our interviews

march 21, 2024

I extend greetings, respect, and devotion to Rêber Apo on behalf of the leadership of our movement on this special occasion of Newroz. On this momentous day, I congratulate all the people of Kurdistan, the mothers of martyrs, all the people in the region, progressive humanity, and all friends, sympathizers, and workers abroad. I hope that everyone has an extremely prosperous new year. We honor our contemporary Kawa1, comrade Mazlum Dogan, on this auspicious day in remembrance of all the revolutionaries and martyrs of Newroz. We acknowledge their memory and reaffirm our commitment to them.

Newroz has an important place in the history of our people and the peoples of the region, but more so in our movement and struggle. Exactly fifty-one years ago on Newroz Day, Rêber Apo initiated this struggle. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to infuse Kurdistan with the spirit and flame of Newroz. Mazlum Dogan conducted the most powerful anti-oppression action on Newroz in the confines of the Amed (Diyarbakir) prison. In his footsteps, the free Kurdish women Zekiye Alkan2, Rahşan Demirel3, Ronahî, and Bêrîvan4 added strength to the Newroz flame by sacrificing themselves. Once again, across Kurdistan, particularly in areas such as Cizîra Botan and Nisêbîn, our brave people made great sacrifices. In doing so, they ignited the flame of Newroz and raised its spirit, carrying it to an important place in history and igniting a national struggle.

On October 10, 2023, our internationalist allies announced the commencement of an international campaign with the goals of solving the Kurdish question and achieving Rêber Apo’s physical liberation. This campaign continues to become formulated piece by piece and will gain more strength with this Newroz. I extend warm greetings to everyone involved in this campaign, particularly our internationalist friends, on behalf of the movement’s leadership. I also salute every mother who is participating in the vigil for justice, the prisoners who are still on a hunger strike, and the campaigners who have been keeping a vigil for Rêber Apo’s physical release in front of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg for more than a decade. I congratulate the patriots who have been holding the Freedom Watch in the Martyr Rüstem Cudi Camp and send them our greetings.

Dear friends,

2024’s Newroz is not a regular Newroz. We greet Newroz this year in the midst of a historic moment. This year, the institutions representing the Kurdish people and the friends of the Kurdish people, have declared Newroz as the “Newroz of the freedom of Rêber Apo.” This has great significance and importance. With the slogans “Freedom for Rêber Apo” and “Long live Rêber Apo,” our people are celebrating Newroz in such numbers for the first time, in the four regions of Kurdistan as well as overseas. Today, this slogan is being chanted in the streets by millions, if not tens of millions. What are their desires? They desire Rêber Apo’s physical freedom. Rêber Apo’s freedom is seen by our people as their own. They are heading to the streets for this reason. They’re chanting, “Hear the voice of the Kurdish people, hear the scream for the freedom of Rêber Apo.” This needs to be communicated to the cunning and unscrupulous conspirators.

I’m calling on all the relevant, worldwide conspiracy authorities: enough is enough! Reject the terror that the Turkish dictatorship is waging on the Kurdish people. Pay attention to the requests of the Kurdish people and refrain from further obstructing their future for the sake of your own advantages. Rêber Apo’s liberation and the freedom of the Kurdish people are intertwined and this demand is legitimate. Respect this fact and fulfill your moral and humanitarian obligations.

Secondly, after ten days our people will be electing the co-mayors in their municipalities. This must be drawn attention to. The regime of AKP-MHP appoints trustees and does not acknowledge the will of our people. There is no legal remedy for this. The official will of our people is being violated. Therefore, in the spirit of the 2024 Newroz, everyone—socialists, Democrats, and the friends of our people—must demonstrate their will by voting and participating in the elections in order to oppose such policies. They need to demonstrate that we reject trustee politics and that we stand by our decisions. Our people ought to vote in these elections in light of this.

Thirdly, I want to emphasize that we are going through an important moment in human history. The AKP-MHP and the Ergenekon state are organizing a new assault against us, against the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrillas, against the gains of the Kurdish people and their friends. We are conducting diplomatic meetings both locally and globally, in preperation of this. Still, they are aware that they cannot defeat the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrillas on their own. They are looking for allies in order to take on the guerrillas because of this. It’s clear that they have ill intentions. They want to destroy all the accomplishments and victories of our people’s. They seek to execute the Misak-ı Milli5 occupation plan and subjugate the Arab population in Syria and Iraq through Turanism, nationalism, and neo-Ottomanism. This is their primary goal. But they strive to build support for themselves by using deceit to hide these aims.

Turkey’s fascist regime refers to Kurdistan—especially the freed territories—as “Terroristan.” That said, what the Turkish government is doing in these areas must be seen. It deploys UCAVs to murder and kill people, carry out acts of terror, and assassinates people using agents. The Turkish state is currently intimidating and blackmailing everyone in Rojava, Shengal [Sinjar], and South Kurdistan. One must only look to Afrin to see the heinousness of the Turkish state. Like a thug, like a barbarous state, it seeks to dominate and terrorize its surroundings. We will never, ever give up fighting against this. We want our people and friends worldwide to know that we are prepared and confident to wage a historic resistance during this time. We have confidence in ourselves, and we know that our people are with us. The people themselves possess the greatest power. We don’t fear anyone because of this. We will repel every attack with great skill.

Nevertheless, national unity is what our people and the cause of Kurdish freedom need. Stated differently, a national strategy is required. The Kurdish people need a national strategy for this historical era. Thus, we as a movement are demanding the development of national unity. Those who are not coming, will not come. Though, our patriots ought to come together and devise a shared, national plan. Everyone should be aware that during this momentous and historic a period of time we, the movement, are prepared to take any necessary action to guarantee the freedom of our people to live in Mesopotamia, in the Middle East.

We possess the depth and experience in both strategy and tactics. Our capacity to employ new strategies and techniques will allow us to resist with skill. Although we oppose war, we will respond to aggressors who seek to use force, with the appropriate force. Everyone on the planet needs to know this. Here, we declare that the Turkish government is terrorizing our nation, seeking to establish genocidal politics, and severely isolating our leader. These are all brutal and inhumane. Nobody ought to assist the Turkish regime in its atrocities and barbarisms. We want the NATO soldiers and the forces supporting Turkey to know that our march is morally and ethically justified.

Our demands are legitimate and righteous, and we’ll do anything it takes to get what we want. We believe, now more than ever, that victory is possible. We have faith in our abilities, in our community, and in our global allies. We will prevail in this momentous era by upholding the heritage of our valiant heroes and applying Rêber Apo’s political ideology. Based on this, I would like to congratulate everyone on the occasion of Newroz once more and wish them luck in the march to liberate Kurdistan and Rêber Apo.


1 The blacksmith Kawa of the Newroz myth slays the tyrant Dehak and gives the people back their freedom.

2 Zekiye Alkan burned herself alive in protest against the banning of the Newroz festival in Amed in 1990.

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

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

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.