Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) Executive Committee Member Murat Karayılan has made striking statements regarding the ongoing state terror and popular resistance in North Kurdistan (S/SE Turkey).
Answering questions on Radio Dengê Kurdistan, Karayılan said the process has entered a new phase as of 14 December, and a state of civil war is taking place at the moment.
Karayılan stressed that the Turkish state wants to break the will of the Kurdish people, and vowed to continue the resistance in response to the attacks.
Below is a summary of the interview on the ANF English service.
What is the goal of the Turkish state in perpetrating an intense onslaught against self-rule (in Kurdistan)?
The struggle of our people has entered a historic and significant phase. There is a war ongoing in the Middle East, in which the Kurdish people and their freedom struggle has come into prominence. It is known by everyone that the region will be restructured at the end of this war.
The Kurdish people’s success in mainly Kobanê and Shengal has proved them a main actor in the Middle East. The region cannot be redesigned without the Kurdish people. In this regard, a new phase has begun. The Treaty of Lausanne, which is based on the denial of Kurds, is now losing effect. This reality has scared the sovereign powers that hold Kurdistan under their control. As Davutoğlu himself has stated, this decision of an all-out war (against the Kurds in North Kurdistan) was made after the Kobanê victory, at the MGK (Turkish National Security Council) in late October.
They want to break our leader Öcalan’s will by means of this war. The war had already begun in İmralı on 5 April 2015. It was started against our leader (when they prevented meetings with him). This war has now entered a new phase with the attacks aimed at our people today. The Turkish state wants to leave the Kurdish people without will, suppress them and impose slavery. They want the Kurdish people to surrender and end their demand for self-rule. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) has started this war for this reason and continues intensifying it. This war entered a new phase after 14 December.
What is this new phase?
The conflict is evolving into a civil war. Some liken it to the 90’s but the current process is more like the periods of 1925, 1930 and 1938 when our people in Dersim were crushed by the Turkish state for defending self-rule. The method and the situation is still same. This is an operation of occupation, massacre, seizure of will and imposition of slavery. This is a civil war declared by Turkey against the Kurdish people living within its borders. The President openly pledges to bury us into the trenches and respond to every uprising with repression. They clearly want to seize the will of our people who have reached a stage of national and organisational struggle under the leadership of our leader Öcalan.
The declaration for self-rule by the people in many areas is a progressive action from our, the point of view of the Kurdish freedom movement. The Turkish state and AKP government want to draw the Kurdish people away from this stage. They want enslave the Kurds by re-seizing the gains they gained at the cost of their childrens’ lives. The massacre that targeted Dersim, Zilan and Sheikh Said’s cause is now perpetrated by the AKP in a new postmodern manner. In an attempt to hide these incidents from the world, mobilised pro-government media distorts and lies, which hinders the perception of the truth, even of those calling themselves intellectual. There are also some collaborators with the state from among Kurds, and they attribute all the incidents to the trenches.
The trenches are a form of self-defense. Kurdish people have been forced to dig trenches to defend themselves. The point in question is, however, not trenches but the intention to leave the Kurdish society without will. While doing this, they don’t want the world to know and learn about it. Despite the internet age, they distort the truth in an attempt to justify military operations by using the trenches as an excuse. This is not true. The Kurdish people have become a power and they want to live by enjoying their rights like all other nations, without being deprived of their honour and status. The state wants to render Kurds slaves bit by bit, like in Cizre, Silopi, Sur, Kerboran, Nusaybin now, and Gever, Bismil, Derik before them. A large-scale war is being waged against the Kurdish people.
Another manipulation by the state/government-media is the that the PKK is shelling and burning mosques, it is in fact the state doing this. It distorts the truth in an attempt prevent the world from seeing that this is now a civil war. The state wants the Turkish and Kurdish societies to not find out what is going on. It wants to weaken the Kurdish people and bring them to a point where they are unable to defend themselves, just like it did in th 1920s.
The Turkish state, due to its desire to confront Rojava, wants to create a war and conflict within Kurdish politics. It is making a great effort to hinder the Kurdish people from taking place in the restructuring of the Middle East. This is the main strategy of the AKP government.
Youth, women, children, the elderly, everyone is resisting the attacks in the areas of self-rule. What do the trenches and barricades, a new approach in the Kurdish popular resistance, mean?
Primarily, I salute all our people resisting the attacks. The voice of Kurdish youth in Kobanê, which resonated all around the globe in the person of Arin Mirkan and Gelhat Gabar (YPG fighters), today resonates in Cizre, Silopi, Nusaybin, Kerboran and Sur, where people are resisting with the same spirit. This means a new level in the Kurdish freedom movement. This is a very important moment.
Our answer to people who repeatedly complain about the trenches is; these trenches are for self defense and the defence of will. Those questioning the trenches should propose a solution against these fascist attacks. Will they be able to stop the AKP’s gangs? No. In other words, these remarks against the trenches just call for surrender.
Everyone calling themselves a Kurd, a Kurdistan citizen, patriot and democrat should see and join this resistance. They should be in solidarity with this battle of humanity against atrocity and fascism. This is a battle of existence and will, it has a national goal.
Another aim of this struggle is democracy. The Kurdish people’s resistance against AKP fascism is also for Turkey’s democracy and the attainment of a will by Turkish society. In this regard, this resistance is a fight for Turkey’s democracy and freedom, which is why all the leftist, socialist, democratic and pro-peace movements should embrace it and show solidarity. This is the resistance of all ethnic and religious minorities. It is the resistance of diversities, democracy and freedom against ‘one language, one nation, one state, one flag, one religion,’ (the monolithic mentality of the Turkish state). The peoples of Turkey, all those oppressed by the system, all laborers and faith groups should lay claim to the Kurdish people’s resistance in Cizre, Silopi, Nusaybin, Kerboran, Sur and all across Kurdistan.
These attacks result from the weakness of the Turkish state. They have started these attacks because they fear the Kurdish people growing stronger. They wouldn’t deploy tanks on the streets if they were not weak and afraid. They know this is the final point. Yet, the will of our people is stronger than tanks. This is a popular resistance that is stronger than everything else. The AKP cannot perpetrate another Dersim genocide today. For this reason, all patriots, Kurdish people and their friends should stand together and defeat the attacks of the AKP, which is in its weakest period.
The Turkish state says 200 members of PKK and YDG-H have been killed. How do you assess these claims?
This is not true. The AKP is saying that (PKK) guerrillas have come down from the mountains to the cities in order to justify their attacks against our people. The People’s Defence Forces (HPG-PKK) haven’t been involved in this war and process yet. Kurdish youths and our people have taken up arms, dug trenches and are resisting in the areas under attack.
If the state has killed so many people, where are their corpses? Where are their arms? These are all a lies. They are murdering civilians with the excuse “we are deploying troops because guerrillas have come down from the mountain”. The youths are resisting with light arms but we stand by them till the end. They are the future of Kurdistan, they are fighters of freedom and democracy. The Kurdish people shouldn’t leave the youths alone as they are following the perspective of our leader Öcalan, who says that peace will be realised with a democratic resolution and freedom. The state wants to break this resistance and wants our leader to step back. This is why they are waging an all-out war against the Kurdish people today.
The army became a part of this war previously in Farqin (Silvan) and now Cizre. I would like to warn the AKP, state and military officials that they are playing with fire. If they continue like this, guerrillas will also join this war in a self-sacrificing manner, and the bond between the Kurdish people and Turkish Republic will be severed entirely. If they attack our people with tanks and artillery, we (Turks and Kurds) will not be able to live together any longer. AKP officials are planning on crushing the Kurds and then bringing them to the (negotiation table) in a weakened manner. Excuse us but nobody would sit at a table with those who killed our children, mothers and elders. We are not dependent on them (the AKP). The situation is not what it used to be. They need to know this reality and act accordingly. The army initially avoided deploying troops in cities. But why has it done that now? This is obviously a military coup targeting democracy and the Kurdish people. These attacks are severing the ties between the Turkish and Kurdish peoples. Everyone should take careful steps and know that the Kurdish people will never surrender as their life depends on resistance.