A Look at 2022 and 2023: State of Affairs for the Global Democratic Forces
An interview with Duran Kalkan, member of the KCK Executive Council, about the most important developments in 2022, strengths and weaknesses of the different parts of the global democratic forces and likely developments for the year 2023:
We would like to start by asking you what you think the most important event of 2022 for the system was? What kind of a year was 2022, especially for Kurdistan and the Kurds, but also for the Middle East and the world? And what are the possible developments in 2023?
At the end of the year, important events of 2022 are being discussed, various circles are evaluating the year from their point of view, trying to draw lessons from it. As a movement, we mostly make our evaluations within the framework of the plans for our own struggle. Throughout the year, we have many important days, such as the anniversary of the foundation of our party [November 27], Newroz [March 21], the anniversary of the August 15, 1984 offensive, the anniversary of the International Conspiracy [February 15] and the struggle against it. Therefore, we don´t only have one, but many new years in the course of each year. Consequently, we make our evaluation of the year according to the calendar which is based on our struggle.
It is important to evaluate the year 2022: a year of great resistance and a year of war. We can clearly say that in the course of the last year important results have emerged in the world and in Kurdistan, and important experiences have been made. The struggle and the war are now entering a new year. This, of course, is happening on the basis of the results of the struggle in 2022. The new year will unfold accordingly. We can therefore say that 2023 will be a year full of new developments.
The most important event of 2022 for the system of capitalist modernity was undoubtedly the Ukraine war. It started on February 24 and has been continuing for almost a year now. We can say that this war has completely shaped 2022. But it would be wrong to therefore conclude: ´The contradictions and conflicts of the system of capitalist modernity only unfolded in Ukraine. Consequently, the Ukrainian war determined everything and contradictions or conflicts in other areas did not exist´. On the contrary, the center of the system is the Middle East. The center of the contradictions and conflicts, the center of the crisis and chaos experienced by the system of capitalist modernity is the Middle East. Capitalist modernity did not start the Ukraine war after having solved its problems in the Middle East. On the contrary, it began this war after having failed to solve them. In the summer of 2021, the forces of capitalist modernity fled from Afghanistan and were forced to hand over the country to the Taliban. In February 2022, with the help of the Ukraine war, capitalist modernity started to try to maintain itself in the existing crisis-ridden and chaotic environment and transform certain contradictions into new ones. Today, all the contradictions and conflicts of the Middle East still continue. And the same can be said about other parts of the world.
Russia and the United States need to be understood as the driving forces behind the Ukraine war. Even though there is a Ukrainian government, even though it is regarded as an actor in the war and even though NATO, and therefore Europe, has also been involved in various ways, the US and Russia appear to have paved the way for this war. The US-Russia relations, contradictions and conflicts have clearly led to the Ukraine war.
The war started with Russia’s attack on Ukraine. But the original aim of this attack was not to create a state of war like the current one. In fact, the Putin administration had aimed to topple the Zelensky administration. With a one or two day attack, or even a limited operation, it wanted to overthrow or take over the government and thus put an end to the anti-Russian politics of Ukraine. But Russia did not succeed in this. And this was not because of the Zelensky administration. Rather, the US and NATO have made Russia’s operation fail. What started as a limited operation has now turned into a months-long war. At times, this war intensified and at other times the intensity of the military conflict decreased. The war has concentrated on certain parts of Ukraine and the country has suffered heavy destruction. The NATO states and Russia have tested important weapons in the course of this war. They have emptied their arms depots. Thus, arms monopolies have made new sales. The trade of military goods has accelerated, leading to considerable profits.
In terms of the military outcome, the following can be noted in case of Russia: Some of its plans have failed. It has so far seized and occupied a few parts of Ukraine close to its own border. It has also challenged the US and NATO. Russia has entered into a war with them and has thus tested itself militarily. The Zelensky administration has not achieved anything. Some say that this administration has proved itself. Yes, it has proved its servitude and dependence on NATO and the US. Most recently, Zelensky had a meeting with US President Biden. This is probably his biggest achievement. In military-political terms, it is the US that has achieved clear results. Besides the gains of the arms monopolies, we can say that the US is the power that has made certain gains.
In the past, French President Macron had said that the NATO was brain dead. In fact, NATO had been in a state of disintegration. Through the war in Ukraine, the US reorganized NATO. NATO has now reestablished its effectiveness. With Sweden and Finland joining NATO, this alliance is now being broadened. Also, the US has achieved a confrontation between Europe and Russia to a certain extent. It has created a situation of contradiction and conflict. Previously there had been contradictions and conflicts between the Biden administration and the Putin administration. Now, the US has involved Europe in this conflict. These are the results achieved so far.
On this basis, the US had actually planned to go even further. Based on the developments in NATO and the war in Ukraine, it wanted to create a Saudi-centered alliance against Iran in the Middle East. It also wanted to form a broad alliance against China in the Pacific. The US tried to take steps in this direction with the Biden administration focusing greatly on both areas. Biden himself made many visits and held various meetings to achieve this. Some have called this ´the 3 NATOs of the US´: by creating a Middle East NATO and a Pacific NATO their plan was to create NATO-like alliances against Russia,China and Iran in all these different regions. This is the point we have reached politically today.
Militarily, the conflict is undergoing a rather slow period right now. The two sides have not reached a ceasefire. NATO says that the war will continue. Russia is in favor of ending the war because there is simply nothing more it can do. But the US wants to continue in order to preserve its above-mentioned achievements. It also wants to involve Europe in all this. This is the outcome of the Ukraine war at the end of 2022. How long will this last, how far will it go? These are issues worth being discussed. Will the current state of NATO continue? More importantly, will the US be able to maintain the Europe-Russia contradictions and conflict in this form? This is debatable both at the level of states and societies. Russian society does not approve of the war. In the near future, the European societies will show a stronger opposition to the current situation, especially due to the gas-energy crisis caused by the Russia-Europe conflict. Therefore, the states will no longer be able to pursue this policy. Europe cannot sustain such a protracted state of war with Russia. If the US tries to impose this on Europe, it will lose. Therefore, the current situation does not seem to be of a permanent nature. Yes, this war has led to certain results, but they are not likely to turn into anything permanent.
Germany’s foreign minister recently went to the United States and offered to ‘share leadership’. Years ago the US itself had made this proposal to Germany. Now, the current German government has responded positively to take over responsibility for the system. Germany has also announced certain decisions concerning its military. It is important to follow closely where this attitude of Germany will lead, because this could have dangerous consequences. If the German capital really starts to follow such an approach, this would be the third attempt [after World War I and II]. This could lead to dangerous consequences. Therefore, the contradictions in this area will continue too. The US has already made France a little more active. It has also detached the UK from the EU and made it act more closely with itself.
On the other hand, the alliance in the Middle East has not worked. The US wanted to create it with the help of the Saudis. But this hasn´t worked at all. It has simply failed. There are discussions about whether the US will completely withdraw from the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has recently held talks with Iran and shortly afterwards with China. In this context, there are people saying that China will further reduce the US influence in the Gulf. The US has clearly not been able to create an anti-Iran alliance of Arab states together with Israel. This project also looks like a fiasco.
The Pacific alliance against China has been existing for a while to a certain extent. China-US tensions have been a reality for quite some time and will continue in various forms. But China – in contrast to US-American attempts – does not want to confront the US. The Chinese leadership has declared this openly. They are waging an economic struggle. China has also said that it will improve their defense capabilities, but it does not want to pursue the same policy as the US policy of turning China and the USA into two opposing blocs. It wants to prevent various circles from taking sides with the US against China. Rather, China seeks to establish relations with everyone. The country is economically and militarily powerful. And it will continue to increase its influence.
In light of all these developments, what the US seems to have achieved with the Ukraine war does not seem to be of a very permanent, long term nature. It seems like all this won´t last. There are the issues of China and Russia while the problems in the Middle East continue as well. Germany wants to get more attention and is taking steps accordingly. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) gathered recently. This has made clear the following: Some people calculated that the world would turn into two blocs, like the Soviet-US blocs during the Cold War. But there is no such formation of two blocs because today there exist a great number of powers globally. The primary contradictions and conflicts of capitalist modernity have deepened. There are many centers, and the contradictions between them are increasing. The process that we refer to as World War III continues by intensifying ever more. The system does not possess the strength to get out of its crisis and chaos. For the system, there is simply no way out. Therefore, it is very obvious that the current state of war will continue. The system does not have a solution. It cannot find the exit. Its crisis and chaos are substantial. There is no way to alleviate the system´s state of chaos. Capitalist modernity wants to continue its rule and prolong its life with the help of wars such as the one in Ukraine. It wants to wage wars like the one it started in the past in various areas such as Iraq or Afghanistan, i.e. low intensity wars in different regions. This is the state that the system of capitalist modernity finds itself in today. It does not have the power to get out of World War III. Quite to the contrary, the system can only try to prolong its life on the basis of the current crisis and chaos, i.e. by continuing these low intensity wars. In this sense, the contradictory and conflictual situation will continue. The system has no way out. It does not seem capable of overcoming this situation with its own strength. This is up to the anti-systemic forces [i.e. the democratic forces]. This has become clear once more. What does this mean? There were the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq. The US and NATO withdrew from Afghanistan. When this happened, everyone expected that there would be no more wars. But what happened in the end? The Ukraine war started shortly afterwards. This means that this system cannot stay alive without war. It rules humanity based on the threat of war. This is how capitalist modernity maintains its hegemony. It constantly produces war. It cannot get out of this circle of war and conflict. Everyone has come to understand this a little better now.
There was also the time before [the Ukraine war] when the system produced diseases. There was the coronavirus, and before that there were the bird flu and the swine flu. This system produces all kinds of germs. Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] says [in his 5-volume book Manifesto of the Democratic Civilization] ‘the system is a cancerous system’. This is a very important conclusion. Capitalist modernity produces disease, war and many more threats and dangers for humanity. People have come to realize this more and more. For example, people all over the world have suffered from the coronavirus. Some monopolies have made a lot of profit with this and the states have achieved greater control over society. Workers and whole societies have been subjected to an even more intense exploitation. They are more oppressed and controlled today. The control of intelligence services and states over people´s lives has increased. Under the rule of capitalist modernity, the world is being turned into a prison. Meanwhile, a handful of monopolists are making profits. They benefited from the coronavirus, the war in Afghanistan and are now profiting from the war in Ukraine. The arms monopolies and war barons are making huge profits. But the suffering of societies continues to increase. People are being exploited, their lives have become unlivable and they are leading a life in hunger. This is the current situation of the system of capitalist modernity. These are the consequences of 2022 and the Ukraine war. Basically, there is nothing new on the Western front. Capitalist modernity has nothing new to offer, nothing to alleviate its crisis. It does not have any sensitivity for democracy. Everyone had expected the Biden administration to be a little more open to democracy. Biden made a black woman vice president. People had hoped that this administration would be more open towards women’s freedom, the freedom of peoples; that it would act a little more democratic, or rather be more sensitive to democracy. We also looked at the first images of this administration and thought so too. If these expectation had become true, we would have wanted to use them, to approach this positively. But what we have seen in practice is more war, more diseases and a deepening crisis and chaos. We have seen nothing in terms of sensitivity to democracy. The contradictions and conflicts, crisis and chaos of capitalist modernity are deepening. And it is clear that they will continue to deepen even more.
Let´s talk about 2022 a little more. What was the last year like for the forces and the movements of democratic modernity around the world?
Yes, this is an important question. In 2022, there have been various new developments with regards to the forces of democratic modernity. Not so much in quantity, but rather in the form of increasing ideological depth and qualitative developments. And there have also been certain quantitative developments.
The women’s liberation struggle undoubtedly stands at the forefront of all these developments. The women’s liberation revolution continues to spread around the world. It is spreading in terms of consciousness, organization and action. We have seen this clearly in the past year: women’s resistance and struggles in every field took place all over the world, in almost every country. Even in countries considered backward in relation to modernist standards, there were women’s resistances. Women continued to demand freedom and organize themselves. We saw this in Africa, Asia, North and South America and in the Middle East. The Kurdistan Freedom Struggle is based on the women’s freedom revolution. In 2022, we saw the effects of this on Turkey, Arabia and Iran. Based on the slogan ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî‘, which spread from East Kurdistan [West Iran] to all of Iran, the women’s freedom struggle has made itself known to the whole world. It has thus given a global scale to the ideological framework of this struggle based on Leader Apo and the revolutionary slogans of Kurdish women. Many people said before that the 21st century will be the century of women. In fact, the year 2022 has proven this with all its developments and actions. In Africa, the Arab world, Iran, Kurdistan and Turkey and in other parts of the world, from India to Latin America, very effective women’s actions took place last year. There is a development with regards to women’s consciousness for liberation. In the past, they used to demand women’s rights, the struggle against harassment and rape and more women’s achievements. Now the demand for women’s liberation, equality based on women’s identity and the women’s freedom revolution are being expressed loudly. Demands in this direction are being formed into programs. The Jineolojî developed by Leader Apo continues to spread around the world. The man and woman created by the hierarchical and statist system are dissolving. Jineolojî codifications are unraveling them more.
Therefore, it is important to acknowledge that there is a deepening of consciousness and organization. This is not only a reaction to the crisis and chaos of capitalist modernity and the oppression, persecution, harassment and rape by the male-dominated mentality and politics. Rather, there is an ideological attitude, a state of consciousness that strives for a democratic society based on women’s freedom. This is very important. Leader Apo has developed the most comprehensive analyses about this issue. Jineolojî, has unraveled all the codifications of the 5000 year old male-dominated system of power and state, and even of the hierarchical period before that. It has developed a holistic understanding of what women’s freedom means thus showing how a democratic society based on women’s freedom can develop. These ideas therefore need to be more widely spread.
And there are also processes of organizing. There are women’s organizations in many fields. They are based on consciousness, struggle and organization. In 2022, the rulers of capitalist modernity held their meetings and the UN – although with great difficulties – tried to maintain itself as a meeting place of states. In case of the forces of democratic modernity, it were the women’s liberation movements that made efforts to organize at a global level by holding several meetings with this aim. World women’s conferences in Tunisia and Berlin took place under the slogan ‘Liberating Life’ and important discussions were held there. Two international meetings were held in a single year with women from 30 to 40 countries. They are all organized in the different places they come from. Today, the women’s movements are discussing the situation of global organization with a louder voice. They are discussing about building a Global Confederalism of Free Women. This is what their current agenda and discussions are focused on. This is the level of organization they have reached today. Other circles are not this far yet. In terms of the forces of democratic modernity, the only force with this level of organization is the free women’s movement. This is very important and meaningful. We attach great importance to this. Indeed: ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî‘! Woman is life and life must be free! Democratic society must be organized around free women. This is the meaning of ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî‘. We can clearly see a development on this basis. Just as the Paris Commune marched under the slogan ‘Freedom, Equality, Fraternity’, now the women’s liberation revolution, as the vanguard of the 21st century, has made ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî‘ the revolutionary slogan of the 21st century. Thus, women are definitely reaching their true identity. As the representatives of life itself, they are claiming their real place in life and society. Thus, life must be free. Anything not free cannot be called life. Humanity cannot accept any other kind of life. A democratic society can only be formed around free women. It cannot be formed in any other way. This is a global development. It is a development that increasingly defines this century.
At the same time, there is a serious decline in terms of the youth. There are several issues in this context that we need to criticize. There are issues that need new initiatives. The youth of the past was different. It is not at that level anymore. It does not have the position it used to have both in terms of consciousness, organization and action; in terms of being a global power.
On the other hand, in terms of the workers and laborers, the class contradiction and the oppressed classes, the following can be said: They are waging a certain struggle at the level of unions, parties and associations. But these class movements are stiff and dogmatic. They have not been able to renew themselves according to today´s requirements. For example, they have not developed an ideological and organizational stance that can be an answer to the women’s liberation revolution, to a democratic society on the basis of women’s liberation. Trade unions have not been able to renew themselves, just like the old parties. Therefore, their global relations and alliances are weak. They exist mostly at the level of individual countries. But they need to be renewed. They need an ideological and theoretical renewal and a restructuring of their organizations. It is also necessary to create a global organization on this basis.
In the past, ecology movements played an important role and recently the green movement has made significant progress. They also tried to create a global movement. Thus, they emerged as an important means of struggle against capitalism in terms of protecting nature and drawing attention to climate change. But lately, this movement has been rather weak. A part of the green movement has been integrated into the system based on the approach ‘we will become a political party’. They have turned to organizing in the form of parties and to becoming political, but not based on democratic society. Rather, in the sense of becoming integrated into capitalist modernity, of becoming a part of power and state. They can indeed become part of all this. I am not criticizing them for this. I am not saying that they should not take part in state administrations at all. But if they had taken part in this as an alternative force, as a part of democratic society, they would have been able to contribute to the struggle for freedom and democracy. Instead, they do this by becoming a little bit more part of power and state. Therefore, the ecology movement has made steps backwards ideologically. In this sense, it has become divided. Forces that become part of the system in this way cannot adequately fight against the looting of capitalist modernity and its destruction of nature and society. For example, in Germany, they [Green Party] are part of the government. The German foreign minister is trying to turn Germany into a partner of the leading forces of the global capitalist system. It considers this as a good policy. But we cannot observe any democratic attitude towards the oppressed. Such an attitude is very weak among them. They have features that make them become increasingly part of the state and power system. In this respect, the ecology movement has lost a lot of its strength. This makes it necessary to re-evaluate these movements. The state of the green movements needs to be evaluated and discussed. It is necessary to oppose the tendencies among them that opt for integrating into state and power, i.e. their tendency towards becoming parties and political. Opting for this tendency should happen based on democratic society.
The ecology movement itself has also shown serious weaknesses. Other movements, parties, revolutionary democratic forces are limited to their own countries and therefore not in a position to develop a regional or global identity. They are weak when it comes to renewing themselves. They talk by heart, are dogmatic and stiff. They are weak when it comes to evaluating the new world, understanding current developments and producing comprehensive solutions. In terms of ecology and women’s liberation, there is a need for more intellectual deepness and a mentality revolution. Current approaches to these issues are superficial and narrow. The approach to women’s liberation for example is not revolutionary and comprehensive. So is the approach to ecology. That is why they cannot clarify, deepen and concretize the issues of revolution, power and the state, democratic society and free life. They are thus unable to break away from power and state. Those who cannot do this reproduce the system of power and state. No one can say ‘the other’s state is bad, but mine is good’. What guarantees that your state is good? After all, the state is an instrument of oppression and exploitation. This is how all socialists define the state. This has been the theoretical approach of socialists from the beginning. Eventually, they fooled themselves with approaches like ‘my state is good’. If they had defined the state correctly, if they had stuck to their definitions, they would have understood it as an instrument of oppression and exploitation. They would have realized that the instrument of freedom, democracy and socialism cannot be the state; that freedom, equality based on diversity, sharing and communalism can only be realized on the basis of democratic governance and a democratic society. In this sense, the forces of democratic modernity need theoretical and ideological clarification. Leader Apo’s analyses are very revealing, eye-opening and guiding. Everyone needs to read, study and benefit from them. These analyses are an opinion that has been put at the service of humanity. This opinion cannot be monopolized by anyone. Therefore, there need to be more efforts to read and understand Leader Apo’s views and the theory of democratic modernity, and on this basis reorganize and develop the forces of democratic modernity on a global level. This is what we call for.
Based on your assessment of the global developments, what were the most important events and developments in the Middle East in 2022?
There are many different parts of the Middle East and in many of them important developments took place last year. This can also be said about the years before 2022. But last year, this was all the more the case. The development that has left the biggest mark on the region is the struggle in Kurdistan. This struggle is based on the war of the guerrilla. And there is also the resistance in Imrali. Leader Apo has enlightened humanity theoretically with his thoughts and Defense Writings [the 5-volume book Manifesto of the Democratic Civilization]. But he did not stop there. He has also put these thoughts into practice with his stance, his way of life and his struggle. He lives what he says. This has had a great impact on everyone who has shown interest. Imrali is a system of genocide but also a place of life that is full of a resistance to the very end; a resistance for a free life. This is what Leader Apo´s life is like. The developments in Kurdistan are definitely what has left the greatest mark on the whole year in the region. Recently, the developments in Iran have been added to this. But that only happened in the last three months.
The Iran-US conflict has been affecting the region in the past years. To a certain extent, this affect still continues today, but not at the same level as before. What is new in Iran is the uprising of the people which is led by women. It is possible to define this uprising as a new event affecting the whole region. But this has only been the case in the last three months of 2022. The struggle in Kurdistan has shaped the developments throughout the whole year. The fascist, colonialist and genocidal attacks carried out by the AKP-MHP dictatorship – supported by the USA, NATO and the collaboration and betrayal of the KDP – to crush the Kurdish Freedom Movement and complete the Kurdish genocide continued in 2022. Against this, the resistance and struggle of the Freedom Guerrilla, Leader Apo in Imrali, the Kurdish youth, the women and the Kurdish people shaped the last year. This resistance was centered on [the South Kurdish areas] Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna, but it also took place in North Kurdistan [East Turkey], the cities of Turkey, South Kurdistan [North Iraq] and Rojava.
Recently, a meeting took place in Amman. The powers that attended this meeting said that they discussed Iraq’s problems and how to strengthen the country. But this meeting was not really about Iraq. It was a meeting to assess the developments related to Kurdistan. The Iraq problem is a Kurdistan problem. The situation in Iraq has systemic aspects. This is the area where the power and state system was established. The crisis of the system is most severe there. The country´s riches are a reason for today´s crisis, but the most important issue is the Kurdish question. All these problems arise around the Kurdish question, on the basis of the division of Kurdistan and the genocide there. These are all problems connected to the Kurdish question. It is important to understand this.
Iraq held elections but was unable to form a government for a long time. Eventually, it did. In fact, this is not a problem of government. Iraq’s problem is a problem of humanity. The power and state system has created these problems and the societies now need to solve them. In this sense, the actual problems are very different in nature from the ones that the meeting in Amman dealt with. The problem is not Iraq itself which is unable to change. Rather, Turkey and Syria are today´s actual problem. The crisis of the system is mostly centered in Turkey and Syria. The system cannot change or renew itself. It is unable to take a step forward. There are the Assad regime and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. And then there is also Turkey’s occupation. Turkey is constantly carrying out air strikes. Many Islamist proxy forces have emerged in the area, from al-Qaeda to IS. They have taken control of a significant part of Syria with the help of Turkey. Currently, no one can make the slightest steps that can lead to a solution. The AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship is against any of such steps and threatens everyone. But no one can change this regime. The system has organized the opposition [in Turkey] to replace the AKP-MHP government. But the all-out fascist, colonialist and genocidal attacks unleashed by the AKP-MHP and the PKK-led resistance of the guerrilla and the Kurdish people have prevented this. The system is unable to change the Erdoğan-Bahçeli administration. They are afraid to really change it, because they fear that the guerrilla and the PKK will become stronger and that Turkey will be democratized. The system has promoted something they call ´The Table of Six´. But the AKP wants to remain in power with the help of its war. And it continues to receive the support of the system by pointing at the PKK as a threat. The US seemed to be against this regime for a while, but in the end it had to go along with the Erdoğan-Bahçeli fascism. And Russia supports this regime with all its might.
We need to acknowledge the following: If the AKP-MHP had succeeded in the war, they would have become able to dominate everything. They would have intensified the Kurdish genocide and thus overcome the current deadlock. But this did not happen. And the system cannot change this regime either. The AKP-MHP have lost this war. Now, it is the PKK, the HBDH and the revolutionary democratic forces that are in the position to bring about change.
These forces are pushing for a stronger democratization which frightens the system. The system finds itself in a deadlock today. The press is discussing ‘Tayyip or Kılıçdaroğlu?’ as if they are trying to tell fortunes. In such a situation, the important point is that the revolutionary democratic development led by the guerrilla war is turned into politics; that these democratic politics develop into an effective governing force. This is an important development. In fact, this is the most important development that shows the power to overcome the current deadlock exists.
So at the end of 2022, a very important level with regards to this issue has been reached. The AKP started its renewed attacks [on the Medya Defense Zones, South Kurdistan] on April 14, 2022. Its plan was to defeat the guerrilla in a week or two. Then it was going to attack North and East Syria and destroy the Rojava Revolution. Thus, as a victorious power, it wanted to win the elections in 2023. This was the plan of AKP-MHP fascism. In a way, they [international powers] supported and encouraged this policy. At the same time, they calculated that the PKK would resist against this.
Certain forces made the following plans: ‘Let the AKP-MHP attack and the PKK resist so that both of them are weakened. In the meantime, we will bring another force – the so-called opposition or `Table of Six´ – to power and thus bring about a soft change’. They pinned all their hopes on this. Thus, they wanted to take advantage of this state of conflict. And what is the result? The AKP-MHP’s plans did not work. Neither in two weeks, nor in two months. 9 months have passed, but they have still not been able to crush the guerrilla or occupy the Medya Defense Zones. More than that: They have suffered enormous blows, i.e. thousands of casualties. They are now suffering from the Zap syndrome. Turkey’s state, police, army and contras are finished.
The balance sheet for the last nine months was announced recently by our headquarters. The enemy had to flee from many areas. The guerrilla captured these areas as a result of its attacks in November and December. These developments can go even further. The plan [of the AKP-MHP] did not succeed. For a short while, those who wanted the `Table of Six´ to take over power were quite enthusiastic. But now, not only the AKP-MHP’s plans have come to naught. All those who came to crush the guerrilla have themselves been defeated. Zap has become the grave of Turkey´s fascism, colonialism and genocide. The recent attacks of the guerrilla and the point the war has reached show this very clearly. Consequently, there is neither an environment in which the AKP can remain in power or celebrate any victories, nor can the CHP replace the AKP. On the contrary, the defeat of the AKP-MHP in Zap actually means the defeat of the Turkish state and its fascist, genocidal and colonialist mentality and politics. This also means a defeat for the system [of capitalist modernity]. It means the defeat of capitalist modernity – the system that created the Kurdish problem – against the guerrilla.
As a result, the democracy movement is now the element that will bring about the biggest changes in 2023. The guerrilla leads this movement. There is a popular resistance. And there is the domain of democratic politics. Recently, the attacks of AKP-MHP fascism have been very intense. They have used chemical weapons, tactical nuclear weapons and all kinds of other weapons whose use constitutes a war crime. In order to crush the guerrilla, they have resorted to these kinds of methods. They have repeatedly threatened Rojava and killed many civilians there. The aim of all this was to prevent their defeat in Zap. Since the AKP-MHP has realized that it cannot prevent this, it is now trying to destroy all the forces of democracy in North Kurdistan and Turkey. They put Şebnem Korur Fincancı in prison when she demanded an investigation into the use of chemical weapons. This is how much the AKP-MHP is against such investigations. Journalists who report on this issue are in jail. Artists who talk about Kurds and democracy are in jail. Women who fight for freedom, who unmask this system that rapes 6-year-old children are in jail. They have filed a closure case against the HDP and hold it over the HDP like the sword of Damocles. Recently, they also attacked DBP and other parties. They don’t want to leave a single person that fights for democracy. This is the level these attacks have reached. What do all these attacks show? They show that AKP-MHP fascism has been defeated in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna. If this had not happened and if the AKP-MHP had succeeded there, they would not be carrying out all these attacks. They are doing all this because they have been defeated. The system [of capitalist modernity] supports all this. No one makes a sound. While AKP-MHP fascism carries out such attacks, Germany does the same. They support this policy. Why? They saw the defeat of the AKP-MHP and know that democracy will grow stronger. Turkey will become the most democratic country in the world. It will go through a democratic revolution. 2023 will be the year of a democratic revolution in Turkey. The forces of capitalist modernity are afraid of this. They want a fascist oligarchic dictatorship to prevail in Turkey. That is why they support fascism against the current democratic developments. They support the fascist dictatorship and all kinds of genocidal attacks.
In such a situation, there can be no solution in Syria. In other words, this will continue in 2023. There is a defeated AKP-MHP. And there are very serious developments in terms of the question how the governments in Turkey and Syria will be renewed.
At the end of this year, the guerrilla resistance and the democracy movement find themselves in a strong position. They are the forces of change and transformation that determine the direction of Turkey. The circles that are afraid of this this continue to attack and try to crush them. This also has an affect on the Middle East, e.g. on the developments in Iraq. Apart from that, Iraq does not have any other problems. They invited the AKP-MHP – the friends of IS – to the recent meeting in Amman. However, the peoples of North and East Syria have waged the biggest struggle against IS. They have established an autonomous administration. If Amman had been a meeting of anti-IS forces, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria should have gone there. But they weren´t invited. Instead of strengthening Iraq, the Iraqi side is exploring ways to support the AKP-MHP. This is dangerous. We would like to warn them. If there was a democratic approach, if they really envisaged solving the Kurdish problem and democratizing the region, we would attach great importance to these efforts and would want to participate in them. This is what needs to happen. We appreciate such efforts. But approaches aimed at sustaining AKP-MHP fascism, Turkish colonialism and genocide are dangerous. They must be opposed and fought against.
So what will 2023 be like? It will be a year of an even more intense struggle. And certain results will be achieved as well. With regards to the Kurdish question in Turkey, Syria and Iraq, new results will definitely come to light.
There are also the current developments in Iran and East Kurdistan. What meaning and importance do they have for the anti-systemic forces and the region?
Yes, since mid-September, a strong women-led movement and uprising has emerged around the slogan ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî’. This has spread throughout Iran, especially in East Kurdistan. This movement deserves to be considered as one of the most important developments in the Middle East in 2022. As a result of its ideological depth on the basis of women’s leadership, as well as its effectiveness and widespread influence, it has succeeded in rapidly transforming itself into a regional and global movement.
This uprising, which started after the murder of Jîna Emînî, a young Kurdish woman from East Kurdistan, has not only demanded women’s freedom in a very concrete way. It has also become a movement aiming to democratize Iran as a whole and to live social freedoms within a democratic system. This is very meaningful and important. The uprising has turned Iran back into a revolutionary arena worthy of its history. Thus, it has completed the revolution in the Middle East. It is noteworthy that when the revolutionary movement in Iran was weak, the revolutionary reality of the Middle East was somewhat incomplete. This movement has made up for this incompleteness and turned the Middle East into an arena of a democratic society movement and a democratic revolution on the basis of women’s freedom. In the same way, it has completed the Kurdistan revolution and the Kurdish women’s revolution. East Kurdistan’s uprising under the leadership of women has therefore not only spread the women’s liberation revolution in Kurdistan to all Kurdish women, but also spread the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle in general to the whole of Kurdistan. East Kurdistan’s strong potential of society and women has thus been won for the revolution. These are among the most important events of the last three and a half months of 2022.
On this basis, I would like to salute the struggle for freedom and democracy of the people and women of Iran and East Kurdistan. They are waging this struggle with their very unique methods and without resorting to violence. They are struggling with persistence and determination. I would like to commemorate their martyrs and express my strong belief that they will be successful.
It it is important to mention that Iran has been one of the areas where the struggle between the forces of capitalist modernity and of democratic modernity has taken place most clearly and concretely. When he assessed the Iranian revolution at the end of the 1970s, Leader Apo said that the most concrete battles of modernity had taken place there. Now we see the forces of two modernities clashing in Iran in the same way, but much more openly. The current struggle needs to be understood in this way. The women, youth and people who want freedom and democracy definitely represent the forces of democratic modernity. We can even say that they are the vanguard of the forces of democratic modernity. It is indisputable that the forces that oppose, obstruct and respond with massacres are the forces of capitalist modernity. These are the forces that want to reconcile and integrate Iran into the system of capitalist modernity.
We can see that the contradictions and conflicts of 40 years ago are continuing in this form. The forces that want to take over the revolution and integrate Iran into the system of capitalist modernity and the forces of democratic modernity are struggling against each other. This means that the forces of democratic modernity in Iran have not disappeared or been liquidated. They have not stopped to insist on freedom and democracy. With their current struggle, they want to ensure that Iran does not become a part of capitalist modernity, but of democratic modernity instead. That is what they insist on. First and foremost, this is important for us to understand. We need to understand well the libertarian and democratic content of the revolution against the Shah’s rule 40 years ago. Today, this revolution is being represented by the women, youth and peoples who want freedom. They keep alive the ideological content of the revolution that was won against the Shah and want to make it prevail. In fact, they are fighting against those who deviate from this content of the revolution, those who compromise and reconcile themselves with the system of capitalist modernity and the capitalist order. This is very important and meaningful. The current struggle has such a historical meaning and significance. The great revolution against the Shah’s rule is very much alive today in the form of the women-led ‘Jin. Jiyan, Azadî’-uprising. This revolution is seeking to expand its influence today. For 40 years, the goals of the revolution have been kept alive in society for this purpose. This has become very clear now.
On the other hand, we have to say that Iranian society is the most democratic, conscious and organized society in the Middle East. It really has such a history. Iran is where – historically speaking – the most movements for freedom and democracy developed. From the Mazdakis to the Khurramites, from Rustemê Zal to the Babakis, the strongest freedom movements in history existed in Iran. Iranian society has always been a society seeking freedom and democracy. Therefore, the social fabric is very strong there.
Social life is strong there. The French are considered to be the society in Europe that has contributed the most to the development of the civil society movement and democratic life. In the Middle East, we need to definitely understand Iranian societies in the same way. Therefore, the current movement of this uprising and the quest for freedom and democracy have a strong historical basis. Today, this historical basis has actually taken the form of a reckoning. The results of this struggle will give an answer to the following question: ´Will the revolution that has been continuing for more than 40 years be a revolution of democratic modernity, will it ensure the democratic life of the peoples under the leadership of women, or will it be integrated into capitalist modernity, the capitalist order, as it was under the Shah?´
It is worth adding here that the current Iranian system can reform itself. It can renew and change itself according to the demands for freedom and democracy voiced by the women and the other social segments. It is necessary to understand the current Iranian system accordingly, but this requires an appropriate mentality. There is a need for a change in mentality and style. If Iran shows the ability to undergo such a change, the system can reform itself and solve the current problems. It can transform itself into a strong Islamic democracy movement by renewing itself and becoming one with the beginning of the revolution without resorting to violence. Democratic Islam can exist in Iran in the strongest possible way. We have also made calls in this direction. We wanted there to be no conflicts in this regard. We have also stated that we would provide whatever support we can. But it seems that the forces that are open for democratizing themselves are weak. The forces that are more inclined towards capitalist modernity are currently trying to become dominant in the administration. Yes, they opted for a careful approach at first. Harsh measures were not used in the beginning. But this still did not lead to a solution. Gradually things like arrests, executions, etc. were carried out. We certainly do not find these measures right. As our movement, we have said from the very beginning that violence should not become a part of this. We have also called on women and society who want freedom not to use violence and to struggle with democratic methods based on their legitimate framework. We have made similar calls on the Iranian government as well. We have said publicly that it would be better not to resort to violence, not to try to crush the demands with oppression, but to seek reform solutions, and that we would support this. But it seems that this approach has not become strong enough. There has not been an all-out suppression, but the use of violence has increased recently. And so has the death toll. There have been executions. This is the wrong thing to do. We therefore call on the Iranian government to refrain from such practices, to stop the executions and the use of violence, to try to understand the women, youth and people in Iran who want freedom and democracy.
In fact, the sensitivity and dynamism of Iranian women and society is a source of progress and strength for Iran. It is definitely not a factor of evil, but a factor of goodness, positivity and beauty. These developments turn Iran into a rich, revolutionary and socialist country and make life there meaningful. Therefore, as a government that tries to oppose the system of capitalist modernity in certain ways, the Iranian government should be happy about the development the Iranian women and youth have gone through. It should consider this as an element of wealth and greatness for itself. Accordingly, it should develop understanding for them and develop reform solutions based on discussions and debates. We believe that this kind of attitude will make the current Iranian rulers strong and effective. We therefore renew our call: We want the executions and the use of violence to stop. The increase of violence and executions will harm the Iranian society, the Iranian system and the current Iranian leadership more than anything else.
The latest developments in Iran, i.e. the women-led uprising and the current Iranian revolution, should not be understood as a revolutionary movement within the narrow political and military struggle over sovereignty or power. Such an approach would be too narrow. The Iranian revolution, the revolution of East Kurdistan is far more than that. It cannot be explained in the narrow molds of politics and the military. It is not a revolutionary movement in the sense that ‘so-and-so’s rule is overthrown and another person takes over just to rule in a very similar way. This could not be called a revolution anyway. The Iranian Revolution has a historical foundation and at the same time a very broad contemporary meaning. First of all, it is a great revolution of mentality, lifestyle and ideology. This revolution of mentality and ideology is very deep. It has direct effects on the way people live their lives. People want to live in freedom. Therefore, they demand the development of a democratic society and the democratization of governance. The demands of the Iranian revolution, the demands of Iranian women and youth are not simple demands. These are not minor interests. The issue here is not the pursuit of material interests. On the contrary, these demands express a search for truth. It is a powerful revolution of truth. What is a revolution of truth? We know very well that this means a revolution of mentality and lifestyle. The essence of the latest developments in East Kurdistan and Iran actually constitutes a change in mentality and lifestyle, that is, an ideological change and development. This is how we need to understand this issue.
The social content of the revolution in Iran and East Kurdistan is very deep. It is a revolution that encompasses many social dimensions. That is why it cannot be understood or defined in narrow political or military terms. It is a revolution that takes place moment by moment in people’s souls, emotions, consciousness, behavior and lifestyles. It is a revolution that creates itself every moment through the changes in all of these areas. In this sense, a great revolution has been taking place in Iran for the last three and a half months. We can clearly see that women, youth and society are experiencing a strong change in mentality. They are breaking apart the old patterns of mentality, developing new understandings and measures, making changes and innovations with regards to their way of life. In other words, they are experiencing an ideological development. The Iran of three months ago and the Iran of today are very different. No one can return to the previous conditions. Iranian women, youth, workers and laborers and the Iranian peoples have experienced a radical change of mentality, an ideological change. This is a very important development. Therefore, it is not possible to force the people and the current revolutionary developments to return to previous times. A great revolution is taking place. We need to understand the Iranian revolution as a revolution of democratic modernity. In other words, we need to understand it as a revolution of mentality and lifestyle, as an ideological revolution. This is the essence of the women’s revolution. Women’s leadership has given this revolution its character. And we believe that this will continue. Consequently, we renew our calls on the women, youth and peoples: We salute their resistance. Their demands are legitimate. They can and should be persistent in their efforts, but they must be careful never to opt for violence. We demand that the current Iranian government acknowledge this reality and refrain from violence, try to understand the demands of women, youth and society and make efforts to make reforms to meet these demands. We believe that this will also be in their own interests. On this basis, we invite everyone to understand the developments in Iran correctly, to adopt the right attitude towards them, and to fulfill their duties and responsibilities adequately in the face of these developments.
How would you describe the level of organization, consciousness and action of the global youth in 2022, especially the Kurdish youth? How much has it been able to fulfill its own duties as a pioneer?
Undoubtedly, in the Middle East, especially in Kurdistan, and all over the world, the youth is the social segment that is the most active, demands freedom and democracy the most, and wages the most courageous and self-sacrificing struggle. Together with women, it has assumed the leadership of the revolution of democratic modernity. The youth wages a struggle accordingly. They heroically resist as guerrilla fighters in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna. The youth is putting up a heroic resistance there that will destroy the fascist, colonialist and genocidal mentality. It is therefore the representative of a very brave and self-sacrificing struggle, leading the Kurdish people in the four parts of Kurdistan and abroad. The youth is undoubtedly one of the most courageous and self-sacrificing groups carrying the burden of the struggle all over the world. In this sense, I salute the Kurdish and global youth. I wish the youth great success in their struggle for freedom and democracy. I am convinced that they will always lead this struggle. Leader Apo has said ‘we began as the youth, and we will succeed as the young’. Indeed, the PKK is a party of the youth. The Apoist group emerged as an intellectual youth group and later became a youth movement. Under the leadership of this youth movement, it then became a party, a guerrilla movement and is developing into a democratic nation today. The youth is waging a great struggle in the four corners of Kurdistan to successfully realize the revolution of democratic modernity in every dimension. It makes this clear through its struggle based on the most heroic form of guerrilla warfare in history. The struggle of the United Revolutionary Youth Movement in the form of the YPS and YPS-JIN is an expression of this. In this sense, we can easily say that the burden of the struggle is mainly being shouldered by the youth and therefore led by it. From this point of view, there is definitely reason to celebrate and greet the youth and to wish them success.
At the same time, we can ask ourselves: To what extent is this situation sufficient? Couldn´t there be more than that? According to the vanguard role of the youth, what does the current level of its activities entail? And how adequate is it? We need to discuss these questions and look at the current state of the youth movement. Especially with regards to the year 2022, we need to evaluate the situation of the youth in Kurdistan and the world more realistically, objectively and holistically. When doing this, we need to of course do justice to the struggle the youth is waging, the courage and sacrifice it is showing. At the same time, we need to criticize the mistakes and shortcomings it has and thus guide it in the right direction. There are indeed shortcomings. There are deficiencies in the organization of the Kurdish youth. There are also deficiencies and weaknesses in the global youth movement. When we define the women’s movement as a vanguard force of the revolution of democratic modernity, we can easily say that today´s youth movement is very inadequate and weak. Let’s for example take a look at the middle of the 20th century and see how advanced, organized, conscious and active the youth movement was back then all over the world. Let’s remember the youth revolution of 1968. Not only did the youth wage the most conscious and organized struggle against the system of capitalist modernity at the time, but it were also the revolutionary youth movements that took the most conscious attitude against the mistakes and shortcomings of real socialism.
The women’s movement was not that strong at that time. The women’s liberation revolution existed at some level. There was a certain awareness for the pioneering role of women, but it was very narrow and incomplete. It was far, far behind today’s level. In the last years, the women’s movement has become very organized and conscious. The 21st century has therefore become the century of women. In 2022, they organized two big international conferences. The women´s movement is waging a struggle in every field. It is struggling massively and with great sacrifice against the reactionary attacks, harassment and rape caused by the male-dominated mentality and politics. But we cannot see a youth movement on the same level. Neither in Kurdistan nor in the world. We cannot see developments that would be comparable to the situation of the youth of the 1960s. The level of organization and consciousness of the youth is weak. The organizational development of youth movements in different countries, the extent to which they shape social life and the struggle for freedom are weak.
The global youth movement is not very organized. For example, they are not able to hold youth meetings and conferences at a global level. Their international efforts to create a youth confederalism are very weak. Such a meeting was not held in 2022, whereas the revolutionary youth could have organized a few of them. This is what they should have done. The theory of democratic modernity, the dissolution of capitalist modernity and the fact that the revolution of democratic modernity has become so concrete today requires, first of all, that the youth, as its vanguard, reaches a very conscious, organized and global level. In this respect, the youth has shortcomings and needs to be criticized.
The same is true for the Kurdish youth. Let’s look at the situation of the youth in North Kurdistan, Rojava, East Kurdistan and abroad. There is a limited level of organization, but it is very weak. On this basis, the entire youth cannot be mobilized and the youth´s will does not gain a dominant position. Reading, studying and learning about the theory of democratic modernity, understanding the Apoist theory and ideology more deeply by examining and discussing it, raising consciousness on this basis, organizing and putting this into practice accordingly – all this is weak. In North Kurdistan, the youth has gotten stuck in the narrow field of democratic politics. The youth should have a level of consciousness and organization that far exceeds this. The field of democratic politics should be only one of the 5 or 6 fields of the youth movement, but now it has basically gotten trapped in this field. The creation of a free, democratic, revolutionary youth organization, becoming part of the party, and the development of the system of democratic confederalism are weak. We ourselves have not been able to strengthen our party organization sufficiently. We have not been able to make the party youth, the PKK youth, sufficiently and effectively organized. Of course, the development of Komalên Ciwan is also weak. It only appeals to a small part of the youth. It is not in a position to lead the construction of the democratic nation in all its dimensions. In this sense, there is a weakness of consciousness and organization. There is definitely a need for the youth movement to renew itself on the basis of overcoming these weaknesses.
The Apoist youth must focus on this with great seriousness and attention. It needs to read more, study more, internalize the Apoist line better and initiate more discussions. Where there is no consciousness, there can be no organization and no actions. Everything is based on consciousness. Therefore, the youth must have a very high level of consciousness against all the of effects of the liberalism of capitalist modernity – against its individualistic, pacifying, materialistic, corrupting effects. Becoming conscious means organizing yourself. Its organizing must reach a level that is versatile, rich, developed and that fully expresses the will of the youth. Most importantly, the youth´s actions must be creative and diverse. From the strongest positive actions to attacks that deal heavy blows to all kinds of reactionary forces, the youth movement must be able to develop a highly creative and result-oriented style of action. And it must be able to do all this as a pioneering force.
It seems like the youth is not fully convinced of its pioneering role. Or there are mistakes in the youth´s understanding of what this role really means. They claim to be pioneers, but in reality they are detached from society. Youth movements are disconnected from the youth. Therefore, they treat the youth as something detached from society and remain within the narrow scope of youth organizing and activism. They have been unable to fully combine their autonomous status with their leadership role. Instead, they remain narrow while talking about freedom, they are content with general statements while seeking a leadership role thus not fulfilling its requirements in practice. There is definitely a need for serious criticism, self-criticism and correction with regard to these issues. The Apoist youth must be able to do this. The Apoist youth movement has the power and the will to do this. The strategy of democratic modernity shows clearly what the appropriate methods are. All they need to do is internalize this strategy correctly and apply it successfully. It is very important for the youth to do exactly that. In this sense, Komalên Ciwan needs to reorganize itself. It must be able to do all this by undergoing a process of correction. It must be able to overcome its mistakes and shortcomings by subjecting them to Apoist criticism and self-criticism. It must be able to carry out the necessary correction of its line. This is necessary in order for the youth to create the future. It is also necessary in order for the youth leadership to win victories for the revolution of democratic modernity. It is necessary to lead the youth party, which is the essence of the PKK, to a level with which it can shape all structures according to its youth character. We believe that on this basis, the youth will discuss more among itself, intensify its search and approach this issue in a more brave, deep and holistic manner. It will engage in stronger criticism and self-criticism, show the strength to distinguish between right and wrong, unite more strongly on the basis of Apoist principles and will unite more strongly with the spirit and willpower of the 1968 youth revolution and of Kurdistan in the first quarter of the 21st century. In the first quarter of this century, on the basis of the Kurdistan Freedom Revolution, in unity with the Women’s Freedom Struggle and based on the women’s freedom line, a youth leadership will emerge that will far surpass the youth movement of the 1960s. It will thus determine the fate of humanity, rapidly bring about the collapse of capitalist modernity and lead the democratic modernity revolution to victory everywhere. This is what the youth in Kurdistan must achieve, and this is the level that the global youth movement must reach. On this basis, I would like to once again salute the Kurdish youth, the Apoist youth movement, and express my belief that they will successfully play their pioneering role in the development of the revolutionary youth movement both in Kurdistan and in the world.
In light of your evaluations, what kind of struggle do you expect to take place in 2023? What kind of developments do you expect?
As the Kurdish people and as humanity, we are now entering the year 2023. First of all, I would like to wish everyone who struggles for freedom and democracy a happy new year and wish them great success in 2023.
With regards to the year 2022, we tried to analyze a number of issues. We evaluated the situation of the global capitalist modernity system in connection to the war in Ukraine. Furthermore, within the framework of the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle, we discussed the Women’s Freedom Movement, the development of the democratic modernity revolution and the situation of the forces of democratic modernity today.
What we have seen is that the forces of capitalist modernity are definitely in a state of deep chaos, collapse, dissolution and deadlock. The war in Ukraine shows this clearly. But we can see this most clearly in the Middle East, in Turkey, Syria and other parts of the region. We can recognize very well what kind of deadlock and lack of solution they are in. It is true that the forces of democratic modernity also have weaknesses. They have not yet been able to mobilize even two percent of their potential. We have already mentioned that the women’s movement has been increasing its activities and that the youth has fallen behind its old dynamism. We have also talked about how the ecology movement has been forced to surrender to a certain extent. The workers’ and laborers’ movement, the class struggles, have also not fully overcome the past. This is not to say that they are not active or don´t struggle. No, they do continue their activities and struggles all over the world, albeit at different levels. We can also see that they are very active at certain times. They are making progress with regards to their revolutionary resistance and democratic politics. Thus, they are contributing to making societies more conscious which has also improved the level of debate among intellectuals. All this is a fact. Yet, compared to the potential of the forces of democratic modernity, the current level is quite weak and insufficient. That the system of capitalist modernity can sustain itself and prolong its life despite such a deep chaos and crisis is partly due to the fact that the forces of democratic modernity – whose task it is to destroy and overcome this system – are weak in terms of consciousness, organization and action.
These weaknesses need to be overcome. The future of humanity depends on how much the democratic forces are willing to overcome these weaknesses. Capitalist modernity is no longer the decisive force. It has nothing to give to humanity. It is a cancerous, blocked and sick system that produces nothing but decay, collapse, disease and war. It has nothing positive to give to humanity. All that capitalist modernity does is lead humanity to collapse. Therefore, no self-renewal, no breakthrough, no good deeds for humanity can be expected from this system. We are faced with a cancerous system, a system of oppression and terror that is constantly corrupting, exploiting and murdering humanity. It is absolutely necessary to get rid of it. This system must be overcome.
It is the forces of democratic modernity led by women and the youth that will overcome capitalist modernity. We tried to explain this when we evaluated the developments of 2022. We showed the developments that took place on the basis of women’s freedom. This is extremely important and promising. This broadens our horizon and strengthens our will. On the other hand, we evaluated the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle, the heroic resistances of the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla against the fascist, colonialist and genocidal mentality and politics. We showed that the guerrilla has renewed itself based on the paradigm of democratic modernity in all four corners of Kurdistan, including the Medya Defense Zones. This is a very important development that has yielded serious results. Our guerrilla headquarters makes daily statements about the ongoing war. The AKP-MHP fascist-genocidal forces have suffered severe blows by the guerrilla and are now trying to escape from the places where they attacked the guerrilla. This is the state of collapse and dissolution that fascism finds itself in today. The guerrilla resistance has gained great victories and achievements against fascism. This is a very important situation.
We also touched upon the uprising in East Kurdistan and Iran that took place in the last three and a half months. These is definitely a women’s liberation uprising. Women, the youth, peoples and humanity as a whole have been marching under the slogan ‘Jin, Jiyan, Azadî’. All the peoples of Iran have been marching together under a common slogan thus uniting for the cause of freedom and democracy. This is very important. It shows that a strong search and struggle for truth has emerged again in the eastern part of the globe. This is where historically speaking freedom movements have flourished the most. These developments are a source of great hope, excitement, willpower and morale.
Looking at it within this framework, we can turn to the question of what 2023 will be like. 2022 was a year of great struggle, a year of war and of resistance. Serious achievements were made on the basis of women’s freedom, the guerrilla resistance and the resistance of peoples, for example in Iran. There have been great gains which are now being carried on to the year 2023. This shows that 2023 will be a year of an even stronger struggle, a year of an even deeper and more multifaceted struggle. Both the struggle will increase and there will be efforts to turn the achievements of 2022 into a force of permanent solution. There will be a transition from achievements to victory, from resistance to revolution which can also allow permanent revolutionary gains to emerge. Important gains can emerge on the basis of women’s freedom, the peoples’ resistance in Iran, and most importantly on the basis of the guerrilla-led Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. All this can happen in 2023. Therefore, it is not wrong to define 2023 in the following two ways: First, it will be a year of greater struggle. The internal contradictions of the global capitalist system and the struggle on this basis, i.e. World War III, will continue to deepen. The struggle of the forces of democratic modernity on the basis of the Kurdistan Freedom Struggle against the forces of capitalist modernity will also become stronger under the leadership of women. New developments will emerge. This fierce and multifaceted struggle will continue.
Secondly, this struggle can lead to lasting developments. In fact, it may come to new developments in the European arena as well. The consequences of the war in Ukraine should not be underestimated. There may be very sudden developments that can bring about radical changes no one had anticipated. The revolutionary developments in Iran are very promising. A new system of democratic modernity can develop there. The current uprisings can lead to this. They can lead the regime towards democratic change on the basis of freedom, albeit in an Islamic direction. An Iran of democratic Islam based on women’s freedom can become an area that opens up new horizons for the whole Middle East, for Asia and for the whole world.
The most important and most likely development in 2023 is the overthrow of the fascist AKP-MHP dictatorship in Turkey. The coming year requires a renewal of government in Turkey. This process has already started. How will this renewal take place? This is the question that needs to be answered. But there is no easy answer. Many forces are in a state of contradiction and conflict today. It seems that these contradictions will become deeper and that the conflict will intensify. Anything can happen in Turkey: conspiracies or civil, military, fascist coups. Most importantly, the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship can be overthrown and Turkey can very quickly turn into the most democratic area in the world on the basis of Kurdish freedom. The way has certainly been paved for such developments. How things will turn out will be determined by the opposing forces, their state of readiness and their creativity with regards to the ways and methods of struggle. Will the oppression, persecution, terror, conspiracies of the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship succeed? Will there be a smooth transition to the so-called ‘systemic opposition’ based on the capitalist system? Or will fascism collapse thus turning Turkey into the most democratic part of the world on the basis of Kurdish freedom? So will there be a great democratic revolution in Turkey? This will become clear in 2023. It will be a year of such a radical change and transformation. 2023 is a turning point for Turkey, and we will see how this will turn out. If the Kurdish people, the Kurdistan Freedom Movement, the revolutionary democratic forces of Turkey, the women and youth of the peoples of Turkey wage an effective joint struggle with the right methods; if they can get the support of external democratic forces; if they use creative tactics to carry out the struggle to overthrow fascism and achieve freedom and democracy – then they can win. Then, the Kurdish Freedom Revolution can triumph and lead Turkey to a victorious democratic revolution. This is not an unlikely possibility. If this does not happen, it may come to a soft, reformist change. But even this would pave the way for further developments. In such a case, the fascist, colonialist and genocidal mentality would also be overcome and a process of struggle to democratize Turkey would begin.
There is another possibility that is basically the worst case: AKP-MHP fascism tries to prolong its life with the help of various conspiracies. This is the most unlikely possibility. The AKP is currently working hard to achieve this. It uses all means of the state and of Turkey for this. This is a clear fact. In this sense, we should not downplay the position of the AKP-MHP. But it is also obvious that they are running out of steam. If the revolutionary democratic forces and the opposition do not make serious mistakes, AKP-MHP fascism will be overthrown at least through the soft change we talked about earlier. Moreover, it can even go as far as overcoming fascism through a democratic revolution.
Turkey is about to undergo a powerful change and transformation. This by itself can make 2023 one of the greatest years of revolution in history. One should not take Turkey´s current situation lightly. To understand Turkey as a rather new state with just a hundred years of history would be wrong. Four thousand years of state tradition have become most embodied in this state. The fascist, colonialist and genocidal mentality and politics are most deeply institutionalized there. This institutionalization has been developing on the basis of the genocide of Kurds for a hundred years now. Today, this tradition terrorizes the whole world in the form of IS and Al-Qaeda. It imposes itself on the peoples and democracies of the world in the form of IS and Al-Qaeda fascism. It imposes itself as fascist terror. Everyone can clearly see this. What we are experiencing right now is a concrete example of this. Therefore, the overthrow of such a regime, paving the way for Turkey’s democratization on this basis, and moving towards a democratic revolution will solve the Kurdish problem, democratize Turkey, overcome the four thousand years of state tradition there, and ensure the development of a democratic society, a system of democratic confederalism. Only the solution of the Kurdish question will solve the problems in Syria, Iraq, Iran and the entire Middle East. This will be an important contribution to the development of humanity as a whole in the direction of freedom. In Turkey, the overthrow of AKP-MHP fascism and the democratic revolution will gradually break the male-dominated mentality and politics and bring about women’s freedom. This in itself will not only lead to a freedom revolution in the Middle East based on the line of women’s liberation, but also to a global women’s liberation revolution that draws strength from the Middle East.
There is room for further developments in many areas, but 2023 will be determined more than ever by the struggle in Turkey and Kurdistan. The war between the Kurdish people and the colonialist-genocidal Turkish Republic will determine this year. We can see this very clearly. We therefore hope that the revolutionary democratic forces will become more organized, develop a more correct strategy and tackle its tactical implementation. By overcoming AKP-MHP fascism, the year 2023 will become a year in which fascism is brought to an end in Turkey, the democratic Turkish revolution takes place, the Kurdish question is solved on the basis of freedom and democracy, the doors are opened for the democratization of the Middle East and the Democratic Middle East Revolution takes place – all under the leadership of women’s freedom. 2023 will be such a year. In this sense, we are more hopeful and assertive than ever. We believe that we will achieve greater freedom and democratic developments in 2023. On this basis, we wish great success to all those struggling for freedom and democracy in 2023. And we call on all the forces of democratic modernity, especially the women and youth, to increase their consciousness, organization and actions even more in 2023.