Kalkan: Turkey identified an area to occupy and is attacking it, yet it's not getting any results

KCK's Duran Kalkan spoke about the attacks carried out by Turkey in South Kurdistan.

KCK Executive Council member Duran Kalkan spoke about the attacks carried out by Turkey in South Kurdistan, Rojava and Bakur and about the attitude of the KDP.

The first part of this interview can be read here

Right now there is a massive war being waged in Kurdistan by the Turkish state. While the main focus is on the Medya Defense Zones, the war is not only limited to those regions. What can you tell us about the military situation and the guerrilla resistance right now?

Firstly, I would like to respectfully commemorate comrades Mehmet Guyi, Mêrxas and Rêvan, who were martyred on September 4, eleven years ago. They had been struggling for years. They were the commanders of the Kurdish Wan province [Van] who lost their lives in one of their great attacks. We gave hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of martyrs like them. In this regard we can speak of a guerrilla with a sacrificial spirit that is guided by an army of martyrs. In this knowledge we struggle, resist and fight. There is a reality of war embodied in [the South Kurdish/North Iraqi regions of] Zap, Avaşîna and Metîna; in other words, in the South Kurdish Medya Defense Zones. But the war is not limited to this region, it is also everywhere in Bakur [Northern Kurdistan/South-East Turkey]. Right now, there is war in [the northern Kurdish regions of] Garzan, Merdin [Turkish name Mardin], Amed [Turkish name Diyarbakir], Serhad [Turkish name Serhat], in the metropolises and all cities, as well as in Başur [Southern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq] and Rojava [Western Kurdistan/Northern Syria] and all of Kurdistan. The Turkish Republic is attacking the Kurdish people wherever they live in order to subject them to genocide, but we are resisting this.

The resistance in the Zap war is decisive, as it has lasted a year and a half. They have been attacking the same areas for two and a half years now, to occupy them. In fact, they have been attacking for eight years, since their big offensive started on August 26, 2016 and did not end until today. It has entered its eighth year, as also the great guerrilla resistance has entered its eighth year.

The recent attacks and resistance are, of course, much more important. Our Central Headquarter published the monthly balance sheet which said that 323 guerrilla actions were carried out and 134 Turkish soldiers were killed. It shows how many actions the guerrillas carried out every day, how many fighters got wounded, how much destruction happened and how much enemy equipment was destroyed. It is a heavy balance sheet, showing that there is a big war going on every day and every hour, and this now for months and years. The enemy is constantly attacking with airplanes, with helicopters, the use of chemical weapons, the use of tactical nuclear weapons, and all kinds of weapons and methods.

The Turkish state is trying to establish its influence over the areas it attacked last year to occupy them, but it is failing. Some people say that the ‘Claw operation’ [name of the operation of the Turkish Army] caught its own claws. The Turkish army is indeed caught, as it has been trying for months and years to take one hill in the Western Zap area. A state mobilizes all its power, all the support it receives from NATO, but it cannot succeed in this goal. It suffers blow after blow, loss after loss. In this respect, the battle in the Medya Defense Zones is important and has historical significance. The heroes who waged this war, the heroic martyrs of this war, should always be remembered with respect, love and gratitude. Because Kurdish identity continues its existence here, the basis for this resistance is possible and that is also the reason why the future of the Kurdish people is shaped there.

The Zap resistance continues in the spirit of the prison resistance from 1982, it continues in the spirit of the Imrali resistance. It is the most meaningful and heroic sacrificial resistance that history has witnessed. There are no other examples of such a kind. An enemy that is locked, blocked and unable to get out of the place it entered in order to get the quick results they aim for.

As we said, the war is not only going on here; we need to see other areas too. They are not very famous, they are considered non existent, they are covered up. This is not the case. In many areas of North Kurdistan there is a guerrilla war going on. Every part of Kurdistan is a forbidden zone and there are military attacks by the Turkish army everywhere. As the [Turkish] former ministers used to say, “we have finished it, we are finishing it” [referring to the PKK]. They again entered this mood. They are hiding these fights in order not to be exposed.

The fighting also continues in the cities, which is also very important to mention. It should not be taken lightly. Our ‘Peoples’ United Revolutionary Movement’ [HBDH] has played an important role in this regard. HBDH militias did effective work. They made fascism feel that it cannot sleep comfortably anywhere. They make the fascists live in fear at every moment. In other words, they have become fascism’s fearful dream.

Again, the ‘Civil Protection Units’ [YPS] and similar organizations are showing a certain effectiveness and showing their importance. There is a reality of resistance that has spread almost all the way to Turkey.

The enemy also continues its occupation attacks. It seems that he will want to continue his attacks by spreading them more. This, of course, means that the guerrillas will spread its resistance too. Will resist stronger, fight stronger, and give heavier blows to the enemy.

The balance sheet I mentioned may seem low, but it’s not all about numbers. Still, at least 134 soldiers were shot, the Press Center of HPG announced, and still there is a total lack of a reaction from Turkey. This is actually the bad thing, not the 134 people. Even if it was one person or three. Hell should have broken loose in Turkey, in society, among women, young people and workers. Everyone should have asked how can you send children of this land, children of this society, to death like this. How can you drive them away? This fascist dictatorship should have been caught. But it never happens like that. On the contrary, pay attention, they make big shows; they advertise that they are building so many warplanes, so many cannons, so many lethal things, and society watches with interest. Today they are killing the Kurds, and while they are killing them, they are also killing you. What have prisons become? What has life become? What about the economic crisis? It almost reached the level of starvation. The minimum wage is heading towards starvation. All of this is linked to this war.

These things are being hidden from society. A society has been created that cannot see these things, that cannot see and talk about them. With lies, some of them have been made unable to see. Others see it but cannot talk about it out of fear. There is a racist, nationalist, chauvinist, anti-Kurdish mentality and politics. It got to such a level that comrade Mustafa Karasu said that the current Turkishness means the killing of the Kurd. It means the extinction of the Kurds, it means Kurdish hostility.

I thought Kurds and Turks have been brothers for a thousand years. Starting from the Battle of Manzikert 1071 to wherever, it were the Kurds who contributed the most to the formation of Turkishness. Will this be repaid with massacres, persecution and death?

The situation in Turkey needs to be seriously questioned. The founding principles and policies of the Turkish state, and the anti-Kurdish, colonialist, genocidal mentality and politics conducted by the AKP-MHP fascism today need to be questioned and overcome. Without this, there could be no democratization in Turkey. In this respect, the guerrilla resistance is actually the biggest struggle that develops democratization in Turkey.

In the last weeks there have been several talks in Bagdad in Hewlêr by the Turkish government. How do you evaluate these talks? And since the reports about betrayal and collaboration by the KDP are getting more again, what can you tell us about the approach of the KDP right now?

What the administration of Hewlêr [referring to the KDP party of Southern Kurdistan] is doing is obvious. They massacred many guerrillas and are responsible for the death of many more. Right now we are approaching the second anniversary of the martyrdom of a group of our friends that, at the end of August 2021 were attacked and martyred by the KDP forces in the South Kurdish region of Xelîfan. I would like to once again respectfully commemorate them.

The meetings in Bagdad and Hewlêr have been evaluated and analyzed by us. Many sides are trying to understand what has been discussed, and what was intended to be done. Because Tayyip Erdoğan said, “After the elections, we will both increase the military attacks, as well as focus on strengthening our diplomacy”. The talks that they  held in Baghdad do not seem to have gone as they wanted, which was actually predictable as their arguments were very weak. They are negotiating Kurdish oil and Kurdish water in order to slaughter Kurds. This is the level of cleverness of the Tayyip Erdoğan administration.

Of course, not everyone is Tayyip Erdoğan and not everyone is like the Turkish administration. For example, the administration of Baghdad does not have such hostility towards the Kurds, as there exists the official Kurdistan region. In fact, if the democratization of the Kurds were to be realized, the effects and reflections of this on Iraq would be more liberating and democratic. They have hopes in this respect, but still there are various negotiations going on.

Let’s put it this way, the Turkish state has declared an area to occupy and is attacking it, but it fails. This is the situation in its current state. It seems that they need to move to other places in order to realize this fact. When these invasion attacks started, we said that when they attacked a hill, they won't be able to hold it, they will sooner or later be forced to pull back. Right now, we see that they are unsuccessful. They are stuck and cannot expand, because they lack the power to occupy this region.

Tayyip Erdoğan drew huge maps and promised that he will realize the Misak-ı Milli [National Pact]. He is developing neo-Ottomanism and is trying to occupy everywhere. If they occupy Kurdistan according to the Misak-ı Milli, they will then turn to the Arab field. It is not clear what would happen and where he would stop, just like the Ottoman expansion at the beginning of the 16th century.

Now in Turkey, they want to expand with capital accumulation based on global capital and therefore want to exploit Kurdistan and the Arabic countries even more. Some say Turkey has imperialist ambitions. Yes, it wants to re-develop colonialism, but it cannot afford it. The Kurdish resistance has thwarted all their plans. It frustrated their imperialist expansion and colonialist ambitions. It also brought them to the point of collapse. Everyone saw how Hakan Fidan [foreign minister of Turkey] embraced Nechirvan and Masrour Barzanî. He does so because he needs them and wants to push them into more battles. He wants to move them to where his power is not enough. If he could, he would attack them himself, but right now he wants to attract them because he is powerless. And they promised to be supportive, which they also showed in practice. So far they are accomplices. But let’s look to the future. From now on, if they take any step forward in [the South Kurdish regions] Metîna, Garê or Xinêre, if they fire a bullet, it will be war. Everyone should know this.

The KDP should not think that it can get away with whatever it does. Some say the PKK is weakened. Turkey speaks according to themselves. Let them remember the past. This is how the Turkish Republic was misled in the past and what happened to them. In that respect, the KDP should not play with fire.

The situation for the Turkish Republic is obvious. I don’t think the KDP will have much power either. They are in a situation where they cannot get out of it. In the end, they may still end up looking for other forces to get them out. It is necessary to see it like this, but it is dangerous. In particular, the society and people of Başur should  be conscious to this situation. It is thanks to the sacrificial resistance of the guerrillas that South Kurdistan still has not become fully colonized. If the Turkish state finds an opportunity for this, they will do it. Also, the KDP wants this, as they have indeed sworn to destroy the PKK. The KDP has all kinds of relations and alliances with all the enemies of the PKK. And then, when the PKK speaks out, they say “they are speaking against me”. KDP does everything, engage in all kinds of betrayal and collaboration, and no one can say anything against it. Is there such a thing? Who does the KDP think Kurdish society, Kurdistan is? They should be fully aware of what they are saying and what they are doing.

This is the situation right now. Let’s see how it develops. We are following it closely. So we are evaluating all kinds of possibilities. We focus on what they might want to do. We prepare ourselves accordingly and everyone should do the same. All our patriotic people must see and evaluate this situation. They should not only be prepared for such attacks, but they should also remember and see that the resistance and struggle against this colonialist genocidal mentality and politics is through the struggle against collaborationism and betrayal. Without the struggle against collaborationism and betrayal, the colonialist genocidal mentality and politics cannot be defeated or fought. This has become like flesh and blood, it has become united. We say that if we wage this struggle, we will win.