Our Interviews

december 23, 2022

Parts of an interview with Mustafa Karasu, member of the KCK Executive Council, about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world, including major concerns about Abdullah Öcalan´s security and health, the resistance against the policy of death penalties in Turkish prisons, the reliance of Turkey´s war in South Kurdistan/North Iraq on weapons from foreign powers, Turkey´s plan to clear all Kurds from North and East Syria, the undemocratic attitude of European powers towards the Kurdish questions and the lasting impact of the women´s uprising in East Kurdistan and Iran:

Increased Concerns About Abdullah Öcalan´s Security and Health After Latest CPT Visit

“Recently, there have been discussions about whether the CPT [European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] had gone to Turkey and held meetings on İmralı or not. There were even reports saying that the CPT had held meetings there but had not published the results. The fact that there was a meeting but the results of the meeting were not shared with the public caused certain concerns and reactions among the Kurdish people and the Freedom Movement. Most recently, the lawyers stated that the CPT had gone to Turkey and had not meet with Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan]. In terms of clarifying the situation in İmralı, the CPT has not made any statement. This of course has raised our concerns. Why does the CPT not make a statement? This has raised our concerns about health and security issues [of Abdullah Öcalan]. Why didn’t they meet? This is a really serious situation. In this respect, of course, our Movement and our leadership have recently made statements saying that the situation of Leader Apo is a red line for our people, our Movement, that the situation of the Leader Apo concerns all Kurds, all people, and calling for the uninterrupted continuation of rallies, marches and demonstrations until we hear from Leader Apo. This shows the seriousness of the current concerns which are based on objective reasons. Because it is a serious situation when a prisoner cannot meet with his family for years and when the public cannot receive news about his health. It is a violation of human rights, let alone politics, it is a violation of international rules. Every prisoner has the right to meet with his family and friends, but Leader Apo has not been allowed to meet with them for 21 months. Disciplinary punishments are given as a reason for this. What disciplinary punishment can there be? Leader Apo is in solitary confinement. What could be a disciplinary punishment while being in solitary confinement? There is no such thing. This is simply a legal justification to prevent him from meeting visitors. Why this silence of the international powers, Europe, the USA, Russia or other countries, why their silence against the isolation and oppression that the Turkish state is applying in İmralı? The Turkish state wants to carry out a genocide against the Kurds which is also why it persecutes their leader. And the silence reveals that the same understanding exists in Europe and among other international powers. Therefore, they are also part of this genocide system. The Turkish state seeks to commit genocide against the Kurds. That is why this heavy isolation has been imposed on Leader Apo. This is part of the genocide policy. It is part of a genocidal approach. This is the way the policy of exterminating the Kurds is implemented in Imrali. If Europe and the USA do not speak out against this, they become complicit in this genocide. Everyone must see that a policy of genocide is being implemented against the Kurds. Without accepting this reality, that is, without recognizing that the policy being implemented against the Kurds constitutes genocide, no one can develop correct policies.”

Resistance Against Policy of Death Penalties in Turkish Prisons

“There is a great resistance taking place in the prisons. I would like to greet all comrades with respect and love. They are waging a historical resistance against the Kurdish genocide. What is happening there is also part of the genocide policy. The pressure in the prisons is part of the genocide to annihilate the Kurds. Just like we say that the policy against Leader Apo is a policy of genocide. The situation is the same in the prisons. The aim of all these policies is to annihilate the Kurds and to break their will. The comrades in the prisons continue to show their willpower. They are saying that you can annihilate us, you can kill us, but you cannot break our will. This is a very meaningful resistance, a very meaningful attitude. Every day corpses come out of the prisons. They deliberately commit massacres in the prisons. They have officially abolished the death penalty but carry out executions in practice. Every death there is an execution in the prisons. They have sentenced the prisoners to death. In the prisons, they are killing our comrades every day. There is very heavy pressure, there is hardship and there are many difficulties. They put the prisoners in solitary confinement. They send them to remote places in Turkey so that their families cannot see them. They release sick prisoners a week, 15 days before they die. The support for the resistance in the prisons cannot be left only to the families of the prisoners. The imprisoned comrades do not struggle for their families. They are not fighting for themselves but for their people. Not only for the Kurdish people, but for the peoples of Turkey, for the peoples of the Middle East. So we really need to support these comrades more.”

Reliance of Turkey´s War in South Kurdistan/North Iraq on Weapons from Foreign Powers

So many airplanes and helicopters have carried out bombardments. So many artillery shells and chemical weapons have been used. The balance sheets [published daily and monthly by the HPG] reveal how heavy this war is. The area is constantly under surveillance from the air with reconnaissance planes, but despite this, the guerrilla is sacrificially resisting against the occupying forces. They resist these attacks from their tunnel positions and in the form of mobile units. The guerrilla has thus created a coordinated and integrated war doctrine. It resists against all kinds of weapons from all over the world. Turkey buys weapons from everyone, including the USA, Germany and England. If they stop supplying these weapons, Turkey won’t be able to fight this war anymore. Why does Turkey have so many disputes with Sweden? Sweden has imposed an embargo and Turkey is preventing Sweden and Finland from entering NATO because of this arms embargo. This is the main reason. So this is about more more than extraditing certain individuals. This is what they claim, but the main reason is that they want to buy weapons. They are buying weapons from other countries as well. They will now buy even more of the airplanes they had bought from the US before. So do the Turkish Navy, the Land Forces and the Air Force. All of them are dependent on weapons bought from foreign powers.”

The guerrilla is really waging a huge resistance. This has a great political meaning. In other words, the Kurd are still able to stand on their feet today, because of this resistance. This is not only a resistance for the Kurdish people, but also for the Turkish people and the peoples of the Middle East. This is a resistance for the overthrow of fascism in Turkey. Without this resistance, not only the Kurdish genocide would take place, but a heavy reactionary dictatorship in Turkey and the Middle East would also not allow the peoples to breathe. Therefore, everyone needs to understand this struggle and its great importance. We are fighting a tough struggle and will continue until the end.”

Turkey´s Plan to Clear all Kurds from North and East Syria

“They are using the explosion in Istanbul as a justification for their attacks on Rojava. The woman who has been arrested and who is said to have carried out this explosion, has three brothers who died in the ranks of the Islamic State [IS]. One of her brothers is currently a commander of Turkey´s Islamist proxy forces [in Syria]. She had gone to Turkey from Idlib. Who controls this area? It is under the control of the Turkish state. The places occupied by the Turkish soldiers [in Syria] have today become IS bases. IS members are organizing there. The relationship between IS and Turkey is very strong. The MIT [Turkish secret service] is organized within the ranks of these Islamist proxy forces. It directs them, uses them as it pleases and twists them around its fingers. IS sent its fighters to destroy the Rojava Revolution. Why has Turkey become the highway for IS members from all over the world? Because of its Kurdish enmity. They don´t want the Kurds to achieve anything in Syria or to gain rights there. Rojava is being attacked so much, the infrastructure there is being destroyed and the people’s life opportunities are being completely eliminated, but despite this, international powers remain silent. In fact, the policy that the Turkish state is currently implementing in Rojava is a policy of genocide. Just as it is a policy of genocide in North Kurdistan [East Turkey], Turkey´s policy towards Rojava also constitutes a policy of genocide. There is no other reason. Erdogan says he will clear a 30 kilometer corridor. This means eliminating the Kurds who live there. Kurds all live in this border region. All Kurdish cities are on the border with Turkey. A 30 kilometer zone means that Turkey will control the whole region where Kurds live and will settle Islamist proxy forces there. This is genocide. Therefore, remaining silent means giving consent to the Kurdish genocide. This is the same for the US, Russia and Europe. Now what do they say in the face of this genocide policy? They say that they understand Turkey’s security concerns. What security concerns? If there are security concerns that need to be understood, it is the security concerns of the people of Rojava. Not only their security concerns, but also their concerns for their very existence. What security concerns does Turkey have? Does Rojava have such an approach? Do the people of North and East Syria have such an approach? The people there only want a democratic and free life in their own region. They don’t want anything else. But the Turkish state is hostile to this goal. Therefore, to say that ‘we understand Turkey´s security concerns’ in the face of this situation constitutes complicity and encouragement [for Turkey´s policy].”

The people of North and East Syria need to resist until the end. If there is going to be a war and attacks of the Turkish state, resistance against the occupation must be waged everywhere. The invaders must be uprooted. In this case, the people must continue this war together with their self-defense forces. This struggle cannot be carried out only by the self-defense forces. There are millions of people there. They need to wage war together with the self-defense forces. Yes, Rojava and North and East Syria can become a swamp for Turkey. The peoples of the world also support Rojava and North and East Syria. In a way, they are grateful to Rojava. They have emotional ties with it. States are only based on their own interests, but the peoples of the world stand by the Rojava resistance. When the Rojava resistance unites with the support of the peoples of the world, it will become a swamp for Turkey.”

Kurdish Issue Shows Undemocratic Attitude of European Powers

“Sweden and Finland want to join NATO but Turkey has said ´we won’t accept this unless you cooperate with us against terrorism´. So what have Sweden and Finland done? They immediately lifted their arms embargo. After that, Sweden started to extradite certain people. This means that Sweden has become completely complicit with the Turkish state. It is complicit in the genocide against the Kurds not only in Rojava but also in North Kurdistan. It is complicit in the attacks on the Medya Defense Zones [in South Kurdistan/North Iraq]. The Turkish state uses chemical weapons in the Medya Defense Zones. The international powers always talk about democracy. They claim to be against the use of chemical weapons, but then they say ´we understand the security concerns of the Turkish state´. But exactly this state is using chemical weapons. It is really important for everybody to see this. The approach of Europe and the international powers really needs to be exposed. They don´t have any values like freedom or democracy, only their own interests. In other words, through the struggle of the Kurds, all of Turkey’s masks are falling. The same goes for Europe. The Kurdish struggle unmasks Europe. How democratic Europe really is becomes clear when we look at its approach to the Kurds. If we want to see how democratic and libertarian Europe is, we need to look at its attitude towards the Turkish state’s Kurdish genocide policy. The Kurdish people already know this. The peoples of Europe will also realize this and ask those responsible to account.”

Lasting Impact of Women´s Uprising in East Kurdistan and Iran

“Women’s demands for freedom and democracy constitute the most comprehensive system of freedom and democracy. Therefore, it is not possible to stop the uprising in Iran with executions and other forms of punishment. This kind of approach is the result of a wrong evaluation and perspective. ´If we execute and punish people, society will be silent´, this attitude will only pave the way for even greater explosions. In this respect, everyone, every society and every political attitude needs to change its approach to women. The struggle in Iran will bring about great changes. It will definitely change politics in Iran. Politics and society are already changing in the country. Society has changed in these three months. The Iranian society of today is no longer the society it was three months ago. Iranian women and Iranian youth are not the Iranian women and youth of three months ago. A new social reality has emerged. Of course, all this is based on Iranian history. Iran is an area where many different ideas have emerged throughout history. It is a very rich geography in terms of philosophy and thought. In that respect, it is a very productive geography. All of them are standing up today in the name of women’s freedom. They want freedom, they want democracy, they want change. This will not only affect and change Iran, but also the Middle East and the whole world.”