our interviews

march 20, 2024

While the solitary confinement of Kurdish peoples leader Abdullah Öcalan continues unabated, the struggle for his physical freedom also continues vigorously. What can you tell us about the resistance on Imrali and against Imrali?

First of all, I would like to respectfully greet Rêber Apo1. It has been three years, and there is has been no information about the continuously ongoing torture and solitary confinement on the Imrali prison island. There is no hint that the situation has changed. Lately, the doctors have expressed concerns in their statement, in which they have spoken generally about Rêber Apo’s condition and health on the island. Although this statement came very late, it was very important, and it is necessary that similar efforts be insisted on. We need to deepen the legal struggle against this situation, and various other methods also need to be recognized as options for struggle. Because what is very clear is that something can only be achieved through struggle. The current situation will only change through struggle. That is why the struggle is so fundamental and why developments within it are so vital.

On October 10, a global campaign under the name ‘Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question’ was launched. In fact, it must be underlined that the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the solution to the Kurdish question are the same thing, that they are intertwined. This struggle reached its peak on the 25th anniversary of the Imrali system, on the anniversary of the international conspiracy on February 15th2.

Those who initiated this freedom campaign, declared that the first phase had been completed and that the second phase had begun. And indeed, the 26th year of resistance against the February 15 conspiracy and the Imrali system has started with intense actions in four parts of Kurdistan and all over the world. A mass mobilization can be seen. So, the second phase of resistance can be called the one of mass resistance. The protests against the international conspiracy was waged at such an extent, and the celebrations of March 8 continued on this basis. Women’s demands for freedom in the four parts of Kurdistan and abroad, and their struggle on this basis, were integrated within the global freedom campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Everywhere, Rêber Apo was embraced by women, and the physical freedom of the Rêber Apo was demanded. These protests had been like a first peak of the second stage.

Now the Newroz3 celebrations are taking this to an even higher level. Indeed, our global freedom campaign is becoming massive in the second phase. It looks like it will reach a level that will surpass all the mass actions that have existed so far. All this is being carried out by the Kurdish people, women, and youth, but not only by them. This campaign was initiated by trade unions, laborers, various other organizations, artists, intellectuals, politicians, and human rights defenders all over the world. It was started by those who are the hearts and minds of people across the world. Now this trend is getting stronger. Why is it getting stronger? Because the system of torture, solitary confinement, and genocide that is spreading from Imrali is unprecedented and unacceptable. It is a question of universally applicable principles of law and fundamental moral principles. Whether one looks at the current situation with a moral approach or a legal one, it is not acceptable. No moral, law-abiding person should be able to tolerate the system of torture, solitary confinement and genocide on Imrali. That is why these people demand the physical freedom of Rêber Apo.

Simultaneously with this global resistance, Rêber Apo has carried out the biggest mental and intellectual revolution in history, on Imrali. He developed a new paradigm that shows the way to liberation for all the oppressed. Despite all restrictions, obstacles, and oppression, he managed to create this and give it expression.

Right now, we are facing the ongoing third World War, which causes threats, famine, or, more generally, the destruction of nature and society. The attacks of the capitalist modernity system are at this level. In such an environment, people are in great search of survival. They live under the danger and threat of extinction. Rêber Apo has given the answer to this search with his new paradigm. People see the path to freedom in Rêber Apo’s paradigm. From the oppressed slave, to the destroyed woman, people are now embracing Jineolojî4. Those under the pressure of the nation state embrace the political philosophy of democratic confederalism. Those under the pressure of bureaucracy embrace Rêber Apo’s concept of moral society. Wherever and however one suffers from the oppression of the current power and state system and global capitalism, there is a way out of it through Rêber Apo’s paradigm. Everyone can see and embrace liberation from oppression, exploitation, and persecution through this paradigm. This is very clear and understandable. The deficiency is that the paradigm of Rêber Apo is not sufficiently being conveyed to humanity. When this insufficiency is overcome, the global support for Rêber Apo will increase and grow.

Some call him a philosopher, others say he is the leader of people, but all of them see Rêber Apo as a guide showing them the way to freedom. The more the ideas and political philosophy of Rêber Apo are conveyed to humanity, the more they will be embraced. It is necessary to believe in this and accordingly develop work in this direction.

Newroz is coming up soon, there are already celebrations in many places and a lot of people are coming together. What is your view of the celebrations this year? What influence do they have on the general struggle? And do you have a call you would like to make to the people?

The time of Newroz has started. On this occasion, first of all I would like to congratulate my comrades, especially Rêber Apo, our people, all peoples, women, youth, all our international friends, workers and laborers. I wish all those who struggle for freedom and democracy great success in the new year of Newroz.

We greet this Newroz with the struggle of the global campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Already before, we have declared it the Newroz of Rêber Apo, the Newroz of freedom, and has been marked as the Newroz of freedom and victory. Indeed, already in the very first days, it reached millions. In Kurdistan, in North Kurdistan, partly in South Kurdistan and Rojava, as well as abroad in various parts of Europe, already millions of people took to the streets and squares. It is already clear that if the mobilization continues like this, tens of millions will become active by the day of Newroz. One can express this clearly, because the main mass has not yet mobilized. For example, Amed has not yet shown its strength, as with Germany and Europe in general. Rojava is just getting started. Rojhilat has just started with Mahabad. It is spreading everywhere, and it is doing so in a strong manner. The Jin, Jiyan, Azadî uprisings of the people of Rojhilat are continued by their celebrations of Newroz. They have a much stronger and more concrete expression of their demand for freedom.

The first steps have already been taken; millions have filled the squares. Eventually, it will reach tens of millions, maybe even 30-40 million will be on their feet. We are experiencing the biggest, most magnificent, most widely participated, and, at the same time, the most enthusiastic and hopeful Newroz of all time. The strongest realization of the meaning of Newroz is taking place. The enthusiasm is really at its highest level. One can easily see this. The squares of Newroz are filled to the brim, and the slogan “Bijî Serok Apo!”5 can be heard everywhere. The people call for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. So are the speakers on the stages.

So on the one hand, there is great enthusiasm and excitement, but on the other hand, there is also a very clear demand. This Newroz is being participated with the determination to gain the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. Our global freedom campaign, which aims for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, has reached a peak with Newroz. At this rate, there will not be a necessity for a next phase, there will be a general peak, a culmination. If this continues, This will be the case in terms of the embracing of Rêber Apo, in making clear the demands for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, and in the massiveness and enthusiasm of the people.

People are coming together with great enthusiasm and are pushing their demand for Rêber Apo’s physical freedom together. There are tens of millions now. It is the Kurdish people, women, youth, workers, and laborers, the neighboring peoples, the peoples of the Middle East. This is all humanity, women, youth, workers, and laborers—all the oppressed. There is global unity in this. The embrace of Rêber Apo and the rise of his physical freedom reached a level where no one can stop it anymore. No one can stop this march to freedom.

The Kurdish people and their international friends, as well as all the oppressed have decided to ensure the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. They are making this clear in the Newroz celebrations and they will surely be successful. In this sense, this Newroz has not only brought our global struggle for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo to a peak, but also showed its victories and achievements. It proved that it will be victorious. It has shown that the struggle is unstoppable and unbreakable. These issues are very, very important.

There is indeed excitement and enthusiasm to celebrate, enthusiasm to struggle, and enthusiasm for liberation. This is not just an ordinary phase of celebration. It is like breaking all the bonds of slavery, breaking the shackles, and thus being reborn. The current enthusiasm shows that. Isn’t this in line with the legend and spirit of Newroz? It is said that Newroz is the beginning of a new day, a new year, and a rebirth. Right now, millions, tens of millions, are experiencing liberation, a realization of the meaning of freedom in this Newroz, and this great march for freedom is an unstoppable march. No matter what anyone does, no matter how much they attack, this will for freedom of the women and youth of the Kurdish people, of all oppressed humanity, and of all peoples will not be stopped. It will march until victory, and in the end, it will surely triumph.

Rêber Apo said, “Newroz is much more beautiful and meaningful with the PKK.” This is indeed the case. He added, “We did not start the PKK on Newroz day for nothing.” The PKK is a Newroz party, and the Kurdish people have become Newroz people through the struggle of the PKK. The foundations of the PKK were laid during the Newroz period. Each Newroz made the struggle bigger, new aspects were added to the struggle through actions and developments. Thus, a freedom struggle, a freedom movement, a freedom march—the reality of a free people that grew and took shape with Newroz has emerged. Women’s freedom and the dynamic struggle of the youth formed the basis for this.

Of course, it must be stated that all these developments are based on the work of Rêber Apo, his labor, struggle, consciousness, and spirit. He took the torch of freedom from the depths of history and redefined and reshaped it to the present. He formed a new mentality, political theory, philosophy, and way of struggling and gave these to the Kurdish people. He gave it to women, youth, and all people. Thereby, he showed the way of Newroz and said that the one who fights in the spirit of Newroz, in the spirit of resistance, victory, and freedom, in the spirit of unity, is the one that succeeds. In this respect, the physical freedom of Rêber Apo makes Newroz more meaningful. Everyone associates Newroz with the reality of Rêber Apo.

On that note, I commemorate all the martyrs of Newroz with respect, love, and gratitude by remembering the comrades Mazlum Dogan6. Zekiye7, Rahşan8, Bêrîvan, and Ronahî9. There are hundreds of guerrillas who fell martyrs during Newroz. All of them contributed to what we see as Newroz today. Today’s Newroz is particularly identified with the resistance of Mazlum Dogan.

During the Newroz of 1977, I was in Amed (Diyarbakir) with Mazlum Dogan. There were a few days left until Newroz, it was probably around March 15-16, and we wanted to write a leaflet to distribute on this occasion. We decided to do so since there was Newroz excitement. We sat down, and while he was talking, I was writing on the typewriter. We spent hours on it until we filled a page that we were satisfied with. He defined Newroz according to what he had learned from life and according to what he had understood as good concepts. We defined Newroz. Comrade Mazlum used all of the good, true, and beautiful words which he knew to define Newroz. We didn’t distribute it afterwards because comrade Haki had already prepared one in Antep and sent it to us. When we saw it, we left the one we had prepared so that there would be only one leaflet and distributed the one from Antep.

What do I want to express? For comrade Mazlum, Newroz was the total sum of goodness, beauty, truth and freedom. He had such a strong and deep consciousness concerning Newroz. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that he took his action on the day of Newroz. He has put his consciousness into his action. That is why Rêber Apo calls him the contemporary Kawa10. The efforts of Rêber Apo and the struggle of our martyrs made Newroz what it is.

Today, it is precisely this consciousness, this spirit, that mobilizes millions and tens of millions with their enthusiasm and excitement for freedom. It is the effect of this. Everyone calls it Mazlum’s resistance, Mazlum’s spirit of freedom. This spirit of freedom is really great and requires the right understanding. Of course, we have the duty and responsibility to understand Newroz according to Rêber Apo, to the martyrs, and to Mazlum Dogan, to eliminate and overcome our contradictions. We must definitely do this during this Newroz period. We must struggle with great enthusiasm and excitement. We must see Newroz as a great day of resistance, a day of freedom, and a day of liberation. At the same time, we must purify ourselves from our own mistakes and shortcomings. In the tradition of Newroz, in the tradition of the resistance of the oppressed, in the tradition of true freedom, we must create a renewal that overcomes our own shortcomings and renews ourselves. The right approach to Newroz and the right embrace of Newroz are precisely like this. This is how we approach it.

I once again congratulate everyone on Newroz, but at the same time I call on everyone to continue this spirit, to turn the coming days into days of increased action, and to bring these Newroz actions demanding the physical freedom of Rêber Apo to the highest level. I especially call on the people of North Kurdistan to unite in Amed. I call on our people in Europe to turn the Newroz organized in Germany into the biggest Newroz ever. I call on our people in Rojava, in South Kurdistan, and the Kurdish people all over the world, children, old people, young people, women, men, everyone, to fill the Newroz squares and show an according attitude and will. This is a battle of will, a battle of attitude. It has come to this. Demanding and claiming the physical freedom of Rêber Apo means to claim your own freedom, claim your existence, claim Kurdishness. It is to participate in the Kurdish struggle for existence and freedom, to connect, to want to exist and live free. Kurdish freedom is the freedom of all peoples.

In this respect, Newroz shows the way to everyone. It is a beacon of hope for all the oppressed, it is a guide, it shows the way to liberation. Therefore, everyone must unite on Newroz and turn this Newroz into a real Newroz of freedom and victory on the basis of the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, in accordance with its true purpose. My call is on this basis.

Recently, there have been many rumors regarding a possible new operation by the Turkish state in South Kurdistan. In addition to leaked information from the Turkish military itself, there have been many meetings of Turkish officials in Iraq and various other heads of state that have given rise to these rumors. What can you tell us about this and how do you assess the current situation in relation to it?

They went to Baghdad again, and they will conduct meetings again. Tayyip Erdogan will also go to Baghdad again in April. AKP-MHP fascism, Tayyip Erdogan’s administration is shuttling back and forth. Everyone evaluates this, it is seen, it is being reflected in the press. It is said that a new operation is being prepared, and that it will be initiated in near future. The Turkish press is constantly discussing this and are estimating where the operation may take place.

There had been some statements issued by the ‘People’s Defense Headquarter’ (HSM) and by the comrades in charge. In fact, these statements are sufficient, there is not much to add to them. But a few things can be said about all these discussions regarding new operations. Firstly, it can be stated that preparations are being made. The Erdogan administration wants to use these discussions regarding new operations within its psychological warfare. The main agenda of the media that is owned by Erdogan is where he has gone, who he will gain support from to be able to initiate new attacks and operations etc. But no one is questioning why the Turkish state has become so dependent on the support of others. Is this a development or a sign of strain, of collapse? The latter is more correct. The AKP-MHP fascism, the Tayyip Erdogan administration was brought to this condition by the actions of the guerrilla, the struggle of our people, led by women and youth, brought the Turkish state to this. The struggle of our comrades have deteriorated the Erdogan administration to this level. With struggle, the AKP-MHP fascism has been brought to the brink of collapse. It can no longer sustain its existence. It cannot retreat or advance. As we said, it is stuck in Zap, stuck in a swamp, suffocating. In fact, it is struggling to get out of here, to get out of the swamp. This is the only explanation for the commotion being created. Firstly, we need to recognize this. This is the result of it’s defeat and failures.

The Erdogan administration even milked Sweden’s NATO membership to get some support from NATO and the USA. But that still wasn’t enough, they went to Europe, to the USA directly, unsure if they would really gain the support they need. That was not enough, now they are going to Iran, while trying to involve Iraq and the PUK. The US, NATO and the KDP are already involved. Thus, the message to be taken is that only through imploring this many states and parties can the Erdogan administration dream to stand against the guerrilla, to delay their own collapse. We need to evaluate this as a setback.

Yes, they are preparing for an offensive, but this preparation is a result of the difficult and unsuccessful situation they have fallen into. They are toadying everyone. They are grovelling. Then they propagandize this saying “we met with so-and-so, so-and-so told us this, so-and-so will give us that.” They are in a state of begging. It is clearly seen what the fascist colonialist system has become, what the anti-Kurdish mentality and politics have done to it. They have left no door unknocked on, no place they haven’t marketed themselves, no power, no one they have not asked for support, no one they have not tried to make a deal with against the Kurds, against the PKK. They are so afraid, they are in such a difficult situation. This is a clear fact.

Really interesting things are also happening at the moment, especially in terms of the KDP. Nechirvan Barzani is also conducting meetings here and there. Lately he went to Ankara for discussions. In the past at least they used to put a flag of the ‘Kurdistan Regional Government’ (KRG), this time he attended the meeting with Tayyip Erdoğan just in front of the Turkish flag. There was no reaction to this from Iraq, from the Hewlêr [Erbil] administration. Is Nechirvan Barzani an Iraqi official? He supposedly traveled as the president of the KRG and met with him. In other words, he is an official of the Iraqi state, the head of the Hewlêr administration. They have their own flag, the flag of the region, the flag of Iraq. Ignoring all this, Nechirvan is meeting with others under the Turkish flag, as if he is an official of the Turkish Republic. This has never turned into a diplomatic problem, it has become like that. They don’t even realize what they are doing, where, in front of whom, what they are meeting, what they are talking about. They are in such a state.

On the other hand, we can also say the following. Yes, there is war. In order to develop the Kurdish genocide, the current Tayyip Erdogan and Devlet Bahcheli dictatorship is doing everything they can. It is mobilizing all the means of Turkey and they will continue to do so until the end. They will attack until they are destroyed. This is clear. We know and understand this. But I would also like to say this here. I mean, they are not the only ones making preparations. Preparation is not a situation exclusive to them. We don’t sleep either. We are not watching by idly, we are also making preparations. We are a party to this war. The results of the war are obvious. The realities are in plain sight, in a way that no one can mask it.

We are preparing for more. We are making ourselves ready to defeat all kinds of attacks in the most effective way, considering all elements. Until now, this is how we have triumphed this war in the most versatile and powerful way. And we will continue, only stronger. Our HSM has explained; “We also have a lot of information and preparations. If the attacks are taken to a more advanced level, we will make our resistance more versatile”. These are facts. In this respect, I can state the following: Our society should not pay much attention to psychological warfare. There is an intense psychological warfare. We should not be fooled by this. We need to be careful.

The enemy we are facing is fascist, is a colonialist, genocidal, Kurdish enemy. They want to destroy Kurdishness. They have expressed this before; they want to take 45 thousand square kilometers of land from Iraq and Syria. It wants to take an area larger than the territory of 60 per cent of the existing states in Iraq. We are facing such a power. It can attack, it can launch new offensives. So what can we say in relation to this? Our answer is to prepare to resist and fight. Our people should be prepared, our society should be prepared. We are at war, we will win by fighting. This war continues and will continue. We must reach the reality of a fighting people. We must make our lives more suitable for the conditions of war. We are waging a people’s war. The youth must make themselves a part of this war and become the force waging the war. They should support the war more. Of course, they should embrace the guerrilla, make themselves more ready for this war, and participate more.

Will these efforts yield results? We cannot say anything about that. We can only state this. Not everyone is anti-Kurdish, fascist, colonialist and genocidal like Tayyip Erdogan and Devlet Bahcheli. Not everyone will meet the demands of the Turkish state as they wish. Those who do show support, only do so because of their interests. This being said, a lot of states have given support until now, and they will do so again. They may even provide more support than ever. But they do it according to their own interests. We should not be fooled by the propaganda of the Turkish state in this regard.

The reality of the PKK is obvious. Especially for Iraq, the PKK defended Iraq’s honor against ISIS. It defended this honor in Shengal [Sinjar], it defended this honor in Mexmûr, it defended it in Kirkuk. Otherwise ISIS would have taken them all. The Iraqi administration officially thanked the PKK. They said “You saved us from something great, you are the pride of humanity”. Now the same Iraqi administration has decided to ban this organization. We don’t know how sincere this is. If Iraq does decide to ban the PKK, it will contradict its own decisions. It has created a KRG in Northern Iraq. This would contradict Iraq’s understanding and politics. The Turkish state is threatening Iraq with water and occupation. It wants to occupy. There is no end to this approach. If it takes Kurdistan, it can easily take Arabia. The Kurds have so far fought for their own freedom against the Turkish invasion attacks, but they are also protecting Arabia. They should see and understand this more clearly. It would be unwise to assume that the Turkish invasion will not come to their doorstep because the Kurds are resisting anyway.

On the other hand, the Erdogan regime is committing crimes against humanity, committing genocide. It commits massacres like Halabja every day. The Saddam regime of our day is the AKP-MHP regime. In the North, in the Medya Defense Zones11, in Rojava. The Iraq government must not be partners in this crime. We can only say that. It is in their best interest that they do not become a party in this war. Otherwise this would definitely be to their detriment. Such an anti-Kurdish, genocidal, occupying power like the Turkish state has no security to provide to Iraq. On the contrary, it wants to take Iraq under its sovereignty. It wants to drag Iraq into its own sphere of domination. Everyone should see this. We do not need to be in a defamatory stance because the facts are obvious, and clearly visible. We think that if they see this, they will adopt a more correct attitude for themselves. Iraq can save both its existence and honor by fighting against this power. The president of the administration they have created as the Iraqi KRG, is speaking under the Turkish flag, not protecting the Iraqi flag. The Iraqi KRG does not live by its own flag. Does this not mean that the will and honor of Iraq is hurt? In short, the Turkish state cannot be stopped in this way. It is good if everyone comes to their senses.

Erdogan is asking for support from everyone. He is traveling all over Europe; he is going to England, Germany, France. He markets everything Turkey has. The whole of NATO gave support. It also receives support from the USA. But especially Germany is one of the pioneers in this regard. Germany works just like the administration in Ankara. Even more so, it supports the anti-Kurdish, fascist, genocidal, colonialist mentality and politics in Ankara. It is not enough for the Turkish state that Germany is making more effort. We know this. We asked the judges and prosecutors in Düsseldorf12: Is the administration in Ankara governing Turkey or the administration in Berlin? Tell us that and we will talk to you accordingly. They take the government in Ankara for the government of Germany. They have an article called 129b. Supposedly the fight against terrorist organizations; since the 1989 Düsseldorf trial, this article has been transformed into an essential tool for the anti-Kurdish struggle.

AKP-MHP fascism cannot establish relations with everyone, it cannot get what it wants from everyone. For example, it cannot get the prisoner it wants because they are not extradited to Turkey. In such cases, the German government does what Turkey cannot do. They have people arrested in Cyprus, extradited to Germany. They arrest people in Sweden and have them extradited to Germany. They arrest people in France, extradite them to Germany and Germany judges them. What Erdogan is incapable of, Germany does to protect this Kurdish-hating regime. German society protests because they know this situation well. The German society’s sympathy for the Kurds and support for the PKK is stronger than anyone else. The support of the German state for the anti-Kurdish, fascist, colonialist, genocidal regime is seen and condemned by the people.

NATO’s Turkey desk used to be in Germany. It was like that during the Düsseldorf trial. We uncovered this. We realized that the administration of Turkey was really in Germany. Those in Ankara were puppets. Now this has actually changed. They said France has taken the lead. This control has shifted to different areas, but it seems that not much has changed. Germany is supporting Turkey more than Turkey is supporting itself. The German state is doing this through economic and commercial relations with Turkey, receiving various benefits in return. In reality, Germany is still the NATO power ruling Turkey. The NATO administration is still in Germany. This situation must be opposed. This attitude of the German state must definitely be exposed. No one has been as involved in, supported and abetted the crime of Kurdish genocide as much as the German state. German society, women and youth should recognize this fact and fight harder against this policy in order to clear the stains of genocide.

The municipal elections in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan are also coming up. Several statements have already been made on behalf of the Kurdish Freedom Movement. How do you evaluate the preparations for the elections and the domestic political situation in Turkey?

We are observing the preparations for the municipal elections. Racist, anti-Kurdish, chauvinist nationalist delirium is rising from everywhere. The AKP-MHP fascism has taken many on its side, and has gathered all the fascist circles. On the one hand, the Erdogan administration deploys them as mercenaries against the guerrilla, and on the other hand, it exerts pressure on society. They are developing all kinds of evil, degrading things, racist and chauvinist delusions. We see this. There are those who are trying to carry this on throughout the elections too. Similar approaches are also emerging from within the CHP. There were some other parties. They had supposedly made an alliance with the CHP in last years elections. They were going to change Tayyip Erdoğan. There is no sound from them.

On 31 March, there will be an important election in Turkey. It may not seem as important as last years elections, but local governments are much more important. In this sense, democratic forces, intellectuals and women are making an important effort. There are democracy alliances, there is an alliance of various left democratic forces around a party. The character of the month of March also strengthens the electoral work. We hope and believe that democratic forces will win. AKP-MHP fascism will be defeated in the election. In this sense, it is necessary to see the election as a political struggle. Maybe the mayors and co-mayors elected in this fascist dictatorship are not free to do what they want, but they can still do many things together with the people.

The Newroz celebrations carry important messages in this sense. They are already making efforts. We believe this. Kurdistan will not give way to fascism. The Kurdish people will strike a blow to the politics of appointed trustees on 31 March. They will protect their own will. They made this clear in Newroz. During the elections, they will claim self-governance and the development of democracy from the local level. This is clearly seen. Such a thing can and should be developed in Turkey. We really need to defeat fascism. It must not be allowed to gain control, even at the local level. It is also necessary to transform election work into anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-chauvinist, anti-colonialist, anti-genocidal work. There is such a struggle, there is also a conscious propaganda, this continues as an intense struggle. In this sense, we attach importance to it. The Kurdish people are working thoroughly. Our friends and various forces are making statements. We don’t have much more to add to these. The situation is known. So as our friends said; there is no need to tell any patriot to work for the success of these elections. Everyone already sees themselves as responsible. As a requirement of the struggle against fascism, as a part of the struggle for freedom, what is necessary will be done in these elections. Those who are patriotic, those who are patriots and supporters of our struggle for freedom will of course elect their own administrators, they will provide great unity. They will not let fascism and Hizbulkontra pass. In general, they will vote for democratic candidates and for the rights of women. We believe in this.

We will see the result on 31 March, but we believe that it should be taken seriously because it expresses local democracy. Our call to our supporters is based on this. Fascism must not be allowed to pass. We need to protect the will of our people. We need to develop solidarity more, we need to struggle more. It is necessary to support democratic sections and women.

We have stated that the election is an important political struggle. It is part of the antifascist, anticapitalist struggle. We need to see it as such. But the election is not the only struggle. We are not a force that struggles from election to election. As a party, we conduct a multifaceted struggle. We also develop methods of struggle that hold fascist aggression to account and weakens it. We evaluate the election as it is a form of struggle, but we mainly fight against fascism in the only language which fascism understands.

Now, in this respect, I would like to remind that we have an alliance with the ‘United Revolutionary Movement of Peoples’ (HBDH). HBDH declared its establishment and alliance on 12 March 2016. It has entered its ninth year. It has waged an important struggle for eight years. On the one hand, it tried to influence the political environment, and on the other hand, it led the antifascist struggle. In fact, it was effective in every field from armed resistance to street actions, uprisings, rallies and democratic political struggle. It is the leading force, the main force of the struggle against AKP-MHP fascism. Undoubtedly, it should and could have done more. It should have gained stronger results. It should have destroyed fascism. This can be said. In this sense, the shortcomings of the struggles carried out can be mentioned, they can be seen as inadequate, which they are. But it is also a fact, that HBDH struggled, resisted, fought, and held fascism to account. They retaliated against all fascist attacks. It held fascists responsible. On this basis, it struck great blows to fascism, causing it to regress. This is very important. It continues to do so in the current situation of the municipal elections. It is necessary to turn the elections into a method of struggle, anti-fascist struggle, in various forms. But this is only one form of anti-fascist struggle, the struggle against AKP-MHP fascism. HBDH also applies forms of struggle that are different, ahead. It will also benefit from the election, but it will continue its struggle.

When the Erdogan regime started the ‘çöktürme planı’13 in 2016, the HBDH alliance emerged to resist it. On the basis of this plan, it was foreseen that the Kurdish people, cities, homeland, the Kurdish Freedom Movement was destroyed. A fascist dictatorship commenced an attack to destroy all revolutionary democratic forces, socialists, those united together in alliance to resist, to destroy fascism Kurdistan and Turkey. For 8 years, the HBDH has struggled on this basis. Now, the Turkish regime wants to conduct similar attacks, supposedly preparing a new plan. Our comrades in the HBDH are also observing this. Firstly; By waging a lot of psychological warfare, the Turkish regime makes it look as if they are very superior. They are not. It is about to collapse as a result of its defeats. The Turkish regime is portraying itself in this light to disguise that it is on the bring of collapse. We need to see this. Erdogan may have received support from NATO, the US, he has met with Iran and Iraq. He is trying to involve them, and the KDP is already in a position to give them the support they want. Therefore, the Turkish state may attack. It might even attack the Medya Defense Zones. It also attacks other places in North and East Syria. But while attacking these places in North Kurdistan, terrorization, oppression, persecution and exploitation is applied in Turkey at the highest level.

There is immense oppression on workers and laborers, women and youth everywhere in Turkey. Are these fascist attacks not the basis of the crisis, of poverty, of the country becoming uninhabitable? Repression and terror is filling the prisons. Therefore, we must make ourselves ready to break the attacks. If we prepare ourselves, if we draw lessons from the struggle we have waged so far, if we make HBDH stronger, we can break all kinds of attacks. We need to believe and trust this. In this respect, I especially congratulate the Newroz of our dear friends at HBDH. In its 9th year, it will resist with the spirit of Newroz, break all kinds of attacks of AKP-MHP fascism, and put forward a performance that will lead fascism to collapse.

Newroz is an event of national heroism, a celebration of freedom. When Rêber Apo evaluated Newroz, he defined the resistance of comrade Mazlum Dogan, who made Newroz what it is and beautified it. The resistance of Kawa the blacksmith was renewed, updated and carried to the present day through the resistance of Mazlum. Rêber Apo stated that comrade Mazlum Dogan showed a stance of national heroism.

On 28 March 1986, comrade Mahsum Korkmaz, the immortal commander of the 15 August 1984 guerrilla breakthrough, was martyred in Gabar. He was martyred in war and conflict. He prepared 15 August from 1984 onwards. For years, he was the commander of the Eruh action, the first actions that laid the foundations of the 15 August Breakthrough and dealt fatal blows to the fascist genocidal forces. Mahsum Korkmaz became the symbol and commander of the new resistance and his date of martyrdom, March 28, was defined by the PKK as National Heroism Day. Rêber Apo expressed it this way, the PKK organs decided this way. Mahsum Korkmaz is a national hero. The period between 21 March and 28 March was defined as National Heroism Week. In this sense, I congratulate the National Heroism Week of our people and comrades. I commemorate our national heroes, comrades Mazlum Dogan and Mahsum Korkmaz, with respect and gratitude. The guerrilla, in the footsteps of its first commander, today carries out actions that will bring the fascist, colonialist and genocidal system to its knees. It revives, represents and resurrects the spirit and style of its commander. It reveals that it is an army, a fighting force worthy of its commander.

At the end, I can state that we must combine Newroz with national heroism and the National Heroism Week. Therefore, the activism that started on Newroz should not stop. It should continue during our National Heroism Week. It should not stop there either. 30 March is the day of Mahir Çayan and his friends were martyred. The anniversary of the Kızıldere Resistance. They were the first ones to start the guerrillaism we carried out in Turkey, they gave the first hopes for guerrilla warfare. Our guerrilla army followed through and today marches throughout Kurdistan. Therefore, I commemorate Mahir Çayan and his friends and our Martyrs of Kızıldere with respect and gratitude. We need to carry the National Heroism Week struggle there as well.

1 April is the anniversary of the martyrdom of comrades Nûda, Ferhat and Halil. Comrade Nûda was a member of our construction committee. Comrade Halil was the comrade who organized and developed propaganda and introduced the world of the guerrilla to the outside. I commemorate them with respect and gratitude. And I express the following. It is necessary to combine our Newroz enthusiasm with 4 April, to let it reach its peak, to guarantee the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. This must be the attitude, this must be the will. It is possible to achieve this. If we really protect, represent and maintain this Newroz spirit well, if there is resistance on this basis, if everyone participates more and if we continue the struggle, we can turn 4 April into a new day of victory, the day of physical freedom of Rêber Apo. It is necessary to believe in this and to raise the struggle on this basis.

I once again congratulate the Newroz of all our people and friends. I salute everyone who is struggling for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. I call on everyone to continue this struggle uninterruptedly until 4 April, throughout the Heroism Week and to bring out a struggle that will achieve results for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, and I wish success.




1 Referring to Kurdish peoples leader Abdullah Öcalan.

2 By international conspiracy he 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.

3 Newroz is a historically and culturally important festival in the Middle East. It is traditionally celebrated around March 21 and marks the beginning of the new year. In the Kurdish tradition in particular, the Newroz festival is closely associated with society’s resistance against oppression. Numerous myths swirl around the fest.

4 Science of women created by the Kurdish movement after the proposal of Abdullah Öcalan.

5 Meaning as much as „Long live Abdullah Öcalan!“

6 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.

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

8 In reference to Rahşan Demirel. She protested against the ban by Turkey’s Minister of the Interior that Newroz could not be celebrated in 1992 and burned herself to death in Kadifekale.

9 Bedriye Taş (Ronahî) and Nilgün Yıldırım (Bêrîvan) burned themselves to death in Mannheim on March 21, 1994 in protest against the ban on Newroz celebrations in the Federal Republic of Germany and its participation in the war in Kurdistan.

10 Kawa is a blacksmith from the Newroz myth who slays the tyrant Dehak and thus liberates the people.

11 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.

12 The Düsseldorf Trial was a legal procedure from October 1989 to March 1994 in which an attempt was made to criminalize the PKK on an international legal level for the first time.

13 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’.