our interviews

may 24, 2024

First of all, let’s start with the situation of the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan and the campaign for his freedom. How do you assess the current situation? What do you assess the approach of the international institutions, especially the restrained approach of the ‘European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment’ (CPT)?

We are constantly making evaluations. The global campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo1 has reached an important stage. However, it is very important to understand the situation of the CPT and the Council of Europe, especially the forces that carried out the international conspiracy2 and established the Imrali isolation and torture system. It is necessary to examine and evaluate it and all its dimensions, over and over again. The genocide policies practiced in Imrali do not develop independently of these forces. An international conspiracy was developed against Rêber Apo with the aim of his destruction. This could not be achieved. Rêber Apo’s foresight, intuition, and precautions nullified this attack. In fact, they attempted an attack like this before February 15th too, but this came to naught.

After Rêber Apo was abducted to Turkey, a system was created on Imrali by the US, particularly by the CIA, in which Europe and the CPT was directly involved. This system is an international system and it’s responsibility was later assigned to Turkey. But this does not mean that those forces are no longer responsible because it was they who established this system in the first place. For 25 years, solitary confinement, torture, and isolation have been practiced in Imrali without interruption. For the last four years, there has been no sign of life, only absolute isolation. Rêber Apo is not able to see even his lawyers. He is completely cut off from the outside. No information can be received from Imrali. There has been no sign of life from Imrali for four years. This system is being carried out in such a manner under the supervision of international powers.

A press release was made by the CPT recently. The last time they went to Imrali was in September 2022, but they announced that they could not present the report of their visit to the public because Turkey did not approve it. Again in 2023, they announced that one of their delegations went to Turkey, visited various prisons there, made examinations, but did not go to Imrali. Why didn’t the CPT go to Imrali in 2023? This is a big question mark. This is very thought-provoking. They did not go to a prison that is under absolute isolation, as they once put it themselves. They did not go to the prison where the Kurdish people’s leader is imprisoned, and they did not examine it. The CPT has to explain why. The statements made by the CPT presidency have no value. There is nothing satisfactory about those remarks. The statement of the CPT presidency produced no result other than increasing the question marks in minds and raising concerns. In 2022, they did not disclose their September 2022 report, in 2023, they went to Turkey, but they did not visit Imrali. No satisfactory explanation for this can be given to the public or to the Kurds. What do the Council of Europe and European countries want to do? What do the powers that built this system want to do? The Kurdish people want an explanation.

Right now, they are in complicity with the Turkish state. From the beginning, there was a plan to neutralize Rêber Apo, aiming for his liquidation. When this plan did not work, they decided to follow a time-extended annihilation policy instead. These international forces are a partner in the genocide policies of the Turkish state against the Kurds. They seek a civil war to break out. Turkey’s war against the Kurds is a war of genocide and is in the interest of these powers. They think that in this way they will be able to control Turkey and use it in their Middle East policies. They have designed this policy accordingly. But a society is being subjected to genocide. They support the genocide policies being carried out against a people, and by wearing various masks and playing games with the law, they act as if they are not involved in this. They are trying to deceive society, the Kurds, and the rest of the world. No one is being fooled by this anymore; no one respects it. These masks have fallen. This hypocrisy, self-interested, pragmatic approach of Europe has been exposed. This criminal practice of the CPT, which has become a political tool of Europe, and of the Council of Europe, which goes beyond hypocrisy, needs to be exposed even more. It is necessary to struggle against this approach and force them to adopt the correct attitude. This is very important. We need to nullify and prevent the further support of these forces for the Turkish state’s Kurdish genocide policy through our struggle. We have this power of struggle; we simply need to carry it out in a much stronger and more organized way.

Recently, there have been raids against Medya Haber, Stêrk TV, and the Kurdish press in Europe. It is said that Belgium carried out these attacks at the request of France. We cannot consider these attacks independent of what I have been talking about. Europe’s attitude towards the practices on Rêber Apo cannot be considered different from these attacks. These attacks are also part of this. In other words, Europe’s supportive attitude towards the Kurdish genocide policy happens everywhere, and it turns into attacks on Kurdish institutions and the Kurdish press even in their own countries in Europe. This has done great harm to the peoples of Europe. Let me point this out: the current policy of European countries is causing great harm to European society. Therefore, it is necessary to further spread the paradigm and the ideas of Rêber Apo to European society, to draw them into the struggle, and to globalize and grow the freedom campaign for Rêber Apo much more.

The Turkish state is conducting a genocide policy against Kurds, which is centered in Imrali. Especially for the last four years, there has been no news from Imrali. We have seen the Minister of Justice’s disrespectful statements. He really mocked the Kurdish people, the society in Turkey, and the world. My comrades have already evaluated this the other day; of course, if he had no assurance and did not rely on the current policies and attitudes of international powers, he could not have spoken in such a reckless, despicable, and disrespectful manner. He says, “There is no isolation in Imrali.” This is a lie. There is a system of torture and genocide in Imrali, there is absolute isolation; the law is being trampled, no rule of law is being applied, crimes against humanity are being committed. Still the Minister of Justice says, “There is no isolation in Imrali!” Can there be such a despicable approach?

During the election phase, we saw AKP officials begging the Kurds to vote for them in order to win Istanbul. “Vote for Murat Kurum”, they said, “and we will send a lawyer to Imrali to meet with Ocalan if necessary.” They wanted to make Imrali, the isolation system in Imrali, and the situation of Rêber Apo a bargaining chip in such a despicable way.

We always point out that no law is applied in Imrali, and there is no morality that can be found there. There is solely immoral politics and practices. The situation of Rêber Apo has been completely instrumentalized. In the hands of a fascist power, he is wanted to be turned into a political tool and made a chip of bargaining. He is wanted to be turned into a blackmail, a threat, a bargaining tool to break the will of the Kurds, to liquidate the Kurds and their struggle for freedom, and to take the Kurds into captivity. That is why Rêber Apo has taken such a strict stand. In his most recent conversation with his brother, Mehmet Ocalan, he took a strict stance against this. “You are all committing a crime,” he said. “You will wage a legal struggle; you will impose the legal process,” he said. “The torture in Imrali is a crime against humanity. You will fight against it; you will not take positions that legitimize it.” Rêber Apo understood that the short phone conversation with his brother was a method to try to legitimize the isolation and torture system in Imrali. He found it to be very dangerous. He considered it as falling into the state’s trap. “Don’t fall for such games. Be conscious; act consciously and logically,” he said. “Evaluate and see the ideological and political dimensions of the issue in all its dimensions,” he said. It is necessary to wage a very strong struggle regarding this issue. We need to strengthen the global campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, particularly in Northern Kurdistan and Turkey.

Now, protests under the slogan ‘Give Freedom a Voice’ are being developed, which is important. The families of those imprisoned are protesting one or two days a week in support of the prison resistance and against the isolation in Imrali, but still, this is not enough. This situation concerns not only the families of prisoners but millions of Kurdish people. It concerns a society of forty to fifty million; it concerns humanity. The current situation is a crime against humanity. This is also a conspiracy against Turkish society. It is a trap. In this way, the future of the peoples and society of Turkey is being darkened. In this way, Turkey is being thrown into hellfire. If it continues in this manner, this situation will lead to civil war. It seems that both the international powers and this fascist government want this. This means the disintegration of Turkey. Turkish society must be aware of this and take a stance against it. This system of genocide, torture, and isolation applied on Rêber Apo in Imrali is not only applied on the Kurdish people in the person of Rêber Apo; it is also applied on the society and peoples of Turkey. It is applied on all women and humanity. As much as it is a conspiracy against the Kurdish people, it is also a conspiracy against the peoples of Turkey. It is a scenario of hell. It is a plan for a dark future. Turkish intellectuals need to be critical in this regard; they have to raise awareness and sensitize Turkish society on this issue. All democratic forces must oppose the Imrali torture and isolation system. The main source of lawlessness is the lawlessness in Imrali. We always underline this fact. Only when law is applied in Imrali, will law and order would come to Turkey. In order to perpetuate the lawlessness in Imrali, the law is not applied throughout the whole of Turkey. At the moment, an enemy law, a genocidal law, is being applied everywhere. Can law, democracy, and justice come to Turkey in a place like Kurdistan, in a place like Imrali, where genocide law and enemy law are applied? Is it possible that fascism will reign in the east of Turkey while the west is democratic? What I want to stress out is that this is not only a problem of the Kurds; it is also a problem of all the peoples of Turkey. This is not only the problem of Kurdish intellectuals but also of all Turkish intellectuals and the opposition of the country, because it concerns the fate and survival of Turkey.

In this regard, we need to expand the global freedom campaign in a very strong way by including people from all walks of life. It is insufficient in its current form. There is a continuous struggle, of course, and this is without a doubt very meaningful. There are very important results in the political and social dimensions, but they are not enough. The campaign needs to be enriched. It must be conducted in a much more comprehensive way, by involving every part of society, by spreading the thought and paradigm of Rêber Apo in a stronger and more creative way, and by globalizing and universalizing the campaign in the strongest way possible. It is necessary to achieve results and to ensure the physical freedom of Rêber Apo.

Recently, there have been several statements on your part regarding the month of May as the ‘Month of Martyrs’ and regarding May 18th as the ‘Day of Martyrs’. Can you open up on this and the importance of the month?

On May 18, 1977, Haki Karer3 was murdered in Antep by an agent provocateur of the organization called Stêrka Sor. Again on May 18, 1973, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, one of the revolutionary leaders of Turkey, was murdered in prison under torture. By commemorating Haki Karer and Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, I commemorate all martyrs of the month of May with respect, love and gratitude. May 18th is declared and commemorated as ‘Martyrs’ Day’ in the history of our Party as it is the martyrdom day of Haki Karer and the month of May is defined and commemorated as the ‘Month of Martyrs’. Many valuable comrades were martyred during May, many of them played leading roles in the Kurdish freedom movement. Just to name some of them; Mehmet Karasungur4, Hozan Mizgîn5, Haki Karer, Ferhat Kurtay and his friends6, Kasim Engin7, also Deniz Gezmiş8, Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, Sinan Cemgil9 from the revolutionary movement in Turkey. Both in terms of the Kurdish freedom movement and the revolutionary movement in Turkey, it is a month in which pioneering leaders were martyred. In this sense, May is also a month that determines the identity and character of the Kurdish freedom movement.

The struggle of the PKK has always developed on the tenets of democratic socialism and the paradigm of democratic nation. In fact, even though it has been influenced by real socialism since its foundation and even since the formation of the initial group, the PKK has been a movement that has fought on the line of democratic socialism, according to the paradigm and dialectic of the democratic nation. Therefore, the PKK became a party and movement that struggles both for Kurdistan and universally. This is how it developed. The revolution in Kurdistan has always been intertwined with the revolution in Turkey. Therefore, we say that the democratic solution to the Kurdish question is also the democratization of Turkey. We say that a free Kurdistan is a democratic Turkey. This struggle will further grow accordingly by universalizing. If we manage to achieve this, then we can claim our struggle as worthy of comrade Haki Karer, comrade Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, and all the martyrs of the month of May. Like this, it would be a correct struggle. Based on this, we will continue to strengthen and further broaden the struggle uninterruptedly until we achieve results that are worthy of this month.

Last week, people who had been detained as part of the ‘Kobane trials’ were Turkish courts sentenced dozens pro-Kurdish politicians to between nine and 30 years in prison. What would you like to say about these trials? 

The Kobane political-genocidal trial has been going on for years, it is a part of the ongoing Kurdish genocide attempts and war. It is the political part of the genocide policies. In public opinion, the Kurdish movement and the democracy movement in Turkey define it as the ‘Kobane Conspiracy Trial’, but from our point of view, it is a political-genocidal trial. It is being carried out as part of these genocide policies, with the aim of liquidating democratic politics. As the Kurdish genocide proceeds, heavy attacks are conducted on the political front while aiming to liquidate the guerrilla on the military front. It wants to take control of the will of Kurdish society by practicing cultural genocide and subjecting society to complete assimilation. Through political genocide, the Turkish state wants to liquidate the political heritage, the democratic politics, the political representatives of the Kurdish movement, the democratic movement, which was formed through decades of struggle. They want to render Kurds without representation, without a voice, and without a will in the political arena. We see and evaluate it as part of a total genocide attack. The court verdicts regarding the Kobane political-genocidal trial have been announced. These evaluations we have made are fully justified. Some people; dear Gültan Kişanak, Sabahat Tuncel, Ayla Akat Ata, and some others were released from prison. This is also part of their game of law; it is a deception. They want to create the idea that the law is working perfectly in Turkey where people who have completed their sentences are being released. This is how the Turkish state is trying to deceive society and the world. They are trying to create the perception that the law is working in Turkey. Now, the prosecutor’s office has filed an objection against Gültan Kişanak and Sabahat Tuncel, asking for their re-arrest. That is the game they play. It is a game of law played to deceive the public. In reality, there is no just law being applied.

This trial is a political trial from beginning to end; it is a political genocide case. And it continues in this form. There is neither law nor justice in Turkey. The situation in Imrali and in the prisons in Turkey is obvious. They are trying to deceive the public.

Importantly, on the same day, seven generals who were serving time for being part of Ergenekon were also released. These so-called ‘generals of the February 28 coup’ have been in prison for years. Why were they released on the same day? That situation is already being evaluated by several political actors. The aim is to silence the opposition. If the current government manages to silence the government, no one, be it the CHP or the other opposition parties and various liberal democratic groups, will criticize the government. By releasing the generals, they act as if the law is working and that justice has been served. It is a perception that everything is working according to the law and the constitution. For years, the CHP has been leading the struggle for the release of these generals. The government was heavily criticized on this issue. Across Turkey, the opposition (within the system) had been criticizing the government for not releasing these generals. Now, by releasing them, the government has given incentives to the opposition to silence them, especially the CHP. By releasing the generals, they are trying to keep the Kobane trial’s off the agenda. They do not want people to make a fuss about the lawlessness and injustice against Kurds. This is very clear. It leaves no room for discussion.

Dirty politics are being carried out by the government right now. Erdogan speaks about “a period of détente,” while CHP chairman Ozgur Ozel contradicted this and said, “No, right now there is no kind of détente period, but a period of normalization.” There is a very intense discussion about the contradiction between détente and normalization. Of course, this agenda is an agenda of special war; It is a policy of deception, feeding the Kurds and the society in Turkey false expectation. The government of the fascist AKP-MHP is playing deceitful games. It considers itself the continuation of the Ottoman Empire. In the Ottoman Empire, the political games of the palace were famous. Those games could not manage to save this government either. The government is trying to sustain and prolong its rule. These discourses regarding a period of détente are aimed at neutralizing the opposition. In particular, it is aimed at neutralizing the opposition within the system.

The municipal elections in Turkey and northern Kurdistan had a strong effect on the policies of the current government in Turkey. The policies of the CHP, after it gained first-party status, seems to have changed. What are your evaluations on this subject?

As is known, after the general elections and the municipal elections, the CHP conducted a somewhat critical opposition process. When we entered the phase of the municipal election, it increased the dosage of criticism against the government. It tried to carry out a radical opposition within the system, and through this, it achieved some serious results. It adopted a policy that also appealed to the Kurds. It tried to pursue a policy that criticizes and rejects polarization and encompasses society in Turkey, including the Kurds. They also went to urban reconciliation with the DEM Party in Turkish cities and held talks. This had many benefits. So much so that the CHP came out as the first party in the elections of March 31st. The government followed up on this development. I mean, particularly in Wan, after it tried to implement the trustee policy again, it saw the results of this policy very clearly. Against the attempt to implement the trustee policy once again, the democratic forces of Turkey, the opposition within the system, and the CHP took the lead. They stood by the Kurds in Wan. They took a stand against the trustee policy. This frightened the fascist government because they realized that should the democratic forces of Turkey act jointly with the Kurds, should they wage a joint struggle against this government, should the CHP and the opposition within the system take a stand against the policies that marginalize, criminalize, and demonize the Kurds, that this government will not be able to survive for another month or two.

They have seen this very clearly in Wan. So now, the AKP has made a tactical maneuver. It did not change its policy, but it took a tactical step in order to neutralize the CHP and stop them from further opposing the government. Another aim is to somehow disintegrate the various opposition forces in Turkey. To break the unity of the Kurdish and Turkish forces, it is taking steps to appeal to the liberal opposition circles close to the CHP, in ways that will not benefit the Kurds. In other words, they are taking tactical steps that satisfy everyone except the Kurds. The release of the generals is but one example of this. In meeting with Ozgur Ozel, or maybe releasing some of the Gezi prisoners, this is what they are aiming. They are doing so in order to completely neutralize the opposition within the system and eliminate the power of the united opposition. In this way, the government wants the Kurds to be isolated so they can continue their genocidal policies, attacks, and operations in full swing without having to fear any backlash. Until this happens, they seek to buy some time to recover economically and politically. Officially, there are four years until the next general elections. Now the AKP is trying to promote the idea of a new constitution to deceive society and to keep the opposition busy. Like this, they want to go to the general elections. The government is taking some tactical steps now, always keeping an eye on the poll scores for the next elections.

With the AKP’s loss in the municipal elections and the loss of this fascist genocidal power called the ‘People’s Alliance’, they are experiencing problems internally too. There is serious turmoil and a very serious power struggle within the AKP base, as well as within the MHP and their alliance. In other words, this fascist AKP-MHP fascist government is a mafia state; the identity and characteristics of the Turkish state are the identity and characteristics of the MHP. If one had to name a party that most accurately describes the Turkish state, it would be the MHP. The MHP is the Turkish state itself. In fact, the MHP is not a political party; it is part of the structure of NATO’s Gladio. There was never an end to this project, on the contrary, it only grew and deepened. Now, this Gladio has formed an alliance with the AKP. It is still in power and is ruling Turkey. Today Gladio a contra force, a gang, a mafia, or whatever it may be called rules Turkey. The discussions within the People’s Alliance right now, from the murder of Sinan Ateş to the incident of Ayhan Bora Kaplan to the detentions in the Ankara Police Department, are all connected to each other. It is the conflict of mafias and gang groups within the gang state itself. It is a clash of power. Who liquidated Sinan Ateş? It was the MHP itself that liquidated him. Devlet Bahçeli gave the instruction. Sinan Ateş was a more oppositional figure within the MHP. He criticized some of its policies and knew all the dirty crimes and deeds of the MHP. He knew everything; he was kind of the black box. As he started objecting and criticizing, they saw this as a danger. This had an impact on the MHP’s base. Who is Ayhan Bora Kaplan? He is also a member of this MHP gang, particularly Suleyman Soylu’s gang. The MHP has taken over the entire police force in Turkey. It has taken over the gendarmerie, and it is already seriously organized in the army. It has organized itself in the judiciary. The cadres of the MHP are currently ruling Turkey; they infiltrated the AKP and dragged it to the line of the MHP. There is currently a conflict between mafias and gangs within the state. The conflict between mafias in Ankara is the conflict between the Suleyman Soylu gang and the Yerlikaya gang. It is a fight between the gang-mafia state created by Gladio. It is a fight for power. The state that has come to this situation is a state that was founded on Kurdish denial, extermination, and genocide policies. It has constantly produced gangs within itself. Mafias and gangs were positioned at the most strategic places of this state. And they played a decisive role in determining the policies of this state. The state has never deviated from the policies of the Committee of Union and Progress10. The AKP-MHP government has polluted this state. It is a source of evil. If this source of evil, the Turkish state, were to disappear, perhaps half of the evil in the world would be wiped out. It is a scourge for the peoples. It is conducting an expansionist, occupying policy on the peoples in the region. It distributes evil, gangs, and war everywhere. It is such a state. That is what the AKP-MHP has turned this state into. What else could be expected of such a government with such a mentality?

In this regard, I criticize the following: There were some actors in democratic politics, some Kurds, who had expectations. There were some who were really expecting that the government would get into a process of softening and changing. It was as if they were saying, “Erdogan said there is a need for a softening process, so we will enter a softening process.” Some even expected that they would release all the political prisoners and a new solution process could start. That they would end the isolation in Imrali and end the war. There were some people who had such illusions. After all that has happened, with the genocide policies that this government has been implementing for years and the situation it is in now, it is obvious what kind of games, deceptions, and tricks it is after in order to save its power. In relation to those who are caught up in such illusions, I swear to God, one is left puzzled about whether to understand this as good intentions, whether to call it naivety, whether to call it ideological political blindness, whether to call it ignorance, or what to call it. For example, some people still say that Erdogan will solve this problem. Erdogan is the cause of this problem. He is the man at the head of genocide policies. He is equal to Bahçeli. All Erdoğan cares about is keeping his power alive. There is nothing he will not do in order to keep his power. He has already sold everything for this. He has even sold his friends, the people he formed a party with. There is nothing he hasn’t sold. This man has abused the phase of dialog as part of his special war process. He needed it to take over the state and establish total control over it. He wanted to deceive Turkish society and the Kurdish people. There was never a solution process. There has always only been a process of special war. This has been discussed in recent years, and the facts in this regard have been revealed. It is really inconceivable to still be caught up in illusions. I criticize those people who still did not let go of their illusions very seriously. I seriously criticize everyone who still has expectations from Erdogan. Let’s not put the people under false expectations. Let’s not break the will of the people to struggle by putting them under false expectations.

The belief that Erdogan will solve the Kurdish question is really a deceptive one. We need to see this. His only aim is to survive and maintain his power. How long he can hold on is another topic. This fascist government is in the weakest period of its 22 years in power. It is in the process of collapsing. This is the reason for all this ‘softening’ rhetoric. It had to develop this discourse because it is in a very difficult situation, it is in a deadlock. Therefore, it was analyzed that it must break the influence of the opposition and weaken the will of resistance in society by creating false expectations. It also realized that the support of only the MHP was no longer enough, so now it is trying to influence different parts of society.

This government has no future. The current constitutional debates are all deception and are part of their tactics. Erdogan knows he only has four years ahead of him, he will do whatever he can do while still in power, and if he could make his own constitution in the process this would be even better for him. But these are empty aspirations. The current constitution is not being implemented anyway; there is no law; they do not even implement the existing laws that were created after September 12. What a constitution! What civil constitution are they talking about? Wearing a tie does not make someone civil. Right now, Erdogan is the biggest dictator. He is at the head of the militarist generals. One cannot be a civilian simply by wearing civilian clothes. One cannot make a civilian constitution simply by calling the constitution civilian. They want to re-create and strengthen the September 12 constitution. They want to create the constitution of a fascist dictatorship. The ongoing constitutional debates are tactics. It is a distraction, a diversion from the agenda, and a prevention of discussions on the main agendas. It is to prevent the development of the struggle. The public needs to be aware of this and form a strong opposition.

This fascist government is trying to keep itself alive and maintain its power. For this, it is trying to deceive and distract society. It is trying to neutralize the opposition; it is trying to break the power of the opposition. Seeing this, everyone needs to play her/his role in forming a strong opposition against this fascist power. A strong struggle, both politically and socially, without falling into the trap of this power is needed. This applies to the Kurds, their democratic movement, and generally to democratic politics. This is also the case for all the forces within the system that define themselves as opposition.

This is a process in which the democratic forces have to come together, wage a united struggle, and increase their power through alliances. However, a lot of time has already passed since the municipal elections. Still, the common alliance of the democratic forces, their united struggle, the synergy that this creates, the reflection of this on society, and the power of social resistance have not yet emerged in a very clear way. They are still in a position of trial and error. There is a really passive situation. Through the municipal elections, the government has suffered a severe blow, and the initiative has passed into the hands of the opposition, the democratic forces. They have to mobilize themselves very quickly, grow their alliance forces, and raise the united struggle. They have to mobilize society, with millions of people behind them, and wage a very strong social and political struggle. There is insufficiency in this regard. There is a passive, mediocre situation. This needs to be overcome quickly. It is the same for the opposition within the system. For example, the meetings with the AKP after the elections, the meetings with the MHP, the messages exchanged afterwards, Erdogan’s discourses of softening, and Ozgur Ozel’s discourses of normalization have created a mood of false expectation in the opposition within the system and at the grassroots. Will the prevailing problems be solved through discussion and negotiation? Is this how Turkey will recover? Not at all! How is Turkey going to democratize with a fascist government, a government that is the root of the problem? The power that claims to democratize Turkey is the opposition. It is the democratic forces, the opposition itself. They must not disappoint the expectations of society in this regard. They must not let this chance given to them by society go to waste. If they lose, then the society of Turkey will lose. They will never be able to create trust and faith again.

It is said that Ozgur Ozel said, “We support the government’s foreign policy eighty-five percent because it is a national policy.” If he really used such a narrative, I mean, I have not witnessed it, but if he stated it like this, then there is a serious problem. The foreign policy of this government is known. The entire foreign policy of this government, one hundred percent of its foreign policy, is based on securing the support of foreign powers in order to bring the Kurdish genocide to a conclusion, to destroy Turkey, and to put the peoples of Turkey in a completely dark period. This is the whole foreign policy. Turkey’s foreign policy is expansionism, occupationism, and neo-ottomanism. This is the policy of this government. Now, if the CHP is going to approve and support 85 percent of this policy, then it means that the CHP has given up its function as opposition and decided to follow this government’s tail and be its buttress, just like Kiliçdaroglu and Deniz Baykal. This is what it means. Now, it is premature to say that this is 100 percent the case. This situation must be followed closely. Many people are now discussing what CHP might want to do. No one really understands the current approach of the CHP. Ozel said, “I will bring law to Turkey; I will bring justice; the state of Turkey will be a state of law; justice was once the foundation of this state. We will make justice the foundation of this state again.” He was criticizing this marginalization and trustee policy during the municipal election, but now, on the other hand, he says that he will support the government by 85 percent. He says he supports everything that is a national policy. The national policy of this government is Kurdish genocide. It is Kurdish enmity. It is enmity against the peoples of Turkey. It is enmity against the society of Turkey. Can this be supported?

I have been following the performance of the CHP after the municipal elections closely, and I can clearly say that it is a very mediocre performance. In this short period of time, it has almost all lost its power to criticize the government and its power of opposition. What kind of a course will it take from now on? Right now, no one can see this course, and no one can explain what its policy is. Still, the CHP has to embrace democracy the Kurdish society. Politics have principles, a backbone. The CHP cannot make endless concessions, embracing fascists. This is not inclusivity.

They speak about normalization. What would a normalization proccess in Turkey look like? It will be the end of isolation in Imrali, the end of the torture isolation system. ‘Normalization’ can only be achieved with the provision of health, security, and physical freedom for Rêber Apo. It is the creation of the ground and environment for solving the Kurdish question on a democratic basis. This is the normalization of Turkey. If this happens, justice, freedom, and democracy will come to Turkey, and Turkey will truly normalize. Normalization does not mean releasing seven generals; it does not mean those empty talks with the opposition; it does not mean the foreign ministry briefing by Ozgur Ozel when he goes to Europe. Normalization is not simply releasing a few Gezi prisoners.

There is the story of Nasrettin Hodja. He steals a donkey and then lets it go as if he had done a good deed. Erdogan has stolen everything, he has committed crimes, he has turned Turkey into a criminal power, a criminal country. What he has done is a crime; he has killed and killed. He has made people go through the worst so they are willing to accept the least worst option. This least-worst option is being perceived as freedom. They perceive this as democracy, law and justice. Can there be such a distorted mentality? It cannot be like this, the society and the opposition in Turkey need to shake themselves up. The situation is grave.

The one thing to do is struggle, to form a united struggle. A strong opposition and social struggle for democracy. It is necessary to wage this struggle without delay while this government is still at its weakest, while it is in the process of destruction. What should the opposition have done every day since the elections? They should have pointed out over and over again that this government has lost its legitimacy, that it has been defeated, and that it must resign. That’s what they should have said. Early elections should have been demanded, and general elections should have been demanded. But instead, everyone kept their mouths shut. Why are you giving this government time to recover? What kind of politics is this, and what kind of opposition is this?

The ongoing war cannot be considered independent of the military diplomacy and politics Turkey is conducting in the region. Lately, they have made various agreements with Iraq. This was also reflected in public opinion, and many discussions around this took place. Particularly, the Turkish press made very provocative statements. They presented it to the public as if they had gained a great victory. It was as if Iraq had surrendered to Turkey; Iraq had accepted everything Turkey wanted, and they were going to impose and implement all their policies on Iraq. They tried to create such an atmosphere that Southern Kurdistan, Iran, and everyone was aligned behind Turkey. Of course, this is a special war. The municipal elections had just ended, the AKP government had been defeated, and demoralization had developed in the base of that government. They intensified special warfare in order to break it and repel it. They tried to make this government look very successful. That is, of course, one dimension.

They could not get exactly what they wanted from Iraq. That is a fact. Iraq should not put itself in positions that will cause too much damage in the future. Iraq should not take a political stance that legitimizes Turkey’s occupation, neo-ottoman policies, and expansionist policies. This would cause great harm to Iraq. This so-called Development Road Project does not really benefit the country. This project should more appropriately be called the Occupation Road Project. It creates a corridor for Turkey’s invasion and neo-ottoman policies in order to further develop its expansionist policies over Iraq and establish its hegemony. It wants to completely encircle Southern Kurdistan and neutralize the Habur Border Gate. As I see it, the administration of southern Kurdistan and the KDP still have hesitations about this road project. Turkey is trying to reassure them. That’s why the KDP is trying to keep Turkey in a position that will cause less damage to them by taking more part in these genocide policies. Iraq should not get into situations that legitimize the policies of Turkey. Turkey and the KDP want to use the Heres Hudut, the Iraqi border forces, in their war against the guerrillas. The KDP wants to use them, under the Iraqi flag, to enter the places it wanted to enter but could not until now. The Turkish army wants to come and position itself in these places by hiding behind the KDP. It wants to establish new bases. It is conducting such a policy. In other words, the Turkish state wants to take advantage of Iraq. But this is neither in the interest of Iraq nor in the interest of southern Kurdistan.

Right now, the KDP is also going through its weakest period. The more the KDP’s relationship with this AKP-MHP fascist government developed, the more its collaboration increased, and the more the KDP took part in the Kurdish genocide war, the more the KDP weakened. The KDP lost power, and at the current point, it is very weak. The KDP has lost its influence within its own base. It has lost its reputation and really has no influence on society in southern Kurdistan. That is why the KDP does not want elections. Society would not vote for them, and the KDP is well aware of how angry the people are about it. The people are angry because, for years, the KDP has sided with the AKP-MHP genocidal fascist government in its Kurdish genocide policies. The society of southern Kurdistan does not adopt the policy of the KDP. It demands the KDP not further be a collaborator or a traitor. ‘Don’t play a role in the shedding of Kurdish blood’, is the message society sends the KDP.

When was the KDP the strongest in southern Kurdistan? In 2013–14, when the work for the national congress was being carried out, comrade Sabri and comrade Ronahi, along with some other of our friends, held talks with a delegation of the KDP, and many delegations from the four parts of Kurdistan followed. That was the period when the KDP was the strongest. In other words, it was the period when the National Congress work was carried out jointly. On the other side, when is it at its weakest point? When the KDP deepens its betrayal and collaborationism and takes an active part in carrying out genocide policies, it is the weakest. The KDP needs to draw very serious conclusions from this. Some KDP members criticized us. They said, “Why do you always say KDP? Say Barzani family instead. Not all KDP members support this policy. Most KDP members reject this policy. The KDP administration reacts to this collaboration with Turkey and its partnership in the Kurdish genocide attacks. So do not generalize. Don’t say KDP; say Barzani family.” Well, as an answer, let me express the following: those in the KDP who reject these policies should openly fight against the Barzani family. They should not be its partners. Remaining silent is also being a partner. There needs to be a serious reaction against the current policy in southern Kurdistan.

Our comrades announced that an invasion operation started in Metina on May 16th. Now this is progressing step by step. They are settling in the area step by step. Gradually, in the summer months, after the rain season is completely over, when the conditions are right, it looks like they will launch a comprehensive attack at the end of May or beginning of June. The attacks have never stopped, but like I said, right now they are just going one small step after another. The Turkish state is trying to establish new military bases in the area and is trying to fortify all its current military bases. It wants to occupy every place it enters and annex it in the future. It is carrying out an occupation and annexation policy, according to Misak-ı Milli11.

The only thing to do against this is to stand against it and struggle. The guerrilla is resisting and is waging a very honorable, noble, and self-sacrificing war. Since 2019, without interruption, against bombardment every day, against all kinds of UCAV attacks, against all kinds of dirty warfare, against all kinds of chemical weapons, against tactical nuclear weapons, and against all other kinds of banned weapons, the guerrilla resists with its consciousness, will, courage, and commitment. They resist honorably. One can only be honored by the guerrilla. This resistance is a resistance that will go down in history, in Kurdish history, in golden letters. It is a resistance that will determine the fate of the Kurds. I commemorate with all due respect, love, and gratitude all the comrades who were martyred in this resistance. I congratulate all of them on their sacrificial resistance. I greet them all with love, respect, and embrace them. They are carrying out a very honorable resistance. They are not only fighting for the freedom of Kurds; they are not only defending the freedom of Kurds; they are also defending the freedom of the peoples of the Middle East. The resistance in southern Kurdistan is also the resistance to defending the freedom of the peoples of Iraq. A struggle is being waged in the name of humanity.

Our people must stand by this resistance and develop their own self-defense mechanisms, the revolutionary people’s defense struggle. Especially the Kurdish youth should take the responsibility of carrying out the self-defense resistance everywhere, especially in northern Kurdistan. Everyone can take part in this resistance, no matter where they are.

I would also like to this occasion to congratulate our people on the Kurdish Language Day. There have been some actions and press releases in this regard. These are of course valuable. But it should not be limited to celebrating the language on one day, to making various statements and commemorations. It is really necessary to turn every day into a day of struggle for language. Let me particularly point this out in terms of northern Kurdistan and Turkey. There has been a terrible policy of genocide for a hundred years. This has been seen in every part of Kurdistan with the Turkish state at the forefront of these genocide policies, it is the pioneer in the region. It has been practicing cultural genocide policies uninterruptedly in Kurdistan. There is also a struggle against this. Especially the struggle of more than half a century has brought upon very important developments in this regard. It has dealt a serious blow to the genocide policies. In many ways it has nullified them. But this is not enough in its current state. These policies of Kurdish cultural genocide continue in a very reckless and multiplied manner. This is mostly being developed through language assimilation. The Kurdish language is really important in this regard. That is, teaching the Kurdish language to children in the family. So everything starts from childhood. Character is shaped in childhood. In other words, the traits you acquire until the age of 7-8-9, the traits you acquire in the family, in that environment, form a character, a personality in you. It creates identity, memory. These are very important. That’s why, for example, I especially call on Kurdish mothers and Kurdish fathers: teach your children the Kurdish language. Teach Kurmanji, Kirmancki; there is not much of a problem in Bashur, they learn Sorani. I make a special call to Bakur on this issue. Kurdish language must be learned. Kurdish must be spoken in the family. Kurdish must be spoken on the street. When the community comes together, they should speak Kurdish. Kurdish should be spoken in shopping. Increasingly, politics in Kurdistan should be done in Kurdish. Politicians should speak Kurdish when they meet with this people in Kurdistan, when they hold meetings, rallies, when they appear in front of this people. This affects society a lot. When the leaders of the people speak Kurdish, it affects the people. It affects children, it affects young people. We need to develop this in a very widespread way. We need to work very seriously against this, we need to fight against it.

But on the other hand, some people, let’s say the KDP, speak Kurdish. KDP collaborators also speak Kurdish. Hizbul-contra also speaks Kurdish in Kurdistan. But what does it do? It is also partnering with genocide policies. It sides with the state that commits cultural genocide. It also supports all the policies of the state. It carries out a policy of genocide with the Kurdish language. That is to say, speaking Kurdish and taking Kurdish names, now, for example, some of them appear in the ruling media, I know they are Kurdish, they also declare that they are Kurdish, they take the name Helin, Pelin, Baran, Rezan, but as a whole they are making propaganda for this fascist government. They are waging a special war, they themselves are elements of special war. This is how it is being degenerated and emptied. The issue is not only about taking a Kurdish name or speaking Kurdish; how much can you really live with your own culture, your own history, your own traditions? How much can you succeed in becoming a moral political society? How much can you experience a social emancipation based on your own values, your own culture, how much can you reveal a level of social emancipation? How much can you govern yourself, create your own self-government? Can you govern yourself, freely, equally, fairly, democratically? This is the measure. The measure is to be able to raise oneself to the level of a moral political society based on one’s own values, one’s own culture, one’s own history, one’s own heritage, to be able to create a will for self-governance based on a free moral and democratic moral society, and to be able to govern oneself. If this happens, it makes sense.

Now ecological destruction is taking place all over Kurdistan. Ecological destruction is the biggest cultural destruction, the biggest historical destruction. The historical geography where you live is being destroyed. Its forest is being destroyed, its water is being destroyed, poisoned. Its history is being destroyed, its air is being polluted. The climate is being changed. Its fauna is being eliminated. Natural vegetation is disappearing. A lot of living things are disappearing, vegetation is disappearing. This is the biggest cultural genocide. It is the biggest genocide. What did the leadership say? He said that the most basic ideological consciousness is ecological consciousness. Now you will say, what does language have to do with it? It has a lot to do with language. What is language? It is the most basic element that forms culture. Without language, the formation of culture is very crippled. But this language is also the nature of Kurdistan. You speak to that nature with that language. That language has an identity. That language has a soul. That language has an idea. So it is not independent from this. Language itself is life, culture, existence. But through its own core values. For example, we need to carry out a very serious work and struggle on this issue. Some dialects are disappearing. For example, Kirmanji is my mother tongue. I really feel very sad. Now there are very few people who speak Kirmanji originally, they are very old people. Now it is gradually developing a little bit, certain groups working on the language also use it, and it is a little bit original. But it is really disappearing gradually. It is very sad. We need to protect it, all our people who speak Kirmanjki, especially in Dersim, especially the people of Dersim, in Amed, Bingöl, Erzincan, Siverek; we need to protect it everywhere.

In this sense, the women are the ones I expect the most. Women must take the lead in this. Women are the carriers of culture, women are the carriers of language. It is our mothers who have brought our culture to this day, it is the reality of women. The Kurdish woman should claim this the most.


1 Referring to Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan.

2 By international conspiracy she refers here to how Abdullah Ocalan was kidnapped in violation of international law on February 15, 1999 and taken to the prison island of Imrali after he had gone through a political odyssey through various countries that began on October 9, 1998. The forced odyssey and abduction is verifiable the work of various states and secret services, above all the CIA, Mossad, the Greek and Italian states.

3 Haki Karer was one of Abdullah Öcalan’s first companions and was an essential part of the group that laid the foundations of the Kurdish freedom movement. He was murdered in an assassination in Dîlok (tr. Antep) on May 18, 1977.

4 Mehmet Karasungur was a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). He was murdered in a PUK assassination in Qendil on May 2, 1983.

5 Hozan Mizgîn (Gurbet Aydın) was an artist and militant of the Kurdish freedom movement. She martyred on May 11, 1992 in Tatvan.

6 Ferhat Kurtay, Eşref Anyık, Necmi Öner and Mahmut Zengin were four militants of the Kurdish freedom movement. After months of torture in the prison of Amed (tr. Diyarbakir) and treason slowly threatening to spread, they decided to set a sign of resistance. On the night of May 12, 1982, they set themselves and their cell on fire. This night has since been known as “the night of the four”.

7 Kasim Engin (Ismail Nazlikul) was a member of the PKK Central Committee and was murdered in a Turkish attack in the Bradost area of Southern Kurdistan on May 27, 2020.

8 Deniz Gezmiş was one of the leaders of the Turkish left and a pioneer of the ’68 movement. He was executed in Ankara on May 6, 1972.

9 Sinan Cemgil was one of the leaders of the Turkish left and a pioneer of the ’68 movement. He was He was killed in a firefight on May 31, 1972 in Nurhak.

10 The İttihad ve Terakki (Union and Progress) was a political party in the Ottoman Empire founded in 1889. It played a significant role in the late Ottoman politics, particularly during the Young Turk Revolution of 1908. The party is responsible for the Armenian Genocide, and paved the way for the fascist and genocidal mentality that exists in the Turkish state until today and which is today primarily directed against the Kurdish people.

11 The so-called ‘National Pact’ refers to a political declaration made by the leaders of the Ottoman Empire in 1920 during the First World War. The oath defined the territorial borders – including Kurdish settlement areas in present-day Iraq and Syria – and the basic principles for Turkey’s future policy. Today, Turkish nationalists often refer to the ‘National Pact’ to formulate their aspirations for Turkey’s territorial expansion.