Cemil Bayik: Standing up for Öcalan means protecting freedom - PART ONE
Cemil Bayik spoke about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world.
Cemil Bayik, KCK co-Chair, spoke about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world, including the importance of Abdullah Öcalan for politics in Turkey, NATO´s direct assistance for Turkey´s use of banned weapons in South Kurdistan/North Iraq, the success of modern guerrilla tactics against the Turkish army, the results of the last NATO summit and the deepening crisis in Iraq
The Kurdish people’s leader, Abdullah Öcalan, continues to be under heavy isolation on the Turkish prison island Imrali. Despite this, the agenda in Turkey revolves around him. How do you evaluate this situation?
The vigil in Strasbourg for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo continues, just like the campaign that was launched by trade unions in the UK. Recently, hundreds of intellectuals and writers have made statements. I would like to take this opportunity to greet and pay my respects to all those who stand against the genocidal politics of the Turkish state and fight for the physical freedom of Önderlik [Abdullah Öcalan]. They are waging a very important struggle. Because defending Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] means defending freedom, democracy, the peoples of the world and human values. There are many reasons why the isolation against Önderlik has become so severe. First of all, they are afraid of Rêber Apo. They do not want his voice to reach the peoples. Because they know very well how much this affects peoples.
Another reason for the increasing isolation is that the leadership has been in prison for 24 years and the 25th year is about to begin. According to European law, the Turkish state needs to reconsider the sentence imposed on Önderlik. In fact, Rêber Apo needs to be released from prison. But Turkey wants to keep him in prison until the end and destroy him. That is why they are making false allegations from a legal point of view. For example, they say “he committed a disciplinary offense”. The Turkish state has to submit an official answer to Europe by September. The Turkish state wants to prevent the release of Rêber Apo with these false disciplinary penalties. Our people, especially the lawyers, need to understand this very well and take it seriously. They must defeat the legal frauds of the Turkish state.
No matter what the Turkish state does, it cannot sever the connection of Önderlik with the Kurdish people, the PKK, the peoples of the world and humanity. This is not possible. Today, Rêber Apo has a place in the hearts of all peoples, especially women. It is not possible for the Turkish state to change this. Therefore, it is only fooling itself. Rêber Apo’s ideas and philosophy are spreading day by day. Those who struggle for freedom, democracy and socialism are embracing Rêber Apo more and more every day. Rêber Apo said, “I am wherever my Defense Writings are.” Rêber Apo’s Defense Writings are everywhere now. Everyone who reads and understands Rêber Apo embraces him. That is why the cadres of this movement, more than anyone else, should ensure that Rêber Apo’s ideas spread even more. Supporting Rêber Apo means supporting the Kurdish people and standing against AKP-MHP fascism and genocide.
The genocidal Turkish army’s attacks on the areas Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna in South Kurdistan/North Iraq continue. The guerrillas are putting up an epic resistance against these attacks. Recent statements by the HPG [People´s Defense Forces] show that the Turkish army has more than 1500 chemical weapons in South Kurdistan this year alone. The Turkish state also recently published a video proving that it uses chemical weapons. Despite this, they cannot break the guerrilla resistance. At what stage are the guerrilla resistance and the war now?
Rêber Apo has said that the greatest of all technology is the human itself. Because it is the human who is capable of using technology. Today, we can see this very clearly in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna. The Turkish state uses all kinds of nuclear, phosphorus, thermobaric and chemical weapons. Reconnaissance planes fly over the areas dozens of times every day. They use tanks, artillery, missiles, simply everything they have. NATO supports them, Barzani helps them in every way and they also use gangs [Islamist proxy-forces]. But they have still not been able to achieve any results. This shows that the guerrillas has prepared itself against all the techniques of the Turkish state. That’s why it deals heavy blows to the Turkish state. The enemy had aimed to occupy these areas in a few weeks and eliminate the guerrillas.
Today, more than 4 months after the start of this year´s attacks, they still cannot take a step forward, they are stuck against the guerrillas. They have many problems. They even bomb the corpses of their own soldiers so that no one can find them. At the same time, they spread all kinds of propaganda among the people. They say that they are striking a blow against the guerrillas and are thus waging a special war. Many of their soldiers die here, but they don’t publish most of their identities. They announce just a few of them. In this way, the Turkish state wants to keep the people’s faith alive. And they use this to pursue their own politics. The guerrillas are in possession of the bodies of numerous soldiers and have published their names. The guerrillas have even announced the soldier´s dog tags for everyone to believe them. They have also called on the families to come and take the bodies. So the reason why the Turkish state uses so many banned weapons and chemical weapons is because it is losing against the guerrillas.
I congratulate the HPG and YJA Star guerrillas. They defend the honor of the Kurdish people and humanity. They sacrifice their lives for this. They are loyal to Rêber Apo, the guerrillas and the şehits [martyrs], they are based on Rêber Apo’s philosophy and ideology, they love the people, freedom, democracy and their land. They put up a heroic resistance. That is why they are heroes not only of the Kurdish people but also of humanity. Because they are fighting against fascism and genocide and are giving their lives for this. That is why everyone should unite around the guerrillas and increase their protests. All the burden should not be left on the shoulders of the guerrillas who are already fulfilling their duties. Everyone should fight everywhere with the same spirit as the guerrilla resistance. Recently, there have been some protests, but they are not enough. There need to be more protests.
Our friends in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna are struggling under great difficulties. Maybe they don’t eat for days, maybe they can’t take a bath for months, they have a weapon in their hands and they resist against the enemy’s technique day and night. They are dealing great blows to the Turkish state. Everyone needs to see this. The following attitude would be wrong: ´Let the guerrilla wage a struggle under these conditions and let us just say, ‘We are their comrades, we are loyal to them’, but let us not fulfill our duties.´
The tactic the guerrillas are using is a new tactic. That’s why they are dealing big blows to the Turkish state. This is not only said by us, but also by those who used to be members of the Turkish state’s special forces. They admit that the guerrilla has renewed itself, that it has become very strong. And they admit that they are unable to achieve any results against the guerrilla. Maybe some may consider what we say as an exaggeration, but the enemy himself admits that this is the case. So there is no exaggeration here, we are simply stating the is truth. Everyone needs to see this and do their part. Once again, I would like to congratulate the HPG and YJA Star guerrillas. They are doing great heroic deeds. They are setting an example for the whole world. Everyone gains strength from this.
The guerrilla is currently using tunnel and team tactics. Since these complement each other, the Turkish state is receiving heavy blows and does not get any results despite its modern technology and tactics. That’s why they are stuck. They don’t know how to get out of their current situation. That’s why they want to escalate the war in some places. But they cannot get results from this either. Wherever they try to get out, they simply get stuck even more. They are receiving more and more heavy blows. That is why a big war is being waged. This war will bring about the end of AKP-MHP. The forces fighting against fascism need to take these developments very seriously. They need to consider the guerrilla’s struggle as their own struggle and fulfill their duties.
You talked about how heavy the war in South Kurdistan/North Iraq. Recently, the guerrilla also published the balance sheet of this year´s war that has been going on for 4 months now. According to the balance sheet, 1871 invaders have been killed and 84 guerrillas were martyred. Tactical nuclear and chemical weapons have been used 1532 times by the Turkish state. How do you evaluate the most recent phase of the war?
Our headquarters regularly published balance sheets. These balance sheets clearly show the scale of the war. The Turkish state has suffered huge blows in this war. The guerrilla also has martyrs. But when we compare, the guerrilla’s losses are not so much compared to the scale of the war being waged. This is the result of the guerrilla’s struggle against the enemy’s technology. The guerrilla not only suffers few casualties, but also strikes great blows against the enemy and defeats its technology. The peoples struggling for freedom all over the world can draw many conclusions from today´s resistance in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna. They should not fight like they used to, because they cannot get results that way. But if they draw conclusions from the resistance in Zap, Avaşîn and Metîna, if they train themselves accordingly, they can easily continue their struggles for democracy and freedom.
The situation is not the same as before. The capitalist system has changed its technology and tactics, especially against the guerrillas. So that the guerrilla ceases to be a force for freedom. The HPG and YJA Star guerrillas are also fighting against the enemy with new tactics. This is why the Turkish state cannot achieve results despite the help of NATO, Barzani and the use of chemical weapons. The friends fighting in the Medya Defense Zones [areas in South Kurdistan controlled by the guerrilla] are an example not only for our movement or the Kurdish people, but for all humanity. Maybe the guerrillas are waging this struggle under very difficult conditions, but they are waging their struggle consciously. In other words, they know what they are doing for the PKK, for the people, for humanity. If they weren’t conscious, if there wasn’t a strong will, strong comradeship, there wouldn’t be a strong struggle. No one would be able to live in those areas even for a single day.
The guerrillas have been waging a relentless resistance [against the Turkish state´s attacks on South Kurdistan] for more than 4 months now. Rêber Apo’s philosophy and ideology are the basis for this epic resistance under such difficult circumstances. The guerrilla is heroically fulfilling its duty. What is required of everyone is to understand the guerrilla’s struggle under those conditions and fulfill their duty on this basis. We know what kind of difficult circumstances the guerrillas are fighting under. That’s why we constantly think about how we can be worthy of those friends, how we can increase the struggle. We have no other goal than that. No matter what we do for those friends, we cannot repay our debt. Because they fulfill a historical duty for us, for our people, for humanity.
If the guerrillas resist heroically under those conditions, we need to fight more with that spirit and will outside [of the mountains]. We need to be worthy of those friends. The friends [in the guerrilla] need to know that no matter what happens, we will pay our debt to them and we will fight on this basis. The friends should also know that no matter how much propaganda the enemy makes, the Turkish state has lost against the guerrilla and will lose even more. On this basis, I would like to once again congratulate the YJA Star and HPG guerrillas and express my gratitude.
After the recent NATO meeting in Madrid, a meeting between Erdogan and Putin took place. Immediately afterwards, the attacks against the Kurds increased. How do you evaluate these meetings and the plans and policies of the hegemonic powers?
At the NATO meeting in Spain, new NATO members were accepted. In order to accept these members, they fulfilled the demands of the Turkish state. What are the demands of the Turkish state? It says that NATO should help Turkey, that it should support and not oppose the war against the PKK, and that it should deliver weapons. In other words, the Turkish state demands that nobody should oppose it, no matter what it does. The Turkish state does not have the power to fight against the PKK and to commit genocide. This policy of genocide was developed in Lausanne and the Turkish state is simply carrying out this policy. NATO stands behind the Turkish state´s insistence on the politics of genocide and liquidation. Therefore, I would like to make the following call on NATO: Do not be a partner in the Turkish state’s politics of genocide. They should not conduct politics with Turkey against the Kurds. Kurds are not like they used to be, they have made the decision to achieve freedom and have paid a price for this. Therefore, no one will be abte to benefit from the genocide against the Kurds.
Recently, a meeting took place in Tehran. There, Turkey asked both Russia and Iran to accept its demands. What are Turkey’s demands? The liquidation of the PKK, the genocide of the Kurdish people. Especially the occupation of new territories in Rojava. They want to completely eliminate the status of Rojava. AKP-MHP demanded this in Tehran, but their demands were not accepted. But this does not mean that nothing was accepted at this meeting. In fact, some decisions were taken in terms of Turkey re-establishing relations with Syria, the Syrian regime coming to power in Rojava, and regarding the exchange of intelligence. But these are not Erdogan’s demands. That’s why shortly after he went to Sochi and met with Putin. There he demanded more from Putin. On his return to Turkey, Erdoğan said, “We will focus on North and East Syria with Putin, we will work together.” This statement shows everything.
In Sochi, Russia obviously made some promises. They promised not to close the airspace [in North and East Syria]. This can clearly be seen in practice. Because they do not raise their voice against the air strikes of the Turkish state. There is also intelligence sharing. That is why the Turkish state has increased its attacks on North and East Syria after the meeting in Sochi. The occupation and attacks against North and East Syria have continued uninterruptedly. If Russia had not paved the way for these attacks, the Turkish state would not have been able to attack. The Turkish state massacres children, women and the elderly every day.
Both America and Russia are responsible for these massacres. Our people in Rojava also say this, so they do not back down in the face of attacks. They say, “Whatever the cost, we will not give up our lands, we will resist until the end.” This is the right thing to do. There is no other way for our people except resistance. They can only live by resisting. These powers have given nothing to our people except massacre, exile, migration and demographic change. As long as there is no change in the genocide policy these powers developed in Lausanne, the massacres against the Kurds will continue. Our people need to know this well. First and foremost, our people need to believe in themselves. They should not expect anything from anyone.
Turkey wants to establish relations with the Syrian regime, but this won´t be easy. There are huge problems. In Idlib, there is a government supported by the Turkish state, and the Turkish state has occupied many places and created a fake army consisting of thousands of gang members [Islamist proxies]. How will this work? Another important point is that recently a female minister of Erdogan publicly said, “We deliberately lured the Syrian people to Turkey. We had a purpose. That´s why we brought millions of people here to fulfill our goal. We took advantage of them, we received money from the EU, we made huge profits by employing them cheaply in Turkey, we brought all the factories in Syria to Turkey, we formed an army from the gangs among them and we used them everywhere. And now we want to resettle them in Syria and in the Kurdish areas.” She said all this openly. For years, the EU and the US have been paying the Turkish state for these refugees. In other words, they have supported Turkey’s genocide policy.
The people and fighters of Rojava have fought against ISIS and have dealt a major blow to these gangs. They have saved humanity from a great scourge. Therefore, humanity is indebted to Rojava and the Kurdish people. But the Turkish state massacres these people every day. Most recently, in a school, they martyred children of those who fought against ISIS. The EU and the USA need to recognize this. In this sense, they should not give material and moral support to the Turkish state and should not be its partner in this genocide policy. Our people need to know that a very dirty policy is being carried out against them. The Turkish state wants to evacuate the villages [in Rojava/North and East Syria] and force the people to flee. That is why they are attacking villages. No matter what the cost, no one should leave their villages. If the people leave, the Turkish state will achieve its goal.
The Turkish state also aims to weaken the movement by eliminating the cadres and the leadership. This is the kind of tactic they are pursuing right now. In other words, they want to weaken both the people and the military forces. The Turkish state wants Erdogan to stay in power by massacring Kurds. Our people must remember this and prepare themselves in every possible way. They must fight against whoever is hostile against them.