Bayık: The government in Turkey and its decisions against the Kurds are not legitimate
“Nobody can destroy the PKK or complete the genocide of the Kurdish people because of its spirit of resistance. There is faith and sacrifice hidden in it. We have carried the resistance until today and have created many values thanks to this spirit."
The KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Co-Chair Cemil Bayık spoke to Stêrk TV about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world, including necessary precautions against a possible new occupation attack by Turkey on Rojava.
In the interview, Bayık also talks about the current situation of Abdullah Öcalan on Turkey’s prison island Imrali, the decision to terminate the halt of military attacks, the most recent attacks carried out by the guerrilla forces, the last round of Astana talks, Masrour Barzani’s recent visit to Ankara, the lessons to be learned from Turkey’s elections and the lack of legitimacy of Turkey’s new government.
We publish the second part of the in-depth interview, the first part of which can be found here.
An important election recently took place in Turkey and North Kurdistan. This election was also historic due to the intensity of the state's oppression, persecution and fascism. What are the most important conclusions you draw from the election results?
The election in May was very important. Consequently, everyone is discussing the results now. It is not wrong to have these kinds of discussions. This is necessary indeed, but what is important is that these discussions carried out by the forces of freedom and democracy lead to positive developments and success. The Labor and Freedom Alliance was founded before the elections with the aim of democratizing Turkey and creating the unity of the peoples of Turkey against fascism. This was a good decision. Perhaps this alliance should have been strengthened even more. In practice, it was not developed as necessary. There may have been shortcomings and mistakes, but lessons must now be learned from them. Then these mistakes will be overcome. Those who want to succeed need to approach this issue in this way.
All those who are part of this alliance need to strengthen their relations with the people. Because it has become clear that there are some weaknesses in their relations with the people. Without such relations, their politics will never yield any results. This is an alliance for freedom and democracy. Therefore, it must be based on society. It must organize society and express the people’s will. They must take decisions together with society. If their ties with society are weak, they will not be able to achieve results through politics. The AKP gathers people of faith around it. This is a powerful section of society in Turkey. Therefore, the Labor and Freedom Alliance needs to prevent Erdoğan's abuse of these people so that he cannot use them for his politics. Because this is a big part of society. If you don't acknowledge this, don't develop a policy accordingly and don't include society, you won't achieve any results in Turkey. This was also the case in the recent elections.
That is why Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] has developed a policy against this. His policy is based on the politics of democratic Islam. Islam is dominant in Turkey. There are people from different faiths and religions, but it is predominantly Muslim people. If you don't acknowledge this, you cannot achieve any results no matter what you do. Everyone in the Labor and Freedom Alliance must recognize this. Therefore, they must go to these people based on the politics of democratic Islam. If they do so, this alliance will achieve great results in Turkey. During the recent elections, the importance of the democratic nation paradigm has also become clear. The problems in Turkey can only be solved based on this paradigm. That is why it is necessary to insist on this and to not take any steps back. Why am I saying this? Because there are attacks on this paradigm. These attacks may even have an effect on certain people. It is necessary to know why these attacks are being carried out and what their goals are. Against these attacks, there must be an even stronger support for the paradigm of the democratic nation.
There are intense discussions among the Labor and Freedom Alliance about the election results. Do you agree with what is being said about the work of this alliance?
There are people who see themselves as responsible for what happened during the elections. They want to solve the existing problems and are working hard for this. The critique they have voiced is good. They might face some difficulties, but I believe that they will achieve great results. While some are approaching this issue responsibly and focus their discussions on how to achieve success, there are others who are talking nonsense. Because they are detached from society and do not feel any responsibility towards it. They instead serve fascism and genocide. That's why they speak so comfortably. Their speeches are full of attacks on Rêber Apo, his paradigm and the PKK. While some of them do this openly, others do it in a more subtle way.
A relentless struggle has been waged for 50 years under the leadership of Rêber Apo. In the course of this struggle, many values and patriotic principles have been created. Some people stand against these values and claim to represent national interests. They attack Rêber Apo and the PKK and define themselves as defenders of national interests. But they have nothing to do with such interests. Those struggling for national interests pay the necessary price for this. But when we look at these people, we can see that they neither wage a struggle nor pay the price for it. They have not taken a stance against the Turkish state for a single day and have not paid the slightest price. They take side with the Turkish state and attack Rêber Apo, the PKK, democratic politics and the projects developed by Rêber Apo. What kind of supporters of national interests are they? A person who defends national interests stands with whoever fights for the Kurdish society, not with those who carry out a genocide against the Kurds. We can clearly see that those who attack Rêber Apo and the PKK are on the side of the Turkish state. Fascists, racists and chauvinists are carrying out these attacks as part of Erdoğan's politics. There are not only Turks among them, but also Kurds. These people are carrying out the politics of the Turkish state.
While the peoples of Turkey and the Kurdish people are really enthusiastic about the democratic nation paradigm and are struggling on this basis, others are afraid and attack it. Those who do this are fascists, chauvinists and racists. They completely serve the politics of the Turkish state. The forces of democracy and freedom must understand well why these attacks are being carried out so that they can defend the democratization of Turkey and socialism. Because they are attacking Rêber Apo's project of democratizing Turkey. With these attacks, they want to eliminate the Labor and Freedom Alliance. Therefore, it is now necessary to support the project developed by Rêber Apo even more. We need to understand the democratization of Turkey and the unity of the peoples as our basis. If the Labor and Freedom Alliance takes this a basis, all attacks will be defeated. Then, the alliance will grow stronger.
What is the most urgent task for the Labor and Freedom Alliance to tackle now?
Erdogan's alliance still exists. The alliance built by Kılıçdaroğlu has now collapsed. The alliance that will develop the most from now on is the Labor and Freedom Alliance. Those who take part in this alliance must therefore act responsibly. In other words, they need to develop a more democratic policy both in Kurdistan and in Turkey.
Many things are currently happening in Kurdistan and Turkey. Especially in Kurdistan. For example, Kurds killed each other in Bismîl the other day. Our people should not kill each other. They should solve their problems through dialog. Democratic politics should protect the people and prevent these kinds of problems between the people. Because the Turkish state wants such problems to escalate and Kurds to kill each other. That is why democratic politics must play its role in this regard.
And the Kurdish people themselves, what kind of stance do you think they should take after the elections?
The Turkish state attacks the people in every way possible as part of its genocide policy in Kurdistan. It promotes rape, sends the bones of martyrs to their families in bags, slaughters children, women and elderly people with tanks, spreads prostitution, encourages the use of heroin and turns people into spies. It exploits the nature of Kurdistan, cuts down trees, builds dams, spreads mining and destroys villages. In other words, it destroys the possibility to live in Kurdistan. That is why our people should not remain silent against all this. Wherever the Turkish state carries out these attacks, the people there should rise up. This is the right thing to do. This is what Kurdish identity, religion and being a human demands.
One last question about the elections: In light of the general atmosphere during the election and the fraud that took place, do you consider the new government as legitimate?
The elections have shown clearly that the Kurdish people reject Erdoğan. They do not accept him. Not only the Kurdish people but also the peoples of Turkey rejected Erdoğan in the election. Therefore, this government is not legitimate. The decisions it takes with regards to the Kurdish people are not legitimate. The government in Turkey is a completely fascist and genocidal government. It only won with the help of the state’s power.
June 30 marks the 27th anniversary of şehit Zîlan's martyrdom, one of the PKK's pioneering cadres who carried out a self-sacrifice attack in Dersim in 1996. What is the importance of this anniversary for today?
First of all, I would like to respectfully commemorate all the martyrs of the revolution by commemorating heval Zîlan, Sema and Gulan. I would also like to salute all freedom fighters. Heval Zîlan took a stance against the attack on Rêber Apo [carried out in May 1996 in the Syrian capital Damascus]. She thus sent a message to the guerrilla, the Kurdish people and the Turkish state. And she clearly told the Turkish state that if it tries to eliminate the leadership [Abdullah Öcalan], it also tries to eliminate all of us, which gives us the right to eliminate the Turkish state. Today, our party, our people and our militants are still fighting in the spirit of Zîlan. From the first day of the PKK, it has always been characterized by this kind of sacrificial strength. This became clear through Zîlan and the friends in the Amed prison. Today, in the Medya Defense Zones – in Zap, Metîna and Avaşîn – the spirit of Zîlan is being kept alive. In the prisons, not only in Turkey but also in other countries, all those who struggle for democracy and freedom for the Kurdish people are resisting based on this spirit. Nobody can destroy the PKK or complete the genocide of the Kurdish people because of this spirit of resistance. There is faith and sacrifice hidden in this spirit. If this were not the case, we would not have been able to struggle against the Turkish army for so many years. We have carried the resistance until today and have created many values thanks to this spirit.
The anniversary of the execution of Şêx Saîd is upcoming. Yet, so many years after his execution, the Turkish state has still not published the whereabouts of his grave. Why?
On June 29 , the genocidal Turkish state issued a death sentence for Şêx Saîd. Together with Şêx Saîd, they executed 46 patriots. The site of their graves is still unknown. The occupying Turkish state also put Rêber Apo on trial and, on June 29, 1999, it issued a death sentence for Rêber Apo as well. In other words, it issued a death sentence for Rêber Apo on the same day as it had done for Şêx Saîd. This shows the character of the Turkish state. If one understands this character and the historical reality of the Kurdish people, one can make sense of what is happening today. Then you can understand why Rêber Apo has been subjected to such brutal torture. The Turkish state wants only death for the Kurds. It enjoys massacres, deaths and genocides. That is why its approach towards Rêber Apo and the Kurdish people is to eliminate them. This is all it thinks about. That is why they have put all the means of Turkey into action. Every Kurd, every person needs to see this. Every day they need to think about how they can protect their values, about how they will stand against the Turkish state. Thus, they must understand and fulfill their responsibility. They might pay a price and suffer doing this, but in the end they will win. Our people today know who a real patriot is, who has paid a price and suffered. Because every day Rêber Apo, the PKK and the guerrilla are waging a relentless struggle for the freedom of the Kurdish people. Every day they suffer martyrs. On this occasion, I would therefore like to commemorate the martyrs of the freedom struggle once again and respectfully bow in front of their memories. I offer my condolences to the families of all the martyrs. And I wish all the fighters success in their struggle.