Our Interviews

january 01, 2022

Parts of an interview with Cemil Bayik, KCK co-Chair, about the most important developments of 2021 and foreseeable political trends in Kurdistan, the Middle East and beyond in 2022:

Strong International Campaign for Freedom of Abdullah Öcalan

After the international conspiracy, Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] renewed the socialist paradigm. He developed a paradigm for all socialist forces and for humanity as a whole. This new paradigm has gained great influence ever since. Today, the importance of this paradigm is being understood more and more. There is a global campaign for the freedom of Rêber Apo which is constantly gaining strength. The reason for this is the new paradigm developed by Rêber Apo. With this new socialist paradigm Rêber Apo has developed a new approach for the solution of all problems related to democracy and freedom. Those who have developed a sound understanding for this new paradigm are increasingly voicing their support for the paradigm and Rêber Apo. So no matter what, today, it has become impossible to prevent the freedom of Rêber Apo. The Turkish state, some of its international supporters and certain collaborating Kurds are trying to stop this campaign for Rêber Apo`s freedom. But all their efforts will be to no avail. I expect this campaign to grow even stronger in 2022. Alongside the women, who have been leading this campaign, our people in Rojava and Europe, our comrades in the prisons, but also our people in Mexmûr, Lavrio and many more places have played an important role. Because of their efforts this campaign has had an international effect. Therefore, I would like to thank all local administrations, politicians, trade unions, intellectuals, authors and all forces who have participated in this campaign and who have offered their support. In the name of our people and our movement I would like to thank them all.”

Failure of Turkish State’s Plans in 2021

Our campaign ‘Time for Freedom’ has defeated the plan of the Turkish state and its AKP-MHP government in 2021. Their plan has suffered a huge blow. Due to our struggle everybody in Turkey and internationally has seen the true face of the AKP-MHP government. The loud protests of people in Turkey against the government are also a result of our campaign. Because of our campaign the AKP-MHP government is now close to collapsing. It has brought an end to the atmosphere of fear that had been spread in society. Society has started to take a clear, courageous and loud stance against the current government. The same is true for the propaganda that the Turkish state had been spreading in South Kurdistan. In the past, there were doubts in South Kurdistan about whether it was possible to resist against the Turkish state. This had led to a point where some claimed that by giving in to the demands of Turkey one would be able to defend oneself. An atmosphere of capitulation had started to develop. But our campaign ‘Time for Freedom’ has brought an end to this atmosphere that had resulted from the Turkish state’s propaganda. Thus, this propaganda suffered a huge blow. Our South Kurdish people have understood that giving in to the demands of the Turkish state will neither protect themselves nor South Kurdistan as a whole. This attitude has now grown strong among the people. They have understood that these doubts won’t help them protect their values, şehîds [fallen] and land. That is why they have made a clear decision to resist against the Turkish state.”

Turkish State Policy in the Prisons: Pressure, Torture and Murder

The fascist Turkish state responds brutally to the resistance in the prisons. It’s aim is to brake this resistance and force all prisoners to capitulate. That is the aim of their constant attacks on our imprisoned comrades. Five of our comrades have recently fallen as şehîds as a result. By doing so, the Turkish state is sending a clear message: ‘We won’t allow a single revolutionary to leave prison alive.’ That is why they are not releasing our comrades who have already finished their prison time. The Turkish state tries to force them to openly repent their actions and to give up the values that they are fighting for. They are trying to force them to work for Turkey and tell our imprisoned comrades: ‘If you accept this, we will release you and let you live. But if you don’t, we won’t allow you to live.’ But our comrades in prison refuse to accept this. That is why the Turkish state is trying to force them to accept all this by massacring and murdering our imprisoned comrades. They want to break their will and force them to capitulate. This is the kind of policy the Turkish state pursues in the prisons.”

Defeat of Turkish State in Garê Region in February 2021

In February 2021, the occupying and fascist Turkish state attacked [the South Kurdish region] Garê. But their goal was much bigger than attacking just Garê. With this attack they wanted to completely destroy the Kurdish Freedom Movement. If they had been successful in Garê, they would have directly continued their attacks. By destroying the Kurdish Freedom Movement they wanted to succeed in completing the genocide against the Kurdish people. The Turkish state knows that it won’t be able to do that if it does not crush the PKK. The PKK obstructs their plans and at the same time instills the Kurds with a common spirit. So their defeat in Garê was a defeat of this broader plan that they had made. Erdogan himself admitted this defeat by talking about ‘last time, when we did not achieve our goals’. Why did Erdogan make such a statement for the first time ever? Because their plan had suffered a huge blow. Today, Turkey’s government is about to collapse and the defeat in Garê has played a huge role in this. Garê was the start of their collapse. Some might have still not fully grasped this, but this will be more and more understood over time. The struggle of our movement leads the way for all those who want to get rid of the current government. It is important for everybody to understand this. Regarding the attack on Garê, everybody needs to also understand that we have always protected our POWs. Many times in the past, we released POWs to different institutions or organizations. But what did the Turkish state do in Garê? It deliberately put the lives of the POWs in danger by attacking Garê. It did so, because the death of these POWs did not mean anything to the Turkish state. That is why the Turkish state killed all those POWs in Garê. Therefore, the AKP-MHP government is solely responsible for their deaths. Had they not attacked Garê, all POWs would still be alive and would now be with their families.”

Successful Resistance of Guerrillas Against Turkish Attacks on Metîna, Zap and Avaşîn

The Turkish state wanted to cover up its defeat in Garê with its attacks on the [South Kurdish regions] Metîna, Zap and Avaşîn on April 23, 2021. That is why they increased their attacks. If these attacks had been successful, they would have called an early election and would have thus been able to strengthen their power. With the attacks that started on April 23, they wanted to send a message of strength to everybody. But the heroic guerrilla fighters did not allowed this to happen. Just like they did in Garê, the guerrillas defeated these plans in the Medya Defense Zones. When the Turkish state realized that despite all of its weapons it would not be able to achieve results, it started to seek support from the KDP [Kurdistan Democratic Party]. With the help of the KDP, they wanted to achieve their desired results. But no matter how much support they received from the KDP, the Turkish state was still unable to reach its goals. As a response, the Turkish state started using chemical weapons. But against these chemical weapons, too, the heroic guerrillas waged a historic resistance. The Turkish state and the KDP had thought that the guerrillas would not be able to resist when faced with chemical weapons. But the guerrillas are able to continue their resistance even when faced with chemical weapons or any other kind of weapons. As a result, the Turkish state was eventually forced to withdraw its troops from many areas it had been present in for eight months.”

International Responsibility for Turkey’s Use of Chemical Weapons

The Turkish state is using chemical weapons. Normally, NATO and the EU would need to prohibit the use of these weapons. But so far NATO and the EU have remained silent. The Turkish state profits from their silence and constantly increased the use of chemical weapons. The EU and NATO remain silent because this suits their material interests. NATO and the EU are pursuing a dirty policy. It is not only the Turkish state who is responsible for the use of chemical weapons, but also NATO and the EU. In the past, these powers acted promptly when reports of the use of chemical weapons in other places appeared, although these kinds of weapons had not actually been used. But when chemical weapons are used in Kurdistan, everybody remains silent. They even abet the use of these weapons. If the laws of the EU don’t count for us, we also don’t need to recognize their laws. When they recognize us, we will also recognize them. The Turkish state, the EU, NATO and the EU need to know that no matter which weapons they use against us, we will always continue our struggle. They should not have any wrong hopes. They should not hope to be able to enforce capitulation on us in such a way. Nobody can force us to capitulate. Everybody needs to be aware of this.”

Collaboration of the KDP with the Turkish State

Everybody knows that our relations with the KDP go back a long time and that the KDP also has relations with the Turkish state. But today’s relations of the KDP and Turkey are not like they used to be in the past. The KDP has fully joined the plan of the Turkish state against the PKK. It is obvious that the Turkish state has made certain promises to the KDP. Based on these promises, the KDP has completely merged with the Turkish state and hopes to thus be able to destroy the PKK. According to the KDP, doing this will allow it to in the end have everything only for itself. Solely for its own interests, the KDP is willing to destroy all the values that the PKK has created. That is why the KDP has completely become one with the Turkish state and is today fighting a war against the PKK. The KDP does not simply remain an outside force in this war that only provides support to the Turkish state. No, the KDP is waging a war. In this concept against the PKK, both the KDP and the Turkish state have very clear roles.”

Importance of Women’s Struggle

Women have always been waging a struggle. This struggle might have been weak and not very organized, but their struggle has always been there. In this context, Rêbertî [Abdullah Öcalan] has played a historic role for all women and humanity as a whole. He developed a theory, philosophy and ideology for the women’s movement. Based on this, he has paved the way for the organization of women. He has supported the women’s movement in all ways possible. With Rêbertî’s support the women’s movement gained a philosophical and ideological foundation. This has strengthened the Women’s Freedom Movement. Thus, both the international women’s movement and our movement have been strengthened. Today, the Kurdish women are leading our struggle. The reason for this is that they are basing their struggle on the ideas of Rêbertî. The Women’s Freedom Movement has today become an example for all women in the world.”

Need for Democratic Alliance in Turkey Against AKP-MHP Government

The HDP wants to promote a democratic way of politics in Turkey and turn the country into a democratic republic. Turkey has lost all respect both within and outside of the country. The HDP’s policy aims at rescuing Turkey from this situation. So that all the different peoples can live in unity and Turkey regains its international respect. The HDP predicates its work on the solution of all problems that Turkey and its forces for freedom and democracy have today. That means that the HDP does not predicate itself on its own interests, but solely on the interests of Turkey. The most important thing Turkey needs today is the strengthening of the democratic coalition. It is important that this coalition does not only consist of a small group of leftists and democrats. This coalition needs to welcome everybody who is fed up with the AKP-MHP government. Only if it does this, will the coalition be able to succeed. As soon as this democratic coalition represents all colors of Turkey, the current government won’t be able to remain in power. This government is about to collapse. If such steps will be taken, the AKP-MHP government will definitely collapse in 2022.”

Deliberate Ecological Destruction by Turkish State in Kurdistan

The Turkish state’s mentality and policy are anti-Kurdish. This is also the reason for the deliberate ecological destruction in Kurdistan. They build dams, burn down forests, destroy villages and promote prostitution. They are doing everything they can to make life unbearable for the Kurds. That is why ecology is such an important issue. This is an issue of survival. It is about the protection of your identity and life. Therefore, ecology is not separated from the issue of democracy and freedom. The Turkish state should not be allowed to loot Kurdistan. Everybody needs to struggle against this policy. In the context of this struggle, relations need to be established with the other peoples of Turkey, with all the socialist and democratic forces. Because this issue does not only concern the Kurds, but all peoples of Turkey. Intellectuals and socialists in Turkey need to also support the struggle of the Kurdish people and establish relations.”

Economic Crisis in Turkey Because of War

It is true that there is a huge economic crisis in Turkey. But what is the reason for this crisis? The ongoing war is the reason. The state uses all the resources of the people for its war and against the people. Some still don’t see this and simply conclude that there is an economic crisis and criticize Erdogan. But why does this economic crisis exist? And how will it be solved? That is what they don’t discuss. That is why all the different peoples in Turkey need to know that the fundamental reason for all their problems is the war against the Kurds. The existing problems won’t be solved as long as people only criticize the government and express their discomfort, but don’t take a stance against the war. As soon as everybody takes a stance against the war, i.e. the genocide against the Kurds, the problems in Turkey will be solved. Without this, the problems won’t be solved.”

Foreseeable End of the AKP-MHP Government

The collapse of Turkey’s AKP-MHP government won’t just mean the end of a government. It will also mean the collapse of a mentality. The historical mentality of power in Turkey will come to an end which will lead to major changes. The AKP-MHP, the capitalists in Turkey and the system of capitalist modernity all want to prevent this from happening. They actually want the AKP and MHP to loose power but they know very well that this will lead to the end of the mentality of the Turkish state. All of them see very clearly that the ‘National Coalition’ [Millet Ittifaki] is not capable of struggling effectively against the mentality of the AKP and MHP. The ‘National Coalition’ does not have a democratic program. When the AKP-MHP government falls, the mentality of the ‘National Coalition’ will also cease to exist. Then, radical democracy will be established in Turkey. The forces that I mentioned earlier consider this as a threat for themselves.”

Turkey’s Attacks on Rojava

The Turkish state benefits from the contradictions between Russia and the USA and uses them to carry out brutal attacks against Rojava. Because of their own interests the USA and Russia simply close their eyes and ignore these attacks. If this was not the case, Turkey would not have been able to occupy parts of Rojava and murder so many civilians. If they wanted to, they could stop these attacks. But because of their own interests, they simply refuse to do so. Our people are very well aware of this. Because they were educated by Rêbertî. Today, a coalition of the peoples has been established in North and East Syria. This is the result of the Rêbertî’s policy. That is why the peoples of North and East Syria support Rêbertî. Certain people are trying to cut off the relation between Rêbertî and the people. But this is not an easy thing to do. This people loves Rêbertî. Nobody can declare the people’s love for Rêbertî a crime.”

Solution of the Problems in Syria

Until now, neither the USA or Russia, nor the Islamist proxy forces who claim to be the opposition or the Syrian state have been to able to solve the problems of Syria. So how are these problems going to be solved? When the Syrian state changes its policy, all the problems will be solved. When the Syrian state starts to understand the model of North and East Syria and establishes relations with the Autonomous Administration there, the problems in Syria can be solved. If they refuse to do this, they won’t be able to solve the problems. There is a model that has developed in North and East Syria. There, the people today life together in peace and equality, based on their different identities and cultures. Only this model can solve the problems of Syria. But if Syria, the USA and Russia continue to insist on their old policy, they won’t be able to solve the problems. We support the solution of all problems in a united Syria, including the Kurdish question.”

Demand for Autonomy of Sinjar

The Ezidi people have been leading a struggle to protect and govern themselves. They have been resisting and have built their own institutions. They have been demanding autonomy. Except for the KDP and Turkey, nobody has rejected their demands. Iraq has also not rejected these demands. That is why the KDP and Turkey are putting pressure on Iraq. States like the Netherlands and Belgium have officially recognized the genocide against the Ezidis. In other states similar discussions are still continuing. If the Ezidi people increase their struggle in the future, they will definitely achieve autonomy. Nobody can prevent this. Yet, the Turkish state and the KDP want to brake the will of our Ezidi people by attacking and murdering them.”

Increased Instability after Iraqi Elections

The purpose of elections is to promote stability but today Iraq is not a stable country. The problems have only gotten bigger after the elections [on October 10, 2021] because 80% of the Iraqi people did not vote. Official reports have claimed that 40% of the people participated in the elections but this is not true. When 80% of the people don’t vote, elections don’t have any legitimacy. Therefore, nobody accepts the election results in Iraq. The people of Iraq don’t accept the current policy and government of Iraq anymore. In Iraq, we are looking at deep-rooted problems. The society is looking for ways out of this situation. It really wants to find solutions. Discussions to this end are continuing in the country. If the current parties don’t initiate serious changes, new movements will evolve in Iraq. The paradigm of Rêbertî is a solution for the problems of the country. The problems in Iraq and South Kurdistan can be solved through the policy of the ‘Third Way’. Apart from Rêbertî and the Freedom Movement, there are no parties or movements which have a clear program for the solution of Iraq’s problems. They are only continuing to pursue their old policy and plans. But the end of this kind of policy has now come.”

Tensions Between USA and Iran

The contradictions between the USA and Iran won’t be solved any time soon. Neither the USA, nor Iran want an open war. Both sides want to ease the tensions. But the existing contradictions and problems won’t be solved easily. We don’t want these contradictions to lead to a war that would only harm the people. We want all problems to be solved through dialogue. This is what the peoples of the Middle East need. A huge number of Kurds live in Iran. The Kurdish people also support a solution of the existing problems. Therefore, Iran needs to change its policy regarding the Kurdish people. The Kurds don’t want Iran to be split apart. They simply demand their legitimate rights. This does not mean any harm to Iran. This is why Iran also needs to accept the legitimate demands of the Kurds.”

2022: Collapse of AKP-MHP Government

2021 was a year of great struggle. This shows us that the struggle will increase even more in 2022. In the new year, the struggle will increase because we have brought the AKP-MHP government to a point of collapse. Now, we need to finish this. So in 2022, we will bring an end to this government and thus achieve our goals. This is the goal that our struggle will be based on. Our goal clearly is bringing an end to this government.”