The Role of the KDP
An extensive interview with Xebat Andok, member of the KCK Executive Council, about the international powers behind the KDP, the war of the KDP against the Kurdistan Freedom Movement, the KDP´s policy in South Kurdistan and toward the other parts of Kurdistan and the KDP´s attempts to prevent the national unity of the Kurdish people:
On the international level, the Barzani family and the KDP1 were long considered the sole representatives of the Kurdish people. Even today, the KDP receives international diplomatic visits in Hewlêr [Erbil] practically every week. Why do many international powers support the KDP so strongly?
The assumption that the KDP has always been considered the sole representative of the Kurds at the international level is not true. The KDP has never been seen as the exclusive representative of the Kurds. This is because – contrary to the claims of some – neither the Kurds themselves nor the international conditions are so homogeneous. It is true that the KDP is seen by some international forces as the sole representative of the Kurds. But this attitude is only one part of the actual conditions. Truth is something holistic. Looking at the issue this way, we can see very clearly that the number of those who do not consider the KDP as the sole representative of the Kurds is much larger. So what is crucial at this point is the perspective from which we look at the issue. Yes, there has always existed the attitude of considering the Kurds and the KDP as one and accordingly understanding the KDP as the sole representative of the Kurds. This attitude still exists today. But this has always only been the attitude of the states, hegemonic forces, colonialists and imperialists. The KDP was considered in this way by all these state forces responsible for the oppression, exploitation and tyranny in the world and deliberately put in the foreground. This is because they needed a foundation, that is, collaborators within the Kurds, on whom they could rely. This is exactly what the KDP represents for the state forces. That is why they put it in the foreground. This attitude existed even before the emergence of the KDP. Consequently, it will continue to exist as long as hegemonic forces exist.
However, unlike the hegemonic, colonialist and genocidal state powers, the forces of society have never looked at the KDP in this way. This was true in the period before the establishment of the PKK, as well as today. From the point of view of the forces of society, the KDP has always represented a tool of the tyrants and at the same time their collaborator. For them, the KDP has always been a force that betrays its country and nation, does not rely on its own strength, and is kept alive in order to use it to achieve bad goals. The forces of society have always recognized the KDP as a feudal comprador force that makes conspiracies and offers the Kurds and Kurdistan to all interested forces for its own narrow interests. And this is how the KDP is still viewed by the forces of society today. So we can see that the KDP is understood in this double-edged way.
Today, the KDP is seen both as the sole representative of the Kurds and as the cancer of the Kurdish people. Against the background of the conditions currently prevailing in the world, this double-edged approach makes perfect sense. For the world system itself is of such a nature. On the one hand, there is the world of hegemonic forces. Today, we call this world ´capitalist modernity´. On the other side, there is the world of non-state society, which we call ´democratic modernity´. Because the KDP is the representative of Kurdish capitalist modernity, the leading forces of this modernity portray it as ‘Kurdish’ and as the ‘representative of the Kurds’. However, from the point of view of the forces of democratic modernity that stand for democracy, equality, freedom and justice, the KDP is the `worm in the tree`, a `cancer cell` and a capitulating structure that offers the Kurds and Kurdistan to all interested parties in order to impose its own narrow interests. This way of looking at things is generally expressed by calling them `traitors`. As we mentioned earlier, this is not a new development. These different perspectives existed in the past as well. But today they have become even more evident than before.
The KDP is presented in a very positive way by the rich, the hegemonic forces, capitalists and the powers that exploit Kurdistan and subject it to genocide. However, it is condemned at least as much by the Kurdish people and the anti-state forces. We have already briefly mentioned the underlying conditions. All of this is related to the modernity represented by the respective forces. For example, the representatives of capitalist modernity court Mesrur Barzani, whom they see as the future of the KDP and portray very positively. They let him speak at Chatham House or in Davos. In contrast, it is the people of South Kurdistan who fled to Europe from Mesrur Barzani’s government for various reasons who greet Mesrur Barzani with eggs and rotten tomatoes, call him a ‘traitor’ and hold out to him the ‘Mekap shoes’ – a symbol of the guerrillas. We can thus observe in the same place two completely opposite, fundamentally different reactions. On the one hand, the welcome by the representatives of capitalist modernity and, on the other hand, the reaction of those who stand for democratic modernity.
The KDP and the Barzanis, who have turned the KDP into their own family party, are portrayed extremely positively and put in the foreground. The reason for this is that the PKK is gaining more and more influence in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world. The PKK has been following a popular, socialist and independent line since its foundation. For this reason, it has been attacked by the hegemonic forces of capitalist modernity and colonialism ever since. In the past, the PKK waged a national liberation struggle based on the state paradigm. However, even then, it never lost its independence from the forces of capitalist modernity and did not allow itself to be instrumentalized by them. It always behaved in accordance with the reasons that had led to its emergence and with its socialist ideology. In this way, the PKK managed to maintain its independent stance. For this very reason, the forces of capitalist modernity have always regarded it as the most ‘dangerous’ and ‘terrorist’ organization and subjected it to extensive repression. The extradition of Önder Apo2 [Abdullah Öcalan] to Turkey within the framework of the International Conspiracy was also carried out in this context. Thus, the PKK represents a danger from the point of view of the forces of capitalist modernity. This danger has become even greater since – in 2003 – Önder Apo developed the social paradigm based on democracy, ecology and women’s Freedom and Democratic Confederalism based on Democratic Autonomy3. Through this paradigm and system, the PKK’s influence in Kurdistan, the region and the entire world has increased many times over.
In all four parts of Kurdistan, the PKK has succeeded in deepening and expanding society and turning the Kurds into a Democratic Nation. In order to prevent this development, colonialism – led by Turkey – has given even more prominence to the KDP and used it as its interlocutor.
The PKK has defeated the monstrous IS army and, based on the mentality of the democratic nation, has accomplished the Rojava Revolution in the completely dismembered Middle East with the participation of all peoples, cultures, faith communities and women there. In order to break the influence of the PKK, the reactionary forces in the region and global capitalism have increasingly portrayed the KDP positively and made it their interlocutor.
Önder Apo’s paradigm and philosophy are constantly unfolding a greater and greater influence on the whole of humanity. At the same time, the Rojava Revolution is showing everyone how these ideas can be practically implemented. The global capitalist forces are putting more and more emphasis on Barzani and the KDP and are trying to make them a strong player in order to break the influence of Önder Apo and the PKK.
A close look quickly reveals that Önder Apo and the PKK are the decisive reason for positioning the KDP and the Barzanis so strongly as interlocutors and constantly opening new doors for them to the world of the hegemonic forces. In order to block Önder Apo’s and the PKK’s path and not to suffer even greater losses as a system, efforts are being made to keep the KDP and Barzani on their feet. Otherwise, the KDP and the Barzanis could never even dream of being used so heavily as interlocutors. Their only trump card is that they can be used against the PKK and Önder Apo, which of course means nothing other than collaborating and committing treason.
Especially since last year, the KDP has been waging an open war against the Kurdistan Freedom Movement alongside the Turkish state. Several HPG [People’s Defense Forces] guerrilla fighters fell in ambushes by KDP militias in 2021. What does the KDP hope to gain from its attacks and the crushing of the Freedom Movement?
We can answer this question in two ways. First, like any other collaborator, the KDP is not independent in any way. It is not a party that decides on its own what it wants to do. Shortly after its founding, this may have been possible to a limited extent, but we know very well that since the early 1960s, the KDP has lost even this limited independence. The KDP is a force completely under the control of Israel, Iran, and, since the emergence of the PKK in the 1970s, GLADIO4. In the past, it has also been under the control of the Saddam regime. So those who rule over the KDP are outside forces. This is the reason why the KDP plays the role assigned to it and carries out all the tasks it is given. The mentioned forces are pursuing genocidal policies against the Kurds and the KDP is willing to be used within this framework. Thus, the KDP and the Barzanis have become a tool that is being instrumentalized for the genocide of the Kurds. In relation to the Kurds, they play a crucial role in legitimizing all forms of genocidal politics. This puts them in a position that is even worse and more destructive than that of the actual perpetrators of the genocide. This is exactly the reason why they are called `traitors` by the population in all four parts of Kurdistan.
In 2021 and 2022, the KDP’s hostile attitude toward the Kurdistan Freedom Movement has reached a new peak. This is related to the task given to the KDP. Because, for the reasons mentioned above, global capitalism and genocidal colonialism want to eliminate Önder Apo and the PKK. These forces know that otherwise decisive defeats are imminent in the Middle East and also worldwide: the defeat of the KDP and thus at the same time of collaboration and betrayal, the defeat of the fascist AKP-MHP government and thus of genocidal colonialism and likewise the defeat of global capitalism. In order to prevent the PKK from achieving even greater successes and AKP-MHP fascism – the most effective tool for the genocide of the Kurds – from seeing its imminent end, these forces are intervening extensively and intensifying their attacks. When Barzani and Biden were in Ankara in August 2016, Turkey was encouraged to occupy the northern Syrian city of Cerablus. This marked the beginning of a phase of the renewal of the International Conspiracy5. The involved forces want to complete this phase by 2023. Therefore, the mentioned goals for the year 2023 are not only the goals of the AKP-MHP government, but at the same time of the KDP and US-led global capitalism. They are all working towards crushing the PKK and in this way removing all obstacles to the genocide of the Kurds. This is the reason why the KDP is currently collaborating with the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state even more than before.
Secondly, the KDP is waging an officially undeclared war against the PKK and is supporting Turkey in every possible way within this framework. The KDP does this because it assumes that by crushing the PKK, all that exists in the name of the Kurds and Kurdistan today will end up belonging to the KDP. It considers itself the owner of the Kurds and Kurdistan and at the same time understands the PKK as the greatest obstacle to the realization of this claim. Therefore, the KDP understands the dismantling of the PKK as a question of being or not being for itself. Thus, we can clearly say that the PKK and the KDP are two completely different things from an ontological point of view.
In line with the workers’ term in its party name, the PKK represents a party of the working people, villagers and workers. The KDP, however, contrary to the democracy term in its official name, is a thoroughly feudal party of compradors, landowners and feudal lords.
In keeping with the social base it represents, the PKK relies on the people themselves. The KDP, on the other hand, relies on the powerful states of this world. Thus, while the PKK represents the principle of relying on its own power, the KDP relies on collaboration.
The PKK relies on the system of Democratic Autonomy, on the diversity of society and the Democratic Nation, that is, on the fact that all parts of society can organize themselves according to their respective characteristics and live together. In contrast, the KDP relies on the nation-state principle, which homogenizes all differences and consequently subjects them to genocide.
The PKK aims at women’s freedom and firmly believes that all social problems can be solved on the basis of the social paradigm based on democracy, women’s freedom and ecology. However, the KDP fully relies on the hegemony of men and the state, which is the most comprehensively organized institution of the hegemonic man’s ideology.
While the PKK relies on a communally organized economy centered on eco-industry limited by ecological principles and social solidarity, the KDP relies on the system of unlimited profit, capitalism and individualism.
In short, there are all these ontological differences, which we could explain in a much more detailed way. Because of these differences, the KDP is doing everything in its power to crush the PKK. The KDP has been doing this since the emergence of the PKK. Accordingly, its actions today are nothing new. The KDP is ultimately doing exactly the same thing today as it did in the past, only in a much more open and intense way. This is because their masters demand it to do so.
In South Kurdistan itself, especially in the Behdinan region, the KDP exerts enormous pressure on all critical voices. Many journalists are in prison, as are numerous activists. Murders of opposition figures occur again and again in the KDP-controlled area. Kurdish refugees from northern Kurdistan are also put under massive pressure there. What is the situation of the population in Behdinan and the other KDP-controlled areas?
While the KDP is trying to become the sole ruler in all four parts of Kurdistan, either directly or with the help of its offshoots, it has left South Kurdistan in a completely fragmented state. After the founding of the PUK6 in 1975, the KDP increasingly became a force with influence only in the Behdinan region. Even there, however, the KDP did not gain control with the consent of the local population. Socially, Behdinan is dominated by local tribes. The KDP was only able to gain power in this region by forcing each of the local tribes to submit to it. The Barzanis themselves are not a tribe, but rely on the much weaker institution of the sheikhdom. Therefore, everyone knows that the KDP was only able to reach its current position of power with the help of massive tyranny, oppression, massacres, and murders. It is important to emphasize that the current oppression, torture and killings are nothing new, but have a long tradition. It is also common knowledge that the KDP claimed great support from the Saddam regime in order to deprive the tribes and political forces in the region of their influence. This led so far that the capital Hewlêr [Erbil], which was originally under the control of the PUK, was captured by the KDP by collaborating with Saddam and entering the city alongside his tanks. In short, it has already become clear in the past that the KDP is willing to do anything to gain power and eliminate its rivals.
The reason the KDP has significantly increased pressure in recent years, particularly in the Behdinan region, is because of its own massive loss of power. Despite its unimaginable fraud and anti-democratic measures, the KDP managed to win just 15% of the South Kurdish votes in the last elections. The KDP is acutely aware that further weakening of its power increases the likelihood that the local population, whose land has been expropriated by the KDP and who are oppressed by it with great violence, will hold it accountable. It has given away or sold the local population’s land to the Turkish state. Therefore, the KDP is very afraid of a possible uprising of the population and of the people taking action against the military stations of occupying Turkey as they did in Şêladizê7. It is afraid of being held accountable for its history of collaboration. Equally, the Barzanis are worried about what will happen to them if Erdogan loses power. Because they know very well that even the smallest mistake can become a question of being or not being for them, they are extremely tense. But they believe that they can survive this situation by becoming even more authoritarian and collaborating even more; that is, not by making self-criticism and ending their sordid relations with colonialism. The Barzanis have entered into a community of fate with Erdogan and Bahceli. It is clear that they draw heavily from their experiences and way of thinking. Today, the KDP has established a regime against its own people in Behdinan that is very similar to the Erdogan regime in Turkey. As a result, the KDP’s crimes are increasing every day, the population’s anger is rising steadily, the KDP finds itself in an increasingly hopeless situation and is plagued by ever greater fears.
This is what the KDP is doing to the population in the region. In addition, there are all the things it has done to the Mexmûr refugee camp. Kurdish patriots who fled to South Kurdistan as a result of the genocidal attacks by the Turkish state live in the South Kurdish camp because a Kurdish government exists there. They became refugees because their villages were burned and they were forced to flee. The KDP treats all residents of the refugee camp as potentially guilty just because they are from North Kurdistan [East Turkey]. Saying that they ‘expel them,’ the KDP has brought many of these refugees to the PUK-controlled Suleymaniye area. While this has been the main policy of the KDP in recent years, for the past two years we can see that Kurdish patriots are now being directly attacked and murdered. For example, in May of this year, the patriot M. Zeki Çelebi was murdered in Süleymaniye. Only shortly before, he had publicly stated in the media that he was being threatened by the MIT8. Shortly thereafter, he was shot dead in Süleymaniye. Similar attacks had already occurred in 2021. In one of these attacks, comrade Şükrü was murdered in the same brutal manner. He had spent almost 40 years of his life fighting for the freedom of the Kurdish people in the ranks of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement. In all these cases, the murderers fled to Hewlêr immediately after committing their crime. This clearly shows where and by whom these murders were planned. All these attacks and murders were planned and carried out jointly by the MIT and Parastin9.
The KDP’s attitude towards the approximately 10,000 Kurdish patriots in the Mexmûr refugee camp is similar to that of the genocidal Turkish state. It considers all inhabitants of the camp as enemies and takes all possible measures of special warfare to disperse the people of the refugee camp. With the help of some broken individuals who were deliberately put in this position by the KDP, it obtains information from the camp. The KDP passes this information on to the Turkish state, thus ensuring that patriots who play a leading role in society there are murdered with the help of Turkish drones. The KDP does not allow a single resident of Mexmûr Camp to enter Hewlêr. At the same time, it has turned Hewlêr into a center of the genocidal Turkish state from which it carries out various attacks. This is exactly what the KDP considers appropriate for the people of Behdinan and the North Kurdish patriots who fled from the genocidal Turkish state. Thus, its attitude towards them is absolutely similar to that of the Turkish state.
South Kurdistan has had an autonomous status for several decades. The region is rich in oil and gas, but also in water and fertile land. What does the KDP use the enormous wealth of South Kurdistan for?
The Barzani-led KDP is a ‘modern’ form of feudalism that is striving towards capitalism with all its might. Because capitalism is its goal and the spirit of capitalism is characterized by profit and individualism, the KDP can never be popular and patriotic for ontological reasons. It will never care about the people, country or ecology. It uses everything to secure unlimited profit for the Barzani family and for a minority that has gathered around it. To this end, it uses the party, South Kurdistan and – as if all this were not enough – all of Kurdistan. For them, everything is a matter of buying and selling. The KDP very skillfully turns everything that comes its way into money. Therefore, there is nothing it won’t sell. Today we have reached a point where there is practically nothing left that has not been sold by the KDP.
Not long ago, some U.S. journalists made public the enormous wealth that the Barzani dynasty has accumulated over the years. And these journalists only researched the publicly known property of the Barzanis that exists in the USA. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Barzani family is one of the richest in the world today. Years ago, it was made public that the Barzanis had paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes to the relevant individuals or institutions in order not to be named on the list of the world’s richest because they were afraid of popular protests. Undoubtedly, the Barzanis gained their wealth by exploiting the country’s wealth and offering its resources for sale, just as all capitalists do. Through their collaboration and treason, the KDP turns virtually everything into money. This includes, for example, the strategic location of Kurdistan, which can be used against the regional states, the rich natural resources and the blood of PKK members.
The more the Barzanis accumulate their enormous wealth, the more impoverished our people in South Kurdistan become. Not long ago, the whole world witnessed how much the people of South Kurdistan had lost all their hope and how they therefore headed for the Belarusian-Polish border. At the same time, South Kurdistan is the only place where the Kurds have gained an official status. So South Kurdistan should actually be a point of attraction for all Kurds. It should be a place where not only our South Kurdish population, but also Kurds from other parts of Kurdistan would like to live. But the situation today is exactly the opposite. As we have already shown, the KDP has the people in South Kurdistan who come from North Kurdistan murdered by the Turkish state or expels them itself. It kidnaps the population of South Kurdistan [in the form of flight to Europe, etc.] and delivers all those who remain to hunger and oppression. Although the KDP handled all of South Kurdistan’s oil sales for a long time, including oil from Kirkuk, it claims it cannot even pay the salaries of a limited number of public workers and continuously demands money from the Iraqi central government.
The budget provided by the Iraqi central government for the KRI [Kurdistan Region of Iraq] is also being looted by the KDP. All ministries are in the hands of the KDP. But it is not willing to divide the existing budget equally among the different regions. It deliberately excludes the Süleymaniye and Halepçe regions. This obvious looting and injustice has now brought the politicians and people of these two regions to the point where they conduct their official business not with the South Kurdish government but directly with the Iraqi central government. South Kurdish media also repeatedly report cases of elderly people who fought their entire lives for the liberation of Kurdistan, but are now dying while waiting in line to receive their pensions.
Currently, Europe is experiencing problems in the field of energy supply due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Therefore, the KDP is now concerned with the question of how to transport the natural gas resources, which are located in the Çemçemal area near Süleymaniye, to Europe with the help of the genocidal and colonialist Turkish state. On the basis of plans developed together with Turkey, the KDP is trying to gain the support of powerful states for this project. It then wants to use this support for the war against the PKK and at the same time put pressure on the PUK to accept the joint plan of itself and Turkey. While the KDP is doing all this, it is taking great care to keep the regional parliament closed.
In short, the KDP is a gang that believes in nothing but money and whose mind has been completely taken over by capital. It has accumulated all kinds of property through its dirty business. Everything else that it claims belongs to the Kurdish people in reality. So we are dealing with a system of plunder through which all the wealth of the Kurdish people and Kurdistan is being exploited together with the genocidal regime.
The KDP pursues a very aggressive policy towards the other parts of Kurdistan. This includes repeatedly closing the border with the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria or attempting to stir up unrest there with the help of media organs and parties close to it. The KDP takes a similar stance toward the Autonomous Administration of Şengal [Sinjar]. The KDP blocks access to the region, preventing reconstruction and the return of refugees. It also justifies regular Turkish airstrikes on the region. Why does the KDP take such a hostile stance toward these parts of Kurdistan?
The KDP’s hostile and problematic actions are not limited to the parts of Kurdistan you mentioned. Because it is doing the same thing in South Kurdistan. For this reason, it is in South Kurdistan that the KDP is encountering the most resentment from the people today. Apart from the limited circle of people who claim the wealth of South Kurdistan for themselves, not a single person can be found there who is satisfied with the KDP. The KDP is not a force that can stand on its own feet with the help of popular support. It is kept alive with the greatest efforts by the colonialists and the global capitalist forces. These forces keep the KDP on its feet in order to be able to implement their dark plans in Kurdistan. Because as a party, the KDP has already come to its end dozens of times militarily, politically, socially and ideologically.
The KDP is a failed party. As such, it is being kept alive as a despotic force in South Kurdistan with great effort, oppression, tyranny, direct direction and leadership by Turkey and with the support from the capitalist centers.
From this perspective, it is self-evident why the KDP takes the previously described stance toward the other parts of Kurdistan, as well as toward Şengal and Mexmûr. Undoubtedly, the KDP, like any capitalist and egoist, wants to act as a hegemon in its own environment. So we can certainly say that the KDP’s goal is to become the sole ruler in all of Kurdistan. But because of its character, it is not trying to do this by relying on the people, but by collaborating. Against all those it considers competitors, the KDP relies massively on conspiracies, violence, assassinations, expulsion and annihilation with the help of the colonialists. In East Kurdistan [West Iran], the Kurdish political movements were on the verge of successfully carrying out a revolution for a while. However, the KDP entered into an alliance with Iran and crushed these movements. For this reason, the KDP in East Kurdistan is still referred to as ‘cehşên sersor’10 [‘red-headed gangs’]. We have already discussed how the KDP, together with Saddam, drove the PUK out of Hewlêr and took control there. Historical documents also show how the KDP, together with the Turkish MIT, crushed the T-KDP in the course of the so-called ‘Event of the Two Saits’11. To put it in a nutshell: The list of historical crimes committed by the KDP not only in South Kurdistan but in all of Kurdistan is endless.
As you yourself mentioned in your question, the KDP takes a hostile stance toward the other parts of Kurdistan. Its position toward the Mexmûr refugee camp, which lies outside the KDP-controlled area, is the same as the Turkish state´s position. What Turkey thinks about Mexmûr and how it behaves toward the Mexmûr population is exactly how the KDP approaches this refugee camp. We briefly touched on this before.
For a long time, the KDP controlled the Şengal area together with the Iraqi government. But when IS attacked there [in 2014], both the KDP and the Iraqi forces fled. With regard to Şengal, too, whatever the Turkish state thinks, the KDP also represents. Both then put this into practice together. In Şengal, our Ezidi population has been educated and organized by the PKK on the basis of Önder Apo’s philosophy. The main concern of the Turkish state and the KDP at present is to destroy the self-administration built up by the people of Şengal. To this end, they are assassinating Ezidi social leaders, preventing the return of Ezidis who have been held hostage by the KDP in camps since the IS attacks, and exerting pressure on Iraq to dissolve the Şengal Autonomous Administration with the help of the UN, the USA, and certain EU countries. In short, the KDP is currently taking the most hostile stance toward Şengal and is doing everything in its power to prevent Şengal – a region facing existential challenges – from governing itself. The KDP is a shameless actor that withdrew thousands of Peshmerga without firing a single shot when IS attacked Şengal, thereby handing hundreds of thousands of Ezidis over to IS. Under normal circumstances, the KDP would have to be tried and receive the most severe punishment imaginable. Instead, it is doing all the previously described things without showing any shame for it.
The Rojava Revolution has reawakened humanity’s hopes for freedom and democracy; and it has done so under the conditions of capitalist modernity and a completely fragmented Middle East. It has given everyone new hope for the present and the future, and at the same time it has enabled our people in Rojava to govern themselves. The KDP also takes exactly the same stance towards this revolution as the Turkish state. Turkey is based on the goal of completely annihilating the Kurds and considers Kurdish existence an ontological threat to itself. For this reason, it pursues hostility toward the Kurds as its most fundamental strategy, both at home and abroad. It therefore considers the fact that the Kurds in Rojava have become a self-governing force to be the greatest conceivable danger to itself and is doing everything it can to crush the revolution there. This is where the KDP comes in. Because the Turkish state is doing all this together with the KDP. Today, Turkey has organized IS remnants and the KDP-controlled ENKS12 under one and the same umbrella. With the help of these forces, the Turkish state has occupied Efrîn, Serêkanîyê and Girê Spî. Demographic changes are being made there and genocide is taking place against the Kurds. Yes, the KDP is the main perpetrator of the genocide against the Kurds in Rojava today. In order to prevent resistance against this at the regional and international level and to prevent the genocide committed by Turkey against the Kurds from being clearly recognized, the Turkish state is concealing its genocide policy with the help of the KDP. The KDP is therefore playing the worst possible role here, namely that of a dirty veil.
What the KDP is doing in North Kurdistan is practically impossible to put into words. Apart from the alliances it has made there in the past, today we are dealing with a strategic alliance of the Barzanis with Erdogan and Bahceli. The main goal of the fascist Erdogan-Bahceli government is the genocide of the Kurds. Through its alliance with this government, the KDP plays an active role in the genocidal policy. The KDP is doing everything in its power to achieve the destruction of the PKK, which would open the door to genocide against the Kurds. Internationally, it presents itself to the states as a ‘good Kurd’ and at the same time tries to convince everyone that the PKK, which has been fighting heroically for the existence and freedom of the Kurds for half a century, is the ‘bad Kurd’.
To put it briefly, we could list all the crimes of the KDP one by one, but in our opinion that would not be enough. Rather, the crucial point is that the KDP’s attitude towards all parts of Kurdistan and Kurdish political forces is exactly the same as that of the colonialists. The KDP views the Kurds and their political forces through the eyes of colonialism and genocide. This fact naturally raises the question of whether the KDP – or rather its core, the Barzanis – are really Kurds. If they really are Kurds, what kind of Kurdishness is that supposed to be? How can someone be called a Kurd who does everything in his power to destroy his own roots?
KCK representatives have repeatedly emphasized the need for national unity among the Kurdish people. How do you assess the KDP’s position on Kurdish national unity?
To assume that national unity is possible with the participation of the KDP, despite the aforementioned nature of the KDP and all its crimes, is nothing but empty words. National unity will never be achieved with the participation of the KDP. The KDP is not a party with which national unity can be built. On the contrary, it is a party that must be overcome in order to achieve national unity. Because at present, the KDP is the biggest and only obstacle to the national unity of the Kurdish people. It is Barzani’s greatest dream to become the president of all Kurdistan. But even when Önder Apo suggested that [Masoud] Barzani could take over the presidency of the National Congress, the Barzanis did not support national unity. This is because the head that leads the KDP is not its own. Although it appears Kurdish, this head is in fact directed and guided by other forces. In short, the KDP is not independent. On the contrary, it has numerous owners. This is also the reason why the KDP does not act in the interest of the Kurdish people, but according to the dictates of the capitalist forces that exploit Kurdistan and pursue their own interests in the region. Therefore, as long as the KDP does not change its nature, does not give up its collaborationist, traitorous attitude and does not switch to the side of the Kurdish people, it will remain an empty dream that there can be national unity with its participation. If the KDP does not take this path, all such efforts for the national unity of the Kurdish people will be in vain.
It is true that from the Kurds’ point of view, national unity is definitely needed. Apart from the KDP, everyone agrees on this. But the crucial question that needs to be answered is with whom and how this can be achieved. As a party that has come into being for its entire nation and carries out all its work on this basis, the PKK has already achieved this goal to a certain extent. It has developed into a party of the Democratic Nation of all Kurds. In the past, it has done everything possible to come together with the other political parties and social forces of the Kurds and to establish the national unity of the Kurdish people together with them. And it continues to do everything for this goal. Because the PKK is a party that was founded according to the needs of the Kurdish people and that works in a way that corresponds to this characteristic. For the existence and freedom of our people, national unity is absolutely necessary. For this reason, the PKK continues to resolutely demand national unity and works for this to become a reality. However, there are forces that consider the national unity of the Kurdish people as a danger to themselves. At their top is undoubtedly the genocidal Turkish state. In addition, there are Syria, Iran and Iraq, which, as regional forces, would like to maintain the status of Kurdistan as a colony and therefore reject the national unity of the Kurds. In addition, there are the hegemonic forces of capitalist modernity, for whom the Kurdistan question opens up the possibility of intervening in the Middle East in a wide variety of ways. Accordingly, they too have no interest in the national unity of the Kurds. The Turkish state and all these other forces are preventing the national unity of the Kurdish people with the help of the KDP. They guide and direct the KDP and the other political forces it controls and use them to sabotage the work for national unity. The KDP does not have a head that is oriented towards the interests of the Kurds and is itself Kurdish. Its head has been completely hijacked by the occupying and genocidal forces. The KDP is led and directed by the Turkish state. For all these reasons, it is totally futile to count on the KDP to participate in the efforts for Kurdish national unity.
Quite apart from the question of the national unity of the Kurdish people, there is currently an immediate threat of the outbreak of a very serious and extensive internal war. This is because the KDP is now much more involved than in the past in the annihilation concept against the PKK, which is being coordinated by the U.S. and some EU countries and practically implemented by the Turkish state. The KDP is actively involved in the attacks launched by the Turkish state against the Medya Defense Zones on April 17, 2022 and by Iraq against Şengal shortly after. The Turkish state is facing great difficulties in the fight against the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrillas, currently finds itself in a hopeless situation, and is accordingly on the verge of a strategic defeat. It has launched its attacks against the Medya Defense Zones from KDP-controlled areas. On the one hand, the KDP has made the areas under its control completely available to the Turkish state so that it can crush the Kurdistan Freedom Movement from there, and on the other hand, it is itself hunting down the guerrillas in the form of ambushes. In this way, the KDP is participating as actively as it can in this war together with the Turkish state. The genocidal Erdogan has publicly thanked the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] and the Iraqi central government for the fact that the occupation attack could be launched and continues with their help.
Together with the Turkish state, the KDP was also the decisive force that enabled the Iraqi central government to attack Şengal on April 17 of this year. Currently, there are public discussions about whether the Turkish state will once again intensify its occupation attacks on Rojava. Erdogan has already announced exactly this. There is no doubt that he will plan these attacks together with the KDP.
So, more than the national unity of the Kurdish people, today we are obviously facing an imminent very comprehensive internal war. The only way to ensure that such a severe internal war does not take place and that the much desired national unity of the Kurds becomes a reality is for the KDP to become Kurdish, that is, to prove that it is a Kurdish party. This is only possible if the KDP, whose mind and body have been occupied by the colonialists, changes completely. But that this will actually happen seems very unlikely.
Therefore, it looks as if the KDP will continue to exist as a ‘Kurdish cancer’, while at the same time the Kurds will try to rid their bodies of this cancer.
1Kurdistan Democratic Party
2English: `Leader Apo`; This term is regularly used by members and sympathizers of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement. It is used as an expression of one´s great respect and strong attachment to Abdullah Öcalan.
3For an overview of the basic ideological-political ideas of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement, including Democratic Nationhood, Democratic Autonomy, and Democratic Confederalism, the following interview is recommended: https://kck-info.com/interview-feb2421-video/
4During the Cold War, NATO built up so-called ‘stay-behind armies’ in various countries in Western Europe to lead the resistance in the event of an attack by the Soviet Union. NATO referred to this as `Operation Gladio’. In this course, fascist circles were organized within countries like Germany, Italy or Turkey, which carried out numerous attacks on civilians or politicians in their countries. Representatives of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement continue to use this term to draw attention to similar NATO activities that are still taking place today.
5Due to intense pressure from NATO, but also with the active participation of Israel and Russia, Abdullah Öcalan was forced to leave Syria on 09 October 1998. After an exodus lasting several months, which took him to Greece, Russia and Italy, among other places, Abdullah Öcalan was kidnapped in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on 15 February 1999 and taken to Turkey. Since then, he has been imprisoned on the prison island of Imrali. Representatives of the Kurdistan Freedom Movement refer to this major attack on their movement as the `International Conspiracy`.
6Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
7In protest against the ongoing attacks by the Turkish state, hundreds of residents of the South Kurdish city of Şêladizê stormed the Turkish military base Sirê on January 26, 2019. In the process, the population took complete control of the base.
8Turkish intelligence service
9secret service controlled by the KDP
10Refers to red and white cloth typically worn by KDP members.
11Sait Kırmızıtoprak and Sait Elçi were leading cadres of the T-KDP in Turkey. They both actively worked to start the guerrilla struggle in Kurdistan. In 1971, both were assassinated by the KDP while they were in the South Kurdish region of Behdinan.
12Kurdish National Council in Syria