'AKP's attacks on Rojava are a crime against humanity and can’t prevent the guerrillas' just cause'

“Turkey’s attacks on Rojava are unacceptable. This is a very cowardly and ugly form of attack. It is the attack style of the weak, not the strong. If you are brave, the place of those who fight you is clear, you fight with them.”

Murat Karayılan, Commander of the People's Defence Centre (HSM) Headquarters, spoke to ANF about the Turkish state’s genocidal attacks against Rojava, the policy of the KDP cooperating with the Turkish state and the attacks on the values of the Kurdish people.

We publish the fourth and last part of the in-depth interview with Karayılan below.

No strong army would ever fall into such a despicable situation

After every revolutionary operation, the Turkish state bombards civilian living areas in Rojava and targets service institutions. On the other hand, it carries out political genocide operations in North Kurdistan. What do you say about these?

In the North, they arrest civilians, defenceless people, people sleeping at home, in midnight raids. They call this "Operation Heroes". They are making a profession out of mocking the truth. What's that got to do with it! You go to raid civilian people sleeping at home with so much military power and equipment. You arrest and harass people without charge. What does this have to do with heroism? This is not heroism, it is dishonour. However, they consider dishonour as heroism.

Likewise, their attacks on Rojava are unacceptable. Attacks against the sources of life of a society, especially attacks against hospitals, printing presses, bakeries, wheat warehouses, factories, are a violation of international laws of war. Such areas are civilian areas and are not targeted. Targeting these areas is an inhuman practice. 5 million people live there. What sense does it make to eliminate their livelihoods, to leave them without electricity and water? What does this have to do with humanity? It has nothing to do with it.

No powerful state or army can fall into such a despicable situation and do such a thing. This is a very cowardly and ugly form of attack. It is the attack style of the weak, not the strong. If you are brave, the place of those who fight you is clear, you fight with them. Go fight them. What does it mean to attack the civilian, defenceless people and their sources of life? It is clear that they are targeting Rojava to prevent the defeat from being revealed. If they think they can stop the guerrilla with such ugly attacks, they are wrong. These attacks have nothing to do with us, nor can they prevent the guerrillas' just cause and actions in this way. This is not possible.

AKP’s attacks on Rojava are a crime against humanity

In the face of all these attacks, there is not much reaction from the international community. What can be said in this context?

This is also an interesting aspect of the issue. The Kurdish forces also have inadequacies and mistakes in this regard. There are inadequacies in making a good distinction between the parts, as well as the inadequacy of diplomatic work. The weak reflection of the Kurdish national reflex is also a matter of serious criticism. In short, there are dimensions that we Kurds should also highlight against these attacks. Again, there may be emotional approaches, inadequate and inaccurate reflections by some young structures. Each part is different; each part carries out its own struggle under its own concrete conditions. Just as a Marxist party in each country is not considered responsible for the practice of a Marxist party in another country, that is, in this sense, everyone is responsible for the practice in their own country's conditions, the PKK and the PYD have the same level of responsibility towards each other. What they have in common is their adoption of the Apoist ideology, but everyone is responsible for the practice in his own part. They have no organic ties with each other and cannot be held responsible for each other. However, I do not think that this truth has been reflected in exactly this way. Emotional approaches come to the fore and ideology and organisation are confused with each other.

However, the Turkish Republic deliberately shows and uses this situation differently. It makes it look as if there is an organic bond, as if they are one and the same. Even the name of our party PKK is constantly used in Rojava. They say, "We have dealt a heavy blow to the PKK's financial resources". What's that got to do with it? What are the PKK's financial resources there? This is a big lie, a distortion. Another new development of the AKP in Turkey is that it commits crimes and illegal practices not only in this issue but also in other general issues, but tries to legitimise them by openly publishing them in the press as if they were natural. In other words, it makes the crime look like it is not a crime. Thus, it aims to legitimise it.

The AKP's attacks on Rojava are a crime against humanity. It is mainly uncomfortable with the status of the Kurdish people and the peoples of Northern and Eastern Syria. In other words, it wants to abolish the Democratic Autonomous Administration. It is jealous of the peoples living together freely and sees that system as a danger to itself, so it attacks. For this reason, it is trying to create a connection with the guerrilla. It makes it look as if the PKK is stationed there. None of this has anything to do with reality. The main target there is status. It is an attack against the organisation of the Kurdish people to gain status. It wants to prevent the development of the system of the Democratic Autonomous Administration in this way. In other words, this is essentially an activity aimed at destroying the system there and displacing the Kurdish people. What does it have to do with the guerrilla? It has no connection at all. But what is important here is to reflect these facts correctly to the entire Kurdish people and public opinion and to develop the struggle against this with the right methods. For this, it is important to recognise and overcome the inadequacies.

KDP’s partnership with AKP-MHP strengthens insolvency

Although you have stated many times that the Turkish state aims to liquidate the Kurds, it is seen that the KDP continues to act with the Turkish state on the battlefields. How does this situation reflect on the Kurdish people?

The level of the KDP's cooperation with the Turkish state is a serious problem and this cannot be defined as a problem between two organisations only. Now in Northern Kurdistan, our people are making a great sacrifice, effort and labour to enforce a solution to the Kurdish question on the Turkish state. We have around ten thousand revolutionary patriotic people imprisoned. There is oppression and torture in Northern Kurdistan; there is a system of isolation and torture on Leader Apo (Abdullah Öcalan) that is unrivalled in the world. Thousands of Kurdish politicians and Kurdish youth, whose only crime is to defend Kurdish identity, are wanted to rot in prisons. There is a great fascist violence and oppression against the people of the North. Our people are facing a much more deep-rooted violence than the fascist oppression of the Saddam era, and our people are resisting against it. Every day their children are martyred, and they are in great resistance with everything. The aim of all these efforts is to solve the Kurdish question. The solution of the Kurdish question is to make the Turkish state accept the solution, but the KDP's partnership with the AKP-MHP government, which conducts a notorious anti-Kurdish policy, strengthens the hand of insolvency, not the solution. Thus, it becomes an obstacle to a solution. In other words, this stance strengthens the hand of the fascist forces that seek a solution through violence and want to subject the Kurdish people to genocide.

Northern Kurdistan is half of Kurdistan. The lack of a solution here is something that also affects the future of the whole Kurdistan. If the genocide policy implemented by the AKP-MHP in Northern Kurdistan succeeds, all the gains and existence of the other parts will be under threat. This is a certain fact. Therefore, the partnership of the KDP and the Turkish Republic is a national problem for the Kurds. Therefore, everyone who is in favour of Kurdish national rights should emphasise this, and no one should remain silent against it. Of course, everyone has something to do in this regard. Organisations such as the KNK, etc., which see themselves as responsible for the Kurdish cause, have something to do in this regard, they have responsibilities. For example, all political parties, non-governmental organisations and patriotic personalities who want to solve the Kurdish question in Northern Kurdistan and who are struggling for this purpose should wage a struggle to overcome this obstacle. It is wrong to be content with the occasional statements on this issue that have been seen in Northern organisations so far, or to remain in a spectator position. Everyone has something to do to make the KDP abandon this sinister policy that is against Kurdish national interests. Some can go and hold talks and warn; some can come and develop various activities in Southern Kurdistan and internationally. Because this policy jeopardises the interests of the entire Kurdish people. Although the fascist practices of the current regime acting on behalf of the Republic of Turkey are ostensibly shown as attacks and practices against the PKK, it is very clear that, in essence, it is an attack against the future of the entire Kurdish people. The Turkish state does not want the Kurdish people to have will and status in the region. It sees this as a serious threat to its existence. Although the situation is so clear, how can it be that a power in the name of Kurdishness co-operates with such a racist state, which is the enemy of the Kurds and Kurdistan, and helps them to occupy Kurdistan's lands? This grave situation should not be accepted by any patriot.

It should be well known that the Turkish state has never withdrawn from any place it has occupied throughout history. And there is no one who does not know that it is a secret strategy for the Turkish state to occupy the borders of Misak-ı Milli (National Pact). Despite this, why is the KDP making so much effort for the Turkish state to occupy the territory of Southern Kurdistan? Why does it provide so many opportunities for the Turkish state to settle in Girê Amediyê? Why does it carry out activities such as embargo, road blocking, denunciation, etc. in order to weaken and break the guerrilla resistance? It is not possible to understand this. No one knows what kind of secret agreement exists between them. This needs to be revealed. What kind of agreements have been made for the future of the Kurdish people, why can an organisation be a partner in the Turkish state's occupation of Kurdish lands in this way? These are important issues, and everyone must take their responsibilities in this regard and do whatever they can to eliminate the dangers to Kurdish national interests. It is everyone's national patriotic duty to take such a stance.

Freedom struggle keeps the memory of Şêx Saîd alive

The Turkish state is also making calculations to discredit, ignore and play on the past values of the Kurdish society. Most recently, there have been intense discussions about Şêx Saîd. The insults made in these discussions caused reactions among the Kurdish people. What do you say about this?

Yes, Şêx Saîd is a value of the people of Kurdistan that has a place in the history of the Kurdish people. Insulting Şêx Saîd is an insult against the entire Kurdish people. Although the Turkish state tries to overlook it, it is clearly evident in the available historical documents. The Kurds are a people who have laboured in the establishment of the new Turkey. It participated in the war, suffered martyrs and is a founding element. Until 1924, there was a certain level of Kurdish-Turkish co-operation. In this regard, the Kurds were promised autonomy. But with the 1924 Constitution, the existence and rights of the Kurds were denied, the promises made to the Kurds were not fulfilled, and the Kurdish people were betrayed. Here, it is not Şêx Saîd who betrayed, but Şêx Saîd and the entire Kurdish people who were betrayed.

As a Kurdish leader, Şêx Saîd was an honest and sincere person in his life. He was not a leader of the movement. He was a member of the Azadî Committee. However, when people like Xalid Cibranî and Yusuf Ziya were arrested and the Kurdish people faced a great injustice, Şêx Saîd had to shoulder the burden. He did not avoid it, he made sacrifices. He tried to embrace the Kurdish freedom cause. After the first meeting they held, soldiers sent in front of a group made a provocation, which led to a premature birth. The Turkish state came upon them without the necessary preparations. This is what was done here. Therefore, it is clear that these situations cannot be seen correctly without seeing the just truth of the Kurdish cause. Şêx Saîd is an important figure in the struggle for the Kurdish national cause, and today, in the freedom struggle that is being raised, the memories of Şêx Saîd, Seyit Rıza, İhsan Nuri Pasha and their likes are kept alive and their goals are realised.

Moreover, the fact that Şêx Saîd mentioned the caliphate in his statement was not something that could be considered abnormal at that time. The caliphate had just been abolished and a significant part of the newly formed state cadres, including the leadership, still defended the caliphate. There is also information that the suggestions of an officer assigned by the state played an important role in making such a statement. Therefore, it is clear that those who make interpretations and conclusions based solely on this statement are acting deliberately.