Our Interviews

october 07, 2023

On the occasion of the historical international conspiracy against Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] that started on October 9, 1998 and the 25th anniversary of the great struggle against this conspiracy, I will try to evaluate some essential aspects. Undoubtedly, these issues have been evaluated a lot. Rêber Apo himself has made the most comprehensive and concrete statements. However, it may be useful for those who are interested and want to understand the subject better to summarize them in connection with each other and in a holistic manner.

In this context, first of all, I would like to salute, the architect of the resistance against the Imrali system, Rêber Apo, and all those who join hin within this struggle. I would also like to salute those who have been resisting the international conspiracy for 25 years with the slogan “You cannot darken our sun” and who managed to form a ring of fire around Rêber Apo. Also I would like to respectfully commemorate all heroic martyrs that struggled for the aim of destroying the Imrali system with love and gratitude.

Again undoubtedly, the most accurate and deep understanding of Rêber Apo’s reality is through understanding his resistance. In order to understand the Imrali resistance correctly, it is necessary to understand the Imrali system correctly. Therefore, in order to understand the characteristics of the resistance correctly and adequately, it is necessary to understand the power against the resistance, that is, the Imrali system.

It is a very well known fact, that the Imrali system was created to continue the international conspiracy. When the international conspiracy could not succeed with other methods, it was materialized as the system of Imrali, and torture, isolation and genocide were integrated. This is now continuing since 25 years. Of course, the international conspiracy attack is also connected to the realization and execution of the so-called ‘’Kurdish question’’. In other words, it can be stated, that it is a method of attack that was created to prevent the solution of the ‘’Kurdish question’’, to perpetuate it. In this respect, it is necessary to understand the so-called ´’Kurdish question’’ correctly. It is very well known, that the division of Kurdistan into four parts is the placing of the Kurdish people under a severe colonialist, genocidal system of oppression, exploitation and extermination. The ‘’Kurdish question’’ means the existence and aggression of a genocidal mentality and politics that denies the existence of the Kurdish people and sets out to destroy them.

‘What kind of logic is this?’, ‘What kind of mentality is this?’, ‘What does it mean?’ It is necessary to be able to answer these questions. When the problem is considered in this way, it can clearly be defined as a genocide. It is the mentality, politics, attack and logic of destroying all others for its own existence. This should be considered a crime against humanity, as the right to life for anyone other than itself is not accepted. The oppressors only assume themselves, they see themselves as sovereign, they try to take everything for them and they see it as there right to destroy others in the name of their own existence. But still they are talking about democracy, brotherhood or humanity. Now that really is the face of genocide.

If an eye is thrown at the rulers of the Turkish state, it can easily be seen which kind of racist, fascist, colonialist, chauvinist ideology has been given to society by the administration. They insult, attack and curse everything except Turkishness. Thereby they not only deny the Kurdish existence, they try to destroy it. They say that everything must be destroyed for Turkish existence. As a matter of fact, they attribute the history, languages, cultures and mosaic of peoples such as Anatolia and Mesopotamia to Turkishness only, as one language, one nation, one state. They say that everyone who is not Turkish must either die or become Turkish. They do not leave open any third way and say that there is no possibility, no opportunity for life other than Turkishness.

It can also be said that this is not only an attack on the Kurds, but for more than a hundred years they have been directing such a genocidal attack on the Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians; in other words, on all these languages, cultures, peoples and realities that Anatolia and Mesopotamia have produced for thousands of years.

Still there is a difference between the genocidal attack against other peoples and the one against the Kurds. The difference is, that the Turkish state does not deny their identity. They physically destroy them, exile them, but they accept their identities. But they do not recognize the Kurdish identity. They impose a very extreme assimilation, cultural genocide. At the center of the genocide imposed on Kurds is cultural genocide. They consider Kurdishness as Turkish, they say it will become Turkish. They see it as the raw material for Turkish nationalization. They aim to create a Turkish nation by destroying Kurdishness. Such a mentality and such a politics is unique in the world.

There have been attacks based on this ideology for more than two centuries. But in the first quarter of the 20th century, the conflicts that followed the First World War and the ‘Kurdish decision’ that was finally brought about by the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24, 1923. It was an agreement between mainly Britain, France and the Turkish state, and other states accepted it. The League of Nations of that time, and the League of Nations after the Second World War, accepted this mentality and policy as it was. The global system of capitalist modernity that materialized in the Turkish State, the League of Nations and the United Nations was formed on the basis of Kurdish genocide. Not only Kurdish, but genocidal mentality and politics in general.

They have been attacking and trying to crush all forms of resistance ever since. The most comprehensive stand against these developed with the struggle, effort, organization and action of Rêber Apo. His approach is completely against such a colonialist, genocidal mentality and politics. It is an approach that aims to destroy this mentality from history, and to replace it with an understanding of the democratic nation, a mentality and politics that envisioned siblinghood, living side by side freely and equally.

At the very beginning of the 1970s, they wanted to prevent this approach of Rêber Apo, but they failed. On September 12, 1980, they tried to prevent the further spread of it with the fascist military coup; they also failed. Later, they tried to crush and prevent this development with the 1987 State of Emergency rule; and they failed at that too. They could not crush nor the guerrilla, nor the Kurdish people as a whole. Finally, they saw the ceasefire declaration of September 1, 1998 as a pretext of opportunity for themselves, and on the basis of actively involving the South Kurdish [North Iraqi] administration in this work, they launched the aforementioned international conspiracy attack aiming at the destruction of Rêber Apo on October 9, 1998. In other words, the international conspiracy attack was a plan to bring the Kurdish genocide to success.

As a result of the failure to crush the emergence of the Rêber Apo, the development of the PKK, the resistance of the guerrilla, and the failure to eliminate the Kurdish people’s resistance, this attack was planned and carried out with a strategy directly aimed at the destruction of Rêber Apo. Based on this, it was to liquidate the PKK, and based on these, it was to complete the Kurdish genocide. It was to bring the cultural genocide in Kurdistan to bring it to a conclusion, thus solving the ‘Kurdish question’ by destroying Kurdishness and achieving genocide. This was how they would secure the world system, the world system built on genocide. They were aiming to this exterminate in one day, and now 25 years have passed. They are still attacking for the same purpose, but they have failed. They attacked Rêber Apo on this basis for more than four months. When they saw, that they have failed again, this time they brought about the conspiracy of February 15. In other words, they wanted to abduct Rêber Apo with a conspiratorial plan and hand him over to Turkey, take him to the Imrali isolation system and execute him. All this was done by the global system that created the ‘Kurdish question’ at the beginning. In other words, England and France, as the victors of the First World War, started this. America was added to this, and also Israel was added. The US administration put the conspiracy finally into practice. In fact, the American society needs to hold the current administration to account. But there is no such questioning and consciousness in this society. And the current state can do what it wants because of this.

In the end, when they failed with the execution, this time they turned the Imrali system, into a system of torture, isolation and genocide aimed at the ideological and political defeat of Rêber Apo by placing him under complete isolation, which they call the policy of decay. It can be said, that they have also lost in the Imrali struggle. In the most difficult conditions, in an environment where there were no opportunities at all, Rêber Apo researched, analyzed, evaluated, questioned, and produced new ideas. Just as he frustrated extermination and execution, he also frustrated the policy of decay. With his paradigm shift, he showed the path to liberation for all the oppressed. He revealed the democratic nation solution to the ‘Kurdish question’ and concretized it on a theoretically, as well as on an ideological and political level. He created it as a concrete strategic and tactical planning.

Upon this, they increased the pressure even more and applied many tricks and methods of oppression within the Imrali system. But in the end, none of them succeeded. Rêber Apo managed to evolve thoughts under the most difficult conditions. With the scarcest means, he managed to put his thoughts in writing and deliver them to all humanity. Thus he broke the walls of Imrali. He realized a paradigm shift and revealed methods for a democratic solution. Methods against all social problems created by the five thousand years of power and state system, especially for the ‘Kurdish question’ and the women’s oppression. Rêber Apo appropriated these for all humanity. He shattered the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide. He shattered the walls of Imrali as everyone is discussing Rêber Apo everywhere. Rêber Apo once said; “I am wherever my prison writings are.” Now his writings can be found everywhere, so also Rêber Apo can be found everywhere.

The international conspirators still insist on carrying out the Kurdish genocide. They are stubborn. They are mobilizing all their means here. They are afraid that if the ‘Kurdish question’ is solved, that what they have done will be judged. They are afraid of being held accountable before history. They are afraid that they will be thrown into the wastebasket of history. Because that is what they see in the solution of the ‘Kurdish question’. The genocidal mentality and politics, which has been directed against the ‘Kurdish question’, the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek peoples for more than a century, sees its own death in Kurdish freedom, in the solution of the ‘Kurdish question’. That is why they are doing everything to prevent the solution of the problem, to prevent democratization, to further develop and support the fascist oppressive dictatorship. They still see their existence in the destruction of the Kurds. Therefore there is also a new dimension of revenge that is playing a role for them. They want to take revenge on Rêber Apo.

The Imrali system is almost 25 years. Rêber Apo has been 24 years, 8 months and 10 days in that system. Let’s say 4 months are left until he will complete his 25th year in that system. Therefore, it is necessary to consider and evaluate it holistically. The international conspiracy perpetuates itself as the system of Imrali. The so-called ‘Kurdish question’ is kept alive and unsolved through the Imrali system. The genocidal attack against the Kurds is organized and directed on the basis of the Imrali system. Because the Kurdish will for existence and freedom is represented by the Rêber Apo they attack him first and the hardest. It is not a person put on Imrali, nor is it organization, it is the will of a people for existence and freedom, the will of the Kurdish people for existence and freedom that has been put on Imrali. It is also the will for the existence and freedom of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek people. It is the will for freedom of women and youth, it is the will for freedom of humanity. The general rule that one who oppresses another cannot be free, shall not be forgotten. So a system that oppresses the Kurd so much cannot be free.

As long as the Kurd are being oppressed, no one can be free, no one can live free. You live under slavery as long as slaves exist. This can not be called freedom, it is called domination, it is called genocidal aggression, it is called fascist extermination. The Imrali system represents the colonialist genocidal attack system imposed on Kurdish society. With that mentality, politics has turned itself into the Imrali system and produces all its tactics and politics there. It is directed against Rêber Apo, the PKK, it is directed against all Kurds, it is directed against all women and youth. It is directed against all peoples, against humanity.

If the international conspiracy is to disappear, then the Imrali system will disintegrate. We cannot say that the conspiracy has disappeared while the Imrali system exists. Nor can we say that the ‘Kurdish question’ has been solved while there is a conspiracy attack. With the Imrali system, they have created an until then unknown system of oppression, persecution, isolation, torture and destruction. And they are applying it directly on Rêber Apo. If someone wants to know what the Imrali system means, this person just needs to look at what these colonialists have done to Kurdish society for 25 years, or what they have done in the last century. How it attacks women, how it attacks the people, how it burns villages, how it destroys graves, how it throws people’s bones into wells, how it dissolves them with acids, how it put people in cars, dragged their bodies, insulted them, raped them… Looking at all the special war methods that have been developed and practiced for these 25 years is inevitable.

All these practices constitute the Imrali system, they are not detached from it. The Imrali system is already a system of isolation and suffocation from the beginning. By cutting the Rêber Apo off from the world, it could not prevent him from producing thoughts. They were calculating that if the Leadership and the PKK were neutralized, that they could have easily achieved the Kurdish genocide. This was the aim and goal of those who planned and carried out this international conspiracy attack.

There is torture in Imrali at an unprecedented level. There are the most refined methods of all kinds of physical and psychological torture. Imrali is the place where the special warfare is practiced in the most current and deepest way.

In the 1990s, some French organizations made a statement. I was in prison in Germany at the time, but I remember exactly what they said. They stated: “We are studying Apo, we are researching and evaluating Abdullah Öcalan, we are conducting negotiations regarding him.” I guess they were trying to understand how to successfully carry out this genocidal attack, this conspiracy. They were assessing the weak and strong points of the Movement and were working on the ways to further deepen the weaknesses and eliminate the strong points. The international conspiracy came after such statements and should have been the result of such investigations.

The Imrali system is a system of genocide, a system of extermination. They wanted to eliminate Rêber Apo on October 9th via unaccounted for murder. If he would had agreed to return to Syria from Greece, which was planned, the Greek government would have refused to let him enter the borders of Greece despite all the invitations. They would have forced him to go back. If Rêber Apo had returned, they would have shot and killed him over the Mediterranean and no one would have ever known. Those who planed this would have done it so secretly that there would have been no information about what had happened. That was actually the plan. The US should confess. It is not that incomprehensible as everything has been revealed. It is necessary to face up to the crimes, and if possible to seek forgiveness. Otherwise, there can be no right and future-creating life in this world.

Then they created the February 15 conspiracy for execution. What did Kenan Evren, chief of the September junta, leader of the fascist military coup, said, “Should we feed him or not hang him?” He envisioned hanging. So this was NATO’s top general. He ruled Turkey for nine years and established the basis of today’s system. The international conspiracy is being carried out and managed by the system established by Kenan Evren.

Some people were wrong then. They did and are doing something in Imrali to solve the ‘Kurdish question’. They put forward illogical, preposterous, surrenderist ideas such as those who are doing this want to solve the ‘Kurdish question’. It has nothing to do with reality. They wanted to execute him, but they failed. Rêber Apo revealed that the conspiracy was also a major attack against Turkey. It affected both the Turkish society and the state. In the end, they saw execution as more harmful for themselves than the policy of decay. On this basis, they prefered to continue the Imrali system. The Imrali struggle emerged.

Kurds are killed, but does anyone ever question why Kurds are killed? The Turkish state shoots wherever it wants, it shoots in France, it shoots in Germany, it shoots in Sulaymaniah, it shoots in the Middle East, it shoots all over Kurdistan. Nobody says why are you shooting Kurds? They look at who was shot. If it is a Kurd, it is okay. Why? Because he might be a PKK member.

What was the logic behind the Dersim [Turkish name Tunceli] genocide? What was written in the decree? It said, “Anyone who might carry the Kurdish ideal in their minds and hearts in the future should be killed.” The child in the womb, for example; how will you measure this? The child three years of age, how will you measure it? How will you know what he will do when he grows up? Every Kurdish child can carry the ideal of Kurdishness in their minds and hearts from the age of thought. So they issued an edict that they were all potential criminals and should all be massacred. The Dersim massacre happened on the basis of such an edict.

Now, for example, the law doesn’t work as well. In other words, there is no such thing as rights or justice in Turkey. There are so many massacres, humanity is trampled underfoot, human bones are being destroyed, human bodies are being dragged, graves are being opened, buildings are being built on graveyards. There is no respect left for the living, no respect left for the dead, no respect left for anything human. This AKP-MHP fascism, the Turkish state has left no humanity in Kurdistan.

Turkish society does not demand accountability for them, doing all these in their name. Neither does any state in the world. They even support and encourage them. Those who benefit from the Kurdish genocide keep it alive and rebuild it. They made a coup d’état. They put Kenan Evren and later Tayyip Erdoğan in charge, they commissioned them. Tayyip Erdoğan is not a party, he is not a leader, he is not a political power; he is an official assigned by the US to carry out this political conspiracy and lead it to success. For 22 years, he has been trying to fulfill this task for the forces he depends on. And they keep him alive. They say, “He has surpassed Mustafa Kemal and İnönü in Turkey. The one who has been in power the longest.” So how is it that a person can stay in power for so long at the head of a state in the process of collapse and destruction? Did God send this person? It is the forces behind him that have made him what he is. He is trying to fulfill the task given to him. That is why he stays standing. That is why many sycophants gather around him. Everyone has seen that behind him are those who told him to walk.

There is a system of genocide is a system of extermination. This is what is imposed on Rêber Apo 24 hours a day, every second for 25 years. And this is imposed on all Kurds. The Imrali system needs to be seen in this way. This so-called ‘Kurdish question’ is managed by the ones managing the Imrali system. After dividing Kurdistan, they gave each part to a state, but there was always a jointly-administered hegemonic system over Kurdistan. The four states that dominated Kurdistan and the states that established this world system first established a pact called the ‘Sadabat Pact’. France, England, then America entered this pact. The powers that lead this global capitalist modernity system rule Kurdistan under a joint administration. First they established the ‘Sadabat Pact’. When that didn’t work, they established the ‘Baghdad Pact’. That didn’t work either. After the Second World War, those who established NATO for the world in general established CENTO specifically for the administration of the Kurds. The military, these states and also the pioneers of the global capitalist modernity system took part in it. There is such a joint administration.

For many years they ruled jointly with the CENTO Military Pact. With the fall of the Shah’s rule in Iran and the Iran-Iraq war, this rule broke down as Iran withdrew from it. Therefore, this joint administration became unworkable. So in 1987 they declared a state of emergency. The state of emergency was also a system of administration. They wanted to manage the Kurdish genocide with a state of emergency. This was, in fact, the management of Turkey and the Middle East in general. When the state of emergency failed, they put the international conspiracy into action. They created the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide.

For 25 years now, this system, like the ‘Sadabat Pact’, like the ‘Baghdad Pact’, like CENTO, like the State of Emergency governorate system, is a common management system that manages the ‘Kurdish question’ and implements Kurdish genocide. Therefore, every practice in Imrali is directed against the Kurds, it is Kurdish genocide. They rule the Kurds according to the Imrali system. The genocidal attack on the Kurds is carried out by the Imrali joint administration.

Rêber Apo once said, “When I arrived, I found the [‘European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’] CPT in front of me.” It was the global system that took him there. “The USA gave Öcalan to me.” Bülent Ecevit, the Turkish Prime Minister at the time said. Also, “I couldn’t understand why America gave Apo to us.” He was thinking about these things, trying to understand.

But now, the Imrali system does not only impose isolation and genocide on Rêber Apo; all attacks against the Kurdish society are linked to the Imrali system. This fascist dictatorship in Turkey, the fascist dictatorship that has led to such a severe economic, political, cultural, social crisis, depression and collapse, is due to the practices in Kurdistan. It stems from the genocidal mentality and politics imposed on Kurds. The genocidal mentality and politics imposed on the Kurds, when it comes to Turkey, becomes a strict racist, nationalist, chauvinist, fascist dictatorship. The racist, chauvinist fascist mentality becomes politics.

This was back then carried out by the September 12 junta and now the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship is carrying it out. If you pay attention, the Turkish governments have all been fascist dictatorships. The Kurdish genocide is reflected in Turkey as a fascist dictatorship. The development of so much racism in the world was supposedly due to the defeat of Hitler’s fascism in the Second World War, the victory of democracy, democratic development everywhere. Was there democracy? On the contrary, private war fascism has become dominant in all states. The United Nations system of a special warfare. A nation state means a private war rule. This is what is imposed on the world.

The Imrali resistance, which is the reality of Rêber Apo, is a resistance against such a system, a system of genocide, an attack by genocidal mentality and politics. It is necessary to see the system in its entirety. It is not enough to say that there is torture in Imrali. It is not enough to say that there is isolation in Imrali. It is also not enough to say there is genocide. There is also a management of this system there. Therefore, it is necessary to fight against the system.

It is said that there should be a meeting with Rêber Apo. There were times when there were meetings, but it didn’t mean much. As long as the Imrali system exists, as long as Rêber Apo, as the will of the Kurdish people for existence and freedom, is under such a system, that is to say, isolation cannot be lifted one by one, and there cannot be a situation without isolation, there cannot be a situation without torture, there cannot be a solution to any problem. Therefore, if you oppose isolation, you will oppose torture, you will oppose the Kurdish genocide, you will oppose the international conspiracy attack, you will oppose the ‘Kurdish question’, you will want a solution to this problem. Eliminating the Imrali system, ending isolation means ensuring the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Without the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, the Imrali system cannot be abolished. Therefore, the international conspiracy will not end completely. Therefore, the ‘Kurdish question’ will not be solved. The physical freedom of Rêber Apo, the disintegration of the Imrali system, the end of the international conspiracy and the solution of the ‘Kurdish question’ on the basis of Kurdish freedom are interconnected and intertwined. It expresses a structure that is connected like fingernails.

It cannot be that the isolation will be lifted, while Rêber Apo still being on Imrali. There can be no talks with the Imrali system still existing. They were trying to have talks in 2014 and 2015. Actually, it was a beginning, that is, it was about to be taken outside. Otherwise, this cannot happen in Imrali. As long as Imrali, the system of torture, isolation and genocide exists, there will be no solution to the ‘Kurdish question’, and a struggle aiming to solve the ‘Kurdish question’ and to destroy the international conspiracy will not yield results. Those who have expectations that there will be a solution with Rêber Apo still being on Imrali, are wrong. They should correct their stance. The solution of the ‘Kurdish question’ will be based on the complete defeat of the international conspiracy, the destruction of the Imrali system and the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. All of this depends on the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. The lifting of isolation, the end of torture, the acceptance of the only Kurdish existence and freedom, the democratization of Turkey, and the liberation of humanity from this colonialist, genocidal mentality and politics will all be possible through this. Therefore, the struggle should not be limited to isolation, but should be linked to the goal of eliminating the entire system of torture, isolation and genocide in Imrali, which renders the ‘Kurdish question’ unsolvable, which brought the international conspiracy into existence, and the goal of ensuring the physical freedom of Rêber Apo.

We have to continue the struggle against the international conspiracy, against the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide on the basis of this goal also in the 26th year of its existence. We have to continue the resistance against isolation as a struggle based on the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Everyone should fight for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the solution of the ‘Kurdish question’ by mobilizing all the means at their disposal wherever they are. Only then can the massacres, genocides and war in Kurdistan be prevented. Only then can the way for democratization in Turkey be paved. Only on that basis can Turkey make a new constitution, a democratic constitution and discuss these issues.

Can a new constitution be made with a colonialist, genocidal, fascist mentality and politics that ignores and wants to destroy the Kurdish people and carries out all kinds of attacks for this purpose? Tayyip Erdoğan is calling for a new constitution. They said, “There cannot be a new constitution with the old mindset.” This is true. What will he say that is new beyond the existing September 12 coup constitution? What will he add to the existing constitution?

He is hostile to Kurds, hostile to women, hostile to laborers, and does not envision the existence and life of anyone other than himself. What will this person, this mentality propose? Which democracy, siblinghood and freedom will he bring so that he can make a new civilian constitution? He will change one or two words and try to deceive the people that he has made a new one.

The democratization of Turkey and the liberation of humanity from this genocidal mentality and politics depend on the acceptance of the existence and freedom of the Kurds. This depends on the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the dismantling of the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide. It depends on its destruction. If this happens, the Armenian genocide will be stopped, the Greek genocide will be stopped, and Anatolia and Mesopotamia will become a paradise of languages and cultures, as they were in history. The hell of a century, two centuries will disappear and it will become a paradise again. Everyone who wishes will have the right to live. Everyone will live in siblinghood and freedom. There will be strength, support and solidarity.

Therefore, for the freedom of the Kurds, for the democratization of Turkey, for the development of democracy in the Middle East and the world, we say that in the 26th year, against the international conspiracy, against the system of torture and isolation, and for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and on the basis of the solution of the ‘Kurdish question’, let us all raise the struggle together in all areas and save humanity from this mentality and politics that brings massacre and extinction.