our interviews

march 21, 2024

To the people of Newroz,

I would like to congratulate you on the arrival of Newroz, the celebration of freedom. This year’s Newroz overlaps with Ramadan, in this regard I extend my congratulations to the Kurdish people and the Muslim community on this special occasion. Rêber Apo1 has always given importance to Newroz. He built the PKK on the foundations of Newroz, because it represents the history and cultural heritage of the Kurdish people. In the spirit of Newroz, Rêber Apo has developed the struggle for democracy and independence for the Kurdish people and for all of humanity. He sacrificed everything to make this possible.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate Rêber Apo on the occasion of Newroz. This Newroz ought to pave the way to Rêber Apo’s freedom. In addition, I congratulate our people living in the four parts of Kurdistan as well as those who live abroad; I congratulate their friends, our prisoner comrades fighting for freedom and democracy, those who are resisting, and all of humanity.

In the liberation fight, many comrades from Southern Kurdistan lost their lives. In particular, those who fought in the guerrilla, such as Sadik Omer, Ali Shaban, Rauf Akri, Huseyin Suruchi, Cotkar, Dr. Sirwan, comrade Helmet, Viyan Soran, Chavre, Destina, Shoresh Germiyan, Helmet Dereluk, Hiran, and those who were recently martyred in the Gare region, including a patriot named Said, Dr. Sabri in Sulaymaniyah, and the martyrs in Shengal (Sinjar) and Rojava.

For the people of Kurdistan, March is an important month. This month marked anniversaries of the genocides in Halabja, Afrin, and Qamişlo in Rojava, as well as the atrocity in Gazi, Istanbul. This month, the brave people of the South revolted against the government of Saddam Hussein and drove him out of Kurdistan. This uprising was led under the leadership of Sadiq Omer, and Loqman (a PKK Central Committee member from Rojava), in Zakho Derkare. Similarly, there was a revolt in Ranya. These uprisings yielded important results. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and show my appreciation to the people of South Kurdistan who, in the spirit of Newroz, took to the streets and revolted. For Kurdish people, it is an incredibly significant month in history.

Our people of Southern Kurdistan are a patriotic people. They have endured years of hardship, excruciating agony, and paid heavy costs. The Kurdish people have gained important values everywhere through the example of patriotism offered by the Southern people. Even during the Ottoman era, the people of Sulaymaniyah began an uprising at Baban. Our people have been fighting for freedom ever since, for each part of Kurdistan. They never gave up on their demand for freedom, no matter how much they suffered or how much they sacrificed. They never succumbed to genocides and massacres. They led dignified lives. In history, no one other than the Kurds have fought for freedom and endured such a suffering, over such a long period of time.

All of our people, but especially the people in the South, can learn from the people of Qendîl. The battleground of democracy and freedom is Qendîl. Qendîl is a privilege and an embodiment of our people’s dignified Kurdish past. Significant contributions were made to the Kurdish revolutionary fight by Qendîl. Living in Qendîl, Mam Celal, Newshirwan Mustafa, and Abdurrahman Qasimlo led their freedom movement from here. The PKK is carrying on this noble tradition today. Qendîl has developed into a historical form of resistance on behalf of the PKK and Rêber Apo. It is giving life to the memories of the martyrs that we have sacrificed.

The fascists of Turkey now seek to eradicate the southern Kurdistan region. They are occupying and annexing it for this reason. Currently, there are over 50,000 Turkish soldiers positioned across southern Kurdistan. They are constructing roads, establishing dozens of military sites, and assembling the infrastructure needed for an occupation. The murderous Turkish state seeks total control over the South. It seeks to destroy our people in the South, seize their accomplishments and riches, and turn them into slaves. This is the sole reason behind the Turkish state’s assault.

The Barzani family is beneficial to the Turkish state. The Barzani family is supporting them while they are occupying the South and committing genocide. It is possible for one to observe this on a daily basis. With whatever they have at their disposal—regardless of how little this may be—the PKK militants are opposing this. On the other hand, the Barzani family and the Turkish government have substantial resources. PKK fighters are sacrificing their lives in defense of Kurdistan, the Kurdish people, and their right to freedom. All they have are their ideas, their light weapons, and their objectives. With this, they defend themselves against traitors, genocides, and invaders. They have become a significant barrier in the way of those traitors attempting to execute their dirty plans in South Kurdistan. The guerrilla has become the subject of legends, fighting in the most challenging circumstances—situations that others would consider unimaginable. Such examples exist nowhere else in the world. The Turkish state is being dealt severe blows despite all these circumstances, which are causing the occupiers to tremble. All of the weapons of the occupying and murderous state are being used against the guerrillas, including tanks, drones, aircraft, artillery, chemical weapons, and tactical nuclear bombs. In this conflict, chemical and tactical nuclear bombs claimed the lives of many of our comrades.

The people in the South are fully aware of the dangers of chemical weapons and their effects as this is what they endured in Halabja. Thousands of them were martyred. Thousands of people were hurt and wounded there. However, they resisted at all costs. The effects of the poisons that were released at Halabja are still being felt by our people today. While some individuals might not be aware of chemical weapons and their effects, those in the South are fully aware. Because of this, we—especially those of us in the South—must stand with the guerrilla against chemical and nuclear weapons and provide it with the support that will allow it to fight harder and cause more damage. This is what our people’s quality of life will improve with and what we will succeed with.

As is well known, the guerrilla conducted multiple operations in Zap in addition to one in Ankara. Before the Turkish state was claiming to have broken the PKK’s back. They were claiming that the PKK was at a powerless point. While they were trying to deceive everyone with their propaganda in Turkey and around the world, these actions exposed their lies. For this reason, they targeted Rojava—because they desired vengeance. Numerous vital infrastructures that support people’s lives were bombed and destroyed.

They did this because they do not only regard the PKK as their enemies but the Kurdish people as a whole. It targets Kurds who struggle for and seek freedom, wherever they may be found. They wish the complete annihilation of the Kurds. They target the PKK, they target Rêber Apo, and the Kurdish people with this mindset. For the Kurdish people’s honor, soul, identity, and future are represented by the PKK. Rêber Apo and the PKK stand in the way of the Turkish state’s occupation, which seeks to carry out the Kurdish genocide. They see that Rêber Apo and the PKK is dedicated to defending the Kurdish people and their ongoing fight for independence; they see that Rêber Apo and the PKK have a strong commitment to the Kurdish people and their fight for democracy and independence. That they fight to stop the genocide against the Kurdish people. For this reason, the Turkish government is pursuing an isolationist, repressive, persecutive, and genocide strategy against the PKK and Rêber Apo. It is afraid of them fearlessly fighting this battle. It is using dirty politics against Rêber Apo and the PKK because of this.

Despite the other NATO countries giving the Turkish state all the help they could, it proved insufficient. The Barzani family continued to help them, but it proved insufficient. With the Iraqi government, they are currently developing some plans and initiatives. On certain subjects they are allies. Together, they wish to devise a plan. It’s evident that current sanctions against Iraq have had some effect and will continue to do so. From an analysis of the existing state of affairs, it is clear that a widespread battle is imminent. Still, this only demonstrates the PKK’s immense force and its passion for independence, for Kurdistan, the Kurdish people, and humanity as a whole.

They wish to use their combined strength to combat the PKK and accomplish the genocide across Kurdistan. It should be evident that they won’t achieve their aim. No matter how many atrocities they had carried out in the past, they were unable to eradicate or capitulate the Kurdish population. They will never be allowed to accomplish what they have tried in the past. The Kurdish people have made their choice to be free. This will continue up till the very end. Nobody can destroy a people who have made the decision to live in freedom and who are willing to risk everything for it. Regardless of how much these people sacrifice, they are going to achieve results. This should be understood very clearly by everyone.

It is widely known that we have launched a campaign to ensure Rêber Apo’s physical freedom and elevate the Kurdish people to political stature. This campaign’s initial phase ran till February 15 and produced many positive results. Subsequently, the second phase of the campaign was declared on February 15. Strengthening the Kurdish people’s organization and unity within Kurdistan is the goal of this stage.

On the international front, it will soon strengthen relations with the Kurdish people’s allies and supporters worldwide in order to exert pressure on the invaders. Because of this, every member of our community who possesses honor and conscience, no matter where they may be, needs to participate in the campaign and successfully carry out their duties. Should this effort succeed in its objective, the murderous regimes will be unable to continue their tactics of genocide against the Kurds. There will be an end to these politics. There will be an end to the massacres against the Kurdish people, the Kurdish issue will be addressed, and the Kurdish people will be on the path to freedom. In their own lands, the Kurdish people shall live in freedom, preserving their culture, language, identity, and integrity.

The physical freedom of Rêber Apo must be ensured this year’s Newroz. It needs to establish status for the Kurds. The Newroz of freedom is this one. This consciousness must guide the actions of our people. We are marching for our freedom. We are carrying out our struggle in the spirit of Newroz. We will march to the end and prevail with this approach. There will be a significant benefit for humanity should the Kurdish people prevail. I want to thank you all once more for celebrating Ramadan and Newroz this year. I thus wish you all the best of luck.

1 Referring to Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan.