our interviews

march 28, 2024

Do you have any evaluations regarding the situation of the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan and, in particular, the struggle for his freedom?

First of all, I would like to congratulate Rêber Apo1 on this year’s Newroz, which was celebrated in four parts of Kurdistan, in Turkey, and abroad in a magnificent way. On the occasion of Newroz, I would also like to congratulate our people, and I salute this strong participation from the heart. At the same time, I would like to respectfully and gratefully commemorate Mazlum Dogan2 and Zekiye Alkan3, and through them, all the martyrs of Newroz. This week is the week of heroes. With respect and gratitude, I once again commemorate all the martyrs who fought for the revolution and freedom.

The struggle for freedom has reached a very important stage and has managed to turn Rêber Apo into more than just a leader for the Kurdish people, he has become a universal leader. Especially the global campaign, which was launched on October 10 under the leadership of our international friends, has gained a global level. There has been a serious worldwide embrace of Rêber Apo, as his paradigm and ideas have spread worldwide. The conferences, workshops, concerts, the public reading of Rêber Apo’s prison writings, the organization of reading days in many cities and countries in Europe, and the attempts to comprehend Rêber Apo’s ideas have created a very important agenda on behalf of Rêber Apo and his freedom.

Parallel to this, the level of society’s struggle within the movement has developed. Our people were constantly on their feet everywhere and continued their resistance. Especially in recent months, there has been a serious rise in awareness and action. Especially the Freedom March in Northern Kurdistan was very meaningful. It started on February 1st and continued until February 15th. It started in Serhat, passed through Wan and Dersim, and finally reached its peak in Amed. Everywhere that the march passed, impressive public meetings and gatherings were organized. Historical sites and many places that are attributed great meaning and that have spiritual value for our people, were visited. Through this, the Freedom March played a very important role in the deepening and spreading of the struggle for freedom and the intensification of the current agenda. It can be summarized that the political and social impact of this march was very strong. Also, the march on February 17, in Cologne, was very spectacular. In a way, it was the European leg of the Freedom March. Both the Freedom March in Northern Kurdistan and the Cologne March in Europe constituted a very important leap.

Also, while evaluating the march, the freedom vigil in Strasbourg that has been going on for years needs to be taken into consideration. On a weekly basis, our patriots and friends have been carrying out this action for years, taking over the vigil from one another. The struggle for freedom is a process that has started since the international conspiracy4 has been developing for 25 years. There is a resistance that developed along with the philosophy of the “You cannot darken our sun” campaign. This resistance continues uninterrupted until today. It globalized with the global campaign that was announced on October 10. But to come back to the freedom vigil in Strasbourg, it has played a very important role in spreading the ideas of Rêber Apo, his reality, philosophy, and ideology, to the world. In this sense, I would like to congratulate this action, which has now entered its 620th week, and highlight the great efforts that have been made for it.

Also, for over three months, our mothers have been organizing the Justice Watch. Such protests have developed in many cities in Kurdistan and even in some cities in Turkey. This has created a very important sensitivity in society. They have already made a strong contribution to the freedom struggle. Indeed, our mothers represent the free morality and conscience of our society. That is what they also demonstrate by their actions. They appealed to the conscience of society. I would like to salute this action as well.

Also, there is the sacrificial resistance in the prisons, which has been going on for almost four months. I salute and congratulate this resistance of our comrades. From the establishment of our movement, our imprisoned comrades have been showing great resistance under the conditions of torture and war. They are a great example of dedication and sacrifice, and for years they have been a part of every step that was taken in the struggle for freedom. In various periods, the resistance of the movement has been pioneered by them. This process, which started in 2018 under Leyla Güven’s5 leadership, really had a great impact. This resistance is the continuation of the July 146 attitude, of the line of Rêber Apo. I salute this resistance as well. This has added great strength to the struggle.

Again, there is the guerrilla resistance that has been going on for decades. The Kurdish Freedom Struggle, equally on a political and social level, has deepened through the resistance of the guerrilla. It has become popular and has become an invincible struggle. The guerrilla has been developing great heroism and resistance, carrying out very powerful actions, as it always has, especially since the development of the total genocide war which has been uninterruptedly continuing for the last eight years. The enemy is attacking with all its techniques and means. With the support of the NATO, with the support and direct involvement of collaborating and treacherous forces like the KDP. But still, they cannot push the guerrilla back, they cannot weaken it, as it continues to resist and inflict great blows on the enemy. This is very meaningful. I salute this too. I congratulate the comrades on all their efforts.

The campaign has now clearly reached a very important stage. The Freedom March, the march of Cologne, and now Newroz, in which millions of people participated and took to the streets. It marks the beginning of the second phase of the global freedom campaign. And from here, we can see and say that from now on, the campaign will develop by spreading even more within society and reaching the masses. The guerrilla will, of course, play a strong role in this. Our people will be in resistance everywhere, and this resistance will grow. At the same time, the legal, diplomatic, and political struggle will develop and grow as a fundamental pillar of the campaign. In 2024, the campaign will reach victory and fulfill its goals.

The current stage of the campaign can be named the second phase. This phase has been initiated by the society through the very spectacular resistance which has been shown. This has made it very clear that this campaign will be a campaign of victory, that it will ensure the health, safety, and physical freedom of Rêber Apo, and that it will create the ground and climate for the democratization of Turkey through the democratic solution of the Kurdish question. In fact, the freedom of Rêber Apo means the solution to the Kurdish question, the democratization of Turkey, and the democratization of the Middle East. Therefore, this struggle is developing on the axis of Rêber Apo’s freedom. This struggle will bring forth a revolution in democracy. We will carry out our duties within this campaign more strongly in the coming period.

There is also an important issue I would like to draw attention to within this agenda. Rêber Apo is under a great system of solitary confinement, isolation, torture, and genocide. For 25 years, there has been uninterrupted isolation and oppression. For the last three years, he has had no contact with the outside world. He cannot meet with his lawyers, he cannot meet with his family. No one knows what is going on in Imrali. We know from the policies being pursued that a war of genocide is being waged against the Kurds and that the epicenter of this is Imrali. We know that there is great pressure on Rêber Apo on Imrali and that there are very serious impositions. We know that the pressure on Rêber Apo intensifies even more, especially during the elections. Rêber Apo does not give in to these pressures and impositions, therefore, the isolation is aggravated.

This absolute isolation is being used by this fascist government against the Kurdish people, against the Kurdish Freedom Movement, as a trump card, as a political tool, as a tool of its special warfare, and as a bargaining chip. This gains even more height during the election. There are some traitors and collaborators that are dragged in front of the cameras during times like this. I listened to one the other day. He said, “Öcalan is at a moderate, positive point, the problem is with the PKK. The problem is with the Kurds, who want freedom, who struggle for it. If they were to adopt an approach like Öcalan, the way for a solution would be paved. A new process can also begin.” The traitor who said this is a male MP of the AKP. If you say that Öcalan is on a positive line, then what is this solitary confinement on Imrali? For three years, neither his family nor his lawyers have been meeting with him. So let’s say that this government sees the approach and the stance of Rêber Apo as positive for itself—and it says this, it speaks on behalf of the AKP, so it evaluates it that way—then how do you evaluate this total isolation that has been going on for years? They are waging a special war, and the traitor male MP who was speaking is just an element within this war. They try to confuse the people. There are many people like this one traitor. They try to confuse people and create the wrong expectations. They do this a lot, especially during election periods. They try to get votes from Kurds by creating confusion and making up false expectations. In essence, they are trying to get votes for the AKP. In the last period, the special war has been intensified a lot. This policy of the government is obvious. It fears that even one single word of Rêber Apo may cause a breakthrough. The government does not want this situation to be reflected in society. Because they know the effect that every word of Rêber Apo has on society.

They are aware of Rêber Apo’s impact, they are aware of his influence. Because they are aware of this and because they are afraid of it, they impose solitary confinement and total isolation. They don’t want even a single word of his to get out. Because they know the great impact that word will have on society, on the democratic public opinion, and that it will serve Turkey’s democracy. They do not want democracy in Turkey. Now, without this lawlessness against Rêber Apo, without these antidemocratic practices, without this fascism, there would be law in Turkey. Since there are all kinds of unlawful practices against Rêber Apo and since the rules of law are not applied, there is lawlessness and injustice in Turkey. Corruption and theft are rampant. Turkey has become the headquarters and center of the mafia and drug dealers. Rapists are being released from prisons, as they are not subjected to any criminal sanction. International law is trampled underfoot. It had never been implemented either way. It does not apply its own law either. If it applied its own law, Imrali would not be possible.

If law is applied in Imrali, law will be applied in Turkey. If justice comes to Imrali, justice will come to Turkey. If a moral, humanitarian policy and approach is developed towards Imrali, politics in Turkey will be a bit more ethical. Now there is no law, no morality, no conscience on Imrali. Look at the situation on Imrali and you understand Turkey as a whole. No one should be fooled by this special war propaganda by people like that one MP of the AKP. I personally don’t think that our people pay any attention to them. But just in case, some people may pay attention to them. The Erdogan regime is waging a special war. They are after votes. This government is waging a total genocidal war on the Kurds. It is planning and preparing to persistently bring this genocidal war to a conclusion after the elections. All diplomatic, political activities, and military preparations are based on this. With the post-election period, it is preparing to deepen this total war, deepen the war even more and bring the war of genocide to a conclusion. That is why, of course, we need to be sensitive to this special war propaganda. This is an attack on Rêber Apo, on Kurds in the person of Rêber Apo, it is an insult to Kurds. The special war propaganda and policies of these special war elements must be exposed everywhere and a strong struggle must be waged against it. This is also part of the campaign. Such things are being done to weaken the campaign. A very strong ideological, political and social struggle is needed against this.

What can you tell us about this year’s Newroz celebrations, how do you evaluate them and what was the message of the people?

This year’s Newroz was the most magnificent and powerful one in recent years. Millions of people took to the streets. They turned the areas of celebration into a sea of people. It was like this in the four parts of Kurdistan, in North and East Kurdistan, it was very enthusiastic and magnificent. It was also very glorious in Rojava. Very magnificent pictures reached us from Kobanê, Qamişlo, and Hesekê everywhere, and there was even such strong participation despite Ramadan. Also, the Newroz in Qendîl was strong. On the day of Newroz, Turkish warplanes flew around constantly and bombed several places. But despite that, the participation was really good, and the Newroz in Qendîl ended successfully.

Of course, the most spectacular Newroz this year was in North Kurdistan and Turkey. And in Amed, it has reached its peak. We saw a very magnificent Newroz in Amed, many cities in Kurdistan were like that. For example, the celebration in Wan was really spectacular. Also, Cizîra was very magnificent, as well as Urfa, Siirt, Batman, Mardin, and Dersim had a strong Newroz this year. So was Serhat. For the first time this year, there were really spectacular Newroz celebrations in Turkish cities. For example, Istanbul almost competed with Amed. There was a sea of people right next to the Marmara Sea. It was a Newroz that gave people enthusiasm and excitement. Outside of Istanbul, it was also celebrated in Bursa, Edirne, Balikesir, Manisa, Izmir, and many parts of Central Anatolia.

The Kurdish people are the people of Newroz. What does this mean? It means rebellion against oppression, exploitation, occupation, and fascism. It is the stance of freedom, the attitude of freedom. Our people demonstrated this stance very strongly this Newroz. But these people of Newroz will also turn the Turkish people into the people of Newroz. Every Newroz, one feels and sees this very well. Newroz really creates a serious level of change, transformation, development, and liberation in society. Just as we saw and feel that our people are changing, transforming, and became free with every step, the Kurdish people will change and transform society in Turkey step by step. The spirit of Newroz will ferment in Turkish society, it will blossom and grow, and it will liberate Turkish society as well. The liberated Kurdish people will produce a result that will also liberate Turkish society. The transformation in the Kurdish people transforms, changes, and liberates the societies in Turkey. This is very important.

This is what we saw in Newroz. It really created a piece of Kurdistan in Turkey. But it was not only Kurds who participated in Newroz in Turkey. Many democratic forces participated, groups from many ethnic beliefs and cultures, and many leftist, socialist, and democratic groups participated. In fact, this is the real Turkey. It is a garden of peoples. Of course, this was very important.

So all in all, this Newroz had very important messages. In particular, our people put forward a very strong will and attitude against this war of genocide, the policy and concept of denial and annihilation that has been going on for eight years without interruption. The message taken from the Newroz celebrations is: “We will not allow this. This policy of yours has now collapsed, it is a sign of moral and political bankruptcy.”

The Turkish government has been implementing a policy of genocide in Kurdistan uninterruptedly for eight years. This fascist, colonialist, genocidal state is waging a total war against the Kurds. It has imprisoned all elected officials, patriots, and activists. It attacked the cultural society, the press, and the families of martyrs. It collapsed the economy. It is destroying the nature of Kurdistan, and it is impoverishing Kurdistan. There is a great economic massacre. The Turkish state is deepening poverty and hunger in Kurdistan in a very conscious and systematic way. It is trying to migrate the Kurds. It is trying to de-Kurdify and dehumanize Kurdistan. Now we know that in many parts of Kurdistan, the migration of the youth is increasing. So the special war centers are working very intensively. Despite all these attacks, our people, millions of people flooded the squares and streets during Newroz. The policy of the fascist Turkish state has come to naught, it has collapsed. It has become clear that this eight-year genocide policy is bankrupt. It has been fruitless. It has failed to achieve results. It could not break the will of the Kurds, it could not subjugate the Kurds. The Kurds are standing upright and in rebellion. This is a very important message, stance, and attitude against the fascist, genocidal colonialist state and power. It is the collapse of century-old policies. This is a fundamental message that emerged in Newroz.

We saw the collapse of the ‘çöktürme planı’7 very strikingly in the Newroz celebrations, and our people have emphasized that Rêber Apo represents their will and that he is the address for the democratic solution of the Kurdish question. They showed this once again to the world and to our international friends and enemies. Millions of people in all Newroz centers screamed, “Bijî Serok Apo. Rêber Apo represents our will, Rêber Apo is the address and interlocutor of solutions, democracy, freedom, equality, and honorable peace.” Our people underlined that no one should scheme according to special warfare propaganda. They will all come to nothing, and our people will make them all come to nothing. This was, of course, very important.

Again, the slogan “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi” was chanted everywhere. We saw very strikingly in this Newroz how the women’s freedom struggle, the women’s freedom revolution, has changed and transformed society, and how it has fed and strengthened social resistance. Women were at the forefront of this Newroz as well. They really gave Newroz its color, voice, and character. This high level of women’s participation determined the character, quality, and level of freedom of this Newroz. The spirit of March 8 was reflected very strongly in Newroz. As is known, also March 8 was celebrated very strongly. The women’s movement in Kurdistan and Turkey has gained strength and its impact on society is serious. It is seriously challenging both the government and its politics.

This years Newroz played a very important role in the development of national unity, the deepening of national feeling and the consolidation of national consciousness. In a way it was a picture of this. It is like this everywhere. There may be different opinions, there may be different points of view, but there was a great convergence on common national values. We saw this very clearly. And mainly these were the common national values of freedom and democracy. The call and demand for the solution of the Kurdish question. Of course, these were just the most essential messages of this years Newroz and this was the beginning of the freedom struggle. With the Freedom March, the march of Cologne and Newroz, the global freedom campaign will develop even more strongly and will surely reach its conclusion and victory.

As is known, the municipal elections in Turkey is set to take place on 31 March. How do you evaluate the elections and the preparations set for the elections?

It is important in which atmosphere, in which political and social climate this election will be held. There is an uninterrupted war, an ongoing genocide in Kurdistan and a war on the peoples of Turkey, a fascist regime in Turkey, an AKP-MHP-Ergenekon ruled fascist government. This fascist government has really suffocated Turkey. Turkey has collapsed politically, economically, ecologically. The government has plundered Turkey’s nature and geography. We saw it in the earthquake last year. With these construction projects, Turkey has completely turned its cities into concrete. In a severe earthquake in Turkey, especially in Kurdistan, cities are leveled to the ground. Now the municipal elections are being held in a very undemocratic and fascist atmosphere. Therefore, it has no legitimacy. These elections will not be democratic. The municipalities are also very important for this government. It wants to take back the places it lost in the previous elections.

For years, the municipalities have really been the center of governmental looting. They have become centers of theft, of plunder, of distributing wealth to cronies, and of looting all the riches. The municipalities in this system have become centers of theft and corruption. This is commonly known and can easily be observed. There is such a system in Turkey that it is a centralist system. The nation-state system in Turkey has already taken its most fascist form. Municipalities have no will, no initiative, and no authority. Everything is determined in Ankara.

In Ankara, this fascist power determines everything on the basis of its own interests. To get richer, to make their cronies earn more, to provide loot, to open areas of undetectable theft, to give away all the values, all the property, and all the riches of the people. The municipalities have really turned into loot distribution centers. That’s why they care so much. They will try to take over every place, they will try to give away the people’s values to their cronies. The more municipalities are taken from the hands of this fascist power, the weaker this fascist power will become. That’s why they are in a panic. Especially in Istanbul, for example, this panic is quite intense. Because Istanbul is the center of life, I mean, almost a quarter of Turkey’s population is there. All the coastal cities are like that, actually. That’s why the current election process in Turkey has become a war process.

I mean, there are no elections, there is a war going on. There is a power struggle, and it is very ugly. No ethical values are recognized. Politics within the Turkish state has become very dirty. You can’t even call it politics, it’s not politics at all, it’s trade. What they call politics is dirty trade and dirty bargaining. There is really no politics left in Turkey. Except for the Kurds and the democratic forces, there is no one practicing clean, democratic, moral, ethical politics. That’s why our people in Turkey should vote for patriotic, democratic, libertarian, and egalitarian candidates. Never should the votes of our people be used as material for these dirty politics. This is very important. The democratic political parties have fielded candidates everywhere. They are the most patriotic, democratic, and libertarian candidates. They do clean politics.

Now that there is already a war of genocide in Kurdistan, the election in Kurdistan is also part of the war. For eight years, they have been appointing trustees. What is a trustee? A trustee is a colonizer, a genocidal occupier. They loot wherever they go. Seeing that they will lose the municipalities, the appointed trustees are selling off anything they can to harm the elected officials who will take their place. They are selling and plundering the property and everything. For eight years in Kurdistan, theft, corruption, and loots have been rampant. They steal from the people and distribute it to their cronies. Everyone in Kurdistan is hungry, poor, and unemployed. They are doing this consciously, to break the will of the people, to make them surrender, and to migrate. This trustee policy is also part of genocide policies.

As if this was not enough, they also mobilized Hizbulkontra. Hizbulkontra have massacred thousands of people in the past, functioning as paramilitary forces of the fascist government at the time. The same government who carried out well-documented genocidal attacks against the Kurdish people, killing hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians. Now, the Hizbulkontra has become activated again and is implementing genocide policies in Kurdistan, but this time through politics. It is trying to make itself the most effective argument in the current situation as part of the total genocide policies all over Kurdistan. It is mobilized everywhere. They are focusing on Batman a lot. These Hizbukontra candidates are speaking Kurdish everywhere. They are trying to deceive people by speaking Kurdish. KDP also speaks Kurdish. By speaking Kurdish, KDP is committing Kurdish genocide together with AKP-MHP- Ergenekon. It is taking part in Kurdish genocide policies. Though, is the KDP really Kurdish in that matter? Can you call it patriotic? Does it have anything to do with Kurdishness? Can a power, a structure that commits Kurdish genocide represent Kurds, their interests and values? In reality, Kurds have gained their values through struggle, resistance, at great cost, with a lot of loss of life, bloodshed, suffering and getting tortured for 100 years, especially over the last 50 years. They are now trying to eliminate, plunder, usurp, and assimilate the values that were created through resistance. And they are doing this by using Kurdish. There is also the TRT 6 channel. By this television channel, they are trying to assimilate Kurds by using Kurdish. It is trying to make Kurds internalize the system, it is committing cultural genocide. It is committing cultural genocide by speaking Kurdish. Every day it curses Kurds, it schemes on how to enslave Kurds, how to make them serve the fascist Turkish state, how to make them servants. Hizbulkontra does the same thing. The AKP-MHP together with Ergenekon are waging a war of genocide by speaking Kurdish everywhere. This contra is doing what JITEM did.

They shamelessly put forward a candidate in a place like Dersim, the center of Alevism and the Reya Heq faith. They are all people of this faith. This is an insult and curse to them. This is blasphemy, this is an attack, this is an attack of genocide. This is the modern day expression of the 1937-38 massacre, and its special warfare tool the Hizbulkontra. It is a war of genocide currently being waged in Dersim. The people of Dersim should spit in the face of these contras. They should not allow those with the blood of the people of Dersim on their hands to even dare to set foot in Dersim, let alone go and make propaganda. Hizbulkontra candidates should not even dare to set foot in Kurdistan, in the cities of Kurdistan. All of them have bloodied their hands with genocide, all of them are assimilation pawns, they are elements within the concepts of special warfare, JITEM elements who develop genocide policies. They have nothing to do with Kurdishness. They insult the Kurdish language by speaking it. They will not be able to assimilate Kurdish culture by using the Kurdish language, they will not be allowed to commit cultural genocide again. Our people will not give in to this. In these municipal elections, at the ballot box, both this genocidal colonialist fascist power, the state, and the elements of special warfare of Hizbulkontra and other collaborator traitor groups will give their answers. I believe in this. Our people are struggling against this, and will show the strongest attitude.

There is currently a lot of discussion about the co-chairman system. Apparently there are some men who are not in favor of it. What can they tell us about this system? Why is the co-chairman system of such significance in your eyes?

The co-chairman system really plays a very decisive role in the democratization and liberation of politics and society. It plays a transformative, changing role. It is a system developed against the male-dominated mentality, understanding and system. It rejects the male-dominated mentality, system, patriarchal mentality and system, and expresses a break from it. It is an alternative, democratic, libertarian and egalitarian system. Now, in order for this system to be successfully developed, established and executed, first of all, the people responsible for developing this system must completely purify themselves from the mentality and understanding of the dominant, traditional perspective. In other words, they need to experience a break from the dominant, traditional mentality. This is very important. Because this is a system developed against male domination. It is a system based on democratic politics, a form of government and a way of life based on the freedom of women, the freedom of men, the equality and freedom of women and men. In order for this system to develop, first of all, the male friends who take part in this system must experience a radical cut from the male-dominated mentality and understanding. Their mentality must be democratic, libertarian, egalitarian, their understanding must be like this. If this does not happen, they constitute a great obstacle to this system. They are doing everything to frustrate this system.

A man who does not want to give up his male-dominant understanding will create obstacles and resist the development of the co-chairman system. Because male domination wants to rule with its own understanding and mentality. But this system is not like that. This system rejects the way of governing with a male-dominated mentality. It is based on a free, equal, democratic form of government, politics, lifestyle and working style. Now, since this system has developed, there has been a dual attack. There is a state attack against this system. There is a systematic attack. Because the development of this system will bring about democratic politics. It will change and transform society. Changing, transforming, democratizing and liberating society and politics will challenge the state power system. It will challenge and weaken fascist, colonialist, genocidal policies, mentalities and understandings. This frightens the state and the powers. So what will they do? Attack. An attack against this, is an attack on the paradigm of women’s freedom. It is an attack on the free women, free society, free politics, free governance. The state is doing this. It has done this from the beginning. That’s why it imprisoned all the co-chairs. It is trying to take all women’s gains away from women. First it attacked the co-chair system, then it canceled the Istanbul Convention. Now, it is trying to remove anything in its own constitution that is even the slightest bit useful or in favor of women. The whole reaction is united against the paradigm and struggle of women’s freedom.

This is a form of attack that feeds the state and strengthens the state-power system. How does that happen? The man refuses to give up the male-dominated mentality, he does not give up this understanding. He does not give up his way of governing because he thinks it is in his favor. He does not want to live in equal partnership with women, he does not want to share. He does not want to form a joint governing on an equal, free and democratic basis. He insists on his own way of ruling. He insists on his way of domination, suppression, hegemony, he wants to be the one and only. This also happened in the municipalities. This is a fundamental problem we are currently experiencing in all areas. Since male friends do not give up their male-dominated understanding and mentality, there is a problem because they do not take a free, equal, democratic governance and working style as a basis together with their female friends. This process is developing in a constant conflict, constant discussion, constant struggle. This is the nature of the work.

Of course, men do not easily give up their male-dominated understanding. Women need to struggle strongly, men who seek freedom need to struggle very strongly, social segments of our society who want to be liberated, who want democratization need to embrace this system very strongly, and fight against the male-dominated patriarchal system, sexist state and power. This struggle is not only the struggle of women. Women will struggle first and foremost, of course, but men and everybody else who seeks freedom must also struggle. In other words, it is necessary so that the system can settle, function and succeed. If this system is successful, there will definitely be a serious transformation in society, a level of emancipation and democratization will emerge. Society will be liberated and democratized. These fascist nation-state systems, ruling state systems will no longer be able to maintain their rule, they will dissolve and fall apart. In other words, they will no longer be able to exert pressure on the peoples and practice fascism. Therefore, co-chairman means that the system of equal representation becomes a cultural component, vitalized, systematized, a style of governance, a style and understanding of politics. It means the elimination of sexism, nationalism, racism, and religious sectarianism. It means the liberation, democratization and flourishing of society. It means to not only breath but to live freely. It is that important. It is really the resistance point of freedom. But unfortunately, a male approach that will comprehend this, understand it and approach it accordingly has not yet emerged. A women’s struggle that will comprehend this in depth and wage a much more radical and effective struggle, is still not fully sufficient. There are problems in this regard. But this definitely needs to be overcome. This system is very important for the democratization of local governments, society, and the emancipation of political governance.

Now, in local governments, wherever a democratic political party enters the elections in Kurdistan, that is, wherever a political party based on the paradigm of Democratic Nation enters the elections, the co-chairmanship system is taken as a basis. It is absolutely necessary to implement this system in accordance with its essence, philosophy and understanding. This is very important.

In terms of municipalities, it is also necessary to state the following. We see what kind of municipalism our people want. The demands of the people are clear. The people want a pluralist, egalitarian, libertarian, democratic, multicultural, multilingual, socialist municipality. It wants a municipality governance approach in which it will directly participate, be involved in the governance, have a say in the services related to it, in the problems of the local area, and have a will. Our people express this everywhere. If a municipality is not democratic and socialist, it cannot be the administration of the people. That municipality will not provide democratic, free and equal services to the people, it will not be fair. Therefore, a democratic and socialist understanding of municipal administration would provide services to the people in a fairer, more equal manner, without discrimination. This is what the people demand and want. And we think this will be the case. Because all the candidates of democratic political parties in Kurdistan have made these promises. They must fulfill their promises. Of course the people expect them to fulfill their promises in practice, they expect them to implement this.

As is so often the case shortly before elections, there have recently been many attempts by the AKP to present itself as if it were interested in a supposed solution to the Kurdish question. How do you evaluate this?

We see in the press that some AKP officials, special warfare pawns, are trying to create a perception in regards to Rêber Apo. Officials from our party were also evaluating this the other day. Tülay Hatimoğulları also participated in a TV program several days ago, we listened to it. She made very important evaluations and calls. She also addressed this issue. So this is a really serious situation.

AKP circles and officials are trying to create a perception among Kurds that a different process may develop after 1 April. In other words, they are trying to create perceptions. They are aiming to get Kurdish votes in these municipal elections. They say that if the Kurds vote for the AKP, a new solution process can start after the elections. They are conducting a very intense propaganda and perception work, a special warfare policy in Kurdistan. This is very dangerous, since it is completely false. Whether they vote for the AKP or not, there is only one thing that the Kurds will experience after the elections; it will be a deepened, widened and intensified attempt to finish off the genocide. At the moment, all the preparations of this government are on this basis, this is the only plan they will try to implement after elections. This special warfare propaganda aims to confuse the Kurds, creating expectations, creating confusion and gaining votes. It is nothing more than psychological warfare. Our people do not and should not believe them. Already the practice is obvious, the policies are obvious. The rest is a lie. Our people don’t believe it, we don’t believe it. If anyone pays attention, they should never pay attention. This is a genocidal, colonialist, fascist power. And it definitely wants to finalize this genocide policy within a year or two after the elections. It is working on this basis, preparing on this basis. No one should be fooled by the propaganda of the special warfare. No one should fall under the influence of special warfare. Our people should vote for those who represent their own will and their own values. There should be no confusion on this issue. It must be as clear as the sun. It must be as clear as water.

The state, this AKP-MHP-Ergenekon fascist alliance, focuses on some places in Kurdistan with much more importance. It has also identified those places as flagship areas. It is trying to usurp and seize them in this election. In fact, the trustee policy has changed its form a little more in this period. In this process, the Erdogan regime is attempting to achieve this by moving voters. He has filled everywhere with police, gendarmerie and soldiers. He spread the army across Kurdistan and registered each of them as voters. He also created imaginary voters. He will do a lot of cheating anyway. Especially in the past elections, he is paying more attention to the places where the voting rates and the difference in votes were small. For example, he is now very serious about Agri, Şirnak, Urfa, Kars and particularly Igdir. He is concentrating on these areas. He is developing a thousand and one ways and methods to usurp these areas. I believe that our people are sensitive to this. Our people should listen the calls of their political party. All voters in the cities and metropolises of Turkey should go to their places, go to their cities, go to their towns and vote. This must be strictly adhered to. Our people should definitely go to the ballot box wherever they are. They must cast their vote. They must protect their vote, they must protect their will. They should not only vote and come back. They should also protect the ballot box until the results are announced. Because there is a very intense attack, there is a special war, there is cheating, there is a trap. It is our people who will frustrate all these. It is our people’s sensitivity, responsible approach, participation, protecting their will, protecting their votes. We should definitely pay attention to these. This is the measure. We trust our people. Our people must trust themselves. Otherwise, the democratic political party in Kurdistan is forced to become a coalition, it will not be allowed to perform freely per the will of the people. When it comes to Kurdistan, all state parties develop an alliance against the democratic political party, against the Kurds. This is very clear. They enter the elections with the state. Therefore, we must be very sensitive everywhere. Our people must vote. They must protect the ballot box. Those who have moved to the cities of Turkey should come to their own place, come to their home city, come to their home town, cast their vote there. They should make such a sacrifice. Because this enemy, this state, this government treats the election as a war. It treats it as a war to break the will of the Kurds, as a form of developing a new slaughter policy. Our people must really resist, fight against this, and put forward their will in a very strong way. This is important. I would like to make a call on this basis.

In relation to information on new occupation operations by the Turkish regime and the desperate diplomatic traffic being conducted by them in search for international support, what can you say?

The genocidal war waged by this fascist genocidal state and government for eight years has come to a deadlock. It is currently experiencing a very serious blockage. Actually, their plans were different. In 2023, they wanted to occupy all the Medya Defense Zones8. They also wanted to develop occupation in areas such as Mosul and Kirkuk. They wanted to reach the borders of Misak-ı Milli9 in both South Kurdistan and Rojava. It was also to establish its hegemony over Iraq and Syria. In this sense, they pursued an occupying, expansionist, neo-ottomanist imperialist policy. This is very clear. And they wanted to finalize it in 2023 at the latest. But their schemes overlooked us. Not everything goes according to the maps and plans drawn on the table. It came and was struck by the glorious resistance of the guerrilla. It was struck by the glorious, uninterrupted struggle and resistance of the people. It got stuck. It is in a deadlock. They actually wanted to overcome this deadlock. During 2022-23, they constantly used chemical weapons, used banned weapons. The KDP took part in this war and wanted to benefit them in every way. They wanted to legitimize this war. In order to legitimize it, the KDP did everything in its power. They did their best, but again they could not get results. In fact, they were very exposed. The banned weapons and chemical weapons it used were exposed and documented. The state was dumbfounded.

The Erdogan regime massacred many civilians, bombed villages, forced the evacuation of villages. It bombed the underground and overground infrastructure of the people in Rojava. Oil wells, gas and electricity facilities, printing presses, many food factories, and public centers. Also children, women, the old and the young alike were massacred. Most recently, they massacred Assyrian fighters. The Turkish state is waging a war of complete genocide. Whatever Israel is currently doing against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Turkish state has been committing twice as many crimes against the Kurds for eight years. It has intensified this in the last two years. That’s why its policies of occupation, genocide and massacre are easier to expose. What is it doing now, for example? If the Turkish regime includes Iraq, the Patriotic Union Kurdistan (PUK), Iran, the USA and everyone else in this, if it gets their open support, it will gain legitimacy to these expansionist, occupying and genocidal policies and thus curb the reactions. It has been exposed for the use of chemicals, banned weapons.

The regime can’t continue anymore. Now, the guerrilla’s action capacity and the level it has reached in tactical techniques are pushing them even more. That is why they cannot get results by using all kinds of techniques and by involving the KDP. That is why it needs the participation of these forces. On the one hand, it wants to soften the outside reflection of these genocidal, expansionist and occupying policies a little more, to create legitimacy for them, to hide these policies with that cover, but on the other hand, it wants to get some results by attacking in every way.

The policy of the Turkish state is very clear. It is according to the Misak-ı Milli. By ensuring this, it is trying to increase its influence over Iraq and establish its hegemony politically, economically and militarily. It carries out the same policy in Syria. It threatens the Syrian state with its tens of thousands of gangs that it has in the occupied territories. It is trying to test its hegemony over Syria and Iraq in this way. It has organized ISIS according to the latest concrete information we received, there are gangs that were captured, they confessed. The Turkish state sends them to Iraq so that ISIS can carry out actions against Iraq. This has been exposed, deciphered. The Turkish state organized most probably the attack in Russia as well. We have made a statement in this regard. It is the same about the bombing in Iran, this was also the work of the Turkish state.

There are many gangs in the hands of the AKP, of the Turkish state. There are thousands, tens of thousands of members of these gangs. The Turkish state was already in a relationship and alliance with ISIS from the beginning. It was the Turkish state that developed and strengthened ISIS. That relationship continues now. Now it is organizing with ISIS gangs and other gangs. It uses them against Iraq to bring Iraq to its knees. It uses them against Iran to bring Iran to its knees. It is using ISIS against Russia force it to its knees, while it is using America to bring Europe to its knees, to draw everyone to its own policy, that is, to ensure everyone’s support for the Kurdish genocide policy. It is trying to use these gangs against everyone.

Turkey has become a center and headquarter to a variety of gangs. The Erdogan regime feeds, grows, equips and trains these gangs, creating plans and making them carry out attacks everywhere. It is trying to put the states in a position to support its own policy, its policy of genocide. It is trying to get concessions. Now Iraq is also having some difficulty. Its economic problems are serious, political problems are serious, social crisis is at its peak. There is no stability, there is a water problem, there is a serious desertification. It sees all these, and Iraq’s difficulties, and is trying to take advantage of them.

It is obvious that ottomanist policies have no benefit for Iraq, on the contrary, they threaten Iraq’s existence. Now Erdogan says that he has reached an agreement with Iraq. Maybe this is due to the difficulties faced by Iraq. We don’t know how they agreed, and on which issues. But we believe in this. Turkey’s ottomanist, occupying, expansionist policies threaten Iraq. It threatens the existence of Iraq. It threatens Iraq’s survival. Iraq should not support a policy that is not in the interest of Iraq, that serves the hegemony of the Turkish state. This is a political loss of mind.

When you look at it historically, the reality of the Turkish state is obvious: it is an invader, expansionist and plunderer. If it saw the opportunity, it would annex the places it has occupied. That is already the plan. It is definitely to occupy and annex within the framework of Misak ı Milli. Frankly, we believe that Iraq is aware and will not come to this game, because it knows that such an alliance will bring nothing but harm to Iraq. The Erdogan regime is also exerting intense pressure on Iraq. It is trying to bring the PUK to the line of the KDP. It is trying to surrender it and take it away from the patriotic line. It is trying to put everyone at the service of its genocidal policies. Until now, PUK’s attitude was valuable. Politics along the lines of patriotism, struggle along the lines of patriotism will definitely make the PUK very prestigious, respected and strengthened in Kurdistan. Such a PUK will be highly valued and respected by all Kurds. The line of the KDP is a treacherous line. It is a line that is a partner in the genocide. That line is of no use or benefit to the Kurds, so it is discredited. It has no value, no respect.

Finally, let me also state the following. Since this period is the time of Newroz, the enthusiasm and excitement surrounds us all like our people. We watched Newroz being celebrated very splendidly in Frankfurt and Paris. Urfa also had Newroz celebrations. The Newroz in Urfa was also very important. On this basis, I greet our people, I congratulate the Newroz of our people. I congratulate the Newroz of Frankfurt, Paris and Urfa. They were all really magnificent in this Newroz. I call on everyone to participate strongly in the freedom campaign and to lead this campaign to victory.

1 Referring to Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan

2 Mazlum Dogan is one of the founding members of the PKK and was one of the pioneers of the resistance in the infamous Amed (tr.: Diyarbakir) prison. On Newroz 1982, he set fire to his cell, referring to fire as the central symbol of the Newroz tradition, and hanged himself. This act of resistance was the trigger for a long series of resistance actions in Turkish prisons and also led to a reorientation of resistance outside the prisons.

3 In reference to Zekiye Alkan, who burned herself alive in protest against the banning of the Newroz festival in Amed in 1990.

4 By international conspiracy she refers here to how Abdullah Öcalan 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.

5 Leyla Güven is a former HDP MP. She was first arrested in 2009 for her work to resolve the Kurdish issue and demand for Abdullah Ocalan’s freedom and has since been known for her resistance in prison. She became known internationally after she started a month-long hunger strike in 2018, which was joined by thousands more.

6 On July 14, 1982, the beginning of a death fast was declared in Amed prison. It represented the height of prison resistance in the 1980s.

7 Plan that the Turkish government, or rather the deep state of Turkey in coordination with NATO forces, forged secretly during the so-called ‘peace process’. The state abruptly broke off talks with the Kurdish movement in 2015 and escalated the situation as part of this plan, which could literally be translated as a ‘plan of forcing them to their knees’.

8 Areas on the border between North and South Kurdistan/South-East Turkey and North Iraq, that are under the contoll of the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla.

9 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.