Kalkan: Erdoğan’s 'national mobilization' is a call for Kurdish genocide

PKK Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan stated that Erdoğan’s comments on national mobilization are very dangerous and said: “Erdoğan called for a Kurdish genocide. Everybody should take precautions.”

PKK Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan said PKK’s resistance in 2016 has been worth 40 years of resistance and that “it was this resistance that spoiled the big game, stopped a dangerous attack and ruined the vile genocide plan.”

“Despite all massacres and attacks by the AKP-MHP fascism, they have failed to pull one straw from the bale, they have not managed to dissuade anybody from the resistance,” said Kalkan and added that the most important outcome of 2016 has been proving that Kurdish resistance can’t be dissipated or crushed.

Kalkan pointed out that Erdoğan’s “national mobilization” comments were very dangerous and said: “Erdoğan called for a Kurdish genocide. Everybody should take precautions. Of course the Kurds will resist this to the end. One can never be certain who will mobilize whose nation against who, and who lives and who dies as a result.”

PKK Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan spoke to ANF on the developments that marked the past year and current issues on the agenda.

2016 has been a year of resistance in cities of Northern Kurdistan still fresh in memory. In this context, what can you say about the outcomes of the year when you assess it in terms of the PKK-led Kurdistan freedom struggle?

We are approaching the end of a year of historic struggle. 2016 has been a year of great hardship and pain, and great gains. AKP’s Collapse Action Plan has been mostly voided, and the outcome has been that they almost reached the point of collapse. Tayyip Erdoğan and many AKP officials saying “We will not bow down, we will not surrender” in the face of the most recent revolutionary activity show this clearly. If they say this, it means that those are the concepts on their minds. They are at a point where they are assessing such a situation among themselves. In this sense, the hardship, the pain, the price that has been paid, they haven’t been in vain. On the contrary, this has been a year that will go down in the history of Kurdish resistance. Especially the democratic self government resistances that started in Cizre and Sur and peaked in Gever, Şırnak and Nusaybin have shown to all friends and foes how insistent the Kurdish people are on living free. We are concluding this year on this basis.


For our movement, it has been a year of great resistance and great gains. The Leader resisted, the people resisted, the guerrilla resisted, the democratic politics resisted. The youth and the women displayed a heroic resistance for freedom in the Apoist line. The slogan for the year was determined by Mehmet Tunç, Cizre’s dear child, people’s assembly member, the symbol of the Cizre resistance, by the start of the year: He said, in the face of AKP’s fascist/annihilation attacks, “we will not bow down, be proud of us”. 2016 launched the period of heroism that all the peoples of the region and all of humanity, not just Kurds, can be proud of forever, not just today. It could be said that every year has been filled with hardship, and there have been years on the level of miracles where great heroism has been displayed. 2016 has been such a year of resistance for the PKK.

But of course the year has its own authenticity. There was a total resistance against the AKP-MHP fascism. Like the hearts of all Kurds and democratic forces beat for Kobanê and in the resistance against ISIS in Rojava in 2015, they beat for the heroic resistance displayed in the face of vile attacks and massacres of the AKP-MHP fascism in Cizre, Sur, Nusaybin, Şırnak, Gever, Amed, Botan and other cities and towns of Northern Kurdistan in 2016. 2015 was the year of great gains for Rojava, and 2016 has been the year of great resistance and great gains in Bakure Kurdistan.


The fascist genocidal system’s attacks and impositions were very clear. They wanted to make us kneel, bow down and surrender. They had been aiming to make the Kurdish people bow down and surrender by imposing upon them all kinds of atrocious massacres under the name Collapse Action Plan. They mobilized all their forces to achieve this. They put Turkey’s future as collateral, and used all their power to crush the Kurdish resistance. They framed this as the “new war of independence and the national stance”. They especially blended the white, black and green fascism, and created an absolute racist/chauvinist/fascist nationalist union to actualize the Kurdish genocide through the most atrocious of massacres. They were hoping to exercise the tyranny they forced upon many peoples in history over Kurds in a way with much less regard, and thus make the Kurdish people surrender.

They poured gas and burned wounded people alive, they bombed cemeteries, they left bodies out on the streets for weeks, they dragged bodies behind vehicles, they did everything. They resorted to all kinds of methods of massacre through the various gang structures they organized, they orchestrated massacres in Suruç, Ankara, Amed and Antep. Their goal was to intimidate, to appall, to deceive, to suppress, to make the Kurdish people give up fighting for freedom and make them surrender. The Kurdish people resisted against such an atrocity regime.

On this basis, 2016 has been a year of resistance. To put it more clearly, the resistance in Cizre and Sur became a focus to keep the Kurdish people’s pulse by the start of the year. In the words of Mehmet Tunç, Cizre didn’t give up, didn’t surrender, and displayed a line of heroism to always be proud of. It was a clear way to shape the line of resistance in such an atmosphere.

How do you see the guerrillas’ performance in the struggle in 2016? What does the fact that HPG and YJA Star guerrillas carrying out extensive actions despite the winter conditions tell us for next year?

Yes, we went into Spring 2016 with the heroic resistances I talked about. The winter conditions were harsh. We had trouble keeping a unity for the resistances in the mountains, the plains and the cities. With spring, it was easier. The Guerrilla moved into action in both the city and the mountains. 2016 has been a year for great war in all of Kurdistan’s mountains. There were no mountains, no regions left that they didn’t carry out actions and deliver blows to the enemy. The Guerrilla conducted an effective war of vengeance. This was a war that developed in the sacrificial line. This magnificent resistance started with the fighting of Zinar and Doğa. There was a great revolutionary war from Elazığ to Cizre that brought the enemy to their knees, made all murderous fascists answer and avenge the massacres. These are already known, there is no need to state these again.


This resistance pushed the AKP-MHP coalition to a deep corner. As a result, the Davutoğlu government fell in May and there was an attempted coup in July. The Erdoğan administration bounced off the post, so to speak, it could be said that they were toppled and they got back up. Of course it is debatable how well they recovered, if at all. It has come to such a point that he is living with the constant syndrome of vanishing and collapsing. He is with great fear, he can’t sleep, he can’t stay still. He is afraid of everybody. Because he tried to build his dictatorship by threatening and tricking everybody.

He is trying to overcome his fears and keep his power through intimidating and controlling his surrounding with pressure, threats and bullying. At this point we’re at, they are trying to implement several new institutionalisation precautions like a new constitution to keep the Erdoğan-Bahçeli government going strong for a long time. He thinks he can prolong his life as an absolute dictator if he takes over the party and the state and everything else. These people dealing in such detail with the legality of things isn’t just Tayyip Erdoğan trying to gather all reins. He knows that one day he will collapse and he will face justice. He is trying to create a legal basis from where he can defend himself when he is put on trial. There are two such aspects for him putting so much importance on this constitutional amendment. First, he will seize all authority, and become an absolute dictator. The second is so that he will be able to say he was within the limits of the law when he is put on trial.

What is the clearest message from the Kurdish people and the Kurdish Freedom Movement’s struggle in 2016?

Despite all the massacres, arrests and fascist attacks, the AKP-MHP fascism has failed to tear off one single person from the Kurdish resistance. They have failed to deter even one person. Outside, in dungeons, in the mountains, in the cities, all patriotic Kurdish people resist heroically against fascism and genocide, they never bow down. That is the greatest gain in 2016: The Kurdish resistance cannot be unfurled, dispersed or crushed. The Kurdish people are intent on resisting for freedom. They will continue this resistance until the last person if necessary, but they will achieve their free existence for sure. In this sense, those who hope for a Kurdish genocide, who think they can take the Kurd prisoner, to make the Kurd bow down, those who build their existence, their politics and their power over this, have been defeated in the face of the current Kurdish resistance and heroism. They are at the brink of destruction. They are collapsing and disbanding.

In this context, the AKP-MHP government hasn’t achieved anything they aimed for. Their whole goal was to make the Kurd kneel, to render them unable to resist, to deter them of their purpose of freedom, and to disband their organization. None of these happened. On the contrary, the Kurdish people have gotten closer together, become more revolutionary and radicalized. All Kurds in other parts and abroad have come together around such a line of resistance. Those who launched these attacks were hoping the Kurds wouldn’t be able to resist, they would have to surrender, if some tried to resist they would crush them. But the Kurds have displayed that they have enough courage, sacrifice and power to resist to destroy the attackers. Resistance has made Kurds win again. Mazlum Doğan’s line of “resistance is life” made the Kurdish people prevail with the resistance in 2016.

In 2016, we saw AKP try to create a distinction between the Kurdish people and the PKK through both politics and propaganda. When AKP failed with propaganda and psychological warfare, they tried to develop this through pressure and threats, saying “No one shall utter PKK’s name”. But still failed to create an anti-PKK sentiment. In this sense, can a Kurdishness separate from PKK or a solution to the Kurdish issue without PKK be conceived?

How will they create this Kurdishness separate from PKK? Who will be these Kurds so distinct from PKK? Who fights for the existence and the freedom of the Kurdish people? Those servants who run around in the name of AKP, do they represent Kurdishness? That is impossible. And, a democratic nation building for the Kurds was born and developed with PKK leading the way. They chant every day that “PKK is the people, the people are here”. They see PKK as their own identity, they find their existence there. PKK becomes the spirit and the will of the Kurdish people. A Kurdishness without the PKK had already been extinguished. PKK revived the dead. The state also admits to this. In the MİT documents these are stated clearly.

In this sense, for one, there is no Kurdishness without PKK. On the other hand, PKK is trying to solve the Kurdish issue. But they say, “The issue is the PKK, it’s a terror issue”. Yes, PKK exists because of an issue, and so does “terror”. What is that issue? It’s the Kurdish issue. I ask those who say this what they think of the freedom of the Kurdish people and their existence. They deny the Kurd, and even say they will annihilate the Kurd. Then when they’re cornered, they say, “We’re not against Kurds, we’re against PKK and terror”. PKK equals the Kurdish people. PKK is a political movement, devoted to the solution of the Kurdish issue. Leader Apo even said in the last meeting, “I’m on Imralı, where I was on April 5, 2015, I am ready for the political resolution to the Kurdish issue.” The Kurdish leadership is at this point. PKK and the Kurdish people are devoted to this Leader to death. They support this line of thought without the slightest doubt or diversion. The Kurds and the PKK have displayed the greatest sacrifices for such a solution to emerge. In the past period, they proposed solutions, they declared ceasefires. They worked selflessly to develop democratic politics.

On the other hand, PKK didn’t create this period of conflict. Some AKP bootlickers write the most vile things. One day, we will make them answer to history, to humanity, in courts of democracy. They say “PKK did such and such after June 7 elections.” Go ask Davutoğlu, who used the guns? Who did Ahmet Davutoğlu instruct? How many times has he boasted carrying out 400 aerial attacks in one night? So, how come you claim PKK started this? When the jets bombed PKK camps in the night of July 24, when the political genocide operations against Kurdish politics raged on, how will PKK develop a democratic political solution still? How will PKK affect the political climate in this framework? That was the search and the effort. While the PKK was in such a search for a solution, a vile and atrocious attack for annihilation came along. And PKK is resisting this too, fighting to exist against those who want PKK gone. Making the perpetrators of massacres and attacks answer, avenging them.