june 14, 2023
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 current situation of Abdullah Öcalan, the decision to terminate the halt of all military attacks, the election results in Turkey, the election performance of the CHP and the National alliance, the Green Left Party’s ongoing discussions about its election results, the future policy of Turkey’s new government and the dangers this policy will entail:
Let us start by talking about the current situation of Abdullah Öcalan. What are the latest developments with regards to him and his ongoing imprisonment on the Turkish prison island Imrali?
First of all, I would like to salute the historic Imrali resistance and Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] with respect. As a movement and as a people, for 27 months, we have not received any information from Leader Apo and the other comrades imprisoned on Imrali. Lawyers and politicians regularly talk about this situation and our friends have recently evaluated this issue as well. They all said that such an isolation has never been implemented in history. Even in South Africa, where isolation was practiced most severely, people recently stated that the measures against Nelson Mandela were not this heavy. The right to information cannot be taken away. But this state of non-communication and absolute isolation continues. There is absolutely no change on the side of those who run Imrali.
There is a limit and a measure even to enmity. There is such a thing as the law of war and the law of enmity. Let’s assume that we are enemies. But enemies meet with each other. They are in communication with each other. Because wars do not always end with one side finishing and destroying the other side completely. Compromises and agreements are a more likely end. They happen through communication and negotiation. They may see us as enemies. But this government has given us promises at the highest level, at the ministerial level, even at the presidential level.
One might of course say, how can you believe a promise given by the AKP? Everything they say is a lie. Of course, we can’t just say that and simply move on. This promise must be fulfilled. We have repeatedly stated that there is no law in Imrali. The isolation continues. Why? Because those who run this place promised that it would not be like this. They neither fulfill the requirements of their law, nor do they fulfill their own promises. And they do not implement international resolutions either. Not only regarding Imrali. For example, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided that former HDP Co-Chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş and other detainees in connection with the Kobanê case must be released from prison. Turkey is supposedly bound by European law. It accepts it but does not apply it. Their approach of not recognizing anything other than their own politics continues. We have also talked about the issue of fabricated disciplinary penalties before. Why were these penalties given? At one point they said it was for speaking loudly. If there is a penalty, there must be a reason for it. But these reasons are not put forward. Because we know very well that anything that would require such a penalty cannot happen in Imrali. These are all fabricated things to cover up the actual situation. One aspect is to prevent meetings [with family members or lawyers], but the main aspect, which is much more important, is that in the 25th year [of Abdullah Öcalan’s imprisonment], according to European law, the situation of Leader Apo and the Imrali system must be discussed. This is about what is called the ‘Right to Hope’. His situation needs to be discussed again. He needs to be tried and even released.
Normally, according to European law, the Turkish administration no longer has the possibility to keep Leader Apo in Imrali. The lawyers have also said this. This issue has been emphasized recently. We have drawn attention to this many times in the recent past. Because we ourselves learned about European law by experiencing it first hand. We also learned about the defendants’ position. Learning about the law and the position of the defendant brings about a better understanding of the issue at hand. So this is what these disciplinary penalties are really about. Now many circles are emphasizing their importance. We definitely need to insist on this. We need to fight more against this attitude. Lawyers, politicians and human rights defenders have recently been drawing more attention to this issue.
This situation cannot continue like that. Europe cannot remain silent. European institutions, the CPT and the Council of Europe are complicit in this unlawfulness and in what is being done in Imrali. Therefore, there is concrete criticism with regards to this. This is very clear. There is not much we have been hearing from these institutions.
Recently, an election took place and now the People’s Alliance is forming a new government. On the Aegean coast, on the Mediterranean coast, in the Marmara region and in Kurdistan, this alliance was not able to win. But it won in other places. Now they are forming the new government. But the Kurds have rejected both Tayyip Erdoğan and the People’s Alliance by more than 70 percent, up to 75 percent. They did not vote for them. The Green Left Party won in these places. It won with a majority of around 65 percent and in many cities it exceeded 70 percent. In others it reached 55-60 percent. Now Tayyip Erdoğan is forming the new government. The People’s Alliance will be making the decisions in parliament in the future. But the Kurds have rejected both of them. The Kurds have rejected the decisions to be taken by these two institutions. Their decisions are not binding for the Kurds. This is not an administration of the Kurds. This is what I am trying to say: If there was such a situation not in Kurdistan, but in another part of the world, let’s say in Europe, these states, politicians and all those who call themselves human rights defenders would raise hell. They would say that this government cannot govern. Because it has been refused, it was not able to win. But now no one is making a single noise. It’s as if there was no such result. The Kurds have rejected the new government in Turkey. The decisions it will take will be anti-Kurdish. This new government will be in a state of war. It will do everything to crush the Kurds. Everyone knows this, but they say nothing. This is the situation in Imrali. So much lawlessness and injustice. All this is happening in Imrali. But they don’t make a sound. Why? Because this is where the Kurdish will for freedom is. All of this is linked to the approach to the Kurdish people, i.e. to the Kurdish genocide.
The main Kurdish genocide institution is the Imrali torture and isolation system. This has been the case for the last 25 years. Before that, similar institutions had emerged in different forms. They took many people to the gallows in the last century in all four parts of Kurdistan. We know this very well.
This is the situation today. That’s why no one is speaking out. This needs to be exposed. Of course, we need to go further. We need to wage both legal and political struggles. The struggle is important and on this basis all our struggles continue in every field. I would therefore like to salute all the struggles against the Imrali torture and isolation system and for the physical freedom of Leader Apo. I would like to wish everybody involved in these struggles success once again.
We should never say that we are struggling but that there are no results. This struggle is very important. It has an impact on politics. It certainly has an impact on life in Imrali. The people’s struggle will break the walls of Imrali and destroy the system of torture and isolation. It is necessary to believe that the struggle will win. If we make it bigger, if we wage the struggle more widely, we will definitely achieve results. Our people and international friends need to know this. Therefore, there should be absolutely no despair. Nobody should think that there are no results. On the contrary, if we struggle more, we will achieve more results. We need to therefore increase the struggle. On this basis, I would like to call on everyone to increase the struggle.
The attacks of the Turkish state on your movement continue. What does this mean for the decision of your movement after the earthquake in Turkey to halt all its military attacks?
First of all, I would like to commemorate all the martyrs of this war with respect, love and gratitude. I commemorate all the martyrs of Zap, Avaşin and Metina [areas in South Kurdistan/North Iraq] in the person of Comrade Zerdeşt, Comrade Hüseyin Arasan, our martyr of Sulaymaniyah, and our martyrs of Botan and Lice with respect, love and gratitude. I salute the guerrilla and our people who continue to resist against all the attacks by Tayyip Erdoğan and the fascist dictatorship of the People’s Alliance. This resistance will undoubtedly grow much stronger in the upcoming period.
Until now, we have been talking about our decision to halt all military attacks. That is probably the issue that currently attracts most attention or curiosity. Our leadership had deemed the halt of all attacks necessary due to the earthquake. We still believe that this was the right decision to take. Then, our movement extended its decision until the May 14 elections in order to prevent any new provocations. We still find this decision meaningful too. But we, our friends and especially our central headquarters commanders and HPG BIM [Press Center of the People’s Defense Forces] have made very clear statements about this issue: On our side, this decision to halt all attacks had been taken. Yet, the other side did not take such an attitude. It never did. When they did not have enough strength or when they were occupied with other things, their attacks were low. But when they had made the necessary preparations, they increased their attacks. Our decision to halt all attacks has therefore not been responded to by the administration of the Turkish state.
Some circles have said that they find this decision positive, but so far no results have come from their side either. So what is the point we have reached now? Elections took place and their results have been published. Erdoğan has established his new administration almost with lightning speed. He is working like a machine. Tayyip Erdoğan had obviously prepared himself well in advance for this. He knew everything. It’s like a script that has been written and prepared is being played out. Parallel to this, Erdoğan has also increased the attacks. There are military attacks everywhere. There have been repeated statements by our Central Headquarters with regards to the Medya Defense Zones [areas in South Kurdistan controlled by the guerrilla]. There are the monthly balance sheets and also the daily balance sheets. According to them, there are at least 50 to 60 attacks every day. On some days, there are hundreds of attacks. There are attacks on the ground. Today, information was published about the intention of the occupation forces to increase their attacks in Xakurke [area in South Kurdistan]. There were attacks in many areas by the Turkish army, e.g. in Lice and Botan [areas in North Kurdistan]. And consequently there were defense actions by the guerrilla forces against the attacks. Rojava is also under constant attack. Şengal [Sinjar] was attacked and there was an attack on Sulaymaniyah as well. The MIT leadership has recently changed. I guess the new leadership wanted to prove its competence by committing a massacre in Sulaymaniyah. On the day of the elections they also shot an IYI Party member. And they ran over a child in Gever [area in North Kurdistan]. They are making arrests every day. For example, they arrested the mayors of Patnos. There are increasing attacks. These attacks have military and political dimensions. In the face of all these attacks, of course, our decision to halt all military attacks has become meaningless.
There are increasing fascist, colonialist and genocidal attacks and there is also a resistance against them. The guerrilla has always resisted against the attacks, retaliated and struck blows. It has been sensitive in this regard. The guerrilla needs to do this even more. It needs to be able to develop new ways of attacks towards new targets, more widespread, in wider areas, thus going beyond its old style. And I think the guerrilla is already doing exactly that. Our central headquarters commanders have recently declared that the guerrilla is ready to do its part successfully. This is very important.
There were attacks on Şengal recently. And Rojava is also being attacked. Especially in the attack on Sulaymaniyah, they brazenly murdered a revolutionary patriot. How many times has this happened already? This has now crossed a line. Our comrades, all patriots, our people and the revolutionary democratic forces of Turkey must see this: We are facing a government that exists on the basis of war and massacres. This is also the case for the newly established government. And it will attack even more. Everyone needs to understand this. Therefore, everybody should adopt an appropriate attitude. We need sensitivity. We cannot act as if there is no such thing. We are facing an enemy who wants to destroy us, who wants to annihilate us. And it does whatever is necessary for this. It attacks 24 hours a day. In this case, we must respond to this. So what do we need to do? We must improve our defense measures. Everyone needs to take measures for their own security. This is not only necessary for the guerrilla or our revolutionary militants, but also for all the people, patriots, women and the youth. Because the attacks target everyone. It is not clear where and who will be attacked next. Therefore, every section of society needs to take security measures. We must take defense measures. We should not act as if we were living in a free and democratic environment. We should not wait for someone else to guarantee our security.
Secondly, it is necessary to fight against these attacks and we must be the ones who fight. Every patriotic revolutionary man, woman and youth must be a freedom fighter. There is an enemy attacking them. Whenever they have the opportunity, they must fight and strike a blow against the enemy so that they can mobilize all their means and strength. This is what people’s resistance means. This is total resistance. This is called self-defense. Otherwise, only talking is not self-defense. Approaches that take self-defense away from the military dimension are wrong. This issue is mainly military and related to security. It has other meanings too. But in the end, military security is essential. In this respect, our people, our international friends, all patriots and comrades should know this well: They want to exterminate us. Therefore, we can only live by fighting against those who want to exterminate us, striking blows against them and defeating them. Our duty is to wage such a struggle, to wage war. Everyone must realize this. We have said this before, but this is not being put into practice. Even when the enemy doesn’t have a whole lot of power, it attacks and achieves results. We must not give the enemy this opportunity. Therefore, I call on everyone to be sensitive, to be cautious, to ensure their own security and to fight against the enemy. I call on everyone to fight against the fascist, colonialist and genocidal mentality, politics and attacks. Only such a war will allow us to stay alive.
The discussions about the elections results in Turkey and North Kurdistan continue. How do you evaluate the results?
The May 14 elections took place in the midst of a great struggle. This struggle was based on the guerrilla resistance. We were waging this struggle on the basis of the revolutionary people’s war strategy and the enemy was waging a total annihilation attack. The elections therefore took place as a new method of struggle in the context of such a relentless war. This method of political struggle was important. Since it was linked to this struggle and could produce certain results in this context, it could actually determine the future course of the struggle. It was not wrong to attach such an importance to the elections. In fact, an important result has emerged. Now, there is clarity. Just like the elections themselves, their result is also important. If AKP-MHP fascism had suffered an electoral defeat, if fascism had entered the process of collapse, the way would have been paved for the democratization of Turkey on the basis of Turkish-Kurdish freedom. The struggle would have continued on that basis. This would have been a new struggle with its own ways and methods. But what is happening now? What are Tayyip Erdoğan and the People’s Alliance based on? The fascist government has renewed itself. No matter what form it has taken now, this government has been strengthened. In a way, of course, it will continue in the old way. The efforts to institutionalize fascism and the dictatorship will continue. But in other ways it will not be the same as before. It will try to attack with new methods. Tayyip Erdoğan said that they will increase the military attacks both in Turkey and abroad, and that they will increase their diplomatic attacks as well. New methods of struggle will therefore be developed. The struggle between the fascist dictatorship and democracy, Kurdish freedom and democracy in Turkey has thus entered a new period.
Now there are discussions and important evaluations within this framework. But some evaluations are too superficial, too shallow, too formal and too insignificant. We need to express this clearly. For example, there is a very extreme approach that reduces the issue to individuals. Moreover, even before it was announced that Tayyip Erdoğan had won, many circles inside and outside the country immediately became followers of Erdoğan. This has been going on for some time now. Those who said so-and-so things to Kılıçdaroğlu before the elections are now trying to give advice to the new government as if they had never said those words. They are trying to find a place in this government. There are currently such unethical approaches and attitudes.
The important point here is that many evaluations do not fully focus on the central aspects of the election results. What are the central aspects? We made an evaluation a month ago, right after the elections, right after May 14th. And we still largely maintain the positions we talked about back then. For example, we drew attention to what the AKP, in alliance with the MHP, has created in Turkey, and what they now want to do in Kurdistan in alliance with the KDP, in alliance with this contra force. This was important an important point. Many circles don’t see this. They talk a lot about how Erdoğan cheated, how he stole votes and how he thus won. Yes, he may not have actually won. Kılıçdaroğlu may have won the election. There was a lot of cheating. But everybody knew that he would do this. This is one aspect, a technical aspect. It’s not all about cheating. Ok, Kılıçdaroğlu did not become president. But even if he had, Tayyip Erdoğan still has this amount of votes.
Not all of these votes were rigged. Now these vote are important. What does this show? Fascism has a mass base. This has become clear. Leader Apo has talked about how the nation state turns the people into a herd by committing a sociocide. This is what is being carried out in Turkey. Turkey has tied its society to the MHP. Now it wants to the Kurds into Hezbollah members. This is the biggest crime and sin of Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP. This is not just a simple mass of voters. Through art, propaganda and education, people are being brainwashed and a new mentality and new emotions are being shaped.
On the other hand, not only a mentality is given to these people. They are also being organized. Fascist gangs are being organized. Just like there are gangs of ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, now there are also MHP and Hezbollah gangs among the AKP supporters. These are organizations that have taken up weapons. They killed a member of the IYI Party on the night of the election. If they had really wanted to fight or if somebody had said that Tayyip Erdoğan had lost, nobody knows what would have spilled onto the streets.
Ekrem İmamoğlu was not able to hold a rally. When they threw stones at him in Erzurum, he ran all the way to Istanbul. Kılıçdaroğlu could not enter this area at all. If Kılıçdaroğlu had become president, there would have been a president who would not have been able to hold a rally in Erzurum. No one except the MHP, AKP and Hezbollah can go to the places where Tayyip Erdoğan received votes. There is an organized and armed gang. This is a great danger. This is not only a danger for today’s politics. It is a danger for the future of Turkey. This is a danger not only for Turkey and the Kurds, but for the peoples of the Middle East and for all humanity. Some political circles in the Middle East do not see this and the famous democracy of Europe turns a blind eye to this development. They immediately turned to cooperation with Tayyip for the sake of their own interests. The President of France was among those who declared Tayyip Erdoğan’s victory even before the results of the elections were announced. This is unacceptable. But when he faced ISIS, his hands were tied. ISIS fighters are being organized in Turkey. This is not talked about. This is a very important fact and a great danger that the election results have highlighted. It is necessary to fight against this. And it is not only the Kurds’ job to take a stance and fight against this.
Now that this power is attacking the Kurds, if others say that they will not be attacked, they are mistaken. Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened everyone with his gangs. Tomorrow it will be their turn too. This is a danger for everyone. Yet, this is not being discussed. Some circles have not shown any reaction to this, as if this was a normal situation. The alliance of the AKP, MHP, Hezbollah and Hüda-Par is seen as a normal alliance, a political alliance. And the sections of society they organize and get their votes from are seen as normal. This is a big mistake.
How do you look at the election performance of the CHP and the National alliance?
The CHP has done similar things a couple of times. Muharrem Ince was in the lead in 2018. Suddenly, he disappeared after midnight. A few hours later, Tayyip Erdoğan said that he had won. And Muharrem Ince simply accepted it. In the recent election, the mayors [of Istanbul and Ankara] spoke several times in front of the press until about midnight. They said that they were ahead. But after that, nothing was heard from them. Then it was said that the People’s Alliance had received the majority and that Tayyip Erdoğan had won.
Kılıçdaroğlu has said that the elections were not legitimate and that they were rigged. But why didn’t you fight? On the night of the elections, the CHP was talking until midnight, but then it simply withdrew. It thus gave the election to Tayyip Erdoğan and made Tayyip Erdoğan win. This is how Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu governs.
The National Alliance needs to evaluate why they did not win the election. But there is no discussion about this. The National Alliance did not put forward an alternative. With regards to democratization, they only proposed a strengthened parliamentary system instead of a presidential system. There had already been a parliamentary system before the current presidential system. So there proposal was not a proposal for change, but for a move backwards. They talked about change, but they could not bring about any change. In fact, they could not put their finger on the fundamental problems of Turkey. There is the Kurdish problem, the problems of women, the problems of workers and laborers. They could not put their finger on the problems of war and foreign relations. They ran with whatever Tayyip Erdoğan said. Tayyip Erdoğan directed them all. They used Tayyip Erdoğan’s language against the PKK. And what was the result? Talking about the PKK means talking about the Kurdish problem. If you cannot offer something different with regards to the Kurdish problem, then you are not saying anything different from Tayyip Erdoğan. Because the most fundamental problem of Turkey is the Kurdish problem.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu may be a humble and sensitive person. He may be a successful bureaucrat. But he is not a good politician. He is not a fighter. He obstructs society. At the most critical point, he led Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP-MHP to win. He appeared to be struggling, but maybe he is making the struggle futile. In that sense, he is not a good politician or fighter. He was not able to put forward a democracy program. Now some people say that the CHP needs to change. That’s all fine, but what are those who demand change really talking about? Should Kılıçdaroğlu change or should the CHP’s understanding, program and politics change? If this should change, what does the CHP’s politics have to offer that is new with regards to Turkey’s fundamental problems? Will Kılıçdaroğlu change or not? Now they are discussing about this. This will not lead to anything. We need to raise awareness among the CHP supporters concerning this issue. A CHP stuck in this situation will never take over power. Kılıçdaroğlu is supposedly the most leftist. He won over those who broke away from the AKP and Welfare Party. He took his eternal opponent DP with him. What will he do now? Are they really going to put forward a democracy program, or are they going to turn the remaining CHP into an AKP? Will they pull the CHP more to the right? This needs to be discussed. But the current discussions are not at this level. The current evaluations do not have this kind of content, they are very cheap. We have seen that especially certain intellectuals, journalists and writers are at a very low level. I can say this clearly. They use such shallow and superficial words. This is more like deceiving people. This doesn’t lead to anything. Therefore, yes, there needs to be a change in the CHP. The CHP supporters need to be able to discuss and question all policies really well.
The Green Left Party and other democratic forces in Turkey have also been discussing about the election results. What do you think about how these discussions have been going so far?
There is currently an intense debate within the democratic forces. They have called this a process of self-criticism. We attach great importance to this. This needs to be taken to a very positive conclusion. A new process of struggle has emerged. In order to fulfill its requirements successfully, we need to learn the lessons of the past. We need to subject the past to a critical, a self-critical analysis. Only then can we understand the new process correctly and successfully fulfill the future duties and responsibilities. This is what we all do. There cannot be any other approach to this issue. Without self-criticism and without learning the lessons of the previous process, one cannot be successful in the new future. Because without this, you cannot innovate.
In order to change society, you have to change yourself. In order to create innovation in society and in politics, you have to renew yourself. This means correcting yourself by eliminating the mistakes and shortcomings of the past. This is the process of self-criticism. On this basis, we are indeed in such a questioning process. First of all, all revolutionary organizations should be making such an inquiry. There should not be an approach in revolutionary organizations that refrains from self-criticism and simply considers what has been done as correct and sufficient. On the other hand, there should not be a cheap or hurtful kind of criticism. It is necessary to pay attention to the style, language and content. For example, one should not simply talk about the Kurds and make them the addressee of a collective criticism. And the other one should not simply talk about the Turkish left or the Turks. Mistakes can be made. Criticism can also be made. It is important to show the way and to be a winner. Why? Because Leader Apo has said that the Turks cannot be without the Kurds and the Kurds cannot be without the Turks. The Kurdish freedom struggle cannot succeed without developing the struggle for democracy in Turkey. Turkey’s democratization cannot be realized without the Kurdish struggle. These are strategic allied forces that are closely intertwined with each other. There is such a strategic unity and alliance. Even if there are mistakes here, even if there are shortcomings and deficiencies, and even if there are differences, we should always focus on creating unity. We should always strive to be comrades. We must not get divided and be torn apart by creating divisions. We must not use language that will weaken these strategic allies, their relationship and alliance. At first, people talked about self-criticism, but lately in the press there has mostly been criticism. This is unacceptable. There are those who criticize everything and those who criticize in general. This is not right. Especially in terms of revolutionary unity, we as the PKK attach great importance to the United Revolutionary Movement of Peoples [HBDH]. We clearly say that the role of the HBDH is not over, on the contrary, the most successful role will be played in the upcoming period. Because the HBDH was established to create a revolutionary alternative and develop revolutionary resistance against the AKP, MHP alliance and its ‘Annihilation Plan’ that aimed at crushing the Kurdish people, the Freedom Movement. This happened at a time when fascist attacks were taking place in full rein. This has been the logic of the establishment of HBDH since the spring of 2016. Now this process continues and is intensifying. Therefore, the role, mission and function of the HBDH continues. This is our opinion as the PKK.
Have there been mistakes and shortcomings? Of course there have. We should approach this issue self-critically. We should make criticisms in comradely fashion. But we must definitely continue and strengthen the HBDH. We actually had to develop a stronger practice, but there were shortcomings. We had to develop a resistance in the form of spreading the war to all areas, spreading the resistance to the cities, spreading it to the plains, spreading it among the masses, hitting all the targets of fascism. But we only did so to a limited extent.
But this does not mean that there is no need for the HBDH. In the most recent past, the HBDH has been the most resistant organization. Now, it is necessary to develop it further, even to enlarge it. I therefore call on all revolutionaries to unite in an organization such as the HBDH to form a revolutionary unity. This is what is necessary now. Everyone needs to know this. As the PKK, we are fully in favor of such a development and will participate in it. We want revolutionary unity with everyone who wants to wage an active revolutionary struggle. We may have certain differences. But we certainly do not see them as obstacles to our unity and common struggle. Some things have happened and have also had their impact on us. There have been various discussions. We see all this as resolvable. We don’t see it as irremediable. We invite all our friends to act more sensitively, more carefully and in accordance with today’s requirements. This is very important. Revolutionary unity is important. Without this, other developments cannot take place. We should not rely too much on politics. We should not be satisfied only with the legal domain and legal politics. The developments of the last phase actually happened because there was a revolutionary unity and alliance like the HBDH behind them. Yes, we had difficulties. We made various mistakes, but it was definitely that alliance that has brought this struggle into existence.
On this basis, we invite the HBDH to become an alliance in which all revolutionaries unite, and to do so without delay. We are ready to assume our duty and responsibility, to do our part in creating such a revolutionary alliance. As the PKK, no matter how many difficulties and obstacles we have, we will overcome them and do this.
As for the domain of democratic politics: There is a discussion there too. The main self-criticism came from them first. Immediately after the election, they said that they would evaluate the situation. This was very important. We found this valuable, meaningful and important. And they are continuing with this which is good. But they need to be more careful and also not act to late. We need to make good use of the time. The tempo of the other side is high, fascism continues at a high pace. So the democracy movement should do the same. It should be able to prepare itself according to the needs of the phase. Very hurtful things should be avoided. It is important to be self-critical rather than critical. Yet, so far only few self-critical approaches have emerged. They are good, but there are also criticisms that don’t have a proper style, criticisms that don’t use a proper language. This is not acceptable. There will probably be more questioning and correction with regards to fundamental issues. We find this very important.
To change society, you need to first change yourself. This is important, but the line along which you change is also important. Of course, we should not make mistakes in this regard. For example, some people have written that the HDP, the Green Left Party is a Kurdish party. This is not true. This is a party of Turkey as a whole. There are different groups in it. It is necessary to make all of those groups become partners. Nobody should not write such wrong things. It is good when all these different groups participate in this process.
There is another correct assessment in this context: Their politics had become too state-oriented. They do politics according to the state. There are shortcoming when it comes to going to the society, both with regards to organizing, to listening to the society and to acting together with the society. There are problems in reaching out to women, youth and laborers. Such issues are also being brought up by society. This is very important. The Kurdish society is a conscious society.
They shifted politics too much towards the state and became too election-oriented. Some organizations did not play a role. For example, the HDK and the DTK. This is actually an indication of a disconnection from the masses. These organizations were not functional. There are organizations that are dysfunctional and that are consequently being criticized nowd. For example, the Democratic Regions Party [DBP] has a name but no role. However, when it was founded, it had a clear mission. It is mission was to develop Kurdish alliances.
The Kurdish alliance can be made more vibrant. But there should be no weakening and no role stealing from each other. It’s not as if the role of some people should be relegated to the background. It is important to fully implement the project. Every essence creates its own form and thus comes to life. It does not come to life in a form that does not suit it. So, if we say that the ‘Politics of the Third Way’ means democratic politics and the democracy of the peoples, then we will develop forms in line with this spirit.
In the most recent phase, the HDP was the force that organized everywhere. The role of both HDK and DBP has decreased. On the other hand, we have also mentioned the issue of alliances. They will probably include the Labor and Freedom Alliance in this process. That is also very important. It is very important to create a common struggle of all the peoples of Turkey and Kurdistan in the field of democratic politics. It is necessary to achieve such an alliance, not only in the form of a left democratic alliance, but as the broadest possible democratic alliance.
The situation of the CHP is obvious. There is no opposition that can be an alternative to the fascism of Tayyip Erdoğan’s People’s Alliance. The CHP has a certain number of MPs. But this should not be exaggerated too much. What really matters is the democratic opposition formed along the lines of the ‘Politics of the Third Way’. This is the democracy movement. Most recently this movement has emerged in the form of the Labor and Freedom Alliance. This alliance needs to be able to include wider segments, all young people, workers, laborers, all religious tendencies, including democratic Islam. Not only an alliance of parties, but an alliance of all organized sections of society needs to be build. And not only that. It is necessary to educate and organize the unorganized parts of society as part of that alliance. It is important that the politics of such an alliance is handled more accurately and strongly, and that it develops itself as an alternative to the current fascist system, as a democratic system. The concrete system can be formed later. We should not insist on achieving this right away. People say that development leads to success. Only by developing a system in a form appropriate to its own essence can there be success and can this success become permanent. We hope this is how things will develop. On this basis, we would like to wish everyone success.
What do you think about Turkey’s new government? What kind of policy will it pursue?
The other side has set up its own system like a machine. It had obviously prepared itself beforehand. It has set up its own system and is now starting its attacks. Fascism will attack. It will attack at an increasing rate. Undoubtedly, it will attack the PKK first and foremost. It will attack the guerrilla, and it will attack the Kurdish people, their youth and their women. The target is the Kurds. But not only them. Together with them it will attack all the forces of Turkey that fight for freedom and democracy. They are also targets. Therefore, we need to see that fascism will carry out more intense attacks. It will carry out invasion attacks against other parts of Kurdistan. It will carry out attacks of oppression, persecution, arrests, crushing democratic forces and against the Kurds. It will carry out more attacks on women and the youth. It will carry out these attacks militarily. And it will carry out these attacks with the police, economically, politically, and most importantly ideologically. It will use art, propaganda and education for this. Under the AKP-MHP alliance, the Kemalist Turkish Republic does not exist anymore. It has been replaced and a new state has been established. There is an AKP-MHP state today. And now, a contra force is being added to this alliance in Kurdistan. They are carrying out the biggest attack ideologically. They have created a lot of fake artists and propagandists. They have hundreds and thousands of television channels. They are thus committing a sociocide. Through the media, they are doing everything to change people’s mentality, to break and brainwash them, to implant that racist, fascist and Turanist mentality into everyone’s minds, this MHP ideology. This is how their supporters have been created.
This is how fascism is being spread. They will carry out all these attacks. This is how they are going to do this. They will try to institutionalize the fascist system. With these attacks they will try to destroy their opponents completely. They will use every means for their attacks. In diplomacy, for example, they are using water as a weapon. Now they are using the water of Kurdistan to negotiate with Syria and Iraq about the Kurdish genocide. And they will do this even more in Iraq.
Erdoğan is using Sweden’s entry into NATO as a bargaining chip. He wants to use Sweden’s entry into NATO to pull NATO and Europe to his own line. The AKP wants to turn the EU into a regime that accepts the MHP’s fascism and gangs. This is very obvious and no one should be mistaken about this. Some people say that Erdoğan formed this government to improve his relations with Europe and the West. When we look at the current government, it is really a government to improve relations with the West. This is how we should understand it. But while improving relations with the West, don’t oppress Kurds, women, youth, leftists, socialists and democrats! To the extent that the government crushes them, it will be able to enter into an alliance with the West and improve its relations. The new ministers have already become clear. The chief of the National Intelligence Organization is the new Foreign Minister. And the Chief of General Staff is the new Minister of Defense. Whatever is necessary to ensure self-critical renewal and to resist such an attack, whatever is necessary to carry out an anti-fascist democratic resistance will be done. Nothing else is possible. This is a struggle. There will be more resistance and more struggle. This is what is necessary. We will resist. They will attack to destroy us as a movement and as a people. As part of this resistance, we will also increase our ideological struggle.
In order to defeat the AKP’s spread of fascism and the strengthening of the Hezbollah among the Kurds, we will increase the mentality, art, literature and propaganda struggle. We will develop the war with new methods and new targets. We will develop the political struggle in every field. There is no other option. We will do this together with our friends and allies. Of course we will do it as part of an alliance. We will do this in the form of a revolutionary struggle. The field of democratic politics will also take part. It will not be like before. We are also currently discussing many different things. Especially the field of democratic politics should evaluate the given situation better. They may face new situations. They should be prepared. Now we first discussed about how the resistance will yield results. The election emerged as a result of the struggle and strengthened it in the process. Yes, there is a spread of fascism, but more than half of the society in Turkey is against this. All Kurds are against this. Almost all of them are against it except for a handful of contras. Except for the KDP betrayers and Hezbollah sympathizers. It has been revealed clearly that there is a great opposition in Turkey as well. We need to acknowledge this. Yes, the election has led to a new government. They are rapidly forming a new government. Using the means at its disposal, this government will mobilize and attack. But looking at it like that, it may seem like the AKP and MHP are getting stronger. But this is not really the case. Nobody should believe this. They are weaker today. The election has revealed certain things, but it has also revealed that there is a large mass against fascism. It has also shown that there is a large mass basis for the resistance against fascism. This is very important.
The AKP-MHP or the People’s Alliance government will definitely want to continue its attacks. But they have many weaknesses. There is indeed a significant social segment which revolutionary democratic forces can organize and lead to resist. On the other hand, this government cannot get out of the existing crisis. They shared up so much among themselves and widened the People’s Alliance. The thieves, pickpockets, profiteers, looters and plunderers among them have multiplied. As they increase exploitation and robbery, of course society will not be able to bear this. The crisis will increase. They will impose war to stop it. But war will deepen the crisis even more. Therefore, they will not be able to get rid of the economic and military crisis. War deepens the economic crisis. This administration cannot overcome this. Therefore, its internal contradictions will remain deep and intense. There is a situation beyond a simple crisis, a situation of chaos. Chaos-level turmoil may emerge in the coming phase.
On the other hand, they talk about diplomatic activities. But they might want to put great pressure on Syria and Iraq. Now the Arab League has stepped in. Iraq and Syria may therefore be able to stand against Turkey. They will form an alliance for the sake of some interests, but this government cannot improve relations with the West and resolve its contradictions, as the liberal circles and AKP supporters claim. The contradictions will continue in various forms. They will also continue with regards to the war in Ukraine. In short, contradictions will continue on a regional and global scale. But the most important thing is the situation of internal contradictions, the situation of crisis, the situation of chaos. Because of all this, the new government will increase its fascist oppression, terror, massacres and intensify the war.
What kind of dangers will this policy of Turkey’s new government entail?
We have said this before, but I will have to stress this again: Before the elections, we said that if the AKP and MHP come to power again, this will lead Turkey into civil war. Now there is a serious risk of civil war. The CHP is trying to soften this situation, but the crisis and chaotic situation will not be impressed by this. The masses will become more active. In order to mitigate this, the new government will intensify the war in Kurdistan and outside of Turkey, but this time the war will reach Turkey. With his current policies Tayyip Erdoğan has already left Turkey to the MHP and Kurdistan to the Hezbollah. And this will lead Turkey to civil war. In order to keep himself in power, he will lead Turkey into a much more complicated and dangerous situation, with internal and external conflicts with various powers. This danger exists. Everyone need to recognize this. So when people oppose the AKP-MHP, they should do so on this basis.
We must prepare ourselves as revolutionaries, democrats, women and youth, workers and laborers and as the force that will lead the struggle. Everyone should definitely take part in the anti-fascist, democratic resistance. Especially the youth should be organizing its self-defense resistance war in every field against these fascist attacks. The youth must be the activists and militants of the anti-fascist resistance and war. The youth must develop like that. Everybody must be like that. The struggle will become more radical. We must prepare ourselves accordingly. Let no one make any mistakes. Let no one expect anything else from the AKP-MHP or the current alliance. Those who do, will be wrong. Everyone should understand the developments correctly, prepare themselves well and get organized. Let us resist. We will definitely win. If the AKP had been defeated in the elections, a new and long political process would have started. Now, with the new AKP government, the chances of a more radical antifascist, democratic revolution developing and succeeding are greater. The important thing is to push for this. We will strive to realize this. And we invite all our friends to unite and struggle together with us.