our friend Veysi wanted to draw everybody´s attention to that danger. Therefore, everyone needs to fulfill their responsibility according to this call.”

“Today, a genocide policy is being pursued against Leader Apo and the Kurdish people. Because Leader Apo represents the Kurdish people. He is the leader of them. Whatever the Kurdish people have achieved so far, they have achieved with Leader Apo. This is the reason why the Turkish state pursues a policy of genocide against Leader Apo. They are taking revenge on him. The Kurdish people and humanity are aware of the role of Leader Apo and the Turkish state is well aware, too. Obviously the Turkish state does not want to change its policy of genocide but instead insists on it. It is clear where this policy is taking Turkey. Everyone can see this. But they cannot achieve any results with this policy.”

“There was Gramsci, the leader of the Communist Party of Italy. The Italian capitalists decided that Gramsci should not be allowed to make use of his intellect for 20 years so that he would not be able to think and solve Italy’s problems. They were very afraid of Gramsci and his thoughts. Today, the Turkish state is conducting the same policy against Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan]. They are conducting this heavy isolation policy so that Rêber Apo does not think, does not produce, does not fulfill his duty for the Kurdish people, for humanity, so that his voice does not reach society. It is the Kurdish people and their international friends who will change and break this isolation policy. Because the enemy [Turkish state] insists on this policy. When it recognizes that such a great struggle is being waged, the Turkish state will be forced to change its isolation policy.”

“There is also the attitude of the Council of Europe and the CPT. The Turkish state has deliberately spread many rumors about Leader Apo. The rumors they spread do not match each other. Therefore, one does not understand what the truth is. This causes a lot of concerns. That is why Leader Apo’s lawyers made a statement. They said that even though the CPT said it had gone to İmralı, there had been no meeting. We want the CPT to make a statement. Our people and our international friends have reacted to this situation, but the CPT has still not made a statement. This has increased everybody´s concerns. The Council of Europe must also make a statement. The duty of the CPT is to prevent torture. But calls for the prevention of torture go unanswered. The role they play is very bad. What does this mean? It means that Europe, the CPT and the Turkish state are pursuing this policy of isolation together. This policy amounts to more than isolation. Because they call it absolute isolation. In other words, they have cut off all relations of Leader Apo with the world.”

“The Kurdish people and their friends are waging a great struggle. And they will continue to do so. Both in Turkey, Europe and the Middle East. Many lawyers in many countries have collected signatures, made statements and have said clearly: “We are against this policy. We want to go to İmralı and see Leader Apo.” But the Turkish state has not yet responded. The work of all of them is very meaningful. For this reason, I would like to greet all lawyers and offer my respect. The Union of Turkish Bar Associations has taken steps recently as well. It has thus fulfilled its duty. It applied to the Turkish Ministry of Justice. However, the Ministry of Justice has not yet responded. The Hakkari Bar Association has also filed an application. These efforts are the right thing to do, but they should not be limited to applications. They can put pressure on the Turkish state. People in Europe can go in front of the CPT and protest against it. If European lawyers take this step, I believe this will have an important impact. In other words, our people and our international friends need to increase their protests against the isolation. The steps taken so far are very important but not enough. These efforts need to be increased even more. Leader Apo was given a 3 months disciplinary penalty again recently. These kinds of penalties are not legal but purely political. Thus, they want to break the will of Rêber Apo and the Kurdish people and achieve their genocidal goals.”

Need for International Pressure on France to Prevent Cover-up of Recent Paris Massacre

“A massacre was carried out by the Turkish state in Paris 10 years ago. Our friend Sara [Sakine Cansiz] and her friends were martyred as a result. 10 years later, they have now carried out a second massacre in the center of Paris. Both in the first massacre and in the second, those leading our Freedom Movement, our people and the women’s movement were targeted. This is not a new policy. Many occupying, genocidal states have used these tactics to defeat socialist and people´s movements and the oppressed. Today, this tactic is also being applied against our movement. The women’s movement has a strong impact not only in Kurdistan but all over the world. They don´t target women without a reason. As much as the AKP-MHP government and the Turkish state are enemies of the peoples, socialists and democrats, they are also enemies of women. They are ideologically against women. Who are the women that are being targeted the most? Those who have fought against IS and Al-Nusra, those who have done a great service to humanity, those who have saved humanity from a great disaster. IS committed three massacres against the French people in France. Now, they carried out a massacre against the Kurdish Freedom Movement there. All this does not happen without a reason. Those who lead the Kurdish people and the Freedom Movement are targeted because they fight against IS and Al-Nusra. They have protected France against IS, against the massacres of IS. They are taking revenge for this on Kurdish women and their pioneers. That is why our friends Sara and Evin [Emine Kara] were targeted.”

“The Turkish state is not a normal state. It is a state built on special, psychological warfare. It is completely based on this. If this state does not wage war for just a single day, it cannot survive. In the history of the Turkish state there has always been enmity against peoples with different identities and beliefs. They want to establish a state based on the Turkish nation and the Turkish religion. In other words, they want to establish a nation state. In order to achieve this, they seek to eliminate all those who stand in their way. This is the reason why they carry out massacres from Afrin to Sulaymaniyah, from Turkey to Europe. They are not only targeting PKK militants, but also many patriots and Kurdish people. This is how they want to scare everyone by carrying out these massacres. This is why they are doing this in Europe. e.g. in the center of France. They are not doing this because they are very powerful. If they were, they would maybe do such things inside Turkey but not outside of the country. It is not easy to assassinate people outside Turkey. Because there are international laws. They are in trouble, weak and afraid. They feel the danger for themselves. That’s why they commit such massacres. They are desperate and stuck. That’s why they are in a great rage which they show with these kinds of massacres.”

“So how has the AKP-MHP government become so desperate? Who has brought them to this point? Of course, the struggle of the PKK and the Kurdish people has brought them to such a desperate point. This struggle has revealed the truth. The more they want to destroy the PKK and complete the Kurdish genocide, the weaker they get, the more desperate they become, and don’t know what to do anymore. Their end is clearly coming.”

“The guerrilla and Leader Apo have been fighting for a long time. But recently the women’s struggle has also had a great impact. That’s why the people of France, the French state and some French state institutions took a stance against the recent massacre by saying: “These people have fought against IS and have protected us. The fact that the Turkish MIT has killed them means we ourselves have been killed”. That’s why they took a stance in support of our martyred friends, the movement and the Kurdish people. They called on everyone to stand against this massacre. Kurdish women clearly deserve this. Because they have waged a great struggle for years and have paid a great price for this. Therefore, it is absolutely right to stand up for Kurdish women, for the Kurds and the Freedom Movement. I would like to thank the people of France for this and pay my respects. Our people really stood heroically and strongly together against these massacres. I would therefore like to congratulate and greet everyone.”

“The approach of some of France´s state institutions and the people working there has been appropriate. But some in the French state wanted to cover up the massacre. They are still trying to do this. In order for them not to succeed, both the people of France, our people and our international friends need to put a lot of pressure on them. Covering up the massacre is a great shame for France. France cannot get rid of this shame. It is a state of law, therefore it must obey the law. Just like in the case of the first massacre, it is very clear that the MİT carried out the second one as well. The MIT cannot carry out an assassination without Erdoğan’s approval. This is 100 percent clear. Everyone knows this. With regards to the first massacre, everything has been revealed. It is also clear who is behind the second one. Someone who had been released from prison 12 days before took a gun, targeted our friend Evîn at the Ahmet Kaya Kurdish Cultural Center and fired bullets at her until she was martyred. This is not a coincidence. On the day of the massacre, a meeting was to be held at the Ahmet Kaya Center. It is clear that the aim was to commit an even bigger massacre. That is why no one can cover up this massacre. My demand is for a committee to be formed for the massacres in Paris. The Kurdish people, their international friends and the people of France need to work together to ensure that this massacre will not be covered up, that the massacre will be brought to light and the truth will be revealed.”

End of Internal and External Support for the AKP-MHP Government

“Their true face has been revealed. Now everyone understands what they are really like. They did not come to power as they claim. The system of capitalist modernity brought them to power. Because this system had a goal. Turkey is a NATO country and they wanted to achieve their goals in the Middle East with this country. For this reason, the AKP and Erdoğan were specially prepared. With the system´s help and according to its goals, the AKP came to power. The AKP told very big lies to deceive everyone in Turkey. Everyone believed them in a way and many people in the country helped the AKP. They came to power with help from outside and inside the country. The AKP had the support of capitalist modernity because they wanted to make Turkey a role model for the Middle East, especially for the Arabs and the Islamic world.”

“Just like the AKP deceived the people of Turkey, it also deceived the other forces. Since capitalist modernity supported the AKP-MHP, this government was able to push its agenda forward. In order to achieve its goals, it established relations with IS and Al-Nusra. The AKP-MHP helped, trained and strengthened these Islamic proxy forces in every possible way. They used these forces especially in Syria but also in Iraq and other countries. And they still continue to do so. Together with these Islamic proxy forces they caused great destruction in the Middle East. Realizing that capitalist modernity no longer supports them as it used to, this government has started to cause problems for the system of capitalist modernity. That is why it is no longer respected abroad. Because the AKP has really plundered Turkey. The forces of capitalist modernity have recognized that Erdoğan has done everything only for himself and his family.”

“The AKP has increased Turkey’s social problems. The Turkish state and all its institutions are bankrupt today. People have become poorer and poorer while the rich have become richer. They have created a huge gap between themselves and society. The AKP may have been a party at first, but it no longer is today. It has become like a mafia organization. Just as the mafia does injustice, carries out illegal actions and commits murders, the AKP is doing the same in the Turkish society. They have gotten rid of the constitution and international law. They have created great fear, oppression and injustice in Turkey. This is why the AKP has reached its end now.”

“The AKP formed an alliance especially with the MHP. By allying with the MHP, they also took over the MHP policy. There is no difference anymore between them and the MHP. All their initial talk about democracy and freedom has come to nothing. The people have realized this and don’t want to carry this burden anymore. That is why the AKP is finished now. The AKP sees Rêber Apo, the PKK, the Kurdish people, women and the guerrilla as the reason for their demise. They see the democratic politics represented by the HDP as the reason. That is why they are angry at Leader Apo, the PKK, the guerrilla, Kurdish women and the HDP. The HDP works for the democratization of Turkey, the solution of the Kurdish problem, the Alevi problem and the women’s problem. It also works for the solution of the economic and ecological problems. But the government does not want these problems to be solved. They are against democracy, freedom, women and Alevis. Therefore, the AKP-MHP’s politics is directed against the HDP´s politics just like the HDP’s politics is against them.”

“Recently, they decided to obstruct the HDP from receiving aid from the treasury so that it won´t be able to start its election campaign. Because elections are coming up in Turkey. The HDP’s position is decisive in these elections. That is why their primary goal is to obstruct the HDP. This way they think they can remain in power. It is very clear that they want to shut down the HDP. They are making preparations for this. Thus, they want to prevent the HDP from taking part in the elections and create divisions among the Kurds so that they can stay in power. They also want to obstruct those who want to ally with the HDP. In other words, they are using all their means to block the HDP. But they will not succeed. They shut down many parties in the past, but the Kurdish movement has only gotten stronger day by day in the field of democratic politics.”

“Many organizations have recently said that they will help the HDP. This is undoubtedly the right thing to do. The HDP needs to trust the people on this issue and thus defeat the dirty plans of the AKP-MHP against the Kurdish people and the peoples of Turkey. The HDP has been working on this basis until now. This is very meaningful. If there was another party in the HDP’s place and the AKP-MHP and the Turkish state had put this much pressure on it, this party would not have been able to cope and would have failed. The HDP´s stance against the AKP-MHP oppression is really honorable. The democratic and socialist forces of Turkey and all honorable Kurds also look at the HDP in this way and support it. The HDP, which has pursued democratic politics with determination and courage until today, needs to strengthen its alliance from now on. It needs to move forward by strengthening the Labor and Freedom Alliance.”

Heavy Social Consequences of Turkey´s War in Kurdistan

“The cost of the war has been very heavy for the peoples of Turkey. The Turkish state is using both internal and external resources for this dirty war. Its fate depends on this war. They stay in power by continuing the war especially against the Kurdish society. The AKP-MHP is doing the same. All means have been put at the service of the war. They lie and conduct intense propaganda in order to get results. Along with this, they try to destroy society with methods such as heroin, prostitution and spying. This is the policy of the state today. They carry out this policy against the Kurdish people in Kurdistan. Because their aim is to eliminate the Kurdish people. In order to achieve this, they encourage the Kurdish youth to engage in prostitution, heroin and spying. Maybe people weren´t aware of this until now, but today both the Kurdish people and the people of Turkey have realized the reason for all the hunger, poverty and oppression. Turkey’s social, economic and political problems are a result of this dirty war. The weapons they have used in Zap and Avaşîn [areas in South Kurdistan/North Iraq] were not even used during the 10 years of the US in Vietnam.”

“Just like this war is weakening them domestically, internationally the Turkish state’s reputation is diminishing as the truth is being revealed more and more. There has never been a period in the history of the Turkish state when it was so disrespected. It is the AKP-MHP that did this. The AKP-MHP has trampled on all laws. They claim to be building a new Turkey. But in fact, they want to build fascism in all areas and have organized many gangs for themselves. These gangs steal, commit murders and make arrests. Everything is legitimate for them. It is very clear that Turkey cannot continue like this. Not only the Kurdish society, but also the society in Turkey cannot accept this. Even the states that have helped the AKP-MHP so far cannot help them like before anymore. The AKP-MHP government has become a huge burden for society and the international arena. I therefore believe that the AKP-MHP government will fail in the upcoming election.”

Possibility for Syria to Solve its Problems with the Kurds

“Recently, there were reports in the press that Russia, Turkey and Syria held talks. These talks are said to be taking place at a high level. But the problems between Turkey and Syria are huge. As everyone knows, these issues cannot easily be solved. Syria should not be hostile towards the Kurds. If it becomes an enemy of the Kurds, this will bring about the end of Syria. Syria has survived until today thanks to the Kurdish struggle. If the Kurds had not fought against Al-Nusra and IS, Syria would not exist today. Syria has survived and has not been divided, the regime continues because of the Kurds’ struggle. Syria needs to recognize this.”

“The Islamic proxy forces have destroyed all of Syria. Not only Syria, everyone outside Syria is aware of this. Who trained these forces? Who helped them? Who gave them weapons? It is the Turkish state that controls them. Everyone knows this. The Turkish state will never give up on these Islamic proxy forces. When they say that they will solve their problems with Syria, they are simply lying. They want to deceive Syria by saying this. The aim of the Turkish state is to massacre the Kurds. How will it achieve this goal? By luring Syria into becoming part of its policy. Syria should not become a tool in this. If Syria gets involved in this policy, there will be no difference between Syria and Erdoğan.”

“Why does Turkey urgently want to hold a meeting? Erdogan wants to take some steps with regards to Syria and use this to win the upcoming elections. Russia has its own interests in the alliance between Syria and Turkey. Turkey also pursues its own interests. Its goal is clear: Turkey says that the Kurds should have no status in Syria. According to them, anything related to the Kurds needs to be eliminated. Syria’s interest does not lie in the extermination and genocide of the Kurds. Syria’s interest is to ally with the Kurds and solve its problems with them. Syria must not fall for the games of the Turkish state. Erdogan has played with the future of Syria. They helped the Islamic proxy forces to defeat Syria. Erdoğan is behind all the massacres committed by these proxy forces. Erdoğan is behind all the destruction in Syria. That is why Syria should not play along with Erdoğan’s election games. If Erdoğan wins the elections, Syria will suffer the greatest harm.”

“Of course, the Kurds can also suffer harm, but Syria will suffer the most. The Erdogan regime does not want Syria to remain the same. It wants to change Syria with the help of the Islamic proxy forces. The Kurds have protected Syria until today. Maybe they have also made some mistakes. Therefore, Syria may have some criticisms with regards to the Kurds. But this should not reach a level of hostility. The Turkish state is already hostile towards the Kurds, democracy and freedom. But Syria, which might have some criticisms against the Kurds, should not make the situation reach a level similar to Erdoğan’s hostility. If Syria does that, it will bring about its own end. I believe that Syria will not become a tool of this dirty policy. Instead, it will develop relations with the Kurds and solve its problems with them. This is what will ensure the integrity of Syria. Therefore, this is what I would like to call on Syria to do.”