Kalkan: Developments in Karabakh are also linked to a genocide

Duran Kalkan spoke about the latest developments in Kurdistan, the Middle East and the world but also about the war in Karabagh, as well as in Kurdistan.

You have been talking about the genocidal policy followed by the Turkish government, with its center of attention laying at the Kurdish society. But this policy is not only followed against the Kurds. For example recently, there have been the attacks on the Armenian society. How do you evaluate these?

The developments in Karabakh are also linked to a genocide. This genocidal mentality and politics emerged during the First World War as the mentality and politics of global capitalism and imperialism. During the war, this was fed to the Committee of Union and Progress administration and then to the Kemalists. The Armenian genocide that started in Cilicia in 1915 is now being carried out in Karabakh. So it is going on now for more than 110 years. The fact there was/is the Armenian Genocide, the Greek Genocide, the Assyrian Syriac Genocide, the Kurdish Genocide shows clearly, that there is a genocidal mentality and politics targeting these peoples, carried out by the governments, supported and fed by the global capitalist modernity system.

This is continuing in Karabakh today, as the Armenians are being displaced and deported. Deportation is the forced displacement of a society from its homeland. This is one of the basic principles of genocide. One is physical massacre, one is demographic change, one is assimilation, cultural genocide, and one is deportation; in other words, mass migration. They make them migrate en masse and massacre them on the way. They started with the Armenians of Cilicia in 1915 and this was spread by the government wherever there were Armenians. When we look at what is happening in Karabakh now, when we look at what is going on, we are reminded of that. Genocidal mentality and politics continue to exist. On the one hand, there were states that said they opposed the Armenian genocide. There have been resolutions, but under their eyes, with their support and at their request, Armenians elsewhere, are experiencing the same situation.

This is very important for understanding the genocidal mentality and politics. This government and state system now has a genocidal mentality and politics. The fact that the state says that Armenians were subjected to genocide does not mean anything. It is not only the Turkish sovereigns, the rulers of the Turkish Republic who do not face the crime of genocide; others are also partners in this. Britain, France, America, Germany are all partners, but none of them confront it. They write genocide as a crime against humanity, but while they call it a crime in one place, they continue to practice new genocides on the other side. They have not condemned this crime of genocide. They did not purify it from genocidal mentality and politics. They have not freed themselves from this politics, mentality, ideology, especially the statist-power mentality and politics. Therefore, this is what is happening today. So nothing has changed. The tears of those hands shedding tears over the Armenian genocide are like the tears of a crocodile. And they are doing it for the simplest interests in the public eye today.

So, in fact, the war from 1915 continues. Some periods have passed in between, but nothing has changed. The process we call the Third World War today is a direct continuation of the First World War in terms of mentality and politics. Because their genocidal practices, mentality and politics continue.

I would like to salute the stances of the people that are struggling against this. And I would like to greet the efforts and attitudes of those who want to stand in their own place, in their own homeland and live free in the face of this genocide. Thereby I also respectfully commemorate those who were martyred for this cause. There were Kurds in that area too a long time ago, but nobody speaks about them. There was the Lachin corridor, for example, which was called Red Kurdistan for a while. They came to the fore in previous conflicts, they were driven out, some of them were killed. But now for some reason there is no mention of Kurds.

On the other hand, it is said that there are also many Kurds in Azerbaijan. 600 thousand Kurds, one million Kurds are said to have assimilated. They even call this Aliyev family Kurds.There is a Barzani dynasty there. They turn to others and make genocidal attacks. They also support genocides against themselves and become partners. As long as they gain simple material benefits and live for themselves. Therefore, what happened in Karabakh is really a disgrace, what was done to the Armenian community. The Armenian society should evaluate this very well. Rêber Apo put forward a very fundamental evaluation in his prison writings. He called on everyone to understand correctly, to approach critically, self-critically and to draw the right conclusions. He said that as Kurds we are doing it and Armenians should also do it. They should be able to expel those who are involved in such a thing from their midst, in terms of understanding, in terms of attitude. They should judge them.

Looking to the war that the colonialist Turkish state is forcing on Kurdistan. The invasion attacks on Southern Kurdistan are continuing, as also the great guerrilla resistance is. What can you tell us about this?

There was a statement made a few days ago. I would like to respectfully commemorate the comrades Egîd, Serdar and Mahir Başkale that martyred in the Zap resistance and also I would like to remember the heroic martyrs, that resisted in [the south Kurdish regions of] Zap, Avaşîn, Metîna and the Medya Defense Zones. There is a guerrilla force, a leadership that heroically resists against fascist, colonialist and genocidal attacks all over Kurdistan. It is the freedom fighters of YJA Star [autonomous womens guerrilla forces] and HPG [general guerrilla force] that are resisting. There have been clashes all over North Kurdistan [South-West Turkey] in this period. Most recently, comrade Axîn Mûş and her group were martyred in Amed [Turkish name Diyarbakir]. I would like to also commemorate all our heroic martyrs who were martyred by resisting against the AKP and MHP fascist aggression on the basis of spreading to cities and plains all over North Kurdistan and Turkey.

The guerrilla is waging a great struggle. This is the case in the Medya Defense Zones and all over North Kurdistan. The story of comrade Axîn’s and her comrades’ resistance has to be well analyzed and understood. They made history, and showed human behavior. They fought against the fascist, colonialist, genocidal mentality and politics for days, months and years, day and night, under such severe oppression and persecution. They did this with the passion for freedom.

Comrade Axîn was indeed a great resistance fighter. She had been in the Botan area before and fought for a long time in Gabar. In the last period, she was at the forefront of the guerrilla’s development, renewal and change, and in terms of understanding, technique and style, she fought at the forefront of what is called the guerrillaism of the new period. She was the comrade who contributed the most. She always participated in the struggle sacrificially in the line of women’s freedom. She became one of the leading militants and commanders of PAJK’s YJA Star. She always kept her free life, her free attitude, her spirit of freedom at the forefront, she did not recognize any difficulty or obstacle in her love for freedom. We should not just say that they were martyred. How did they live, what did they hear, what did they want, what did they look for, what did they envision, how did they look at the future? What were their feelings, what were their passions? There is Comrade Kemal Pir’s phrase “loving life enough to die for it”. What kind of passion did they have for free life? How did they live, how did they fight and how did they fall martyrs? All of this, of course, needs to be understood and followed correctly.

Once again, I would like to commemorate these heroic martyrs and reiterate my promise to achieve their goals. The war continues more fiercely in the Medya Defense Zones. In this regard, the Central Headquarters Command, will announce the monthly balance sheet to the public in a few days. It does this on a monthly and daily basis. The results will be seen there. The war is all over North Kurdistan and as a matter of a fact, West Kurdistan [North Syria] and South Kurdistan are also at war. The war is not only in the mountains but also in the city, in the plain. In every area, there is news of the actions of the HBDH militia, YPS fighters and the forces that organize themselves in various forms. Kurdish youth, the youth of Turkey are resisting against colonialism, against genocide, against fascism, against the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship by supporting revolutionary values, fighting heroically. I would like to respectfully salute all of these resistances and wish them success in their struggle.

We don’t need to say much about the level of the war, as our central headquarters made statements, it was constantly being evaluated. There were statements a few days as well. When the Turkish army got blocked and got unable to move, they increase their air strikes, use chemical weapons, use tactical nuclear bombs. It was in the news few days ago that they have started to use them widely again in places. In this way, it is trying to sustain itself, to save itself from being defeated, and having to flee back in the areas it attacks to occupy. It gets support from betrayers. It was stated that the KDP was in a special movement towards the Bradost area. In the Behdînan area, they support this AKP-MHP fascist genocidal aggression more. The resistance continues effectively in the tunnels and with mobile teams. Every day the guerrilla carries out dozens of actions. It hits the fascist occupiers and strikes blows. Balance sheets of dead and wounded are given. There is a very intense war. This war may be outside the borders of the Turkish Republic, but it is with the Turkish state. This state has gone beyond its borders, is in an occupying position and there is resistance against this occupation.

Of course, war is not just a frontal attack. There is also a special warfare, that contains psychological war, economic war, ideological war, political war, cultural war. But there are of course military attacks that connect them all. The enemy is waging a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional war, an attack that targets all areas of social life. This is what special warfare means. Therefore, the struggle against it means total resistance. To stress this point out again, the guerrilla is not the only target of this war. The war targets the whole society, especially women and youth. Everyone needs to define themselves as freedom fighters. They need to train, organize, and to certain extensions also they need to arm themselves.

Everyone should take up arms, especially women. Because men are armed, states are armed. And they have nuclear weapons that can destroy the world dozens of times over. While the opposing forces are so armed, why shouldn’t the oppressed, laborers, women, youth, workers be armed? Why shouldn’t they have the means of war? Undoubtedly, they will not use weapons and tools of war like the rulers, like the colonizers, genocidaires, mass murderers. Their method and style of use will be different. But this war is everyone’s war, it is not somebody’s war. It is everyone’s. Therefore everyone’s security is under threat, as the free life as a whole is endangered. Security and freedom are inextricably linked. Security cannot be delegated to someone else. Every individual, every society, every segment of society provides its own security. To the extent that they provide their own security, they are free. There is no other way to achieve a free life. So the war is not just a guerrilla war. It is not only the guerrilla fighting in Zap, Avaşin, Metina, Botan, Mardin, Amed, Serhad. In other words, the guerrilla is leading this, but everyone, women, youth, all laborers, the oppressed, all peoples must equip themselves and organize. Everybody has to build their own self-defense. They got to have the power and means to defend themselves against all kinds of attacks against them. There has to be such resistance, such an organization must emerge. Social structuring, organization as a people must reach this level. We indeed have to create a reality of a fighting, resisting people. To the extent that we gain such a consciousness, organization and equipment, we can break these fascist, colonialist and genocidal attacks. We can resist and win freedom. We can achieve our own free life by ensuring our freedom and security. If we give our security to someone else, they establish sovereignty over us. There our enslavement begins.

A gun is power. As a movement, as individuals, we want there to be not a single bullet, not even a gun left in this world. This is Rêber Apo’s philosophy, this is his mentality. He said, that if we had the power to defeat the world, we would not attack anyone. Even if the world unites and comes against us, we will never give up our legitimate, libertarian and democratic rights. We will resist for this. This is our philosophy. We want not even one gun, not even one bullet. We want them all to be destroyed. No money should be spent on them. But this is a goal, a philosophy, an understanding. To achieve this, we need struggle, we need effort. We need to see the concrete reality. This is not the world as it is. Calling for disarmament when there are so many armed groups, powers and states that have the weapons to destroy the world dozens of times is nothing but a call for slavery. It is nothing but saying submit to slavery. Let the rulers do it. Let the oppressors and exploiters do it, but let no one do it on behalf of the oppressed. Let no one do it in the name of left socialists, in the name of revolutionary democratic forces. We cannot do it. We have to be realistic and face the truth.

If we are going to tell the truth, then we have to wage a great struggle today to reach a world where there will be no guns and no bullets. In order to wage this struggle, we have to wage such a struggle with consciousness, organization, equipment and by having and using all means of struggle. Therefore, everyone should have such a consciousness and participate in the current struggle at this level. I reiterate this call once again, especially for the struggle against the attacks carried out within the scope of the special war.

As a last question, I would like to come back to Turkey and the Turkish society. What is your message to the Turkish society? Also now regarding the trial of the Gezi resistance.

Sentences were handed down in the Gezi Resistance trial. The Court of Cassation upheld them. It will now go to the Constitutional Court and then to the ECHR. This is also related to our subject. We need to see this reality in relation to the issues we are discussing. First of all, I would like to respectfully commemorate the martyrs of the Gezi resistance. I salute the Gezi resistance. It was really important and meaningful. It also developed on the basis of protecting nature and greenery. It united everyone.

Now there are two main things. If you pay attention, the women’s liberation struggle, and ecological consciousness, ecological struggle play a unifying role. The struggle to protect greenery, forests and nature unites everyone and creates a great spirit of enthusiasm and excitement. Gezi was such a resistance. Tayyip Erdoğan must still be dreaming about Gezi in his dreams at night, delirious. Because most of the time he reacts deliriously. It struck fear into the hearts and minds of fascism at this level. This means that Turkey can resist. In fact, Turkey can develop freedom and democracy. If Turkey’s youth, women, workers, laborers and peoples unite, if they see the truth and organize, they can create a great power of struggle. In other words, they can create consciousness and organization. Gezi demonstrated this.

Now it is inconceivable. They are giving aggravated life sentences. That means execution. The struggle Rêber Apo and the PKK abolished execution. They turned it into aggravated life imprisonment. Otherwise, they would have sentenced Osman Kavala to death penalty for the Gezi protests. Let’s see the mentality, attitude, law, justice of fascism. Why is this happening? This is connected to the international conspiracy. This is connected to the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide. This is connected to the Kurdish problem. I can state this; if there was no ‘Kurdish question’ in Turkey, if there was no Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide, if there was no such attack against the Kurds, they certainly would not have given such sentences to Osman Kavala and the other Gezi detainees. The prisons would not be so full now and there would not be so much torture in the prisons. Turkey would not have been ruled by a regime where law and morality have disappeared. It would not have been forced to such a regime. All of this is linked to the ‘Kurdish question’, to the Imrali system of isolation, torture and genocide.

Rêber Apo warned, “I have nothing to say for this, you are nurturing hostility towards me. But unfortunately many people suffer from the laws which you have particularly issued to put pressure on me. This is agonizing for me. You should at least see this fact and prevent this agony being inflected on other people.” 

The people, the youth, the women, the workers, the laborers, the intellectuals, the politicians, and revolutionaries of Turkey should reflect on this fact. The people should be rightly informed about the underlying truth of the developments. It is not enough just to protest and make a few criticisms. We need to find the causes well so that we can eliminate the consequences. In Turkey, the causes are never questioned or questioned incorrectly. We always just look at the results, which is a wrong approach. You cannot go anywhere with this. The fact that these sentences were handed down, that they were upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals and that there is so much hostility towards Gezi is all linked to the Kurdish problem, the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide. Therefore, defending justice, right and law in the Gezi trial means opposing the Imrali system of torture, isolation and genocide.

Merdan Yanardağ said this and all hell broke loose. Şebnem Korur Fincancı said this and all hell broke loose. Sezgin Tanrıkulu was expressing the same thing and they attempted to lynch him. So that the truth is not told, lies are not uncovered, masks are not unmasked, lies, and theft dominate everything. This is the spirit, feeling and law of the current administration. And it does this by basing it on the ‘Kurdish question’, on the Kurdish genocide. The so-called ‘Tunç’ law against Kurds is based on the understanding that ‘Kurds must be killed, there are no Kurds, they are all Turks’. So unless we oppose this understanding, this system, these injustices and lawlessness cannot be prevented. Free life and democratic system cannot be realized.

On this basis, I would like to salute the Gezi protesters once again as the most important democratic resistance in Turkey, and I call on everyone to understand correctly and to gather around such a resistance and take part in a great action that will destroy fascism, break the isolation and democratize Turkey.