Kalkan: Newroz celebrations carry important messages for the next local elections

Kalkan said that the Newroz celebrations also sent important messages for the next local elections.

Duran Kalkan, member of the KCK Executive Council, spoke about the local elections to be held on 31 March and the Turkish threats to launch a new operation in South Kurdistan. Kalkan said: "I once again congratulate the Newroz of all our people and friends. I salute everyone who is struggling for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. I call on everyone to continue this struggle uninterruptedly until 4 April, throughout the Heroism Week and to bring on a struggle that will achieve results for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, and I wish success."

The municipal elections in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan are also coming up. Several statements have already been made on behalf of the Kurdish Freedom Movement. How do you evaluate the preparations for the elections and the domestic political situation in Turkey?

We are observing the preparations for the municipal elections. Racist, anti-Kurdish, chauvinist nationalist delirium is rising from everywhere. The AKP-MHP fascism has taken many on its side, and has gathered all the fascist circles. On the one hand, the Erdoğan administration deploys them as mercenaries against the guerrilla, and on the other hand, it exerts pressure on society. They are developing all kinds of evil, degrading things, racist and chauvinist delusions. We see this. There are those who are trying to carry this on throughout the elections too. Similar approaches are also emerging from within the CHP. There were some other parties. They had supposedly made an alliance with the CHP in last year's elections. They were going to change Tayyip Erdoğan. There is no sound from them.

On 31 March, there will be an important election in Turkey. It may not seem as important as last year's elections, but local governments are much more important. In this sense, democratic forces, intellectuals and women are making an important effort. There are democracy alliances, there is an alliance of various left democratic forces around a party. The character of the month of March also strengthens the electoral work. We hope and believe that democratic forces will win. AKP-MHP fascism will be defeated in the election. In this sense, it is necessary to see the election as a political struggle. Maybe the mayors and co-mayors elected in this fascist dictatorship are not free to do what they want, but they can still do many things together with the people.

The Newroz celebrations carry important messages in this sense. They are already making efforts. We believe this. Kurdistan will not give way to fascism. The Kurdish people will strike a blow to the politics of appointed trustees on 31 March. They will protect their own will. They made this clear in Newroz. During the elections, they will claim self-governance and the development of democracy from the local level. This is clearly seen. Such a thing can and should be developed in Turkey. We really need to defeat fascism. It must not be allowed to gain control, even at the local level. It is also necessary to transform election work into anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-chauvinist, anti-colonialist, anti-genocidal work. There is such a struggle, there is also conscious propaganda. This continues as an intense struggle. In this sense, we attach importance to it. The Kurdish people work thoroughly. Our friends and various forces are making statements. We don’t have much more to add to these. The situation is known. So, as our friends said, there is no need to tell any patriot to work for the success of these elections. Everyone already sees themselves as responsible. As a requirement of the struggle against fascism, as a part of the struggle for freedom, what is necessary will be done in these elections. Those who are patriotic, those who are patriots and supporters of our struggle for freedom will, of course, elect their own administrators. They will provide great unity. They will not let fascism and Hizbulkontra pass. In general, they will vote for democratic candidates and for the rights of women. We believe in this.

We will see the result on 31 March, but we believe that it should be taken seriously because it expresses local democracy. Our call to our supporters is based on this. Fascism must not be allowed to pass. We need to protect the will of our people. We need to develop solidarity more, we need to struggle more. It is necessary to support democratic sections and women.

We have stated that the election is an important political struggle. It is part of the antifascist, anticapitalist struggle. We need to see it as such. But the election is not the only struggle. We are not a force that struggles from election to election. As a party, we conduct a multifaceted struggle. We also develop methods of struggle that hold fascist aggression to account and weaken it. We evaluate the election as it is a form of struggle, but we mainly fight against fascism in the only language which fascism understands.

Now, in this respect, I would like to remind that we have an alliance with the ‘United Revolutionary Movement of Peoples’ (HBDH). HBDH declared its establishment and alliance on 12 March 2016. It has entered its ninth year. It has waged an important struggle for eight years. On the one hand, it tried to influence the political environment, and on the other hand, it led the antifascist struggle. In fact, it was effective in every field from armed resistance to street actions, uprisings, rallies and democratic political struggle. It is the leading force, the main force of the struggle against AKP-MHP fascism. Undoubtedly, it should and could have done more. It should have gained stronger results. It should have destroyed fascism. This can be said. In this sense, the shortcomings of the struggles carried out can be mentioned, they can be seen as inadequate, which they are. But it is also a fact, that HBDH struggled, resisted, fought, and held fascism to account. They retaliated against all fascist attacks. It held fascists responsible. On this basis, it struck great blows to fascism, causing it to regress. This is very important. It continues to do so in the current situation of the municipal elections. It is necessary to turn the elections into a method of struggle, anti-fascist struggle, in various forms. But this is only one form of anti-fascist struggle, the struggle against AKP-MHP fascism. HBDH also applies forms of struggle that are different ahead. It will also benefit from the election, but it will continue its struggle.

When the Erdoğan regime started the ‘çöktürme planı’ in 2016, the HBDH alliance emerged to resist it. On the basis of this plan, it was foreseen that the Kurdish people, cities, homeland, the Kurdish Freedom Movement were destroyed. A fascist dictatorship commenced an attack to destroy all revolutionary democratic forces, socialists, those united together in alliance to resist, to destroy fascism Kurdistan and Turkey. For 8 years, the HBDH has struggled on this basis. Now, the Turkish regime wants to conduct similar attacks, supposedly preparing a new plan. Our comrades in the HBDH are also observing this. Firstly, by waging a lot of psychological warfare, the Turkish regime makes it look as if they are very superior. They are not. It is about to collapse as a result of its defeats. The Turkish regime is portraying itself in this light to disguise the fact that it is on the brink of collapse. We need to see this. Erdoğan may have received support from NATO and the US, he has met with Iran and Iraq. He is trying to involve them, and the KDP is already in a position to give them the support they want. Therefore, the Turkish state may attack. It might even attack the Medya Defense Zones. It also attacks other places in North and East Syria. But while attacking these places in North Kurdistan, terrorization, oppression, persecution and exploitation are applied in Turkey at the highest level.

There is immense oppression of workers and laborers, women and youths everywhere in Turkey. Are these fascist attacks not the basis of the crisis, of poverty, of the country becoming uninhabitable? Repression and terror are filling the prisons. Therefore, we must make ourselves ready to break the attacks. If we prepare ourselves, if we draw lessons from the struggle we have waged so far, if we make HBDH stronger, we can break all kinds of attacks. We need to believe and trust this. In this respect, I especially congratulate the Newroz of our dear friends at HBDH. In its 9th year, it will resist with the spirit of Newroz, break all kinds of attacks of AKP-MHP fascism, and put forward a performance that will lead fascism to collapse.

Newroz is an event of national heroism, a celebration of freedom. When Rêber Apo evaluated Newroz, he defined the resistance of comrade Mazlum Dogan, who made Newroz what it is and beautified it. The resistance of Kawa the blacksmith was renewed, updated and carried to the present day through the resistance of Mazlum. Rêber Apo stated that comrade Mazlum Dogan showed a stance of national heroism.

On 28 March 1986, comrade Mahsum Korkmaz, the immortal commander of the 15 August 1984 guerrilla breakthrough, was martyred in Gabar. He was martyred in war and conflict. He prepared 15 August from 1984 onwards. For years, he was the commander of the Eruh action, the first actions that laid the foundations of the 15 August Breakthrough and dealt fatal blows to the fascist genocidal forces. Mahsum Korkmaz became the symbol and commander of the new resistance and his date of martyrdom, March 28, was defined by the PKK as National Heroism Day. Rêber Apo expressed it this way. The PKK organs decided this way. Mahsum Korkmaz is a national hero. The period between 21 March and 28 March was defined as National Heroism Week. In this sense, I congratulate the National Heroism Week of our people and comrades. I commemorate our national heroes, comrades Mazlum Dogan and Mahsum Korkmaz, with respect and gratitude. The guerrilla, in the footsteps of its first commander, today carries out actions that will bring the fascist, colonialist and genocidal system to its knees. It revives, represents and resurrects the spirit and style of its commander. It reveals that it is an army, a fighting force worthy of its commander.

At the end, I can state that we must combine Newroz with national heroism and the National Heroism Week. Therefore, the activism that started on Newroz should not stop. It should continue during our National Heroism Week. It should not stop there either. 30 March is the day of Mahir Çayan and his friends were martyred. The anniversary of the Kızıldere Resistance. They were the first ones to start the guerrillaism we carried out in Turkey. They gave the first hopes for guerrilla warfare. Our guerrilla army followed through and today marches throughout Kurdistan. Therefore, I commemorate Mahir Çayan and his friends and our Martyrs of Kızıldere with respect and gratitude. We need to carry the National Heroism Week struggle there as well.

1 April is the anniversary of the martyrdom of comrades Nûda, Ferhat and Halil. Comrade Nûda was a member of our construction committee. Comrade Halil was the comrade who organized and developed propaganda and introduced the world of the guerrilla to the outside. I commemorate them with respect and gratitude. And I express the following. It is necessary to combine our Newroz enthusiasm with 4 April, to let it reach its peak, to guarantee the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. This must be the attitude, this must be the will. It is possible to achieve this. If we really protect, represent and maintain this Newroz spirit well, if there is resistance on this basis, if everyone participates more and if we continue the struggle, we can turn 4 April into a new day of victory, the day of physical freedom of Rêber Apo. It is necessary to believe in this and to raise the struggle on this basis.

Recently, there have been many rumors regarding a possible new operation by the Turkish state in South Kurdistan. In addition to leaked information from the Turkish military itself, there have been many meetings of Turkish officials in Iraq and various other heads of state that have given rise to these rumors. What can you tell us about this, and how do you assess the current situation in relation to it?

They went to Baghdad again, and they will conduct meetings again. Tayyip Erdoğan will also go to Baghdad again in April. AKP-MHP fascism, Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration is shuttling back and forth. Everyone evaluates this, it is seen, it is being reflected in the press. It is said that a new operation is being prepared, and that it will be initiated in the near future. The Turkish press is constantly discussing this and are estimating where the operation may take place.

There had been some statements issued by the ‘People’s Defense Headquarter’ (HSM) and by the comrades in charge. In fact, these statements are sufficient, there is not much to add to them. But a few things can be said about all these discussions regarding new operations. Firstly, it can be stated that preparations are being made. The Erdoğan administration wants to use these discussions regarding new operations within its psychological warfare. The main agenda of the media that is owned by Erdoğan is where he has gone, who he will gain support from to be able to initiate new attacks and operations etc. But no one is questioning why the Turkish state has become so dependent on the support of others. Is this a development or a sign of strain, of collapse? The latter is more correct. The AKP-MHP fascism and the Tayyip Erdoğan administration were brought to this condition by the actions of the guerrillas. The struggle of our people, led by women and youth, brought the Turkish state to this. The struggle of our comrades has deteriorated the Erdoğan administration to this level. With struggle, the AKP-MHP fascism has been brought to the brink of collapse. It can no longer sustain its existence. It cannot retreat or advance. As we said, it is stuck in Zap, stuck in a swamp, suffocating. In fact, it is struggling to get out of here, to get out of the swamp. This is the only explanation for the commotion being created. Firstly, we need to recognize this. This is the result of its defeat and failures.

The Erdoğan administration even milked Sweden’s NATO membership to get some support from NATO and the USA. But that still wasn’t enough. They went to Europe, to the USA directly, unsure if they would really gain the support they needed. That was not enough, now they are going to Iran, while trying to involve Iraq and the PUK. The US, NATO and the KDP are already involved. Thus, the message to be taken is that only through imploring this many states and parties can the Erdoğan administration dream to standing against the guerrilla, to delay their own collapse. We need to evaluate this as a setback.

Yes, they are preparing for an offensive, but this preparation is a result of the difficult and unsuccessful situation they have fallen into. They are toadying everyone. They are groveling. Then they propagandize this, saying “we met with so-and-so, so-and-so told us this, so-and-so will give us that.” They are in a state of begging. It is clearly seen what the fascist colonialist system has become, what the anti-Kurdish mentality and politics have done to it. They have left no door unknocked on, no place they haven’t marketed themselves, no power, no one they have not asked for support, no one they have not tried to make a deal with against the Kurds, against the PKK. They are so afraid, they are in such a difficult situation. This is a clear fact.

Really interesting things are also happening at the moment, especially in terms of the KDP. Nechirvan Barzani is also conducting meetings here and there. Lately he has been going to Ankara for discussions. In the past, at least, they used to put a flag of the ‘Kurdistan Regional Government’ (KRG). This time he attended the meeting with Tayyip Erdoğan just in front of the Turkish flag. There was no reaction to this from Iraq, from the Hewlêr [Erbil] administration. Is Nechirvan Barzani an Iraqi official? He supposedly traveled as the president of the KRG and met with him. In other words, he is an official of the Iraqi state, the head of the Hewlêr administration. They have their own flag, the flag of the region, the flag of Iraq. Ignoring all this, Nechirvan is meeting with others under the Turkish flag, as if he is an official of the Turkish Republic. This has never turned into a diplomatic problem, it has become like that. They don’t even realize what they are doing, where, in front of whom, what they are meeting, what they are talking about. They are in such a state.

On the other hand, we can also say the following. Yes, there is war. In order to develop the Kurdish genocide, the current Tayyip Erdoğan and Devlet Bahcheli dictatorship is doing everything they can. It is mobilizing all the means of Turkey, and they will continue to do so until the end. They will attack until they are destroyed. This is clear. We know and understand this. But I would also like to say this here. I mean, they are not the only ones making preparations. Preparation is not a situation exclusive to them. We don’t sleep either. We are not watching idly, we are also making preparations. We are a party to this war. The results of the war are obvious. The realities are in plain sight, in a way that no one can mask it.

We are preparing for more. We are making ourselves ready to defeat all kinds of attacks in the most effective way, considering all elements. Until now, this is how we have triumphed in this war in the most versatile and powerful way. And we will continue, only stronger. Our HSM has explained; “We also have a lot of information and preparations. If the attacks are taken to a more advanced level, we will make our resistance more versatile”. These are facts. In this respect, I can state the following: Our society should not pay much attention to psychological warfare. There is an intense psychological warfare. We should not be fooled by this. We need to be careful.

The enemy we are facing is fascists, is a colonialist, genocidal, Kurdish enemy. They want to destroy Kurdishness. They have expressed this before; they want to take 45 thousand square kilometers of land from Iraq and Syria. It wants to take an area larger than the territory of 60 percent of the existing states in Iraq. We are facing such a power. It can attack, it can launch new offensives. So what can we say in relation to this? Our answer is to prepare to resist and fight. Our people should be prepared, our society should be prepared. We are at war, we will win by fighting. This war continues and will continue. We must reach the reality of fighting people. We must make our lives more suitable for the conditions of war. We are waging a people’s war. The youth must make themselves a part of this war and become the force waging the war. They should support the war more. Of course, they should embrace the guerrilla, make themselves more ready for this war, and participate more.

Will these efforts yield results? We cannot say anything about that. We can only state this. Not everyone is anti-Kurdish, fascist, colonialist and genocidal, like Tayyip Erdoğan and Devlet Bahcheli. Not everyone will meet the demands of the Turkish state as they wish. Those who do show support, only do so because of their interests. This being said, a lot of states have given support until now, and they will do so again. They may even provide more support than ever. But they do it according to their own interests. We should not be fooled by the propaganda of the Turkish state in this regard.

The reality of the PKK is obvious. Especially for Iraq, the PKK defended Iraq’s honor against ISIS. It defended this honor in Shengal [Sinjar], it defended this honor in Mexmûr, it defended it in Kirkuk. Otherwise, ISIS would have taken them all. The Iraqi administration officially thanked the PKK. They said “You saved us from something great, you are the pride of humanity”. Now the same Iraqi administration has decided to ban this organization. We don’t know how sincere this is. If Iraq does decide to ban the PKK, it will contradict its own decisions. It has created a KRG in Northern Iraq. This would contradict Iraq’s understanding and politics. The Turkish state is threatening Iraq with water and occupation. It wants to occupy. There is no end to this approach. If it takes Kurdistan, it could easily take Arabia. The Kurds have so far fought for their own freedom against the Turkish invasion attacks, but they are also protecting Arabia. They should see and understand this more clearly. It would be unwise to assume that the Turkish invasion will not come to their doorstep because the Kurds are resisting anyway.

On the other hand, the Erdoğan regime is committing crimes against humanity, committing genocide. It commits massacres like Halabja every day. The Saddam regime of our day is the AKP-MHP regime. In the North, in the Medya Defense Areas, in Rojava. The Iraqi government must not be partners in this crime. We can only say that. It is in their best interest that they do not become a party in this war. Otherwise, this would definitely be to their detriment. Such an anti-Kurdish, genocidal, occupying power like the Turkish state has no security to provide to Iraq. On the contrary, it wants to take Iraq under its sovereignty. It wants to drag Iraq into its own sphere of domination. Everyone should see this. We do not need to be in a defamatory stance because the facts are obvious and clearly visible. We think that if they see this, they will adopt a more correct attitude for themselves. Iraq can save both its existence and honor by fighting against this power. The president of the administration they have created as the Iraqi KRG, is speaking under the Turkish flag, not protecting the Iraqi flag. The Iraqi KRG does not live by its own flag. Does this not mean that the will and honor of Iraq is hurt? In short, the Turkish state cannot be stopped in this way. It is good if everyone comes to their senses.

Erdoğan is asking for support from everyone. He is traveling all over Europe; he is going to England, Germany, France. He markets everything Turkey has. The whole of NATO gave support. It also receives support from the USA. But Germany is especially one of the pioneers in this regard. Germany works just like the administration in Ankara. Even more so, it supports the anti-Kurdish, fascist, genocidal, colonialist mentality and politics in Ankara. It is not enough for the Turkish state that Germany is making more effort. We know this. We asked the judges and prosecutors in Düsseldorf: Is the administration in Ankara governing Turkey or the administration in Berlin? Tell us that and we will talk to you accordingly. They take the government in Ankara for the government of Germany. They have an article called 129b. Supposedly the fight against terrorist organizations; since the 1989 Düsseldorf trial, this article has been transformed into an essential tool for the anti-Kurdish struggle.

AKP-MHP fascism cannot establish relations with everyone, it cannot get what it wants from everyone. For example, it cannot get the prisoner it wants because they are not extradited to Turkey. In such cases, the German government does what Turkey cannot do. They have people arrested in Cyprus, extradited to Germany. They arrest people in Sweden and have them extradited to Germany. They arrest people in France, extradite them to Germany and Germany judges them. What Erdoğan is incapable of, Germany does to protect this Kurdish-hating regime. German society protests because they know this situation well. German society’s sympathy for the Kurds and support for the PKK is stronger than anyone else. The support of the German state for the anti-Kurdish, fascist, colonialist, genocidal regime is seen and condemned by the people.

NATO’s Turkey desk used to be in Germany. It was like that during the Düsseldorf trial. We uncovered this. We realized that the administration of Turkey was really in Germany. Those in Ankara were puppets. Now this has actually changed. They said France had taken the lead. This control has shifted to different areas, but it seems that not much has changed. Germany is supporting Turkey more than Turkey is supporting itself. The German state is doing this through economic and commercial relations with Turkey, receiving various benefits in return. In reality, Germany is still the NATO power ruling Turkey. The NATO administration is still in Germany. This situation must be opposed. This attitude of the German state must definitely be exposed. No one has been as involved in, supported and abetted the crime of Kurdish genocide as much as the German state. German society, women and young people should recognize this fact and fight harder against this policy in order to clear the stains of genocide.