Our Interviews

december 31, 2022

Parts of an interview with Duran Kalkan, member of the KCK Executive Council, about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world, including the continuing uncertainty regarding the situation of Abdullah Öcalan, the partnership of European powers with fascism in Turkey, the recent major defeat of the Turkish Army in South Kurdistan/North Iraq, the democratic struggle to overcome the blockage caused by the Turkish regime, the exclusion of Kurds from the recent Amman Meeting and the responsibility of the AKP-MHP government for the recent targeted attack on Kurds in Paris:

Continuing Uncertainty Regarding Situation of Abdullah Öcalan

“Recently, protests of MPs have taken place [in Turkey]. Applications to go to Imrali to meet with Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] have also been made. All this is important. The MPs are now protesting in front of the Ministry of Justice. The place of the protest of the MPs is well-chosen. This institution must be addressed. Because it is one of the institutions that disseminates the information in question. Not only does it spread information, but it also prevents lawyers and families from meeting with Leader Apo and other prisoners in Imrali. We can clearly say that there is a game taking place and that tricks are being made. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to carry out such protests to clarify the situation, to insist on the applications for meetings [on Imrali] and to put pressure on the current administration and the institutions that are responsible for the way to and from Imrali.”

“There has been a state of uncertainty. Many suspicions have been spread. This, of course, has created serious concerns, anxiety and uncertainty. This situation of uncertainty which has increased our anxiety and worries continues. There have not been any changes. The situation is really serious. It is not a situation to be taken lightly. This is very challenging for the movement, all comrades, our people, patriots and international friends. Everyone is on high alert, basically not sleeping. There is a great sensitivity with regards to this issue. It has been 21 months since there has not been any contact, no information [from Abdullah Öcalan]. This is not acceptable. No one should expect the Kurdish people to accept this. We are talking about a nation of 40 million people. The will of this nation is at stake. These people are waging a struggle. They have given 50 thousand martyrs for this cause. Today they are filled with a great anxiety and huge worries.”

“Some institutions, the CPT [European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] for example, have recently been criticized. Their current attitude is really not understandable. If there is really no danger, this situation should not continue. But since it does, this means that there really is a dangerous situation. This has increased our anxiety, worries, anger and protests. Society has recently shown its anger clearly. The sensitivities of this society are important. Respecting these sensitivities would not make the CPT cease to be an institution. There is no need for the CPT to insist so much that this would break its institutional rules. At least they could have respected these sensitivities. They are dealing with a society, not just any person, institution, party or organization. There is a society they are faced with and this society is being subjected to genocide.”

Partnership of European Powers with Fascism in Turkey

“The European institutions are carrying out more attacks in support of Turkey instead of creating some clarity and of assuring that the laws work in Turkey. Germany has recently arrested Kurdish patriots. They attack Kurdish houses and loot the centers of Kurdish associations. If these powers do such things, AKP-MHP fascism will of course do anything. It does not obey any law or moral rules. Therefore, these powers are indeed complicit in what is happening in Turkey and Imrali. European institutions, namely the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the CPT, the ECHR do not intervene. We have always said and will say again and again that this constitutes support for the genocide. The AKP-MHP´s mentality and politics are fascist and genocidal. They try to take revenge on Leader Apo and are carrying out all kinds of attacks and a Kurdish genocide. The international conspiracy [imprisonment of Abdullah Öcalan in 1999] also constitutes a genocide attack. For 24 years, the Imrali system has continued as a genocide system. The isolation [of Abdullah Öcalan] is a genocide attack. They continue all kinds of hostile behavior without following any moral or legal rules. And Europe is a partner in all this. Maybe Europe even encourages Turkey to do this, we don’t know. We are skeptical and have our doubts with regards to this issue.”

Increased Struggle for Abdullah Öcalan´s Freedom in Coming Months

“We will increase our struggle even more. Many relevant organizations have called for exactly this. There is movement abroad and in all four parts of Kurdistan. The society in North Kurdistan and Turkey is mobilizing. The Leadership [Abdullah Öcalan] is in Turkey, in North Kurdistan. It is therefore necessary to march to Imrali. More protests need to happen there. We would like to salute the ongoing struggles. There is an important level of sensitivity and struggle. Yet, we must not be satisfied with what we have. Instead, we need to increase the struggle even more. We must make it more versatile and richer. We must force the powers that don’t even live up to their own laws to obey certain rules. For this to happen, we should not stop for a single second. There must be more unity. We must spread the ideas of the Leadership more among other peoples, women and youth. We need to try to understand Leader Apo even better. And we need to increase the struggle for the minimum rules of law to be applied against the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide. Therefore, I would like to repeat our call on this basis.”

Recent Major Defeat of Turkish Army in South Kurdistan/North Iraq

“The war with its center in [the South Kurdish regions] Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna is now in its 9th month. It has spread everywhere to a certain extent. The attacks continue from Gever to Istanbul. On this basis, I would like to especially salute the guerrilla forces in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna and congratulate them on their success once again. I would also like to commemorate the heroic martyrs of this resistance with respect, love and gratitude. The war is now entering the year 2023. Those who wanted to achieve results in a week or two have now been fighting for months and years. Now, they find themselves in a desperate situation. The war balance sheet for the last 8 months has been published: First of all, all of the Turkish state´s plans have failed. Secondly, they have got stuck there. Thirdly, they are struggling, are desperate and have no solution. They don’t know what to do now. They need to withdraw but are incapable to do so. Therefore, they are suffering more and more casualties, and there will be even more. All this has already taken that long but they haven´t had any success. Moreover, the Turkish army had to flee from many places [in South Kurdistan]. It has been unable to carry out the occupation. It will get hit even harder and will have to abandon even more places in the coming months. This will not only lead to the end of AKP-MHP fascism. It will also bring about the end of Turkey´s fascist, colonialist, genocidal mentality and politics. This is the goal of this resistance. It is achieving this goal step by step. Some people did not believe us when we said that the Turkish state would be defeated in Zap and Metîna just as the Islamic State [IS] was defeated in Kobanê. Now this has become obvious. The war balance sheets and statements clearly reveal that the Turkish state, AKP-MHP fascism and the fascist, colonialist, genocidal mentality and politics have indeed been defeated in Zap, Avaşîn, Metîna and all over the Medya Defense Zones, against the resistance of the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla. Since they have been defeated there, since they are helpless and have reached a dead end, they now attack the people, women and the democratic political arena. Every week, they attack the civilian population in South Kurdistan and Rojava. And they use chemical weapons, tactical nuclear weapons and commit all kinds of war crimes in order to save themselves from this defeat.”

Need for Strong Democratic Struggle to Overcome Blockage Caused by Turkish Regime

“In Turkey and North Kurdistan, they have done everything they could. They recently attacked the press and artists. Now they are attacking democratic politics. They have imprisoned the co-chairs of the Democratic Regions Party [DPB] and all its provincial co-chairs. They have increased their pressure and torture to the utmost. They have intensified the Imrali torture and genocide system. Why? Because they have been defeated in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna. If AKP-MHP fascism had succeeded in its war against the guerrilla forces there, it would not have attacked the press, artists, parties and women. They have arrested so many women. They attack women as if they were taking revenge. Just like they attack Leader Apo in Imrali. Because all their abusive and rapist faces have been exposed and their masks have fallen off.”

“The responsibility for the organized arrests and attacks that have recently taken place is not only limited to the AKP-MHP. There is not much protest from the opposition either. There is no sound from those who claim to be an alternative to the AKP-MHP government, especially the CHP. They are supposedly going to overthrow fascism and bring democracy to Turkey. Have you raised your voice against AKP-MHP fascism’s attacks on the Kurdish people, the Alevi community, the revolutionary democratic forces, women and youth? But still they say: “I am a democrat, I will bring democracy.” No one believes that. And there are also those who support the AKP-MHP government from outside. They are holding meeting after meeting. In order to save Turkey, both Russia and the USA are offering their support. NATO is doing the same. The attacks on the Kurds and Kurdish institutions in Amed [Diyarbakir], Ankara and Germany are happening simultaneously and on the basis of the same plan. We can see this clearly. The AKP-MHP is doing all this and the German administration is not much different. They have an agreement with each other. They are trying to save the AKP-MHP. It seems that these attacks will increase even more. The US, the European Union, Russia and other foreign powers are saying: “These attacks will weaken the PKK and the AKP-MHP will be worn out. Therefore, we will prepare the CHP and the forces called the `Table of Six´.” The foreign powers hoped that they would be able to create a new government in Turkey in a soft way in order to pursue their own interests. But the resistance in Zap has destroyed these games. It has not given AKP-MHP fascism the opportunity to extend its power but has defeated it instead. It has also not allowed the foreign powers to replace the AKP-MHP through a soft transition and to create an alternative fascist colonialist government.”

“This has created a blockage. In other words, the general blockage of the system constitutes mainly in Turkey and Syria. This is of course structural, but with some tricks and smooth transitions, the system will pretend to overcome these blockages. It will try to deceive society by saying that it has brought new administrations to power. But the PKK does not allow this to happen. The guerrilla resistance has not allowed this. Now everyone is desperate and without a solution. It is not clear what will happen. So what is next? Both of them [government and ´Table of Six´-opposition] must collapse and an alternative that will carry Turkey to real democracy must develop. The way is open for the HDP, other democratic parties, the Labor and Freedom Alliance, and all the forces that truly believe in democracy. In other words, when the AKP-MHP looses power, a force like the CHP cannot replace it. A real democratic power must take over. What will really change when the CHP replaces the AKP? But change is necessary in Turkey. And this can only happen through real democratization. To prevent this, the AKP-MHP government is attacking with all its might and is cooperating with international powers. The CHP also participates in all this, just like foreign powers are.”

“So what is needed now? We need to acknowledge this reality and become more combative. The forces that really say they are democrats must unite, they must fight to overthrow fascism. They must carry the victory of the guerrilla which has defeated AKP-MHP fascism in Zap, Avaşîn, Metîna and all over Kurdistan, to the the arenas of political struggle, social struggle, ideological struggle, art and literature. For this, it is necessary to fight in a more organized and multifaceted way. The upcoming elections should definitely be understood as such a struggle. It is absolutely necessary to unify the political and military developments. There is absolutely no election detached from these developments. Therefore, what needs to be done now is to increase the struggle more and unite more. The divisions must be overcome. Small things should not be made an issue. More alliances, relations and unity must develop in the women’s movement, the youth movement and democratic politics. The resistance of the guerrilla and in the prisons must be supported even more. We need to fight more against these fascist attacks. Fascism will always attack. If there is no pressure, we need to doubt ourselves. If a fascist dictatorship does not attack us, we should be worried about how we are doing. These attacks are a proof that you are struggling.”

Current Developments are Sign of Critical Phase

“We are in a very critical phase. All kinds of things can happen. Even heavier attacks might take place. Coups, conspiracies or massacres may be put on the agenda. We must be prepared for all this. Therefore, we must carry out the antifascist struggle more organized, more effective and in unity. We must resist in an even stronger way and embrace the daily tasks of our struggle even more. This is the only correct, revolutionary, democratic ad patriotic attitude. Only this attitude will win. There is resistance in the prisons and also outside. All those who resist shout that you cannot make a Kurd bow his head. We need to make this our slogan. We really need to make the struggle more organized and enrich it with more creative and diverse methods. We must make it bigger so that we can turn the coming months and weeks into a period of overthrowing fascism, braking the isolation, of democracy, freedom and of one of the greatest victories in history. The way ahead is clear. I therefore call on everyone to organize more and fight harder to achieve this goal.”

Exclusion of Kurds from Recent Amman Meeting

“Amman is a critical place. We know that IS attacks were organized and carried out from there. Amman meetings are famous. A century ago, Jordan was given such a role in shaping the Middle East. Britain and France were managing these affairs back then. There was also a conference in Cairo a century ago in 1921. We hope that this Amman meeting will not be like that conference in Cairo. That meeting shaped the last century of the Middle East. This century was disastrous for the Middle East. It was a result of those meetings. The Kurdish genocide was also planned at the Cairo conference. Until then, the Kurds had still been given a place in certain areas. The mentality and politics of ignorance and destruction were generated there. That’s how the century-old Kurdish genocide emerged. Everyone was gathered in Amman recently except for the Kurds. Why? It was called the second Iraq meeting. Iraq’s problems were discussed there. Iraq has no problems of its own. It has problems created by the ruling, statist forces and the system. Its wealth is a problem. Its material wealth, cultural wealth, multinationality and multilingualism are a problem. This is due to the ruling, statist, colonialist system, mentality and politics. There are no other problems. Half of Iraq’s problems are related to the Kurdish question. What is called Iraq’s border problem is a Kurdistan problem. The problem with Iran is a Kurdistan problem. The problem with Turkey is a Kurdistan problem. And so is the problem with Syria. It is the problem of dividing and sharing Kurdistan. The Kurdish problem was discussed in Amman, but there were no Kurds. Why not? Why didn’t they invite the KCK? Why didn’t they invite the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria? Apparently, this was also a meeting to improve the fight against IS. The biggest part of the fight against IS and therefore of the efforts to stabilize Iraq, has been done by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces]. They are still holding thousands of Iraqi IS fighters captive. North and East Syria defeated IS. Iraq was only then able to take Mosul and other places from IS. Therefore, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria has made the biggest contribution to the stability of Iraq. The improvement of the security and stability of Iraq was recently discussed in Amman. But it was the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria that has served this purpose the most and has played the biggest role in this. So why weren’t they invited? Why were there no Kurds? This has caused concern and anxiety among us. Are they trying to renew a century-old mentality and politics based on the denial and extermination of the Kurds? If this is the case, the UN, France and the other participating states need to think carefully, because they are playing a dangerous game. The results of the past century are obvious. How have the Kurds defeated this mentality and politics? Through their century-long resistance. And they will resist even more.”

“We don’t know exactly what the results [of the Amman meeting] are. For example, the Turkish state carried out an invasion attack with tens of thousands of troops from Heftanîn to Xakurkê [in South Kurdistan/North Iraq]. Who has resisted against this occupation? The Kurds have. They have prevented the occupation. All these territories are officially considered Iraqi territory. It is the PKK that has prevented the occupation there. Why have these forces not been invited to Amman? Where and how did the Iraqi forces resist against the occupation, against the massacres? What security and defense can they talk about? We have the Medya Defense Zones. We announced 20 years ago that if they attack here we will fight. And this is still the case. Everyone needs to be aware of this. If they want to unite and crush us, they themselves will end up in a dead end. They can go to AKP-MHP fascism and ask them what results this war has produced. And then, they can draw their own conclusions.”

“Various Arab states recently sat at a common table with Turkey [in Amman]. IS was basically invited there. But those fighting against IS were not invited. They sat down with IS. They sat down with the Muslim Brotherhood. This is really too much. There is a need for a certain degree of democratic mentality and politics. Arab politicians, intellectuals and writers need to democratize themselves a bit. Therefore, this narrow Arab nationalism must be overcome. Kurdish rights must be recognized, and the values of the Kurdish society must be acknowledged. The Kurdish-Arab alliance needs to really be strengthened on a democratic basis, based on the principle of brotherhood. We could not see such attitudes [in Amman]. They could have easily achieved this themselves. They are supposedly discussing the problems of the Middle East, the problems of Iraq. But they do not establish any relations with the Kurds, the free Kurdish will, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, which has recently given the greatest support to Iraq, the Middle East and the Arab world. So how will the problems of the Middle East be solved? How will we get rid of this exploitation? How will this fragmentation, occupation and colonialism be overcome? How will the Middle East become free and democratic? How will the Middle Eastern societies, the Kurds, Turks, Persians and Arabs, live in brotherhood? I think it is necessary to think carefully. We don’t know its details, but we attach great importance to the recent meeting in Amman. We followed it carefully, but of course the results have not been made public. At least we can say this much in order to promote a certain degree of sensitivity.”

Responsibility of AKP-MHP Government for Recent Targeted Attack on Kurds in Paris

“As we are approaching the 10th anniversary of the massacre in Paris on January 9, 2013, a second Paris massacre has now happened. Who committed the January 9, 2013 massacre? Why did they do it? Who were the shooters? Who were massacred? All this is well known. At that time, comrade Sara [Sakine Cansiz], one of the founders of our party, was the main target. Now we see that comrade Evin, a member of the KCK Executive Committee, was targeted in the recent attack. Again a Kurdish revolutionary, again a female revolutionary has been targeted by the fascist-genocidal mentality and politics and has thus been murdered in the heart of Paris. Therefore, we have no difficulty in determining how, why and by whom this second Paris massacre was carried out. This is a very similar scenario. In 2013, they said that a sick Turk had carried out the massacre. Later, they announced him dead without really clarifying the issue. And now they are doing a very similar thing by saying that a sick French citizen carried out the attack. They are trying to muddy the waters in a similar way by claiming that he is a racist and a psychopath’. These are all empty attempts. No one will be able to convince the people and humanity with such lies.”

“Why does a racist only attack Kurds, their association and workplaces? He could have attacked other foreigners too. How sick is he really that he was released from prison only 10 days ago but did not get any treatment? He could indeed be acting with racist motives, he could be involved in such organizations. But this person had been a prisoner until recently. He was obviously trained in prison. He was undoubtedly surveilled by the French police after his release, but he was not prevented from committing such a massacre. There are reports that he came in a car, got out of the car and then committed this massacre. The car was probably waiting somewhere nearby. He was going to reach it and thus escape. But when Kurdish patriots got hold of him and captured him, he could not escape. Thus the murderer was handed over to the French police and state. Of course, the entire Kurdish society, the 50 million Kurds in the four parts of Kurdistan and abroad, all their international friends, democratic and libertarian forces all over the world are now demanding from the French state, police and government to expose, interrogate and put on trial the forces that decided and planned this incident, and to hold them to account for the massacre on the basis of law. This is a very justified demand.”

“There have been many condemnations recently. Many statements have been made. Many have said that if those responsible for the January 9, 2013 massacre had been held to account, if the real culprit had been exposed and put on trial, this second Paris massacre would not have happened. They have said that if those responsible for the IS attacks in France had been properly held to account, this would not have happened. The second Paris massacre is definitely a continuation of the January 9, 2013 massacre. It is also a continuation of the attacks carried out by Al-Qaeda in France and of the occupation and massacres in Kurdistan. So who is the power that stands behind all this? Everyone knows very well that it is the Turkish state and the fascist AKP-MHP dictatorship. In Kurdistan, Turkey, the Middle East and the world, no one except the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship, the Turkish state and its National Intelligence Organization (MIT) under the leadership of Hakan Fidan attacks the Kurds today. Nobody has anything against the Kurds. In fact, there is great sympathy and friendship for the Kurds in the region and around the world. Why? Because they resisted against IS in Şengal [Sinjar], Mexmûr, Kobanê and in Rojava as a whole. Because they defeated IS, the enemy of humanity. IS is the enemy of the Kurds. And the friend of IS is the AKP-MHP. The AKP-MHP can never be considered as separate from IS. There is an AKP-MHP-IS alliance and union. Just as many massacres in North Kurdistan and in Turkey were carried out by this AKP-MHP-IS alliance – e.g. the July 20, 2015 Suruç massacre, the October 10, 2015 Ankara train station massacre or the June 2015 massacre in Amed – it is precisely these forces that have organized the Paris massacre on December 23, 2022 at the Ahmet Kaya Cultural Center and thus the murder of three Kurdish patriots. Attacks have not only happened in Paris recently. DBP members have also been arrested. There is an ongoing lawsuit to shut down the HPD. Dozens of Kurdish women in North Kurdistan who were waging a struggle for freedom have been arrested. In other words, the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship is not only attacking and massacring Kurds in Paris. At the same time, it is attacking them all over North Kurdistan and Turkey, from Amed to Ankara. Dozens of Kurds have recently been arrested, murdered, imprisoned and tortured. The torture in the prisons, the isolation in Imrali and the psychological and physical pressure on Leader Apo have been taken to the extreme. All this is happening at the same time as the Paris massacre. Just by looking at all these developments, everyone can see clearly who has made this person pull the trigger in Paris – no matter who actually was the person who shot.”

“This was also clear in the case of the Paris massacre on January 9, 2013. In this case, it was also revealed that the killer was an agent of the MIT led by Hakan Fidan. It was also revealed that the AKP under Tayyip Erdoğan had given the order. But the French administration concealed all this. Now it is again the MİT under Hakan Fidan who carried out the recent massacre. The MIT and the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship are responsible for this. Did this person become an enemy of Kurds in prison? How did he become such an enemy of Kurds that he immediately attacked a Kurdish Cultural Center and a Kurdish workplace within 10 days of his release from prison? What made him differentiate so much between Kurds and others? That means he was well trained and very organized. In short, Kurds and humanity are faced with a highly organized and well planned fascist colonialist-genocidal attack. Especially the people of Paris, the French society do not really deserve this. They don´t deserve such massacres. But they have become the site of these kinds of massacres. Therefore, the Kurdish society and humanity expects the French state to expose those responsible and hold them to account. They will follow up on this issue. The Kurds and humanity will support all efforts in this direction. Those responsible for the January 9, 2013 massacre and the December 23, 2022 massacre will be held to account. Therefore, we invite all intellectuals, revolutionaries, democrats, left-socialist forces, all those in favor of democracy, all international friends of the Kurds and the democratic forces in Europe and around the world to expose those responsible for this incident and to hold them to account. As the Kurdish people and the Freedom Movement, this is our call and our expectation based on solidarity and friendship.”

“We will increase the struggle against the massacre of December 23rd. All those responsible for the December 23rd massacre will definitely be held to account. This struggle will bury the fascist colonialist-genocidal mentality of the AKP-MHP-IS alliance, while leading humanity to a free and democratic life. It will lead to an even stronger struggle for the democratic solution of the Kurdish question. This is what we believe in. On this basis, we call on all our people, especially in Paris and abroad, to take the right attitude and wage the right struggle. We commemorate all our martyrs of the Paris Massacre, especially comrade Evin, with respect, love and gratitude. And we call on our people to unite around our martyrs, to effectively wage a struggle that will avenge the martyrs, to continue the struggle for freedom and democracy until all murderers are exposed and held to account, and to continue their protests and actions.”

“Of course, it is necessary not to fall for simplistic attitudes or tricks and to be careful with regards to provocative approaches. We must not make mistakes in any way. We must not give any opportunity to provocative attempts that want to make our position, which is absolutely justified, seem illegitimate. We call on our people to act with the utmost sensitivity and caution in this regard. We believe that the real perpetrators of both massacres will be exposed, tried and held to account. This will lead to people´s unity and democratization on the basis of women’s freedom and freedom of the Kurdish people.”

“As the PKK, together with our people and our international friends, we will definitely adopt such an attitude. No one should have any doubts about this. The blood of our martyrs will not be in vain. The fascist murderers will definitely be held to account. This will lead to the realization of women’s freedom, Kurdish freedom and a free and democratic life of humanity. Therefore, the Paris massacre will increase our anger and reaction even more and strengthen our consciousness. It will make our will sharper. We will further increase our struggle for freedom and democracy in the right way and with the appropriate methods. On this basis, we once again commemorate all the martyrs of the Paris massacre with respect and gratitude. We share the pain of their families and our people. And we call on all our people and international friends to hold those responsible for the massacre to account by leading the struggle for freedom and democracy, which we are waging on the basis of the physical freedom of Leader Apo, to victory.”