Our Statements

march 18, 2024

With the Spirit of Newroz, Freedom Will Prevail

The annual Newroz celebration represents the yearning for independence, freedom and victory against enslavement by the Dehaks. We celebrate the Newroz of the ancient Mesopotamian peoples, the peoples of the Middle East and the rest of the world – of women, youth, laborers, and all the oppressed, as we believe that freedom will be achieved through resistance. We salute all those who feel the warmth of the fire of Newroz in their hearts.

We also celebrate the Newroz of our internationalists friends who have joined the Kurdish revolution, fought for freedom across the world, and contributed significantly to the internationalization of the Democratic Modernity revolution. Our commitment to common, universal values are strengthened by the solidarity of our international friends with Rêber Apo.

In ancient Mesopotamian history, Blacksmith Kawa initiated the first resistance against the evil, oppressive Dehak, by lighting the fire of Newroz. Ever since, Newroz has become the hope of better days to come, of the tradition of popular struggle against oppression, enslavement, and exploitation. This meaningful tradition lives on through the resistance of the Kurdish people, with the leadership of the PKK.

The first step of the Kurdish freedom struggle, which has now evolved into the universal struggle for the freedom of humanity, was taken by Rêber Apo at the Çubuk dam in Ankara during a meeting on the Newroz of 19731. The fire of Newroz was later re-lit by Mazlum Dogan, the brave child of the Kurdish people, in the prison of Amed in 1982. Protesting the brutal torture and inhumane practices of the Turkish state against the Kurdish people, Mazlum Dogan set his body ablaze on the eve of Newroz. This spark became a beam of hope in the bleakness of the dungeons, reviving the Newroz tradition in its true meaning.

Despite the harshest circumstances, political prisoners unwaveringly continued the resistance initiated by Mazlum Dogan, denouncing and ultimately doing away with submission and betrayal within Turkish prisons. The fire of Newroz reached Zekiye2, Rahşan3, Ronahî, and Bêrîvan4 and was carried to peaks of the mountains in Kurdistan by the guerrilla, who spread this tradition of resistance across plains, villages and cities. With each passing Newroz, the people of Kurdistan gained strength against the invading, brutal, and colonialist enemy. It became an enlightenment for humanity and shaped the global freedom movement.

Rêber Apo is, beyond doubt, the driving force behind these important, historical achievements. Initiating a new historical phase in Kurdistan by launching the freedom struggle, he became the target of the wicked Dehaks of our day. He was imprisoned through the international conspiracy and placed in the Imrali system of aggravated isolation and torture. Rêber Apo continues the resist against this system of torture and solitary confinement which has been continuing for more than 25 years.

Spearheaded by of our international friends, a global campaign named “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question” was launched on October 10, 2023. Significant work has already been done thus far, though, we must intensify and expand our efforts to be able to achieve our goal. The peak of this ought to be the Newroz celebrations. Exhibiting their spirit of resistance and independence, our people must take this occasion to march everywhere, demanding the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. With millions of people participating, the 2024 Newroz should be an effective occasion with this objective. We as the Kurdish people, as the Kurdish Freedom Movement can no longer tolerate this repressive, fascist, denialist, racist, lying, and anti-Kurdish AKP-MHP regime’s isolation and torture tactics, occupation, and genocidal attacks. It is completely unacceptable that Rêber Apo is being kept in complete isolation.

The fascist AKP-MHP regime continues to expand its occupation and conduct acts of genocide against the Kurdish people. Their assaults against Kurdistan, particularly on Rojava, fall under the category of war crimes. It is currently in new preparations to carry out another genocide against the Kurds. In order to make 2024 the year of victory, we need to strengthen our opposition against Tayyip Erdoğan, the brutal Dehak of our time, and his reign of terror.

The oppressive rule of the Dehaks is doomed to be destroyed by the peoples’ resistance, and freedom will prevail.


KCK Executive Council


1 First meeting of the group from which the Kurdish freedom movement and the PKK would later emerge.

2 In reference to Zekiye Alkan, who burned herself alive in protest against the banning of the Newroz festival in Amed in 1990.

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

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