our interviews

february 24, 2024

The Imrali system of exile, torture, and genocide, as well as the international conspiracy1 assault, marked its 25th anniversary on February 15. The hundredth year of the genocidal assault against the Kurdish people has also begun. As stated by Rêber Apo2, February 15, 1925, ought to be remembered as “Kurdish Genocide Day.” We must first acknowledge that this particular situation has never occurred before. Not in the past, not in the present. There has never been a 100-year genocide attack on any society. As a result, it is not appropriate to refer to this issue as the “Kurdish question.” To describe it as a genocidal attack carried out against the Kurds would be oversimplified. This is a special situation. This onslaught is comprehensive, and has been planned an rehearsed for over a century.

There has never been an attack like the one carried out within the framework of the international conspiracy, whether in the past or in the present. The Imrali system of exile, torture, and genocide is also like this. These are not like regular attacks. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to and take seriously the conspiracy attack, the Imrali genocide, the system of torture, and isolation. This oppressive and attacking system is unheard of. These are blows meant to destroy everything. Those who planned this century-long genocide still want to see it through to completion. They are attacking to eradicate the Kurds from history and to annihilate them by looting all of their resources and opportunities. They assert that “Kurds are terrorists, Kurds commit crimes, Kurds don’t listen to rules” .

There has been no news or information from Rêber Apo and the other comrades on Imrali for three years. Neither the Turkish law, nor the European Union law, nor the US law legally allows such a thing. But they apply it and no one objects. They don’t even apply their own laws. It is an astonishing situation. Was that law written so that it would actually be implemented or was it written to deceive society, laborers, women, and the youth? Are all those things which have been written, lies?

When we look at the Kurdish question from this perspective, and look at the situation of the Kurds and the situation of Rêber Apo, then we see the reality of the historical and current power and state system.

In this respect, ‘25 years’ is easy said. Is there any other society in history that has resisted 100 years of genocide? Has anyone been subjected to such a holistic genocide? But the Kurds are still resisting. We really need to understand the hundred-year struggle correctly. What did they do, what did they go through, how many martyrs did they give? How much destruction have they experienced? Their values and opportunities were destroyed. These things are never questioned. As if those who did this have the right to do so. As if this was a right granted by God. Kurds, on the other hand, are as if they have been given the fate of being subjected to these massacres.

The attack of Imrali is of this kind, and so is the resistance of Rêber Apo. There is a 25-year resistance against the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide. We have stated before; Imrali is not a prison. It is not a hostage house either. It is actually a management center for the last 25 years of the genocidal attack that has been going on for a century. For 25 years this genocide has been carried out on the basis of the Imrali system. Because Rêber Apo represents the will and is the representative of Kurdish freedom and existence. That is why he was kidnapped and put on Imrali. Rêber Apo is wanted to be destroyed with this attack. It is the Kurdish people, the Kurdish society, that is wanted to be destroyed in the person of Rêber Apo. With the attack on Rêber Apo, the Kurdish genocide is wanted to be completed, it is wanted to be realized. Therefore, the Imrali resistance is the resistance against such a destructive attack in the enemy’s headquarters for 25 years.

This resistance must also be understood correctly because the possibilities and opportunities of this exist. You can create something with little means and opportunities. This is success. Yet, there is no such opportunity in Imrali. One side has no possibilities, no opportunities. Zero. Even below zero. The other side has everything. It has all kinds of means. It has the means of repression and it attacks. In other words, there is such an unequal war and struggle. The Imrali resistance is a resistance carried out in such an environment of power imbalance. So we really need to understand the Imrali resistance correctly. In all aspects, the lessons of the Imrali resistance are very instructive. It has proved everyone wrong. What was the most revolutionary opinion presented at the start of the conspiracy? That there must be objective conditions. There must be a certain possibility, opportunities at one level or another, so that they can fight intelligently, in a planned way, in style, in a brisk manner, in order to enlarge them and win. There is none of this in Imrali.

In other words, there are no objective conditions, no concrete circumstances. He has nothing except his brain and heart. There is nothing other than humanly resisting with brain and heart power. Therefore, the Imrali resistance is very instructive. Let us pay attention; with his 25 years of resistance on Imrali, Rêber Apo proved that it is possible to fight for freedom and win in all conditions and environments. And even in the most difficult environment. Rêber Apo’s 25 years of resistance on Imrali proved that the greatest revolutionary development and great revolutions can be made if there is a correct understanding and if the power of mindfulness is developed. He achieved a paradigm shift. In such an environment, he transformed himself from a national leader to a global leader. He transformed himself from being the Kurdish leader to the leader of the peoples, the leader of the oppressed, the leader of women. He revealed a mentality that showed the path of liberation for all the oppressed, and put forward his political philosophy. He realized a revolution of mentality, an intellectual revolution on this level and created a new paradigm, a new understanding, new, viable solutions to all the problems posed by the power and state system. Now whoever sees this, says: “We need this.” Therefore, they want to hear and learn more about Rêber Apo’s thoughts. They want to benefit more from those thoughts. Because those thoughts are in their own interests. They produce solutions to the problems people face. The Imrali resistance is such a resistance.

This 25th anniversary was very important. As a whole, we questioned and evaluated ourselves in the line of resistance. We tried to correct and change our mental structures, emotions, morale, understanding and style, in order to renew ourselves in the line of the Imrali resistance. Because the 25th anniversary required this. Indeed, a quarter of a century is enough to make these evaluations.

Like I mentioned before, we have also entered the 100th anniversary of the genocidal attack on Kurdish society. Now the Kurds will struggle against the 100th anniversary of the genocidal attack in this current year. They will fight against the 26th year of the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide, the 26th year of the conspiratorial attack on this basis, and the 100th year of the genocidal attack.

If 25 years of the fiercest attack in history could not destroy Rêber Apo, the PKK, the or Kurdish freedom movement, if despite the conditions great advances were made, then this resistance is invincible from now on. And the PKK will do more great things. It will serve the people and humanity more. If the Kurds have not been destroyed by the genocidal attack for 100 years, if they have resisted and ensured their existence, they will not only liberate themselves with the struggle for existence and freedom they will wage with the lessons they have learned from here, but they will make all peoples live in freedom, democracy and brotherhood. For this reason, the Kurdish freedom movement and the resistance of Rêber Apo are being carefully evaluated by all oppressed people, especially by women. It is being handled on this basis and it is spreading and turning into a global resistance. We need to spread this more and more and advance towards victory.

Indeed, the global campaign announced on October 10, 2023 was built around the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the solution of the Kurdish question. The protests carried out against the 25th anniversary of the February 15 conspiracy reached its peak in the true sense of the word. This is so in every respect.

Let’s pay attention; there is no place where there have not been protests against the conspiracy. It was protested everywhere in Kurdistan, everywhere in the world. We all participated in these protests and reorganized and politicized our emotions, our thoughts, our behaviors according to the reality of the Imrali resistance, which was successful against the conspiracy. This is an important development.

There have also been big protests. For example, young people have been marching in Europe for a month. Not only Kurdish youth, but young people from all over the world, who define themselves as internationalists, have been marching for weeks. They went to the Council of Europe. Finally they also came to Cologne. It was a big march.

On the other hand, in North Kurdistan3, there where groups from Kars and Wan that marched for 15 days. They ended their action on February 15 in Halfeti. They marched united, and dozens of cities and towns were passed through. A lot of work was done for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and for the solution of the Kurdish question, and awareness grew. This is a really big event. Also Rojava4 is on its feet. Hundreds of thousands, millions are marching. All the people of North and East Syria, from the age of seven to seventy, participated in the protests against the 25th anniversary of the conspiracy.

Our imprisoned people are resisting. The hunger strike they launched is nearing the end of its third month and a warning was issued. The revolutionaries carrying out the hunger strike in the prisons said that more radical, stronger actions will be taken. They postponed it until after the election and made clear that if there will be no change, that they will carry out radical action.

Cologne was a determining factor. Let’s call it the great march of Cologne. It was called a million-strong rally. Everyone agrees that hundreds of thousands participated. Protests against the February 15 conspiracy peaked in Cologne. Let’s add all these actions up; millions protested against the February 15 conspiracy and the system of torture, isolation and genocide on Imrali. Millions expressed that their hearts and minds are with Rêber Apo. They demanded the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and a solution to the Kurdish question. Everyone demonstrated and expressed this in their actions wherever they were. These messages were shown and spoken in Cologne in a way that everyone could see and understand. They made themselves heard. They openly expressed and declared the demand for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and that they would be in continuos action until it is realized. A declaration of a new situation, a declaration of attitude. So it is really a summit. The Kurdish society – women, young people, Kurds who had been exiled abroad due to genocide, came together; they put forward their determination and will to live free and demanded the physical freedom of their representative and the dismantling of the Imrali system. They had a considerable number of international friends with them. Friends from all over the world, friends from all over Europe, women, youth, academics, workers, trade unionists, intellectuals, artists… People who serve society at all levels were with the Kurds in Cologne. And they too demanded the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. They shouted that this was their demand at least as much as the Kurds, that they also needed this.

Cologne is a lesson for everyone, friend and foe alike. Although the Turkish state had tried so hard to convince Germany that it was a ‘terrorist action’, and although the German state tried to block the action, they did not succeed. The results are obvious. So the truth must be seen. A self-evident truth that everyone knows cannot be changed or covered up with false words. So the truth must be seen. There were many calls; they said that the mistakes should be corrected. There were those who said Europe made a mistake too, they should apologize and correct the crime they committed; a crime against humanity… For 25 years, it continues to commit a crime by keeping the Imrali system alive. The Council of Europe manages the Imrali system. This is a fact which is commonly known. Therefore, society told the German state it can get rid of this guilty situation. People who are the brains and hearts of the society warned their own state system by saying “this dark stain cannot continue any longer”. It was indeed a great message for those who understand.

The march of Cologne has shown that no matter what is done, no matter how many attacks are launched, this Kurdish people cannot be destroyed. Kurds can no longer be left without freedom, the genocide against them cannot be completed. Therefore, everyone will accept the existence and free life of the Kurdish people. This will was clearly demonstrated in Cologne with the screaming of hundreds of thousands of people who said, “We learned from Rêber Apo, we want to live together with Rêber Apo”. They will struggle for this and they will surely win.

There are such evaluations and statements. The march of Cologne is described as the summit of the first phase and the beginning of the second phase of the global campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the solution of the Kurdish question. There was also a conference in Brussels at the same time. The final declaration of the conference was published and demands were put forward. In fact, what would be done in the second phase was partly included in those demands.

In the 26th year of the international conspiracy of February 15, the global freedom campaign will be carried out at a higher level with new forms of action. How will this happen? There are various opinions. There are statements by those who are carrying out this work. But if the Cologne rally is the beginning of this work, we can get an understanding of what is possible. There will be more social action. So far, mostly small groups have taken a stand. People have made statements everywhere. There have been various conferences, discussions. Of course there have been various mass actions, but nothing like the Cologne rally. It is understood then, that the Cologne rally is not only a protest against the 25th anniversary of the February 15th Conspiracy, but also the beginning of a new kind of action of the global freedom campaign aiming for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. There will be mass actions from now on. Mass actions will come to the fore. It will be in the form of big actions rather than narrow, small groups. This is how we can understand it.

Apart from this, the legal struggle will undoubtedly develop. This is very important. Let’s not just detract legal struggle. You may not be ideologically close to Rêber Apo, you may not be mentally close to him, you may not be politically close to him. You don’t even have to be a real democrat. If you are a person who believes in law, you need to oppose the system of torture, isolation and genocide in Imrali. There is no law on Imrali. Imrali has no relation with any principle that has been revealed as law in the history of humanity. It is outside of it. You can talk as much as you want about law, democratic law, justice, law as the basis of everything, but then such lawlessness cannot exist. It is easy to expose this. The legal struggle has a much wider potential. It can bring more effective opposition. In this respect, discussions, legal work and struggle that evaluate and analyze the Imrali torture and isolation system from a legal perspective are very important. This will probably develop.

The press and propaganda will be developed more effectively, so both sharing the protests with the masses more and exposing the practices on Imrali more through the press will be developed more. These will be developed by reaching the widest possible media circles. Those who carry out this work, those who are involved in it are evaluating it.

I can add that I think that new forms of action can also include more sustained, long-term, ongoing actions. It is also necessary to research such forms and methods of action. Because there is an important period of time ahead of us that will ensure both mass mobilization and continuity in action. March is approaching. March 8 is the Women’s Struggle Day and March 21 is Newroz, the Kurdish Freedom Day. The Kurds are a society which, 2500 years ago, gave humanity the belief of freedom against the state, against oppressors. As a gift of freedom, this society is waging the most meaningful struggle in history against genocide. Today, society is at the same point. Therefore, this is a situation exactly in line with the meaning of Newroz.

Newroz can then become the most powerful day of action. A Newroz that far exceeds the February 15th conspiracy protest, involving tens of millions of people, can be developed all over the world. There is April 4th, May 1st. There are important days for struggle. These will be evaluated. In this sense, there will be developments in the coming period. One can easily see this. This freedom campaign will yield results. There must be a level of action that will produce results, that will break the isolation in Imrali, that will lead to steps towards physical freedom. There will be developments in that direction.

In conclusion, let me state the following. Last week my comrade Hêlîn also said that participating in these protests also means to work on ones own liberation. All activists experience this. They carried out their own struggle for freedom. They developed their freedom in spirit, emotion, thought and behavior. They strengthened their will. They will undoubtedly do more of this from now on. On behalf of the PKK leadership, I salute all these actions. I congratulate everyone who participated in the 26th year of struggle against the conspiracy and wish them great success.

Of course, the guerrilla is the vanguard. We always say this; the party leadership is guerrilla leadership. The guerrilla is the vanguard. On October 10, before such a campaign was announced, the guerrilla already announced its own campaign in Ankara by destroying the fascist genocidal headquarters. Such was the self-sacrifice act of comrades Rojhat and Erdal. Actually, the process started like that. The guerrilla process started on this basis and we saw what happened afterwards. With a comprehensive revolutionary operation every month, crushing-sweeping blows were dealt to the AKP-MHP fascist hordes without paying attention to the snow or cold. At the end of November, at the end of December…

It was actually in mid-January that the guerrilla launched the new phase. The action in Girê Amediyê… Everything is obvious. What more can we say? Everyone, friend and foe, saw what the guerrilla is capable of and how it fought. Everyone also saw the condition of the opposing force. Everything is in those images. And this is happening for the first time. We have always watched war films, but this is the first time humanity is watching a real war film. And that is on the basis of the action carried out by the Zap guerrilla. We need to see and understand this well. The guerrilla has reached this level. They fight at this level under such harsh conditions, and at the same time, without hesitation, they document the results and presents them to the society, to humanity. They say, “I am doing this. Take it, evaluate it, measure it, mould it. If you like it, like it, if you don’t like it, criticise it. But if you are on my side or against me, do it right. See, know and do it with the facts. Let it not be wrong, let it not be random, and let it not be false praise. Even if you are hostile to the guerrilla, don’t mislead yourself. Because the guerrilla burns. If you make a mistake, you will burn. AKP-MHP fascist herds made mistakes, they are burning. Everything can be seen. The environment there is really instructive in every respect. There are things for everyone to take into account and learn from.

Everyone should know the Kurdish guerrillas well, and those who want to be friends should know them and be friends. Those who want to make enemies should do so but with an educated opinion. Because the Tayyip Erdoğan administration wants to make everyone an enemy against this guerrilla. He makes a lot of concessions, travels, meetings. He wants to turn everyone against the guerrilla. Everyone should know what they are opposing, not to make mistakes, not to be mistaken in the end. No one should be deceived by the Tayyip Erdoğan administration; that’s what we want. Otherwise they will burn themselves too. We have said before, “There is a way to fight a war, but not like this. Those who do so will be burnt, they will suffer heavy blows. Our Central Headquarters Command has repeatedly stated this, and we have said it too. If they insist, they will suffer heavy defeats. And they did.

They didn’t take us seriously, they don’t take us into consideration. They think they are too big, they exaggerated themselves too much. In fact, there are people who were bought and trained by the MIT and the special warfare centre. The MIT put these people on the press. When something like this happens, watch the so-called Turkish press. They draw war strategies, determine tactics, manipulate and direct everyone, and neutralize the society. They are all MIT agents, special warfare elements. They are members of the Central Headquarters Command, the Special Forces Command. They are civilian elements of the Turkish army. They are not journalists, commentators or thinkers. They are trying to manipulate. They were influenced by the MIT. And they spoke in such high pitches! Here are the results. So there’s snow, winter, cold. It works equally against everyone! You saw the guerrilla. How calm, how harmonious, how coherent! How confident, how organised, disciplined, how cool-headed. Who can stand against such a guerrilla?

I said it before; No army can fight like the HPG and YJA Star command and fighters, like the guerrilla. Neither the American army, nor the Chinese army, nor a NATO army… They cannot last even one day under those conditions. The Turkish army was supposedly the most warlike army of NATO. It is obvious what it has become. Let it be seen. In this respect, it is necessary to silence those deceptive things. In fact, the Turkish public should not follow or listen to them too much. Turkish intellectuals, leftists and democrats should expose them. Because they are brainwashing the society. They are doing the most dangerous work. It is really necessary not to give them this opportunity.

Now there is a new announcement by the HPG in regards to Mount Cûdî. They will share the details later, but they said “we have swept the hill”. In other words, the large area called Mount Cûdî has several hills; the enemy was located on one of them. Like the place we call Mount Gelhat in Mount Amediyê. They were posted there in a similar way. In the end, the entire presence of the occupying army there was set on fire, burnt and destroyed. The remaining ones will be like this step by step, this will be their end. “They will either flee or perish,” our command said. This is being implemented and will be implemented. This was not a simple promise. In this respect, there will be summer, winter, spring and autumn. No one should say that it will happen this time or that time. The guerrilla is questioning itself more, renewing, developing and enriching its forms of action. From now on, it will grow more and spread more. This must be expected. If these occupying forces try to insist on this war, their attacks and occupation, this will be their end. They will face stronger resistance from the guerrilla.

On this basis, I congratulate all the HPG and YJA Star command and fighter forces who carried out the Martyr Doğan Revolutionary operation, I salute the action. I wish our guerrilla outstanding success as always.

Today Hakan Fidan was in Germany. And strangely, Nechirvan Barzani was also there. They met everywhere. They hugged and embraced so much. Not only that, they also appeared in the German environment in front of the Germans. On the day of the rally. In other words, they went there to prevent the rally, in fact they used all their power. The German police would have prevented the rally if it had been in accordance with their laws, and they have already banned even saying „Bijî Serok Apo“. They tried to create a lot of excuses. It became clear who was behind it. Neçirvan Barzani and Hakan Fidan. What can be said about them? These people are worth analysing. We know Neçirvan Barzani, but we should also get to know Hakan Fidan’s personality better. How did he turn himself into such a sworn Kurdish enemy, a butcher of the Kurds? We need to understand who he is, what he is, where and how he was trained. He has actually committed many massacres including the 9 January 2013 Paris Massacre. He is the one who had the 24 December 2022 Paris Massacre carried out too. The person who organised massacres all over Europe, who should have been held responsible for this, who should have been questioned and put on trial, who went as far as to prevent people who were organising a legal rally in Europe. They are marketing Turkey and themselves so that nothing Kurdish can be heard, so that the Kurdish people have no rights, so that no one can even say their name and identity. They do such things. It has come to this point.

Tayyip Erdoğan’s trip to Egypt was like that. Very strange. We followed it carefully. Nothing else was said. All AKP channels wrote that Tayyip Erdoğan travelled to Cairo upon Sisi’s great request. Why did they feel the need to write this? Of course it is a ridiculous situation. Because the reality is not like that at all. There are reactions from his base, from the Turkish society, from everywhere. What were you saying about Sisi until now? How did you get so cosy with him? What made you go? I mean, he says, “I didn’t go, but he asked me and I couldn’t resist”. I mean, would Tayyip Erdoğan go to every extent even if others asked him? Does he do diplomacy with requests? Of course not. It is necessary to evaluate these trips carefully. The trips to the Middle East have this dimension in particular. The Turkish state is being excluded in the Middle East. The Middle East, which had been shaped since 1923, had been shaped according to the establishment of the Turkish state, according to that nation-state structure. Now a new Middle East is being shaped. The Turkish Republic is not in it. The capitalist system is changing itself at this level in the Middle East. The policies pursued by the Tayyip Erdoğan administration, Kurdish hostility and the war in Kurdistan have brought Turkey to this state. It has exhausted Turkeys geostrategic position and opportunities that they were so proud of and lived on. Everyone needs to see this, especially those who love Turkey. They need to understand what these policies have led to. Now he is trying to compensate for it in a way.

In reality, Turkey is trying to hold on. On the one hand, we saw this with the provocations in the Karabakh war and the Gaza war, they tried to sabotage on both instances. On the other hand, they are trying to beg their way in, trying to save itself from this exclusion to some extent. All of this is outcasted diplomacy. This is one side.

On the other hand, we know these visits stem from Kurdish hostility. It is an attack against the PKK. Erdogan is trying to gather strength and means for this. We have been following the issue of Sweden’s entry into NATO for a while, and Turkey used this issue very effectively and received some things from the US and NATO. We see that they have again received approval and support for a recent attack of destruction. This is how the US gave F-16s, this is how negotiations work. In other words, the AKP government did not accept Sweden’s membership without getting something in return. It bargained with the genocide war it waged against the Kurds. It received a new approval from there, it receives support and accepted on this basis. Now they are making preparations to attack. We understand and see this. However, the support and approval of the USA and NATO does not allow the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship to carry out an attack beyond what has been done so far. It can only repeat what it has done. It has already failed to achieve results with these actions. It could not realise what it planned. It was broken, and its will was defeated in the Media Defence Areas. They could not succeed in the invasion attacks. They made plans and declared that they were destroying the PKK many times. Those words came to naught dozens of times. They turned out to be liars, they were unable to achieve what they said they would. Now they realise that if Erdogan does the same thing, he will not get a different result.

In fact, he wants to make this new attack even stronger by involving other forces. We understand and follow this too. The meeting with Iran was entirely within this framework. They persistently arranged for the Iranian President to visit Turkey. They were already constantly threatening Iraq and the PUK. In fact, they want to include Iraq and PUK in their new attack plans through Iran. We don’t know how much they reconciled with Iran, what they did. We do not think that Iran will entertain this too much. Iran has been giving support to the Turkish state a certain level so far. They are already working together. They carry out some attacks together. Iran provides intelligence, Turkey attacks. Even PJAK forces are attacked by Turkish planes. These are happening in cooperation with Iran. It could not happen otherwise. Beyond that, Iran has nothing more to offer. Because it does not have a heavy situation like Turkey. It does not have a problem at that level. In other words, Iran’s interests do not require this. But Erdogan is trying to increase the pressure on Iraq and PUK by saying “I also met with Iran”. This was also the reason behind the heavy propaganda for the Egypt visit.

In other words, they want to influence Iraq and the Arab world by meeting with Egypt. On the other hand, they seem to be behind the war in Gaza, together with Egypt. They are trying to market it as a war against the Kurds. They are also trying to get support from Egypt in this direction. Supposedly, they will include Iraq and the PUK in this war of aggression that it is waging together with the KDP. It is difficult, they are having some difficulty. There may be a lot of pressure on them, but neither Iraq nor the PUK has any interest in this. There is no situation that will bring them to participate. Can negotiations with forces like Egypt give anything to Turkey in this regard? We do not think they will give much. In other words, they can develop economic and commercial relations. They have needed this for a while. Egypt also needed it. We don’t think there will be anything beyond that.

Arab society and intellectuals and states must be sensitive. Egypt and others… No one should make the struggle of the Palestinian people and the Kurdish people for such a just cause of existence and freedom a bargaining point for simple economic and political interests. They will be exposed, they will be damaged. Let’s say this publicly. Let all Arab states know this well. They have nothing left to do with Turkey. If they do this, if they oppose the cause of the Palestinian and Kurdish people, the relations they have established with Israel will not save them either. Because it is the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and the Palestinian people’s struggle that has made them effective in the Middle East and given them power of influence. This is where we win. The Arab states should see and understand this very well. Especially Arab intellectuals, writers and politicians should see this reality better. The women and labourers of the Arab society should see it better and put pressure on them. We called this the Kurdish-Arab strategic relationship and alliance. It is important. Kurds have never opposed the rights of the Arab people. They foresaw that the basis of their struggle was to change the regional order that emerged at the end of the First World War. If that order ignored the Kurds, it also fragmented and weakened the Arabs to such an extent. It would make them the weaker power of the Middle East.

The Kurds gave the greatest support to save the Arabs from this with the struggle they waged. Now, instead of recognising this reality and establishing better relations with the Kurdish Freedom and Democracy Movement, if they re-engage themselves with forces such as the Turkish Republic and the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship in order to create a new region, a democratic region in the Middle East, they will lose more than the Kurds. Why? Because Turkey wants to take the place called Misak-ı Milli. Erdogan promises „I will not occupy it, I will take it and give it to you,“ but it is a lie. This is not so. In fact, Erdogan wants to occupy Kurdistan and take up a position there. Of course, he will then develop Neo-Ottomanism. They will then say that „all of the Arab areas were already ours. It was ours a century ago, it was ours 70 years ago, they took it from us“, they say we can take it again. Everyone sees this. The Kurds are struggling, they are blocking the way. Therefore it is dangerous. AKP-MHP fascism is not only anti-Kurdish, it is also anti-Arab. They also provoked HAMAS to this situation. Tayyip Erdoğan, more than anyone else, is responsible for the situation in Gaza, the AKP administration is responsible. Now they are trying to find a solution with the AKP. What will you find a solution with? He threw the Palestinian people into the fire to ensure his own interests. No one should negotiate over the blood of the people of Gaza. We expose this, we oppose those who do such things. We have this level of brotherhood and friendship with the Palestinian people. We have seen friendship from them. We will maintain this until the end. In this respect, whoever tries to make simple economic and political interest calculations on the blood of the Palestinian people, they will of course find us against them. We will expose them, we will oppose.

Turkey wants to do something of its own, but we don’t think it can. Neither Egypt, Iraq or Iran will go along with this. Everyone sees what the AKP-MHP army has become in Zap. Who would follow an army that is crushed in the middle of winter? Who will tie their own interests there? We don’t think they will, but the AKP-MHP obviously wants to direct everyone more towards the Kurds and the PKK because of their interest calculations.

It is the society, intellectuals, labourers, workers, youth and women of Turkey who will oppose this. There is no awareness there either. This awareness remains very weak and feeble. Such a struggle, the exposure of this situation should be much stronger. When will they come to their senses? They should come to their senses now. For more than 20 years, this AKP administration has done its job. Will they be patient with this administration any longer? Therefore, it is actually the society in Turkey that should learn lessons from all this. Intellectuals, workers and labourers, trade unions. But they remain weak. We also need to work to develop this awareness persistently.

They used to say, “We will save the 9 workers like this, we will save them like that”. Now they say those people hve lost their lives. I commemorate them with respect, but they should neither be workers like this nor martyrs. So we shouldn’t be like that. We must make ourselves responsible for our own lives, we must make ourselves effective. If we depend our lives so much on others, they will force us to this level. They will crush us. We must not become like that. Now it’s murder in plain sight. Someone is making money extracting gold, and the other is losing his life. Now they say the water of the Euphrates is being poisoned. The whole of Mesopotamia will die, and no one makes a sound. It’s very strange. I mean, can it be like this? Can there be such a system of looting and plunder? No society can endure this.

In fact, it is really incomprehensible that the society in Turkey accepts this in this way. Can such a thing be accepted? But they have neutralised society through special warfare, lies, pressure and force. They produce such moneymakers. Why are they doing this? All this looting and plundering is to slaughter the Kurds. They say: “We are building a war industry, we are strengthening our defence industry, we are buying so much of this, so much of that and we are hitting the Kurds”. Now these are being used in the Kurdish genocide. Kurdish genocide, Kurdish enmity has brought Turkey to this state. It sells all its means to the market. It went to NATO and surrendered. It begs and receives money. He begged Iran, trying to get support. He went to Egypt and did so many things. He is begging the Egyptian government for support. There is no reputation, no effectiveness left. Crisis – economic crisis, political crisis – is at its peak. On the other hand, ecological plunder is now at a much higher level. This process started with hydroelectric power plants in Artvin, in the Black Sea region. The hands of those women should be kissed for how they opposed back then? But they suppressed all the women. They were silenced. No one stood up for them. They organised protests saying “We oppose these HEPPs”. After that, the government left no forests, they burnt and looted them because they wanted to mine gold.

They destroy the forest to make money, to make certain people rich. They burnt and cut down the whole of Kurdistan. What has already been done to the beautiful Botan Bestler? It was flattened. I mean, we couldn’t oppose it. We really need to destroy everyone who does that. Because they are killers of nature. Any kind of struggle can be waged against those murderers. Whoever is doing it is a murderer. It is necessary to stand against them. But for example, this regime is not only genocidal, not only a Kurdish murderer, not only an Arab enemy, not only a misogynist; it is also an enemy of nature, an enemy of greenery. It is hostile to the values we live in.

Capitalism is already a system of maximum profit, looting and plunder. It will do anything to earn more. It also needs weapons for the Kurdish genocide and money for the weapons. Therefore, Turkey has nothing left that it has not plundered, marketed and sold. They have cut down so many forests. They destroyed the Kaz Mountains and other places, so many forests and geographies. They sold many places, they sold the Black Sea in one way or another. They are selling Istanbul’s Bosphorus in some way. Some say it was sold to Israel, some say to Qatar. There is no part of Turkey that has not been sold. There is no value left unsold. They always take money and inflate their own bellies. They also gain weapons to hit the Kurds. They feed these fascist herds. They attack for Kurdish massacre and genocide.

Enmity against Kurds, enmity against women, and enmity against society go hand in hand with enmity against nature. Once you are an enemy to one, you are an enemy to all. This is a very important situation. We were really insufficient in this regard. We needed to expose more, we needed more organisation both in Kurdistan and in Turkey. We especially needed more struggle against the plunder of nature. We need to attach great importance to the ecological struggle. This business is dangerous. Your money is gone, you can replace it after two years, but you cannot restore nature. You can’t bring it back. Once you’ve lost it, you can either never get it back or it takes 10 -100 years. This is the biggest loss.

Consciousness is very important, organisation is very important, struggle is very important. Leader Apo built his democratic socialist paradigm on two pillars. One is women’s freedom, the other is nature friendship, social ecology. Women’s liberation and ecology create a two-legged existence that is so interconnected.

Therefore, without an ecological revolution, without an ecological system, there can be neither women’s freedom nor the freedom of society. We need to approach it at this level and develop ecological consciousness, organisation and action at this level.

Footnotes added by the translator:

1 This refers to the international complot against Abdullah Öcalan, which was initiated on October 9, 1998 and culminated on February 15, 1999 when Öcalan was unlawfully kidnapped to Turkey, where he has since been held on the prison island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara.

2 Refering to Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan.

3 Within the borders of the nation-state of Southeast Turkey.

4 Within the borders of the nation-state of North Syria.