Our Interviews

october 01, 2023

In a few days, will be the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the international conspiracy against Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], the Kurdish Freedom Movement and the Kurdish people. Since than, the day has very strong meaning and understanding its importantance is very essential. Can you explain the significance of the conspiracy of October 9, from 1998?

The struggle against historical conspiracies can only be possible by developing the power of meaning. Rêber Apo [Adullah Öcalan] has spent the last 25 years of his captivity on the prison island of Imrali, going deeper and deeper to understand the conspiracy and to let it run empty. If one was to summarize Rêber Apo’s approach to the 25 years of captivity, it could be expressed as “deepening in meaning and reaching power through meaning”. When we look at the processes that Rêber Apo went through as a person, we see that he experienced the most intensive development during the captivity on Imrali island. The reason for this is, that he based his approach on understanding and thwarting the international conspiracy. This approach led Rêber Apo to deepen his understanding, to reach a great power of mentality and ultimately to create a manifesto of freedom that would ensure the liberation of today’s people from todays slavery (bondage to the capitalist modernity). In fact, the approach to understanding and developing the power of understanding is a fundamental characteristic of Rêber Apo. Even in the conditions of imprisonment on Imrali, he took this approach as a basis.

All historical conspiracies are political and ultimately ideological. Historical conspiracies have always been carried out for political and ideological purposes. The reason why such conspiracies are called historical is because of the characteristic. The conspiracy against Rêber Apo was also carried out for political and ideological purposes. Understanding conspiracies can only be possible by understanding the political and ideological approaches behind the conspiracy. This is complicated, as in a conspiracy the aims are not made explicit. The aims and intentions are covered up and kept secret. Of course, the main reason for this is the conspiratorial forces’ fear of public reaction. They resort to conspiracy management because they fear the reaction of society when the truth is openly revealed. Conspiracies occur in conditions or processes where the conspiratorial forces cannot get society to accept what they want to do on legitimate grounds. Therefore, understanding the conspiracy requires great efforts. In such an endeavor, the veils covering the truth must be lifted. This can only be done by developing the power of meaning rather than the power of physics.

In revealing the characteristics, logic, aims and ideological-political dimension of historical conspiracies, its connection with society is also revealed. Because history, life, ideology and politics are related to society. There is no historical development separated from society. Ideology and politics also mean society itself. Everything social is ideological and political. Or, conversely, everything ideological and political is social. In this respect, historical conspiracies are very closely linked to sociality. When we have a look, we see that conspiracies are always against society. This reveals many facts and mainly the reality of conspiracies. In historical conspiracies, one can find the forces of civilization on one side and the ones of society on the other. The conspirator is the forces of civilization and the subject of the conspiracy is society. There are many examples of this in history. This is the case with the conspiracies against Jesus Christ and Ali. Jesus was conspired against by those who collaborated with the Roman civilization, and Ali was conspired against by those who wanted to establish a reign. The target of these conspiracies was society. Many such examples can be given. What men have done against women in history is also a conspiracy. By attacking women, society has been targeted. Those who carried out the conspiracy against Rêber Apo were also the rulers of the modern age.

It were the US, Israeli and NATO forces that led the conspiracy. Apart from these, there have also been forces that directly or indirectly took part in the conspiracy and supported the conspiracy. The common characteristic of all these powers is that they are the dominant and sustaining power of the capitalist modernity system.

The most important difference between the conspiracy against Rêber Apo and other historical conspiracies is that many forces are involved in the conspiracy. This has given the conspiracy an international dimension. Undoubtedly, there are reasons for the international dimension of the conspiracy. These are related to the historical developments brought about by Rêber Apo and the PKK. This characteristic of the conspiracy is important and requires a deep understanding. Rêber Apo’s approach and stance towards the conspiracy can also be understood through this. Understanding the conspiracy can be meaningful by fighting against the conspiracy. Without this, there can be no understanding. This is exactly the approach of Rêber Apo. The essence of his approach is the struggle against the conspiracy and the frustration of the goals set by the conspiracy. The deepening that Rêber Apo has achieved in terms of meaning has been entirely for this purpose. There cannot be an approach other than this, and if there is, it cannot be meaningful.

Many times the conspiracy against the Kurdish Freedom Movement and Rêber Apo is referred to, as a ‘Turkish conspiracy’, which is not correct, as it was a global project by the powers of capitalist modernity. What can you tell us about this specific aspect of the conspiracy?

As it is known, after the Second World War, a balance was established in the world with the US and the Soviets at the center. In this process, even though there was a struggle based on narrowing each other’s sphere of influence, which was defined as the Cold War, the main thing was the state of equilibrium. The emergence of such a balance in the world can be seen as a consequence of the Soviet failure to develop a model that would transcend the system of capitalist modernity. Although the revolution took place on behalf of the oppressed peoples and classes, the mentality and paradigm that would overcome the system of exploitation could not be developed, so a state of equilibrium with the system was maintained. This has gradually become a form of politics. Undoubtedly, this has been to the detriment of the peoples, oppressed classes and society as a whole. As a matter of fact, despite the absence of any outside intervention, the revolution gradually became alienated from its essence and eventually dissolved and disintegrated. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, this state of equilibrium disappeared and a new process began. This process is the Third World War, which continues to deepen today. At the beginning of this process, the USA, as the hegemonic power of the capitalist modernity system, put forward the approach of protecting the interests of global capital with the ´New World Order´ (NWO) plan. The NWO plan aimed to reconstruct the world system in a way that would protect and serve the interests of global capital and thus capitalist modernity.

In this context, the Middle East has been identified as the priority area for intervention. Undoubtedly, there are contemporary reasons why the Middle East has been identified as a priority area of intervention. But the Middle East also had historical features that determined its current situation. The Middle East troughout history has always been a center. Therefore, a world system cannot be envisioned and created without the Middle East. Both geographical conditions and social and ideological characteristics play a role in the Middle East being the center. These are important characteristics that need to be emphasized and known.

In the late 20th century, at a time when real existing socialism was disintegrating and the US was trying to reshape the world on behalf of the system of capitalist modernity, the struggle led by the PKK was in a period of rapid development. This process took root and became permanent with the realization of the resurrection revolution in Kurdistan. Thus, Rêber Apo became influential in Kurdistan and the Middle East. The development of the Kurdistan revolution was a development that had important consequences in the Middle East and the world. While the conventional socialist understandings in the world were dissolving, disintegrating and being incorporated into the system, socialism was making progress. With every step taken by Rêber Apo, socialism was also developing. This was undoubtedly the result of Rêber Apo’s different approach to socialism at that time. Otherwise, it would not have been possible for socialism to find development while it was regressing all over the world. These developments created by Rêber Apo in Kurdistan and the Middle East were disrupting the calculations of capitalist modernity. His developments prevented the capitalist system from shaping the Middle East in line with its interests. Because Rêber Apo’s line envisaged and ensured the freedom of rights and the development of a democratic system of life in Kurdistan and the Middle East.

This was something that capitalist modernity did not want. Capitalist modernity wanted and planned for the opposite, for the peoples to be oppressed more and for society to be included in the wheel of exploitation of the capitalist modernity system. When Rêber Apo became an obstacle to this, he was targeted by the system of capitalist modernity. Therefore, the targeting of him and the subsequent international conspiracy is part of the intervention of capitalist modernity in the Middle East, within the scope of the NWO. The international conspiracy is based on this approach of capitalist modernity and the goals within it. This is also the reason why many forces took part in the conspiracy against Rêber Apo. The reality of the international conspiracy lies here. The Turkish state is only a cog in this plan. Undoubtedly, since the Turkish state has an anti-Kurdish mentality, it wanted Rêber Apo to be handed over to it. But the international conspiracy was not carried out because the Turkish state wanted it, but because of the interests of capitalist modernity in the Middle East. In fact, Rêber Apo has stated that the Turkish state’s role in the conspiracy was only that of a jailer. The Turkish state is carrying out all kinds of policies for the annihilation of Rêber Apo and the PKK and for the realization of Kurdish genocide. This is the approach of the Turkish state in the past and today.

In fact, the upcoming of Rêber Apo and the PKK was an unexpected and unforeseen development. Everything was prearranged for the redesign of the Middle East according to the interests of global capital. All developments in the Middle East that would challenge capitalist modernity, such as the Palestinian movement, were neutralized and controlled beforehand. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was time to take action to redesign the Middle East. The ideologists of capitalist modernity were putting forward theories that the historical flow would now be entirely in favor of the rulers. But Rêber Apo and the PKK were an unforeseen development. From the very beginning, the US, Israel and NATO gave full support to the Turkish state against Rêber Apo and the PKK. But despite this support, the developments caused by Rêber Apo and the PKK could not be stopped. This development was frustrating the predictions of capitalist modernity. As a result, the forces of capitalist modernity developed an international conspiracy to liquidate Rêber Apo. It was led by the USA and Israel and supported by NATO. Many European states took part in the conspiracy. Some states and collaborator Kurdish forces in the Middle East also took part in the conspiracy. This is how the Imrali imprisonment process, which has reached 25 years today, began. The system created on Imrali is also part of the international conspiracy. With the Imrali torture and isolation system, it was planned to continue the conspiracy and bring it to its conclusion. Thus, it was aimed to destroy Rêber Apo, liquidate the PKK and carry out a Kurdish genocide so that capitalist modernity could shape the Middle East in line with its interests. The system on Imrali was established for this purpose. Today this system is maintained as absolute isolation. Rêber Apo has been resisting this system on Imrali for 25 years. But this resistance should not be understood as a resistance against physical conditions. His resistance is based on revealing the aims of the conspiracy and frustrating the conspiracy. In this respect, it is necessary to see and understand Rêber Apo’s resistance and attitude on Imrali as a historical attitude against the conspiracy.

By delving into the historical roots of humanity and society, Rêber Apo tried to unravel the foundations on which the conspiracy was based. In this way, he has not only understood, solved and deciphered the conspiracy against him, but all conspiracies in history. By analyzing the statist civilization from its inception to the present day, Rêber Apo revealed the conspiratorial mentality. Thus, Rêber Apo revealed that the conspiracy was developed as a method of the statist civilization to dominate the society and that this method has been used more and more from history to the present day. Not limited to this, he stated that the elimination of the conspiratorial mentality can only be achieved by overcoming the statist civilization and put forward a manifesto that will free humanity from all forms of exploitation and domination and enable them to live freely and equally. He used the period of the trials against him to convey these historical conclusions to humanity. This is what he has included in the defenses he presented to the courts [which are published as his defense writings]. By presenting his understanding of non-state socialism based on ecology and women’s freedom and the system of democratic modernity to humanity, he has done everything a human being can do.

As you have been talking about the necessity of a correct and deep understanding of the conspiracy, and also now about the international level of it, what does this mean for the youth? How should the stance of the Kurdish youth be regarding Rêber Apo?

Of course, first and foremost, Kurdish youth should know and understand Rêber Apo and his attitude towards the conspiracy. The emergence of Rêber Apo and the PKK is essentially a youth emergence. As the youth of this people, Rêber Apo and the friends with whom he started the struggle experienced a moral and conscientious questioning by seeing the colonialism in Kurdistan and the genocide against the Kurdish people and took an attitude of struggle against it. This questioning and attitude emerged as a youth reaction. During the period when Rêber Apo started the struggle, the resistance reflexes of the society in Kurdistan were completely destroyed as a result of the policies of the genocidal colonialism. Because the consciousness of Kurdishness had been destroyed. As a young man himself, Rêber Apo started the struggle based on the libertarian and combative spirit and consciousness of the youth of Kurdistan, who did not accept injustice and exploitation. Thus, the struggle of the PKK developed based on these characteristics of the youth. Today, the revolution of Kurdistan is also developing based on this identity of the youth. In fact, Rêber Apo gave the leadership of the paradigm to women and youth. This is not an arbitrary choice, but because the understanding of non-state socialism based on ecology and women’s freedom reflects the nature of women and youth. The first practice of domination, exploitation and slavery in history was developed by the male-dominated authority and mentality, and this has been systematized as statist civilization and has continued until today. Today this mentality and politics is represented and sustained by capitalist modernity. Starting with the history of civilization and continued today by capitalist modernity, this approach is essentially developed against women and the youth. By subjugating them, society is degraded and exploited. Under this system, it is women and youth who are exploited the most and who are taken away from their nature. Because of this reality, there is also a deep-rooted reaction against the system in women and youth. Since the rulers are aware of this situation, they have attached particular importance to keeping the youth under control and have developed policies for this purpose. Throughout the history of civilization, capitalist modernity has been the most exploitative system and therefore the system that has developed the most domination over the youth. In his defenses, Rêber Apo has discussed and revealed the logic and historical foundations of this in detail.

In a way, the conspiracy against Rêber Apo also means stopping and eliminating the development that started based on the spirit, consciousness and identity of the youth. This is definitely the case and needs to be emphasized. When we look at what Rêber Apo has done and wants to do, and the mentality and aims of those who oppose Rêber Apo, it will be easily seen that this is the case. This is also why the youth of Kurdistan showed the strongest reaction to the international conspiracy.

Of course, today’s Kurdish youth were predominantly born after the international conspiracy. But this does not prevent them from recognizing the reality of Rêber Apo. The international conspiracy was carried out to neutralize Rêber Apo, but he let the conspiracy run into nothing with the high level of concentration he experienced and the paradigm he developed.

He did this by developing a new paradigm that will ensure the freedom of the Kurdish people and can do so for all humanity. Only by getting to know Rêber Apo and understanding the paradigm developed by him, can the Kurdish youth protect their identity against capitalist modernity and genocidal colonialism. Of course, this can be done by actively participating in the struggle, by walking at the forefront. Otherwise, knowing and expressing some of the truths stated by Rêber Apo does not mean that he is understood and historical responsibilities are not fulfilled. Understanding Rêber Apo can only be achieved by joining Rêber Apo, and this can only be achieved by being at the forefront of the freedom struggle.

Today there is a lot of focus on how young people in general and Kurdish youth in particular can understand Rêber Apo better and more accurately. Of course, this is important and a subject that needs to be emphasized. It is important for Kurdish youth to know and understand Rêber Apo competently. In order to prevent this from happening, the genocidal colonialist Turkish state is waging a very intense special war against the youth of Kurdistan. It carries out the policy of degrading the youth through special warfare methods, assimilating them, alienating them from the struggle by alienating them from their reality, making them migrate abroad, and murdering those who do not accept its practices through oppression, violence and arrest. This policy is carried out not only in Northern Kurdistan [South-East Turkey], but also in the East [West Iran], West [North Syria], South [North Iraq], Şengal [Sinjar] and Maxmur refugee camp. The Kurdish genocide needs to be understood as a mentality and policy developed and carried out by the Turkish state. It carries out this policy in all parts of Kurdistan. In the South, it does this through the KDP and its mentality. Young people in South Kurdistan are emigrating abroad. Similarly, in West Kurdistan, genocide policies are being carried out through gangs as well as the KDP. In the East and other places, the same mentality is being carried out by different forces. All this is being done so that the truth of Rêber Apo is not understood and the youth of Kurdistan does not join the freedom struggle. If we pay attention, the enemy is targeting Kurdish youth in order to realize the Kurdish genocide. But it is not doing this in a crude anti-Kurdish way as it used to be.

Because with the emergence of the PKK, the revival revolution in Kurdistan was completed. Since the enemy knows this fact, he also knows that he cannot influence Kurdish youth with old methods. In the past, Kurds were told that there was no such thing as Kurdishness and were alienated from the reality and genocided. But the emergence of the PKK recreated the consciousness of Kurdishness and eliminated the historical and social foundations of the enemies policy of. Now the enemy is trying to continue the genocide by attacking Kurdish sociality with the methods of capitalist modernity and thereby disintegrating Kurdish sociality. For all humanity in general and for Kurds in particular, sociality is very important. There is a direct relationship between exploitation and the dissolution of sociality. Where sociality dissolves, exploitation also develops. Rêber Apo has discussed this extensively in his defense writings. The Kurdish people are a people who live sociality in depth. They have experienced sociality since the Neolithic process. What the Kurdish people have is hidden in their sociality. Despite all the attacks of the sovereigns since the history of civilization, the Kurdish people have not disappeared based on their sociality and have survived until today.

If the Kurdish people did not have sociality, it would not have been possible for them to resist the attacks of civilization for so long and preserve their existence. When sociality is removed from the Kurdish people, there is not much left of it. In fact, this is true not only for Kurds, but for all people. Because human beings can only exist and survive as a society.

In essence, what Rêber Apo did was to develop a social mentality. The new paradigm shows how society today can overcome exploitation and slavery and on which principles it can build a free life. In other words, Rêber Apo did not develop great technical means, tools, machines, material things, but sociality. But of course, we should not underestimate sociality. Sociality means mentality and the real power of humanity is mentality. The great power of man is the mentality he possesses. Capitalist modernity, as the most advanced system of exploitation, aims to eliminate sociality completely. In other words, it attacks mentality. For this, it emphasizes individualism and material life.

It also uses science and technology for this purpose. Now the genocidal colonialist system is also taking advantage of the feature of capitalist modernity that dissolves sociality, and using it against the Kurdish genocide. It is trying to develop the life of capitalist modernity in order to influence and degrade Kurdish youth in particular. Kurdish youth are being degraded by this method. It is very clear that this is a dangerous method. Therefore, the struggle has to be mainly against this. Considering that Rêber Apo developed this paradigm, it can be understood that understanding Rêber Apo means breaking away from capitalist modernity and adopting the mentality of democratic modernity. Today, the attacks on the Kurdish people have not decreased compared to the past, on the contrary, they have increased. The youth of Kurdistan are at the center of these attacks. And these attacks are being carried out by developing the life of capitalist modernity. This is where the youth of Kurdistan must struggle and overcome the most.

Now the international conspiracy is being brought to a conclusion by developing the concept of liquidation and genocide through absolute isolation and AKP-MHP fascism. This is how the capitalist modernity system wants to continue the international conspiracy during the Third World War. For this, the forces of capitalist modernity support the absolute isolation and Kurdish genocide policies of the fascist AKP-MHP government. Against this, the people of Kurdistan need to develop a greater attitude against the conspiracy. The people and international friends of Kurdistan have waged a great and uninterrupted struggle against the international conspiracy for 25 years. But as a movement and as a people, we know that the plans of the conspiratorial forces cannot be completely frustrated without the physical liberation of Rêber Apo. For this to happen, we need to increase the struggle against the conspiracy. There is no doubt that this duty and responsibility falls mostly on the youth of Kurdistan. The youth has this historical duty and responsibility. The youth is the defense force of society against all kinds of enemies and enemy attacks. It is the dynamic power of both society and struggle. All the developments created by humanity throughout history have been based on the nature, spirit and consciousness of the youth.

All revolutions are essentially social developments led by the youth. The role of the youth was also dominant in the emergence of Rêber Apo and the PKK. This dominance still exists today. Rêber Apo did everything for the liberation of the Kurdish people, the peoples of the Middle East and the oppressed of the world, the youth, women and all oppressed social groups. What the sovereign powers did to Rêber Apo with the international conspiracy is in essence to prevent this development that contributes to the liberation of all humanity. In a way, it is also revenge against Rêber Apo. Against this, all socialist forces and segments, especially the youth, must support Rêber Apo. Thus, it is actually taking revenge on society. But of course Rêber Apo’s approach to the conspiracy is very different. With his deepening understanding and thinking he has experienced, he has revealed the most meaningful attitude towards the conspiracy by deciphering all historical conspiracies. This approach of him is the basis of the conspiracy not achieving its goal. We, on the other hand, need to put an end to the plans to be developed through the conspiracy by aiming for and ensuring his physical freedom. Also the vanguard of the struggle and paradigm developed by Rêber Apo is the youth along with women. The youth can fulfill this duty by organizing society everywhere and actively participating in the defense of society.

In terms of the struggle against the international conspiracy and the achieving of Rêber Apo’s physical freedom, the youth of the entire libertarian world also has a responsibility. Until today, international friends have made a great contribution both in the defense of Rêber Apo and in the development and defense of the Kurdistan revolution, especially the revolution in Rojava. Great efforts have been made and not few of them fall as martyrs. This has been a very meaningful and valuable attitude. As the Kurdish people and the Kurdish Freedom Movement, we would like to express our gratitude, to the peoples of the world and especially to the youth, for this. We need to struggle even more to ensure the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, who gave everything for the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world and humanity, and we must realize this. The paradigm developed by Rêber Apo envisions the liberation of all humanity. The Kurdistan revolution is part of the universal struggle of humanity. Participating in this is a necessity of being human, socialist, democratic and libertarian. With this approach, all libertarian youth of the world should work for the physical liberation of Rêber Apo and mobilize everyone for this.

Rêber Apo’s understanding of non-state socialism based on ecology and women’s liberation and the system of democratic modernity is the free life philosophy of our age. As humanity as a whole and especially as young people, we need to make this philosophy vital and put an end to oppression, exploitation and slavery and liberate humanity and nature. This is our human duty.