our interviews

may 30, 2024

The isolation being imposed on the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan continues. On May 3, another six-month visit ban was announced in the press. Reactions against this isolation are increasing day by day and a multi-faceted struggle is being waged. How do you evaluate the current situation and developments?

The essence of the policy of the Turkish state and the current AKP government is to liquidate the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom in every dimension and to commit genocide against the Kurds. The pursuit of this policy serves as the foundation for all other policies. This fact must be recognized, especially when evaluating the policies of the governments in Turkey. The policy being carried out in Imrali is also the policy of genocide against Kurds.

Rêber Apo1‘s uprising and his struggle for freedom were always struggles against this policy of genocide. Rêber Apo initiated the struggle based on the determination that Kurdistan is a colony. Already back then, he emphasized that the main aim of the Turkish state is to turn Kurdistan into an expansion area for Turkish nationalization. In just half a century, Rêber Apo managed to create an organization, a political movement, and a society that is struggling against this policy of genocide.

Those who pursue this genocidal policy aim first and foremost to prevent society from becoming organized or having political will. They want to liquidate the organization and its leader, who fights against genocide. Rêber Apo has been targeted from the very beginning, as he is both the founder of this organization and the one who determines its ideological and political philosophy. When the Turkish state failed in the struggle against the PKK and Rêber Apo, he was taken into captivity through an international conspiracy. The conspiracy against Rêber Apo was carried out in order to liquidate the freedom movement and the struggle against genocide, and this is also the purpose of the heavy isolation policy implemented in Imrali today.

The policy of genocide is applied first and foremost to Rêber Apo. All other genocidal policies and practices take their source from here. If one looks at the policy being implemented in Imrali, one can understand the policy that is and will be implemented for the Kurds. There are some who believe that regardless of what happens in Imrali, different policies may be applied towards the Kurdish democratic political sphere, the organized forces of the Kurdish people, and society. Those people have failed to understand the reality of genocidal colonialism and its policies toward the Kurdish people. On the other hand, comparing the policy implemented by the Kurds with the policies of different peoples and nations elsewhere in the world leads to wrong evaluations and a wrong political approach. As a matter of fact, many individuals within the Kurdish political sphere and its friends are guilty of such misguided approaches.

The struggle to oppose the isolation imposed on Rêber Apo and to liberate him directly means the struggle for the freedom of the Kurdish people. In fact, if the struggle for Rêber Apo’s health, security, and freedom is not put at the center of the entire freedom struggle, this struggle cannot be successful. If a society, organization, or political movement does not take care of their leader in captivity, they cannot take care of themselves; such a struggle will not bring freedom.

This reality is being analyzed by our people, their international friends, and generally the democratic forces; therefore, the struggle to liberate Rêber Apo has evolved to such an extent and on so many dimensions in the last few years. Since Rêber Apo is seen as an important ideological and political leader, not only for the Kurdish people but also for the peoples of Turkey, the Middle East, and all oppressed and exploited societies of the world, especially women, the global campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo is growing stronger and stronger.

The main reason why Rêber Apo is subjected to such severe isolation is the fear of his ideological power and political ability. This in itself shows how important the liberation of Rêber Apo is for the peoples and women. The isolation in Imrali is being imposed on the peoples of the Middle East and all humanity, especially the Kurdish people and women.

The reason why the AKP-MHP government is able to act this oppressively and anti-democratic, is the lawlessness and pressure exerted on Imrali. Preventing Rêber Apo’s thoughts from coming to life, or preventing people from demanding his freedom, is an act of oppression in itself. In fact, the hostility of the AKP-MHP government to democracy, and their violence against the smallest democratic struggle, is because they know that Kurds and democratic forces will benefit from democratization. In short, Kurdish enmity is taking the shape of enmity of democracy. Now that this reality can be seen even clearer, our people and the democratic forces are embracing Rêber Apo more and taking the struggle to new heights in many ways.

Undoubtedly, the struggle for physical freedom for Rêber Apo is developing. The global campaign, launched on October 10 by friends all over the world, and the day of reading Rêber Apo’s books on December 10 are important and meaningful. This struggle must develop further to yield results. Our people say that solely the fact that Rêber Apo is still in captivity should be reason enough for us to give self-criticism. Based on this self-criticism, the Kurdish people in the four parts of the country and abroad should participate more actively in this struggle. If the democratic forces in Turkey and the Middle East and the Kurdish people raise this struggle further, it will lead to the further development of the struggle for the freedom of Rêber Apo in the world.

The struggle to reunite with and physically liberate Rêber Apo has been going on for decades, and it has already achieved significant results. This struggle has been going on since 1998, 1999, i.e., for 26 years, led by those who put themselves in front of Rêber Apo and formed the slogan, ‘You cannot darken our sun!’ Many people gave their lives for this struggle. As a result of this, the liberation of Rêber Apo, and therefore the liberation of the Kurdish people, has come closer. Although this colonialism maintains denial and genocide in a strict manner, the ground on which it is based has weakened with the struggle of the Kurdish people and democratic forces.

Through the freedom of Rêber Apo, the liberation of the Kurdish people will be achieved. It also means the collapse of the genocidal colonialist policy. It will pave the way for the democratization of Turkey. In this respect, the current level of struggle must be raised in every sphere. It is important that the protests for the freedom of Rêber Apo have become protests in which tens of thousands of people participate. The serhildan2 of Wan demonstrated how results can be achieved when large groups of people participate in protests. It is necessary to concentrate on improving the existing level of protest. It is necessary to find new forms of organization and action. Repetitive actions do not produce results. When previous forms of action are used, they must be more effective. Otherwise, they become routine, and stagnation sets in. In this respect, it is important to increase the quality and impact of the actions taken every day. The social and political environment in Turkey, the Middle East, and the world is ready for the development of this kind of struggle.

Calls to the Turkish state, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), and the Council of Europe (CoE) will not achieve results. Undoubtedly, these institutions and their practices should be exposed, but only with struggle will these institutes be forced to take a step. There is significant potential within the youth in northern Kurdistan that can be mobilized for struggle. Organizing and mobilizing them with creative methods will play an important role in the development of the struggle.

There is also an important resistance in the prisons against the isolation in Imrali, which is also supported by the families of those imprisoned. What is the importance of the resistance in the prisons for the Kurdish people and their friends?

The prisons have always played an important role in the development of the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. The slogan ‘You cannot darken our sun’, and the struggle against the conspiracy that it stands for, were pioneered by them. It was they who pioneered the embrace of Rêber Apo. They formed a barricade of fire protecting Rêber Apo and thereby set the claim that this struggle must have. The embracement of the prisons towards Rêber Apo should be an example for everyone. Again, their latest attitude and course of action express the most correct attitude. They take the right stance and follow the right principles. Saying “we will live as our leader is living” is not only a form of action; it is an ideological-political stance.

Within the circumstances of prisons, misconceptions and wrong tendencies always emerge. In the 1980s, during the years of struggle against the fascism that came upon the coup d’état of September 12, Rêber Apo organized a prison conference because mistakes and wrong tendencies emerged. Since then, it has become a tradition to hold conferences in prisons and to correct mistakes and wrong tendencies. In fact, the course of action in prisons today, like the conferences, functions as a correction of the general struggle.

The Turkish state has turned the right to have meetings and phone calls in prison into tools and methods of special warfare. The government prevents the imprisoned to have their fundamental right. In this respect, the decision of the prisons to live in the same conditions as Rêber Apo, is in a way an attitude against the special war being waged. This is the spirit of July 14th3. They are the successors of such a tradition of resistance. This is the tradition of loyalty to Rêber Apo, the freedom movement, the martyrs and the people. Living like Rêber Apo also requires thinking like Rêber Apo and having a philosophy of freedom. In this respect, this prison resistance achieves important results. It will be better understood that Rêber Apo has always been a person of organization and action. Those who understand Rêber Apo’s stance will become great militants and freedom fighters.

The struggle of the families of those in prison has also a tradition. In the 1980s, despite all kinds of insults and oppression, the families of prisoners did not give up their solidarity with their children. The government tried every way and method to prevent families from taking responsibility for their revolutionary prisoners. The families were tortured, detained, and insulted, but these only increased their anger. They became aware of the Turkish state’s policy and politicized at the gates of the prisons. Just as those resisting in the prisons are the continuers of the July 14 resistance, today’s prisoners’ families are the successors of the families who struggled in front of the prisons in the 1980s and 1990s. We still remember how the families of prisoners, our mothers, were insulted, batoned, and dragged on the ground during the 2018–19 prison resistance. These incidents have enraged our comrades and those of us in prisons, and they have made our families more determined to continue the struggle. The families of prisoners’ and the Mothers of Peace are the moral values of our struggle; they are the pillars of our revolution. Today, our mothers, whether they are the mothers of prisoners, martyrs, or guerrillas, are the mothers of the entire Kurdish society. They are the moral values of this struggle. It is the stance of our mothers that makes our struggle invincible. Those who hurt our mothers will never be guilt-free. In this respect, genocidal colonialism will not be guilt-free. Also the Saturday Mothers are an important part of this struggle. The whole public is aware of the pressure exerted on them. We salute them with respect and believe that their action in the 1000th week of their protest will be an important turning point in learning the fate of their children.

It is not right to leave the weight of resistance solely in the prisons, and therefore the struggle for the freedom of Rêber Apo, on the families of prisoners. Rêber Apo is todays pioneer of the prison resistance. The prison resistance has become the resistance for the freedom of Rêber Apo. In this respect, all our people and democratic forces, especially the youth and women, should participate in this resistance.

Today, tens of thousands of freedom fighters are imprisoned for participating in the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. In fact, one could say that the Kurds have broken the world record for being imprisoned for political reasons. There is no other society in the world that is imprisoned as much as the Kurds. The Kurds also hold the record for the number of women imprisoned for political reasons. In fact, the entire Kurdish population is being imprisoned through those who have been imprisoned physically.

The prisoners represent the honor of Kurds at the highest level. All Kurdish people, whether they have children or relatives in prison or not, should be proud of their resistance and should support the prisoners. Some of them spent decades in prison for the freedom of the Kurdish people. Despite serving 30 to 35 years in prison, they live to protect their people and the struggle for freedom. Those who have served and completed their sentences are not being released from prisons because of this reason. The people who remain in prison and resist should be protected, respected, and their resistance supported. If they manage to resist under such difficult conditions, the Kurdish people should support this resistance and strengthen Rêber Apo’s struggle for freedom.

The fascist Turkish state’s invasion attacks against the Medya Defense Zones4, where the guerrillas are waging a historic resistance, continue to increase. The KDP, on the other hand, provides all kinds of support to the fascist Turkish state in order to relieve the difficult situation the Turkish state is in. In this sense, how should the guerrilla resistance be embraced and what kind of attitude should be taken against the fascist Turkish state and especially the KDP?

The Turkish state has been attacking the Medya Defense Zones for decades. In the last three years, it has increasingly sustained these attacks. These attacks are part of an operation for complete occupation. The Turkish state will not leave any of the places it has entered by itself again. When it finds the opportunity, it will occupy the whole of southern Kurdistan. Its strong interest in Kirkuk and organizing there should be seen as part of this invasion operation. It has established a base in Bashiqa, and even though Iraq says this base must be left, the Turkish state has not left. The Turkish state emphasizes at every opportunity that Mosul and Kirkuk provinces are within the Misak-ı Milli5 and belong to them. At the time of the declaration of the National Pact, there was no policy of denial, assimilation, or genocide of the Kurds. There was talk of Kurdish self-government in Kurdistan. Today, the Kurds are being subjected to physical and cultural genocide, and Kurdistan is being turned into an expansion area for Turkish nationalization. The KDP is cooperating with such an anti-Kurdish and genocidal state. It is now a partner in the genocide of Kurds.

At the moment, their attacks are spreading even further. But there is a historic resistance against this, especially since the fall of 2023. The Turkish army is being dealt heavy blows, and they are forced to constantly withdraw their soldiers who have become unable to fight and bring in new troops instead. Since it cannot achieve results in this way, it is trying to involve the KDP more actively in the war. As a matter of fact, the KDP is establishing outposts in areas close to Turkish troops, protecting and providing logistics for these troops. On behalf of the Iraqi border troops, most of whom are members of the KDP, the KDP is increasing the siege around the guerrilla. The main purpose of the Turkish visits to Baghdad and Hewler was to liquidate the guerrillas. The Turkish state wants to use the ‘Development Road Project’ as a tool to drag the Iraqi state into it.

In order to liquidate the guerrilla and the freedom struggle as a whole, they want to turn the PUK into a complicit as well. Just as the KDP legitimizes the attacks of the Turkish state in Rojava, Shengal (Sinjar), Makhmour, and the Medya Defense Zones, it is now trying to legitimize the attacks of the Turkish state on the PUK. The KDP is even insisting that the Turkish state increase pressure on the PUK and is therefore promising to fight more actively against the PKK if the Turkish state manages to drag the PUK to war. When the PUK objected to those attempts, the KDP said, “I cannot use my full power in the war against the PKK.” As if their own betrayal was not enough, they want the PUK to join their policy of betrayal. In this way, they aim to cover up their own guilt. The KDP goes as far as to portray the war against the PKK as a war of all southern parties and political forces. The KDP is this deep in betrayal. Though, we must say that the attitude and struggle against this stance of the KDP is insufficient. This issue is closely related to the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. Taking a stance against the KDP’s betrayal is very important in terms of carrying out the struggle for freedom and democracy of the four parts of Kurdistan with the right principles. It is also necessary to take a stance against the KDP to protect the guerrilla, which is the biggest and most sacrificial force in the history of Kurdistan and has played a historical role in bringing the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and democracy to a very important level in every part of Kurdistan. It is a patriotic duty to take a stance against the KDP, which openly sides with the Turkish state. A high level of patriotism is crucial for the success of a people’s struggle against a colonialist and genocidal power. In this respect, it is very important to take a stance against the KDP. It is not possible that it commits so much collaboration and betrayal, and no stance is taken against it. This situation lowers the measures of patriotism and makes them vague. It creates great danger and harm for the struggle of the Kurdish people.

Someone who recently appeared on Medya Haber TV in northern Kurdistan said, “Don’t call the KDP traitors, the society does not want them to be called traitors.” We know well that people in northern Kurdistan call the KDP traitors. What else would the people name a party that works with the enemy to kill their children? The Turkish state wants to genocide all Kurds. It does not accept the status in the south either. Everyone knows that the Turkish state has said that they “will not make the same mistake in Rojava as [they] did in the south.” In other words, when they find the opportunity, they will take action to abolish the status in the south too.

The KDP is supporting the Turkish state in its attempts to liquidate the PKK. It besieges guerrilla areas, ambushes guerrillas, and blocks roads to prevent reinforcements, logistics, and ammunition from being sent to guerrilla areas. It legitimizes the Turkish state’s attack on the Medya Defense Zones. The Turkish army has established dozens of bases in southern Kurdistan. The Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT) is roaming in southern Kurdistan, targeting PUK areas. It legitimizes the occupations in Rojava; the KDP-affiliated formation called ENKS cooperates with the occupation forces and gangs. In Shengal, it both encourages the attacks of the Turkish state and has the Turkish state assassinate Êzidî [Yazidi] commanders and members of their administrations with the intelligence it provides. It provides intelligence in relation to patriots in Makhmour as well and enables the Turkish state, in this way, to murder those people. The KDP, which has relations and partnerships at all levels with the fascist AKP-MHP government and implements the policies of Kurdish enmity and genocide in the most reckless manner, should be called a traitor.

If the KDP, which is in relations with the genocidal Turkish to such an extent, is not called a traitor, then the measures of patriotism have fallen to their absolute minimum. This is the biggest danger for Kurds. Lowering the measures of patriotism is the greatest harm to the Kurdish freedom struggle and the society that is facing genocide. In this respect, instead of questioning why the KDP is being called a traitor, those who do not need to be questioned and criticized. The inadequate attitude towards the KDP needs to be criticized. Inadequate attitudes towards the KDP pave the way for continued betrayal.

The fascist AKP-MHP continues its attacks not only militarily but also politically in order to complete the Kurdish genocide. Politicians were given heavy sentences in the so-called ‘Kobane Trials’. The reasons and consequences of these trials and the sentences given, continue to be discussed. What kind of goal is being pursued with these sentences given to politicians?

The Kobane Trial is a conspiracy case, as members of the HDP have stated. The fact that this trial was initiated four years after the Kobane protests is clear evidence that this trial is a political conspiracy. The trial was carried out according to the instructions of the AKP-MHP government; it continued for seven years and sentences were handed down according to the instructions of those who plotted out this trial. It is said by everyone, except the AKP-MHP government, that the judiciary is under the command of the political power.

One of the most fundamental pillars of the genocide policy against Kurds is political genocide. The executions of Sheikh Sayit6 and his friends, as well as the executions of Seyit Riza7 and his friends, were part of this political genocide. The arrest of the 49’ers8 was also part of it. As well as the imprisonment of thousands of revolutionaries and patriotic people, especially in Amed in the 1980s. The international conspiracy against Rêber Apo and him being kept in heavy isolation for 26 years is also political genocide. Today, tens of thousands of revolutionaries, patriots, democrats, and politicians being sentenced for tens of years is also political genocide. The genocidal colonialist Turkish state wants to complete its genocide policy against the Kurds on the basis of these dimensions of political genocides. In Turkey, the constitution and laws are aimed at genocide, and in cases where the constitution and laws are not legally permissible, the constitution and laws are set aside and political genocide is practiced. The sentences given in the Kobane Conspiracy Trial are of such.

The aim of political genocide policies and practices is to discourage the struggle for freedom and democracy. It is aimed at liberalizing and pacifying the thoughts of political prisoners by keeping them in prisons for years and “rehabilitating” them. They aim to push these prisoners to internalize the state in thought and action. By keeping people in prisons, the state aims to keep society unorganized and leaderless.

In the Kobane Trials, the HDP co-chairs Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas were given maximum sentences. In this way, the state is trying to dissuade people from becoming co-chairs and, generally, from taking responsibility within democratic parties. This is how they respond to the insistence of the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. They are also trying to dissuade the Turkish socialists and democratic forces with these brutal prison sentences, saying that if these circles affiliate with the Kurds, they will be burned in the same way. Thus, it has been seen once again that the state fears the joint struggle of the democratic forces of the Kurdish people and the democratic forces of Turkey.

According to the mentality of the Turkish state, doing politics with the Kurds constitutes a crime. Since the existence of the Kurds is not recognized and genocide is the goal, the struggle against this policy is seen as the biggest crime. Let me emphasize one point: Turkey has a one-article constitution. This is to genocide the Kurds. The laws are also organized accordingly. When they cannot achieve this de jure, they try to achieve it de facto. Then, through extensions such as courts of appeal, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Court, these sentences are normalized as if they were given according to the rule of law. In this way, people who have not even been sentenced according to the Constitution and laws are kept in prisons for years.

In short, the aim of those prison sentences is to intimidate politicians and deprive society of its political leaders. Thus, society is also threatened.

Around the elections and before the Kobane Trials there were discourses about a potential ‘softening-normalization’ process. Looking at the sentences handed down in the Kobane Trials, what remains of this ‘softening-normalization’ process?

Before the elections a perception operation was carried out against the Kurds as if there would be a normalization process after April 1. The palace-centered special warfare institutes and the MIT tried to create this perception. Some influential spheres within the KDP also tried to spread these perceptions in order for the AKP to get some Kurdish votes in the elections. Some people within and around Kurdish democratic politics have also expressed, in good faith, an expectation that they would like to see this happen. Of course there are reasons for this. The Kurdish people and the democratic political arena have been under heavy pressure for many years. Despite their electing co-mayors of municipalities in elections, the state appoints trustees. In this respect, they naively wish for an environment where there will be no oppression. They are approaching according to their intentions and aspirations, not according to the real situation. We understand such expectations and desires. Making evaluations and comments without understanding the underlying the realities does not lead to the achievement of aspirations; on the contrary, it pushes them further away. Against the perception-building efforts surrounding a normalization process, we said that whether AKP wins or loses, it will not change its policy against the Kurds and the forces of democracy. Of course, if it had won, it would have implemented its repressive policies more harshly than before. It is trying to do so now, but now the AKP-MHP government has weakened. Therefore, it will experience some setbacks in implementation. Since their fundamental mindset and policy has not changed, the AKP-MHP will try to achieve the same goal through different ways and methods. This will be in the underlying reason for any normalization process: to neutralize the Kurdish people’s freedom struggle and democracy forces, thus completing the genocide policy.

Processes of softening and normalization require a change of policy. Neither the AKP nor the AKP-MHP alliance has a policy change. The rhetoric of softening and normalization without a policy change, means nothing more than covering up old policies. If there is to be normalization, the use of the judiciary as a political tool must be overcome. On the contrast, it seems that this will be persistently continued, let alone being overcome. Some detainees are being released in order to add legitimacy to the politicized judiciary. Still, we have seen that the judiciary will continue to be used as a political tool with the preparation of an indictment covering up the murder of Sinan Ateş and the verdicts in the Kobane Trials. The arrest of dozens of May 1 protesters is clear evidence that the pressure on the forces of democracy will continue.

Why has the judiciary in Turkey become a political apparatus of the government? Why has it created so much polarization? Why has it established an unprecedented system of repression? Why does it want to reinforce this repressive order with new laws? Without answering these questions, any talk of softening and normalization is nothing more than deceiving the public. The judiciary has been politicized to such an extent in order to suppress and liquidate the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and the forces of democracy. A repressive order has been established at this level, and the ‘others’ have been marginalized, and polarization has been created like never before in Turkey’s history. In order to suppress the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom more easily and to implement the genocide policy, unprecedented pressure has been put on the democratic forces. So much so that even the CHP was declared a traitor when it made some democratic statements. Because it is thought that every democratic discourse weakens the genocide policy against the Kurds. In this respect, the discourse of softening and normalizing without a change in policy towards the Kurds is nothing but a deception.

The Kurds and democratic forces say that the source of the oppression in Turkey is the policy of isolation and oppression in Imrali. Without a change in Kurdish policy starting with Imrali, it would be a fantasy to expect the political environment in Turkey to soften. Devlet Bahceli said that “no one should expect a softening after the Kobane Trials.” He said that the sentences handed down in the trials were political. He openly expressed that a normalization process will only be initiated if the policy of the MHP is adopted. With his statements, Devlet Bahceli gave Ozgur Ozel the following message: “If you are Kurdish-hostile, you will be accepted; otherwise, our pre-election discourse and approaches towards the CHP will continue.” Ozgur Ozel could have told Devlet Bahceli that the Kobane Trials are, of course, political. But by responding only to the Sinan Ates case, Ozgur Ozel glossed over the fact that the judiciary is under the command of politics.

The AKP-MHP government is based on Kurdish enmity. This is why the MHP has taken part in this alliance, and that also signals that this will continue. Still, they want to create the perception that a process of normalization is possible. It is not. To assume that this is possible, one must be blind to the politicization of the judiciary, the repression, and the polarization. These are no different from the policy of attack against the Kurds. People ought not to bury their heads in the sand.

In fact, the CHP has fallen into Tayyip Erdogan’s trap. The AKP-MHP will continue its old policies, and when the CHP and its chairman fight against this policy, Erdogan will blame them for opposing the strategy of softening and normalization. The other alternative is that the CHP will not oppose or fight against the AKP-MHP government’s policies on fundamental issues. The new leader of the CHP would be softened and would no longer be an obstacle to the AKP-MHP government. Thus, while the public voted for the CHP against the AKP-MHP alliance, the CHP will be in a situation contrary to the will of the people.

Debates regarding the Turkey’s constitution are being held in an environment of brutal attacks against Kurds. There is now an attempt to introduce the practice of ‘influence agency’ through the judiciary. How do you evaluate these discussions and the ‘influence agency’ practice?

With the argument that they are opposing the constitution developed by the coup d’état and want to formulate a civilian constitution, the AKP aims to make a constitution that is even more fascist than its current state, aiming solely to legalize the Kurdish genocide. They will want to make a constitution that normalizes and legitimizes the Kurdish genocide and the suppression of the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. They will accuse their opponents of defending the coup constitution if they disagree. The agenda for a new constitution is an agenda to divert society. How could it be expected that the AKP, whose main alliance is the MHP, would form a civilian and democratic constitution? Surely, those who long for a new constitution the most are the MHP and Devlet Bahceli. It is clear that the IYI Party and the Grand Union Party will also be on this front. A so-called civilian constitution can be made with these parties, but this constitution will not be democratic; in fact, it will make the old constitution look better. In fact, there are almost no unchanged articles in this constitution except for the preamble and other articles directly related to the Kurdish genocide. There used to be articles like 168 and 171 in the penal code. By replacing them with the ‘Anti-Terror Law’, they made those old laws favorable. They paved the way to legitimize throwing everyone into prison.

With the ‘influence agency’, they want to enact an openly fascist law that would rival all fascist penal code articles, even the anti-terrorism law. Which democratic civilian constitution can those who are considering such a law come up with? Anyway, when they say civil constitution, they do not mean a democratic constitution. There cannot be a law as subjective as the ‘influence agency’ law. Criminal laws look for concrete evidence, but the ‘influence agency’ law requires no concrete evidence. Judges will decide whether a person is an agent of influence or not. With this law, anyone who criticizes the policies of the government will be easily labeled as an influence agent. The new argument used to increase polarization, marginalization, and declaring enemies will be ‘influence agency’. With this law, all Kurds will be accused of spying for the PKK. The Kurds’ demands for freedom and democracy and all their actions will be evaluated in this way. Some circles are claiming that the talks of democracy, freedom, Kurds, and Kurdistan are the doing of foreign powers who want to divide Turkey. Therefore, all who make such demands are the spies of foreign states. Those who talk about democracy and democratization will be accused of spying with the argument that they are opening space for Kurds and separatism. In short, not only Kurds but all democratic forces opposed to the government will be punished as spies. Even this law proves that the AKP-MHP government has no intention of abandoning its current policies. There will be neither normalization nor a constitution with this government. There is nothing good to be done with this government. This government is a government of evil. These evils can only be overcome by overthrowing this government.

Undoubtedly, the Kurds and the democratic forces want this constitution to change. However, making a democratic constitution requires a democratic mentality and a democratic environment. There is no such environment. Kurds and democratic forces have been demanding a new constitution for 40 years; they were the ones who opposed the 1982 constitution from the beginning. Now, the AKP-MHP government wants to make a constitution that does not accept the existence, identity, culture, and mother tongue education of Kurds. With a new constitution, the current government wants to deny the existence of the Kurds even more. On this basis, the Kurds and democratic forces can put forward their own constitutional understanding and expose the AKP-MHP government’s constitutional understanding and the reasons why the government is putting forward such an agenda. Otherwise, getting caught up in the AKP’s constitutional agenda would be to loosen the struggle and feed society with false expectations.

What attitude should the Kurdish people, the democratic forces and of course the opposition forces within the system take in such a process where the struggle is tried to be loosened with ‘soft special war’ methods?

If the democratic forces of the Kurdish people and Turkey do not establish a broad alliance of democratic struggle, the opposition forces within the system cannot do much against AKP-MHP fascism. The AKP-MHP fascist power has been weakened. The people have rejected the policies of this government. First and foremost, it has rejected the MHP mentality that determines the policies of this government. Now, the AKP government is politically hostage to the MHP. This eight-year alliance has turned the AKP into the MHP. There is no longer any difference between both parties. The vast majority of former AKP members have already left the AKP. Now there is an AKP made up of those who defend classical state policy and those who are with the AKP only for self-interest. With this character, the AKP has become very weak. In this respect, the possibility of a successful struggle against the AKP-MHP government has increased. The results of the municipal elections have prepared the ground for this. In this respect, the laxity of the intra-system opposition forces and their lack of determination to fight against the AKP-MHP government impose a historic task on the radical democratic forces. The current environment requires radical opposition forces to play the role of a real opposition to the AKP-MHP government. If the democratic forces of the Kurdish people and Turkey strengthen their alliance and engage in an active struggle against the AKP-MHP government, then the opposition forces within the system can also show the strength to fight the current government.

At the moment, the CHP’s attitude towards the AKP-MHP government is being criticized. However, the radical democratic forces, including the DEM Party, should be criticized even more. Unless the broadest forces of democracy are brought together against fascist governments, no effective and fruitful struggle can be waged. It is irresponsible that they do not create a strong alliance against AKP-MHP fascism. Is democratization then expected from the CHP or, as some think, from the AKP? No ideological difference, no political difference of opinion can be an excuse for not forming such an alliance. The inability of the left in Turkey to make a move in the midst of such a crisis is due to its narrow and self-limited understanding of organization and struggle. The Kurdish democratic forces and their alliance, which have the strong social support needed for democracy and freedom, are most responsible for creating such an alliance and the struggle for democracy. Kurdish democratic forces should reconsider the HDP’s ideology and understanding of alliances at the time of its foundation. This idea is what is needed today. The fact that the AKP government and its Kurdish collaborators attack the idea and politics of the HDP the most is due to the fact that the idea of the HDP is the real alternative to the current government. The ‘third way,’ which was brought to the agenda with the idea behind the HDP, is also the way to form the broadest democratic alliance. Those who oppose the alliance policy are those who oppose the third way. The third way does not mean not to engage in political tactics. On the contrary, there is a need for the Kurdish people and democratic forces. The Kurdish people and the democratic forces of the peoples of Turkey need to build an alliance of democracy with the widest spectrum. Undoubtedly, the HDP is a party with many components and many common denominators. At the same time, they can form alliances with other forces, parties, and movements. What is desirable is to create parties and political movements with as many or even more components than the HDP. But there can also be alliances where different political forces come together. Such alliances are most welcome because they are able to lift greater responsibility towards the people.

Undoubtedly, those who form such alliances and fight against the AKP-MHP constantly remind that the opposition forces within the system, for which the people vote, must also oppose and fight against the policies of the AKP-MHP government in line with the will of the people. Those who voted for the forces within the system did not vote for reconciliation with the AKP-MHP government and a soft struggle against their unaccepted policies. They voted for the CHP against the AKP-MHP and made it the first party because the CHP talked about democratization. Then they should fight against this undemocratic government. If they don’t do this, the support of the people will decrease. The AKP-MHP is waging a special war on the CHP to ensure that the support of the people decreases. Knowing this reality, the forces that will actually develop the struggle for democratization must organize themselves and develop the struggle.

As the AKP-MHP government insists on attacking your movement, the Kurdish people and the democratic forces, it deepens the crisis within Turkey. How should this situation be understood?

The 1990s, like today, were years when the dirty special war intensified. The Turkish state committed around 15 thousand unsolved murders (carried out by the state and Hizbulkontra), thousands of villages were burned down, over five million of our people were forced to migrate to metropolises and Europe, thousands of our people were imprisoned, and we faced severe torture. All this in order to suppress serhildans and crush the guerrilla. As a result of this dirty war, not only the economy has collapsed, but a social and cultural crisis has emerged. The morality and conscience of society have been corrupted through Kurdish enmity. Those who are enemies of Rêber Apo, the PKK, and the Kurds are allowed to do anything. They act like they have the right to do all kinds of dirty work. All social and cultural values have been corrupted; in other words, everything has gone haywire. At that time, drugs were being smuggled by the state itself to raise funds for the war. The war in the 1990s turned the state into a mafia. All kinds of dirty deeds and immorality were carried out under the name of being hostile to Rêber Apo and the PKK.

The last nine years reassembled the 1990s. There have been years of escalation in the dirty special war. Just like in the 1990s, an economic, political, social, and cultural crisis has emerged. Since everything was indexed to the dirty war, art, culture, and sports were turned into tools of the special war against the Kurdish people. The special war against the Kurdish people and the democratic forces has corrupted and polluted everything in Turkey. Turkey has become a corrupted and polluted country in every respect. A fascist dictatorship that has never been seen anywhere in the world has been established. Society has been turned into enemies. In fact, a state of civil war has been created. The AKP-MHP government has become a power of evil. A fascism has been created that focuses on what evil will be done to society and opposition forces in the in the morning and evening. A Turkish-type fascism unprecedented in the world has been built. The execution of a government whose policies are determined by the MHP as an alliance could not be expected otherwise.

In these nine years of AKP-MHP rule, the MHP has spread out everywhere like an octopus. From the police to the judiciary and bureaucracy. The MHP is a parallel state in Turkey. Since the AKP government has no purpose or principle other than to stay in power through political games, it is trying to prolong its life by turning a blind eye to various forces becoming parallel states. This is Erdogan’s politics, his pragmatism. This policy has now become self-defeating. What was once said about the Fetullahists is now said about the MHP. Because of this status as a parallel state, Devlet Bahceli is making threats on a daily basis and is trying to adjust the government and other political forces.

The AKP-MHP government smuggles arms and drugs to raise money for the war. By attracting all the black money centers, mafias and gangs of Europe to Turkey, it has provided resources to its economy through black money. Currently, Turkey has become the country where all mafia organizations are based. It also harbors and feeds gang organizations such as ISIS, and then markets them when the time comes. Turkey has become the blackmail state, the ransom state of the world. Such a country does not only experience economic, political, social and cultural crises. The most widespread drug use in Turkey occurred during the period of AKP-MHP rule. Again, dragging women into prostitution increased during this period of government. Femicides also increased during this period, since this government maintains its power through misogyny. The woman is seen as an object on which power and sovereignty are based.

These dirty war policies polluted the state, society, and all institutions. It created the groundwork for the emergence of these mafia structures and gangs. What can be seen now is that there are internal fights about power. The gangs have risen even above the legal state; therefore, the state itself has become a gang state. In such a situation, conflict is inevitable. The gang organization that is now coming to light is only the tip of the iceberg. The gangs affiliated with the MHP are being organized and growing under the slogan ‘Vatan Millet Sakarya’9. But there are gangs based not only on the MHP but also on the AKP. Those, on the other hand, organize and grow under the slogan ‘Religion, Faith, Call to Prayer’. Turkey has turned into a country parceled out by religious-nationalist gangs, and without a doubt, the war between those groups will increase even more. The MHP and the gangs under its protection will not give them the opportunity they have by saying, “When it comes to the homeland, everything else is unimportant.” This slogan has become the basic slogan of all fascists, gangs, and anti-democratic forces.

As the war between Israel and Hamas continues, the number of Palestinians killed has exceeded 36 thousand. Reactions against Israel are increasing day by day. Turkish President Erdogan, on the other hand, continues to embrace Hamas openly. What is the current stage of Israel’s war on Palestine and what is Erdogan’s influence on the Palestinian people’s struggle?

The Jewish-Arab conflict has a history of three thousand years. This fight existed even before the emergence of Islam. Religious and nationalist understandings ensure the continuation of this fight. As long as religious-nationalist and nation-state understandings are not abandoned, this fight cannot be ended. The solution to this problem cannot be the destruction of one by the other. In this respect, Democratic Confederalizm, which refers to a democratic non-state administration in which all communities recognize each other, is the only solution. It is not a confederation of states. It is a democratic system where all different ethnic and religious communities are free and have their own governments. All other parts of society and all other peoples are also organized on a democratic basis, and they come together in a democratic confederal formation. Palestinians and Jews can live together in a democratic system that is not one in which one becomes a state and exercises sovereignty over the other. It is a system in which the Palestinians are free and self-governing in their own land. In the 21st century, this is the way to solve problems. It is necessary to overcome the nation-state mentality that has caused great suffering for humanity. The result of religious-nationalist understandings is today’s Israel-Hamas war.

Israel persecutes the Palestinian people under the pretext of Hamas. Of course, the mentality and actions of Hamas are unacceptable. Hamas has become a provocateur organization. However, massacring the Palestinian people in response to Hamas’ attacks is a crime against humanity. The human conscience does not accept this. Like this Israel is doomed. Neither Hamas nor Israel will win. This war has revealed that both mentalities have lost.

The whole world is now taking a conscientious, humane, moral, and democratic stand against Israel. This is due to the fact that in the 1960s and 1970s, the Palestinian liberation struggle hosted revolutionary and socialist organizations of 72 nations and national liberation fighters. The Palestinian people have thus established a relationship of friendship with the revolutionary democratic forces and peoples of the world. The PKK also stayed in Palestinian camps from 1979 on and benefited from the facilities of Palestinian organizations. The basis and source of the Palestinian people’s high level of support in the world today is that they opened their space to revolutionary organizations in the 1960s and 1970s. This reality has created today’s support. This is the reality that has created the magnitude of this support. This support has nothing to do with Hamas. It is the relationship that the Palestinian people and their organized forces established with the peoples of the world and revolutionary organizations 50–60 years ago. Palestinians and those who support the Palestinian struggle must be aware of this reality. It is not a public opinion created by Hamas and organizations with a similar mentality. It is a public opinion created by the democratic forces that have been in touch with the Palestinians for decades. Without recognizing this reality, one cannot understand the solidarity shown to the Palestinian people in the world today and the source of the reaction against Israel and its supporters.

Fascist Erdogan’s pretense of being pro-Hamas is just a policy of threats and blackmail. He is saying that “if you want us to oppose Hamas, you will support my Kurdish and regional policy.” In essence, he is pursuing a policy of blackmail: “Support my Kurdish genocide policy, and I will change my Hamas policy.” The Turkish state does not want peace and stability in the Middle East. It has the understanding and policy that it needs war and chaos so that the Turkish state will be needed. At the moment, Turkey is the only state that wants the Israeli-Hamas war to spread and become an Israeli-Arab, Israeli-Iranian war. It is the AKP-MHP government in Turkey.

Let’s take for example Iran; President Ibrahim Reisi was killed in a helicopter crash. The TV channels affiliated with the AKP-MHP government have been the ones that have speculated the most on this issue and raised the possibility that he might have been shot by Israel. When these TV channels and the press are observed, it becomes clear that Turkey wants the war between Israel and Hamas to become widespread.

Everyone can see whether the AKP is truly siding with Palestine. The AKP insulted a member of parliament who disclosed that Erdogan had the most trade agreements with Israel while claiming to support Palestine. They killed the person who said this, yet they did not end trade until after the March 31st elections. This alone shows that for the AKP-MHP government, what the Palestinian people are going through is only a political tool. Surely, no one believes that a government that persecutes other peoples and communities, especially Kurds, acts morally and conscientiously towards Palestine.

For decades, Turkey has been carrying out a policy of genocide against the Kurds with the support of the US and Europe through its relations with Israel. Today, if it has problems or takes a stance with Israel or any other power, it is because it wants to gain support for the Kurdish genocide. The Turkish state’s foreign policy is based on this. Its blackmails, threatens, and criticism of certain powers, are all aimed at gaining such support. Both the Kurdish people and the democratic forces should be aware of this reality.


1 Referring to Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan.

2 Kurdish word for ‘popular uprising’.

3 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.

4 Areas on the border between North, South and East Kurdistan/South-East Turkey, North Iraq and West Iran, that are under the control of the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla.

5 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.

6 Kurdish tribal leader who led a general uprising in North Kurdistan against the Turkish occupation. The rebellion failed due to treason and Sheikh Sait was hanged with his comrades on June 29, 1925 in Amed.

7 Kurdish tribal leaders who led a general uprising in Dersim against the Turkish occupation. The rebellion failed and the Turkish state subsequently carried out the Dersim massacre in 1937/38. Seyit Riza was hanged with his friends on November 15, 1937 in Elazig.

8 The ‘Trial of the 49’ was an attempt by the Turkish state in 1959 to take targeted action against Kurdish intellectuals, artists and politicians. Under the accusation of ‘Kurdish propaganda and separatism’, 49 men were charged and an example was to be made. This ultimately failed due to pressure from Kurdish society and in the end they all got off free.

9 The slogan, which literally translates as ‘fatherland, nation, Sakarya’, is a nationalist, religious and ethno-sectarian slogan used by fascist forces in Turkey to stir up resentment in Turkish society.