Our Interviews

february 02, 2022

The International Conspiracy against the representative of the Kurdish people, Abdullah Öcalan, took place 23 years ago. He described the treatment of him as an attempt to annihilate the entire Kurdish people. How are the intensified isolation of Abdullah Öcalan and the intensified genocidal attacks in recent years related to the International Conspiracy of 1999?

The 23rd anniversary of the International Conspiracy is approaching. On this occasion, I would like to strongly condemn the international powers, first and foremost the United States, that stand behind this conspiracy. All these powers, first of all the USA, England and Israel, have committed a historical crime against the Kurdish people and humanity as a whole. Through their participation in the International Conspiracy, they have directly become part of the genocide against the Kurds. This makes it clear that the international powers are openly supporting the genocidal policy of the Turkish state. The International Conspiracy of February 15, 1999 is not only directed against Önder Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], but against the entire Kurdish people.

The International Conspiracy continues today in the form of an all-out war against the Kurds. The genocidal and colonialist Turkish state remains determined to succeed in its genocidal policy, which it has been pursuing for the past 100 years. However, the basis for this policy is much weaker today than it was in 1998/99, and Önder Apo’s ideas have now gained great influence in the Middle East as well as in other parts of the world. The Kurdistan Freedom Movement has become an important political actor regionally and worldwide, decisively influencing the political balances. Due to our struggle, the Turkish state has shown its true face in many ways. All of this has ultimately led to the aforementioned supporters of the International Conspiracy being much less supportive of the Turkish state today than they were before. The Turkish state has used all its political, diplomatic, military, propaganda and economic means to make its genocidal policy a success. But for 23 years it has failed to achieve its goal. At the same time, Önder Apo’s influence has grown significantly in Kurdistan, the Middle East and around the world. His ideas have given the peoples of the world, and women in particular, great hope, a desire to fight, and a firm belief in the success of their struggle. Great support for Önder Apo exists all over the world today. The struggle for his physical freedom is now being waged everywhere in the world. I would like to take this opportunity to salute our people, all women and all our worldwide friends due to whose efforts we have achieved all this.

The isolation and torture system on Imrali, which has been in place for 23 years, is at its core a system that is fully aligned with the goals of the International Conspiracy. Accordingly, the conspiracy against Önder Apo has continued for 23 years in the form of the Imrali isolation and torture system. Its goal is the destruction of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement and the genocide against the Kurds. We know very well that Önder Apo is subjected to enormous pressure and intense attacks as part of the special psychological warfare on Imrali. The isolation system there also serves to conceal these attacks. Against Önder Apo, the most immoral, conscienceless and vile kind of policy is being pursued. In Imrali, national or international law is not being respected in the slightest way. This torture and isolation system is the historically most brutal system of special warfare. Önder Apo is put under massive pressure to make him give up his fight. While Önder Apo is subjected to isolation and pressure in the most brutal way on Imrali, the fascist dictator Erdogan dares to speak in his name without even being ashamed of it.

You already mentioned it: Recently, the fascist president Erdogan has made various statements in the name of Abdullah Öcalan. What is Erdogan’s purpose in doing so? What is his goal?

Erdogan’s recent statements in the name of Önder Apo make it clear that the isolation system on Imrali and the policy associated with it are coming to an end. Recently, Erdogan has found himself forced to speak in the name of Önder Apo several times. The current Turkish government is on the verge of collapse. It is trying to keep itself on its feet by relying on the power and influence of Önder Apo. This government is keeping Önder Apo imprisoned in total isolation, while at the same time making statements in his name every day. This shows how shamelessly this fascist dictatorship proceeds and it makes clear how much this government is cornered. It is in a hopeless situation. The HDP immediately responded to Erdogan’s statements and demanded that the gates of Imrali be opened so that the public can hear from Önder Apo himself what he has to say. The HDP and the Kurdish people know very well what Erdogan intends with his recent statements. That is why his plans were immediately thwarted.

With his Imrali policy, Erdogan is trying to prevent his own loss of power. It is obvious that he pursues different goals while doing so. First, he is trying to diminish the growing protest against the isolation and torture system on Imrali, that is, to weaken the increasing number of voices demanding Önder Apo’s physical freedom. Through his statements, Erdogan tries to give the impression that talks with Önder Apo are taking place, that they are therefore informed about his situation and that consequently there are no problems. Secondly, Erdogan’s recent statements are a message to all the circles hoping for a solution. By raising expectations and false hopes, he is trying to prevent the Kurds from breaking away even more from the state and the AKP. He is creating confusion and thereby trying to influence different circles and political forces. Third, Erdogan is pursuing his own plans for the ‘National Coalition’ [Millet İttifakı; consists of the parties CHP and IYI Parti]. He gives the impression that he can negotiate with Öcalan and accordingly find a solution with the Kurds. In this way, he is embroiling the National Coalition in a nationalist contest. As soon as the National Coalition gets involved and tries to present itself as even more nationalistic than the fascist boss, the distance between it and the Kurds will grow. This definitely serves the interests of this fascist. So Erdogan is also using this political-tactical offensive to divide the opposition and to involve them in conflicts among themselves.

The more Erdogan talks about Önder Apo, the more the CHP and IYI Parti make use of the terrorism discourse. The CHP’s nationalist-racist reflexes thus come to the fore, clearly showing that it has still not given up its denial and annihilation mentality. The Kurds, of course, see this and conclude that there are no differences between the CHP, AKP and MHP. As long as the CHP does not find an appropriate way to deal with the Kurdish question and does not pay attention to the Kurdish political leaders, it will not be able to pursue a consistent policy. If the CHP does not accept Önder Apo as the main representative of the Kurds, it cannot come to terms with the Kurds. This also applies to the Kurds’ legitimate democratic rights, i.e., their demand for self-government. As long as the CHP does not accept their demands, it will not be able to win the Kurds’ trust. So if the CHP calls the leader of the Kurdish people a ‘terrorist leader’ dozens of times every day, it cannot claim to want to solve the Kurdish question. The CHP considers the illegal fascist isolation system on Imrali as legitimate. But as long as it does so, it cannot demand right and justice for the Kurds and the society of Turkey. And even if it does, it then lacks any credibility in doing so. The CHP will not succeed in presenting talks with Önder Apo as a crime and, consequently, in presenting Diyarbakir as the place for a democratic solution. What does not succeed in Imrali will not succeed in Diyarbakir either.

The road to democracy leads through Imrali. The path to justice leads through Imrali. In order to achieve democracy, justice and law in Turkey, the torture and isolation system on Imrali must be recognized and condemned as a crime against humanity. For this, those responsible for this system must be brought to justice. All those who have built the Imrali system and have kept it running until now have already been recognized as guilty by the peoples and humanity anyway.

Önder Apo is the person to talk to for the solution of the Kurdish question. He is the main negotiator for the solution of the Kurdish question. As long as he is ignored, no solution will be found. Because the way to a solution leads through Imrali. Önder Apo is therefore the main player in this issue. At the same time, of course, a solution will have to be discussed in Turkey’s parliament. That is also in line with Önder Apo´s approach. Because he is no longer prepared to accept that even a single political party or personality instrumentalizes the Kurdish question for its own interests. Önder Apo wants serious steps to be taken to solve the Kurdish question. Kılıçdaroğlus’ call for the parliament and the HDP to be the interlocutors for a solution is correct, but at the same time it does not go far enough. If the CHP is truly determined to solve the Kurdish issue, it must change its attitude toward Önder Apo. Önder Apo is the leader of an entire people. He represents the political will of millions of people. He has dedicated his entire life to the struggle for the democratization of Turkey and has made great sacrifices to achieve this. Önder Apo is a correspondingly passionate advocate of democracy and freedom. There is no one who could dispute this position with him.

By treating Önder Apo as an enemy, the National Coalition also treats the Kurdish people as an enemy. It does not take a position against the torture and isolation system on Imrali. By doing so, it clearly shows that it is not serious about its demands for justice. If the National Coalition rejects the democratic rights of the Kurds and their demand for self-administration, it will not be able to win their support. As long as it does not move towards a democratic solution, the National Coalition will not develop into an alternative to the current fascist government. Forces that are not ready to work for a democratic solution to the Kurdish question will not be able to come to power or stay in power in Turkey. Therefore, they must first of all change their attitude towards Önder Apo. To ignore Önder Apo is to deny the Kurdish people. Önder Apo is the most indispensable actor in Turkey in terms of democracy, freedom, justice and truth. All those who demand democracy, freedom and justice in Turkey must first change their attitude towards Önder Apo.

Recently, a campaign has been launched to remove the PKK from the ‘terror list’. What do you think of this new campaign?

The listing of the PKK as a terrorist organization constitutes a great injustice and an insult to the Kurdish people. The PKK stands for the struggle for freedom of a people against whom genocide has been perpetrated for one hundred years. Accordingly, the PKK fights for the legitimate democratic rights of a people. It is fighting for social rights that comply with international law and are recognized as legitimate by all humanity. The PKK demands the right to mother tongue education for the over 25 million Kurds living in Turkey. It demands the recognition of the Kurds’ right to self-administration. The PKK is committed to the democratic solution of the Kurdish question and the democratization of Turkey on the basis of the self-administration model. The demands of the PKK therefore constitute neither terrorism nor separatism. No, they are the most natural and legitimate demands one can think of. To claim that two hours of elective classes in the mother tongue per week would be a step towards solving the Kurdish question means nothing else than deliberately deceiving the Kurdish people and the entire world. This claim is an attempt to conceal and further intensify the genocide of the Kurdish people. At a time when the genocidal attacks are being intensified, the discussions about the mother tongue elective classes are just an attempt to cover up the ongoing assimilation and genocide.

The fascist Turkish state considers the most legitimate rights in the world as terrorism and separatism. It uses all its state resources to convince the rest of the world of this. At the same time, the Turkish state is waging a genocidal war against the Kurds. As a result of enormous efforts on the part of Turkey, the PKK was put on the ‘terror list’ by the USA and numerous European countries. These countries did this because Turkey is a member of NATO. Turkey is a state that joined NATO in order to secure its support for the genocidal policy against the Kurds. For years, NATO member countries have supported Turkey in its genocidal war against the Kurdish people. Due to their political and economic interests, all these countries provide the most comprehensive support to Turkey. In this framework, they use Turkey as a kind of military outpost for their Middle East policy. In return for supporting the genocide of the Kurds, these countries secure concessions from Turkey. They want to use Turkey for their own purposes and thereby secure their influence in the region. The Kurds are turned into victims of this dirty politics of interests. Accordingly, the PKK is an expression of the anger of a people that has built up for over a hundred years against this dirty policy. The PKK transforms this anger into practical action.

The recently launched campaign for the removal of the PKK from the ‘terror list’ is therefore very important. I would like to take this opportunity to greet all those who are working on this campaign and are committed to its success. We greet them with respect and love and congratulate them all for this important campaign. It is very important to continue the campaign with determination. All of humanity is on our side. Our struggle ensures that the masks of all those who want to denigrate the struggle of the PKK fall one by one. Through the clarification of the assassination of Olof Palme, which was committed by the Turkish secret service MIT and NATO-Gladio, all the conspiracies and dirty politics have come to light. The Belgian court ruling, which rejected the concept of terror and clearly defined the PKK as an armed organization involved in a conflict, has also dealt a heavy blow to this dirty politics of interests.

These developments show that if we continue our political, diplomatic, legal and social struggle at the international level in a strong and creative way, we will most certainly achieve very important results. Because Turkish fascism harms everyone. Turkey is exporting the terror of its Islamist proxies around the world. Turkey has become the most organized terrorist state in the entire world today. The country poses an enormous threat to the U.S., Europe, Middle Eastern countries and all other parts of the world.

In Hesekê, there was recently an attack by the Islamic State [IS]. The fight against IS represents a united struggle of the entire world. Many political forces and peoples are actively participating in it. However, the peoples of Rojava and North and East Syria are being left alone with the responsibility for the IS prisoners. The members of the International Anti-IS Coalition are silent about the attacks on the peoples of North and East Syria and do not acknowledge their own responsibility for IS. How do you explain this attitude?

Turkey and certain international powers established IS. For years, IS was financed and otherwise extensively supported by Turkey and these powers. When it got out of control, a war coalition against IS was formed under the leadership of the United States. The powers involved in this coalition shortly thereafter forged a tactical alliance with the forces of the Rojava Revolution that were most effective in waging war against IS. However, one member of the International Coalition, Turkey, continued its relations and alliance with IS. Turkey viewed IS as a force that it could use to fight and crush the Rojava Revolution and used IS accordingly. Today, IS has evolved into an organization that Turkey actively uses in Syria and Iraq. The Turkish state is currently using IS in Syria and Iraq both for its war against the Kurds and to increase its political influence in these two countries.

Turkey is the driving force behind the planning and execution of the IS attack on Hesekê. All the parts of Rojava currently occupied by Turkey have been turned into IS headquarters by the Turkish state. Turkey is gathering all its Islamist proxy forces in these occupied areas. It trains these forces there and organizes them for the war against the revolution. Efrîn, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî have thus become centers of IS and its sister organizations. The USA, Europe, Russia and all other powers know this very well. But they all keep silent about it. Because they, too, see these forces as an opportunity that they can make use of, if necessary, to enforce their interests. They use IS as a sword of Damocles and thus try to force the Rojava revolution to surrender. Therefore, they neither take responsibility for the IS prisoners, nor for the IS families in the Hol camp. If these powers wanted, they could establish an international court and solve this problem within a very short time. But they simply do not take any responsibility for it. Instead of taking care of the IS problem themselves, they leave all responsibility solely to the Rojava Revolution.

The attack on the prison in Hesekê was part of a very comprehensive attack whose primary goal was to occupy Hesekê and ultimately all of Rojava. If the Turkish state had been successful with this attack, it would have captured Hesekê with the help of IS and immediately afterwards attacked the other cities in the region with the help of its army of Islamist proxy forces. But the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] and the peoples of North and East Syria have foiled these plans. They have made great sacrifices, but in the end a tremendous success was achieved. I would like to take this opportunity to remember in particular, with respect and love, all the SDF fighters who fell bravely and with dignity as Şehits [the fallen] during the recent fighting. At the same time, I would like to wish all the injured a speedy recovery. All these fearless heroes have sacrificed themselves just before the anniversary of the International Conspiracy to thwart a major attack. In doing so, they have truly responded to the International Conspiracy in the most meaningful and important way.

IS and its related groups are part of the conspiracy against the Kurds and at the same time are used as a means for the genocidal war against them. A very comprehensive attack was carried out on Hesekê with huge aims. This is evident from the fact that it coincided with the anniversaries of the liberation of Kobanê from the Turkish state and IS gangs [in 2015] and the occupation of Efrîn by IS offshoots controlled by Turkey [in 2018]. The attack on Hesekê was an attack by the fascist Turkish state. Undoubtedly, the question also arises to what extent the US and Russia were involved in these attack plans. Hesekê is located in an area where the USA and Russia have a high degree of control. This, of course, raises very serious questions about how such an attack could take place. Russia has recently stated that the attack on Hesekê proves that the Autonomous Administration is not capable of governing Rojava and cannot provide stability there. This statement raises many questions. The Syrian regime’s statement that the SDF is committing war crimes also makes it clear that the regime sees the attack on Hesekê only as a way to promote its own political interests.

Even if the U.S. and Russia were not directly involved in the plans for the attack on Hesekê, it is quite conceivable that they chose to remain silent because of the Ukraine crisis. Turkey has clearly expressed that it is on the side of the U.S. regarding Ukraine. In recent years, Turkey has sold Ukraine a large number of drones and has also otherwise established extensive relations with the country that are contrary to Russia’s interests. At the appropriate time, the Turkish state has repeatedly used Ukraine as a bargaining chip against Russia. By doing so, it is trying to make Ukraine a part of the policy it has been pursuing for years, i.e. to maintain relations with the U.S. as well as with Russia, thus creating a balance between the two. Just when the Ukraine crisis reached its peak, the attack on Hesekê took place. Turkey was relying on the fact that during such a crisis, no one would criticize the attack.

The countries of this world pursue a very irresponsible policy and dirty plans regarding IS. They dump the entire burden and responsibility on the shoulders of the peoples of North and East Syria. This is totally unacceptable. The IS – a close ally of Turkey – poses a huge threat not only to the Kurds, but to all of Syria and the entire world. Syria’s problems can only be solved and the great IS threat eliminated if there is rapprochement with the Autonomous Administration. If Damascus comes to an agreement with the Autonomous Administration on a democratic solution, the danger from Turkey and IS will come to an end. As soon as there is an agreement between the government in Damascus and the Autonomous Administration, all the dirty games and conspiracies that are currently still being played with Syria will end. Then Turkey’s plans to provoke a Kurdish-Arab war and the partitioning of Syria will be thwarted. In that case, there will also be no more reason for the U.S. presence in Syria. Moreover, it will then be possible to liberate all occupied territories.

In the event of a political solution, the SDF will become a part of the Syrian army. The Autonomous Administration embodies the character and identity of Syria. Neither will the Autonomous Administration constitute an independent state, nor will the SDF be a military force separate from the Syrian army.

The most appropriate response to the attacks against Syria is the democratic unity of all Kurds and Arabs. Such a Kurdish-Arab alliance is of strategic importance for the democratization of the entire region. The stronger the alliance and the unity of the Kurds and Arabs becomes, the faster the racist, colonialist, fascist and neo-Ottoman policies of the Turkish state will come to an end. As a result, the reactionary IS will also cease to exist.

For some time now, the HDP has been trying to establish a ‘Coalition of the Third Way’ together with Turkey’s left-wing, socialist and democratic forces and to thereby open up new avenues for Turkey’s politics, which have reached an impasse. Important meetings and talks have recently taken place in this context. What is your assessment of these recent developments? What do you think needs to happen for such a coalition to be built and expanded even more?

The ‘Coalition of the Third Way’ formed under the leadership of the HDP is a very important step. This coalition definitely needs to be qualitatively increased, expanded and strengthened. Because Turkey urgently needs a strong democratic opposition in which all democratic organizations, institutions and circles are united. As long as the left, socialist and democratic forces do not unite, it will not be possible for a strong anti-fascist and democratic coalition to emerge. Therefore, we consider the efforts for the establishment of a democratic coalition as extremely important. Turkey’s society is longing for this kind of coalition. Turkey needs nothing more urgently than democracy and justice. The country’s society today lives without freedom and suffers from poverty and hunger precisely because it lacks democracy and justice. The fascist AKP-MHP government is ruthlessly exploiting Turkey’s wealth. But if a strong democratic movement develops against this exploitative, stealing, rapist and fascist government, it will be able to wage a successful struggle. If such a movement does not emerge and the democratic opposition remains divided and scattered, it will be impossible to completely crush fascism in Turkey.

All left, socialist and democratic forces must become a part of this democratic coalition. The women’s movement, the youth movement, the working people’s movement, the ecological movement, the democratic-Alevite movement, the anti-capitalist Muslims and all other democratic-Islamic circles constitute the cornerstones of such a coalition. All these forces are the basic forces through which the dynamics of the struggle of this democratic coalition is determined and thus its success is ensured.

The women’s movement possesses great strength in Kurdistan and in Turkey. It has been leading the strongest struggle against fascism for years. Therefore, the women’s movement must be the decisive force in the democratic coalition. With all its strength, it must participate in this coalition and thereby strengthen the struggle for democracy and freedom. A democratic Turkey will offer enormous opportunities for women’s rights and freedoms. Only in this way will it be possible to protect and even expand women’s achievements.

Turkey’s fascist government has only been able to stay on its feet for so long because the democratic opposition is divided. If the opposition is united, it will be able to fight successfully against fascism, which has gathered all the resources of the state in its hands. It simply cannot be a leftist, socialist and patriotic attitude to be afraid of the Kurds’ struggle for their democratic rights and to call their legitimate rights separatism. This is nothing other than a state, social-chauvinist attitude. Those who have such an attitude cannot lead a struggle for the democratization of Turkey. Those who have a leftist attitude stay away from nationalism. It is very important not to confuse patriotism with nationalism. A patriot recognizes the political, cultural, economic and democratic rights of the Kurds and all other peoples and faith groups in Turkey. She or he takes a stance against injustice and stands with all those who are affected by injustice and oppression.

AKP-MHP fascism has also increased its attacks on women. Through violence, rape, prostitution, arrests and similar attacks, it is trying to break the will of women in Kurdistan and Turkey. How should we understand the hostility of AKP-MHP fascism towards women? What are the aims of these attacks?

The strongest struggle against AKP-MHP fascism is led by the women’s movement in Kurdistan and Turkey. In the end, it is the struggle of women that keeps society on its feet against fascism. Their struggle strengthens society’s power for resistance and struggle. Women strengthen the democratic dynamics within society. Through their resistance, the cultural and communal values of society are protected. If we can still speak of sociality and a tradition and culture of society, it is thanks to the resistant nature of women. Fascism is most exposed and weakened by the struggle of women. Her struggle has ensured that the mask of the fascist government of Turkey has completely fallen. The women’s struggle has brought to light in all clarity that we are dealing with fascism in Turkey. So the women’s struggle has a great share in the fact that AKP-MHP fascism faces great hatred all over the world today.

Violence against women is part of the basic policy of the fascist government of Turkey. It assumes that with the help of violence it can force women to surrender and keep society under control. This government seeks to break the will of the women and to use her in the service of fascism. With the help of such a woman, an enslaved society is to be created that can be ruled at will. The ever-increasing violence, massacres and rapes against women are a result of this attitude. The AKP-MHP government’s violence against women is as extreme as all the misogynist violence of the past 90 years combined. This fascist government has tried to destroy all the gains that women have fought for at great sacrifice over decades. Behind the hostile attitude towards the co-chair system and gender parity representation, as well as the numerous closed women’s institutions and the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, there is not only a political intention to secure the votes of conservative circles. No, these are political steps that follow a clear plan and program and aim to fully institutionalize fascism in the form of a male-hegemonic and fascist ideology and policy. Each of these measures represents a strategic step towards the consolidation of fascism. It is therefore very important that all women unite their strength against this misogynist and fascist regime. The common struggle is a necessity for survival from the women’s point of view.

As a women’s movement, you have been leading the campaign ‘Let’s defend ourselves’ for quite some time. Within this framework, important actions and protests have taken place. What is the importance of self-defense for women in a period of such severe attacks on them?

The power of the state and the man consitutes a regime of violence against women. Under this regime, women are subjected to severe violence and murder everywhere and at all times. The state is an enemy of women and, accordingly, cannot protect them. This is because the character of the state is characterized by militarism, violence and oppression. As a woman, expecting protection from the state is like trying to ask your own murderer for protection. Even men cannot guarantee the protection of women in a male-hegemonic and sexist society. Women can only protect themselves. Only if women organize their own self-defense, the protection of their lives is granted. For this reason, self-defense is absolutely necessary for women’s survival. Women must organize themselves in all areas of life and ensure their self-defense. Against the violence of the state and man, they must defend and fight for themselves. All women must organize in their own families, on the streets, in their neighborhoods and workplaces based on their awareness of self-defense and together wage an effective struggle against all the various attacks on them.

Undoubtedly, organizing and an organized struggle are very important forms of self-defense. Without organizing, it is impossible to become a real force, to respond effectively to attacks and to defend oneself. Only when organizing develops on the basis of an awareness of self-defense, does the power to defend oneself emerge. Therefore, it is very important to train one’s own body for self-defense against attacks and to organize together. Developing a common struggle against the violence of the state and men on the basis of one’s own self-defense strength represents the most important guarantee for the survival of women. With this goal in mind, women must organize their self-defense in all areas of life and respond decisively to all attacks.

For almost two years now, the women’s movement has been conducting a campaign in defense of women and society against the fascism of the state and man. Within this framework, important results have been achieved. The fascist government has been shaken to its foundations. Moreover, the campaign has consolidated women’s awareness of self-defense. And the women’s movement of Kurdistan and Turkey has become even more united on the basis of a common understanding of struggle.

Through the campaign of the women’s movement ‘It is time for the defense of women and society’, which has been running successfully for two years, the attacks of fascism on the women’s movement have been thwarted. The fascist attacks have led to the exact opposite of their real aims: The women’s movement in Kurdistan and Turkey has further strengthened the common struggle of women. Women have moved even closer together and have fought even more together. The protest against fascism has united women. This is a very important development. At the same time, this also represents a form of self-defense.

In Kurdistan and Turkey, women are taking the leading role in the struggle for freedom. AKP-MHP fascism responds to this by putting women in prison. Can the women’s struggle be stopped by imprisoning the women who are leading the anti-fascist struggle? How must the society support the women in prison?

Nowhere in the world are so many female revolutionaries and female political prisoners imprisoned as in Turkey. Tens of thousands of women are currently imprisoned in Turkey for political reasons. Hundreds have received prison sentences of up to 30 years. The very circumstances under which they are being held constitute oppression, torture, and tyranny. All these imprisoned women are resisting against the severe oppression and torture based on their strong will. Very precious women like our beloved Aysel Tuğluk have huge health problems. Nevertheless, they are imprisoned in an immoral and unlawful way. Thus, fascism takes revenge on precious women like Aysel Tuğluk who have dedicated their lives to the freedom of all peoples and women and the democratization of Turkey. The injustice committed against Aysel Tuğluk exposes the fascist government more and more every day. All women and our people must stand up resolutely for Aysel Tuğluk.

Today, the women in the prisons of Turkey are waging an enormous resistance, following the example of comrade Sakine Cansız (Sara) and the July 14 Resistance [1982, historical resistance of PKK prisoners in the prison of Amed]. I would like to take this opportunity to greet Aysel Tuğluk and all the resistant prisoners with respect and love. At the same time, I would like to respectfully remember all our Şehits. The attitude of all the prisoners who are resisting in the prisons today is very honorable and significant.

AKP-MHP fascism recently launched a lynching campaign against singer Sezen Aksu and journalist Sedef Kabaş. This led to intense discussions in Turkey. What is the aim of attacks on such well-known women?

Such women, who are independent thinkers, talented and respected by society because of their achievements, have a great influence on women and society as a whole. With their words, writings and deeds, they greatly influence society, especially women. Sezen Aksu is a talented, successful, very popular and respected artist. She has always taken a stance on the side of the oppressed and stood up for the truth. Sezen Aksu is clearly dissatisfied with the fascist government of Turkey. She is critical and not afraid to fight. That is why she has become a target of the fascist government. By attacking her, the government is trying to break Sezen Aksu’s criticism, resistance and will. Thus, it tries to destroy Sezen Aksu’s influence that she has on women and society through her critical stance. By attacking Sezen Aksu, the fascist government is trying to intimidate all women artists with a similar attitude. But real women artists will not submit to these attacks. On the contrary, they will only gain importance through them.

We can evaluate the attacks on Sedef Kabaş in a similar way. Sedef Kabaş is a talented, intelligent and critical journalist and academic. She is taken very seriously by the social circles she addresses. However, her criticism of the fascist Erdogan is too weak.

The attacks on Sedef Kabaş are meant to intimidate all women, brave journalists and intellectuals. But no matter what fascism does, it will achieve nothing with all this. All these attacks represent the last desperate moves of fascism. Today, everyone is already openly discussing the time after Erdogan. People are preparing for the time after the fascist regime. Therefore, the regime cannot attack as strongly as before. All true intellectuals, artists and democrats of society have now broken the wall of fear. This is also true for society itself. Everywhere, dissent is on the rise and democratic dynamics are gaining momentum. The democratic forces are joining forces and thus gaining more and more strength.