Kalkan: The women’s struggle went global in 2023 - PART FIVE

Duran Kalkan said that the “Jin Jiyan, Azadi” revolution spread from Rojhilat and Iran from mid-September 2022.

In the final part of this long interview, KCK Executive Council member Duran Kalkan, analyzed the women's revolution that dominated 2023 and talked about the opportunities of the struggle in 2024.

Part one of this interview can be read here, part two here, part three here and part four here

Looking at the year 2023, the popular uprisings in Rojhilat [Eastern Kurdistan] and Iran come to one's mind. How do you evaluate women’s struggle for freedom in 2023? Also, the struggle of young people has evolved this year.

The women’s struggle went global in 2023. The “Jin Jiyan, Azadi” revolution spread from Rojhilat and Iran from mid-September 2022. It marked the first half of 2023. In fact, it spread to the whole world. It used the slogan “Jin Jiyan, Azadî” developed by Rêber Apo. It turned out to be a great power and resistance. It also found an important echo in the world. It resonated with women, revolutionary patriotic circles, and was embraced. Of course, the ruling, statist, male-dominated mentality and politics did not embrace it.

On this basis, women’s struggle was everywhere. They also held meetings all over Kurdistan and in many parts of the world. On this basis, what did this show? In fact, it has already been revealed in 2023 that the 21st century is the century of women, that women’s liberation is a revolution of freedom, and that this creates consciousness, organization and action on the basis of Jineolojî [the science of the free women] developed by Rêber Apo. In other words, it has become crystalised that there is now a global women’s liberation revolution. The women’s struggle is a reality that frightens and alarms all kinds of reaction by the male-dominated mentality and politics.

We see this well, as this develops the male-dominated mindset and politics attacks more. Would this be described as a reaction or is it the product of fear? We follow the media. The killing of women is on the agenda everywhere, and these are being committed by the people closest to them. Those committing these killings are the husbands and brothers. This aspect must be followed up closely, it must be exposed and struggle against everywhere. And this is not something that only women should struggle against. Those who call themselves democrats, patriots or pro-freedom, they must also join the struggle. In fact, men should struggle more. How is it possible that on the one side love is being mentioned while on the other hand there is a despicable betrayal and massacre. What kind of love is this, what kind of partnership is this, what kind of sibling are you? It has come to a stage where love and betrayal are two sides of a coin. This is very dangerous and of course we need to expose these killings but the most important thing is we target the mentality and politics behind these killings. Only then could we save people. This is a very important struggle and it has become a duty. Especially Kurdish society and men should act sensitively on this issue, we should leave aside the old backward dominant understanding and approaches, and everyone should take the mentality and model of life being revealed by our women’s freedom revolution.

Especially Kurdish society and men should act sensitively on this issue, we should leave the old backward sovereignty understanding and approaches aside and take the mentality and life measures revealed by our women’s freedom revolution developed by our freedom struggle as a basis for everyone. Others are definitely not from us. Those who try to implement a male-dominated mentality and politics on women cannot be patriots. They cannot be in the Kurdish freedom movement. No matter how patriotic they call themselves, we cannot count them as such.

Women and youth are the leading forces of the new paradigm of democratic modernity. In 2023, the youth has demonstrated that it has reached a consciousness and organization that will fulfill such a pioneering task both in Kurdistan and at the global level. The Paris World Youth Conference declared this. With great enthusiasm and excitement on the basis of demanding the physical freedom of Rêber Apo, it has indeed brought new hope and excitement to humanity. In an environment where the male-dominated, fascist, genocidal mentality and politics of capitalist modernity overwhelmed and narrowed humanity, the conference became a moral force, creating enthusiasm and excitement. In this sense, the youth is experiencing a new consciousness and a new process of struggle in all areas, in all societies.

The youth is leading the development of the revolution of democratic modernity. Just like the youth revolution of 1968. Then, the paradigms of the youth were inadequate, their theoretical analyses were inadequate. They had not been able to overcome the effects of real socialism. Now the paradigm developed by Rêber Apo paves the way for the youth to the fullest. Therefore, the struggle of the youth is developing on the basis of a new revolution and leadership with the paradigm of democratic modernity. The Kurdistan wing of this is important as they are leading the way.

The ‘Youth Community’ [Komalêl Ciwan], the Party’s youth movement has been spearheading this in 2023. The resistance of guerrilla is also a part of resistance of the youth. The youth as one of the vanguards of the universal freedom movements are spearheading the uprisings. The youth are doing this in all four parts of Kurdistan and abroad. They organize by mobilizing the general public and with their own actions. In Turkey, they are organizing on the basis of developing the struggle in North Kurdistan. They have gained important results. If we pay attention, the fascist, genocidal mentality and politics attack whoever opposes them. The attack on women is the result of this. How many women have they arrested? The Turkish state are oppressing. They also attack the youth. Lately, they have been practicing special warfare more intensely. They want to neutralize the consciousness of young people by encouraging prostitution, drugs and through other methods. They try to prevent young people from getting organized and joining the struggle, from becoming patriots and revolutionaries, putting pressure on those who become conscious of this.

During the last meetings held by the youth, the Turkish state arrested many of them. The youth with radical, libertarian, revolutionary belief is not afraid of this. Apoist youth is not afraid at all. Youth who have acquired the consciousness of freedom and action are certainly not afraid of such attacks. On the contrary, these young people develop their consciousness and action more, they sharpen themselves more. We believe in this. It is also clear that this will be the case. Within this framework. By participating more in the mobilization to read Rêber Apo and educating ourselves, and by leading the anti-fascist struggle against such virtual attacks, by disrupting all the games of special warfare, we will definitely lead our struggle for freedom and revolution to victory.

The youth will recognize the reality of the enemy well. They will recognize the reality of the collaborators who are tools of the enemy. They will also oppose the political obstructions of the family. Youth should also be sensitive about this issue. If what is called ‘familism’ diverts young people from the revolutionary struggle, from the struggle for freedom, they must be vigilant and fight against this. Without struggling against ‘familism’, it is not possible to gain revolutionary consciousness, to break away from the system, to become a youth waging a struggle for freedom, to become Apoist youth. In this respect, they should evaluate all their relations well. Families should also pay attention. Those who prevent the youth from participating in the struggle are doing wrong. As a result, they are bringing harm. No matter what they have done with their own lives, they should not prevent young people from freedom. The families must stop, if they continue, we will expose them. I can express this very clearly.

But the main attitude is of course the youth’s. The youth can’t allow others to tell them what they should do, in other words, no one will break the youth. The youth will be themselves. They will put forward the consciousness and the will to struggle themselves. They will educate and renew themselves and join the struggle by making revolutions in their own personalities, achieving a revolution of mentality and conscience. We believe that, on this basis, 2024 will be the year when both the women’s struggle develops more and the leadership of the youth in the struggle develops more.

Kurdish youth in four parts and abroad will participate more in our struggle for freedom, our party struggle, our guerrilla struggle, our peoples’ resistance. Participation will increase many times over, we will grow the organization. On this basis, I wish them success and call on everyone to participate more strongly in the struggle for freedom. The mountains, the guerrilla ranks, the ranks of our party are waiting for young people.

December is a heavy month for the Kurdish people and the Kurdish Freedom Movement. A lot of massacres have taken place in this month. What do you want to say about them?

In 2000, there was a massacre on 19 December. It was heavy. We know about the Maraş massacre. It came to the agenda twenty five days after the first congress of the PKK. Rêber Apo said it was an attack by the fascist, colonialist, genocidal mentality against our congress, against the establishment of the PKK. These were always important. Then there were the Paris massacres, the massacre of Evîn, our friend, and other friends in Paris on 23 December last year. We also have 9 January coming up. 9 January 2013 is the anniversary of the massacre of comrades Sara, Rojbin and Ronahi, one of the founders of our Party. This marks the 10th anniversary. There are already protests against these massacres everywhere.

France really cannot deceive the Kurds in other ways. They should know this. The struggle to push France to reveal the truth is a proper struggle. We need to pursue this till the end, follow it through and reveal the truth. Tayyip Erdoğan and his friends will be behind it, they had the massacre in Paris 10 years ago carried out as well as the massacre last year. They had already confessed to the shooting of our friend Sara. Both Tayyip Erdoğan and Mehmet Ali Şahin confessed, we listened to them at the time. In other words, they made statements in the press and those statements are a confession, they confessed to the massacres.

Now the 28 December Roboski massacre in 2011, this marks the 12th anniversary. That was also carried out per Tayyip Erdoğan’s orders. First he said “we didn’t shoot civilians“. Then he forgot and tried to change his words. Finally he said “I gave the order because Bahoz Erdal was passing by“, and he claimed that too. With warplanes, they slaughtered 34 young people from Roboski, some of them were children. Now what does this show? The AKP, MHP and Tayyip Erdoğan administration is a massacre administration. An administration of genocide. This is how Kurdish enmity emerges. They do this inside Kurdistan. They arrest and they massacre. They carry out massacres whether it be at the border or whether it is abroad. It spends all its means on Kurdish massacre. We have seen this reality well.

Nevertheless, we should understand better by evaluating all these, bringing them to consciousness, not forgetting them, not letting them be forgotten. On this basis, I commemorate all the martyrs of these massacre with respect and gratitude. They are martyrs of the struggle for freedom and democracy. They are martyrs of Kurdistan whether it happened 40 years ago, 45 years ago, a year ago, whether they were martyred in the country or outside.

We have avenged the Maraş massacre, we have avenged the massacre in the prisons, we have avenged the Paris massacres, we have avenged the Roboski massacre, and we will avenge even more. This struggle for revenge will lead us to the victory of existence and freedom. We will carry the struggle for freedom to victory with such a spirit and attitude of revenge. We will be the followers of our martyrs until victory. We will carry out our struggle for more accountability and revenge. We promised this from the beginning. In his first evaluation after the Maraş massacre, Rêber Apo made this promise. The PKK has been walking on this promise made by Rêber Apo for the past 45 years. We will walk on this promise until victory and fulfill its requirements.

Is there something left that you want to express, regarding 2024?

We are entering a new year. We celebrate the new year of all freedom and democracy forces, of women, youth, peoples, of Rêber Apo and all comrades. 2024 will be a year of greater struggle and achievement. 2023 passes on an important legacy. The year 2024 also shows that the possibility and opportunity to develop and achieve all kinds of struggles with creative methods in every field is greater than ever. This will be our attitude as a movement and people. Our international friends and our libertarian democratic revolutionary friends all over the world will act accordingly. There is the possibility and opportunity for this, we see this.

The method is also clear. In this regard, the year 2023 showed and proved to us how the style, way and method of such a struggle should be. This was proved with the Imrali resistance. It was proved with the heroic actions of the Zap guerrillas. It was proved with the actions of our friends Rojhat and Erdal on 1 October. We will live and struggle with the spirit and line of the self-sacrificers. The year 2024 will be the year when we, as a movement and as a people, sacrifice more and on this basis develop the struggle for freedom more successfully. What does sacrifice mean? It means understanding Rêber Apo correctly. It means fighting against all kinds of individualism and disorganization. It means working and living together, it means to be sharing and socialist, to be based on solidarity and sharing at the highest level as a democratic society. It means fighting and winning with this spirit, with this consciousness. Comrades Rojhat and Erdal showed us this. Comrades Sara and Ruken showed us this. Comrades Zilan and Zinar showed this. They revealed the line of waging and winning the Kurdistan freedom struggle. They revealed the Apoist sacrifice line. In 2024, we will sacrifice more, fight stronger and win bigger. On this basis, I once again congratulate the New Year of all our people and democratic humanity and wish them great success.