Kalkan underlines importance of international campaign for Öcalan

Duran Kalkan spoke about the importance of the international campaign for Öcalan and the latest developments in Kurdistan.

Duran Kalkan, member of the KCK Executive Council, spoke about the importance of the international campaign for Öcalan, the latest developments in Kurdistan and the Middle East. 

The first part of this interview can be read here

A few weeks ago, a new campaign called “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question” was started. What can you tell us about this campaign and the situation of the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan? You also said in some recent statements that the solution for the Kurdish question could also be a solution for the Palestinian people. Can you evaluate this point?

First of all, I respectfully greet Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] who is leading a historic resistance on the prison island of Imrali. I would like to point out that we are constantly discussing the isolation that is practiced on Imrali. It is said that Rêber Apo has once again been subjected to ‘disciplinary punishment’, but it is easy to see that there is no such thing as ‘misbehavior’ that would make this punishment reasonable. What they are trying to achieve with this is twofold. Firstly, they are preventing any meetings with his family and lawyers. Secondly, Rêber Apo is now on Imrali for the 25th year. There should be a new trial, but this is what they are trying to prevent. From a legal point of view, he should regain his physical freedom.

The ‘disciplinary punishments’ that they give out, are not only concerning Rêber Apo. Now they give these punishments to many prisoners, by using the smallest points as reasoning. They make people serve for 30, maybe even 31, 32 years, in prison because of this. It is called ‘execution through burning’. This has no legal validity and is detached from reality. This should not be accepted. What law is there on Imrali?

Rêber Apo has been imprisoned on Imrali for 25 years because he is a Kurd defending the rights of the Kurdish people. What are the laws according to which this punishment is given? The constitution and the laws that were formed after the fascist military coup of September 12, 1980 do not recognize the Kurdish existence and identity. So a sentence cannot really be given on this basis. There can not be a punishment according to the justification there. Therefore, it is necessary not to accept the legal point of this punishment. This reality should also be more of a concern for the international public. More effective legal struggles should be carried out within this framework.

Another important issue is the campaign “Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question” that started on October 10. In a day or two, the third week will be over. On the basis of achieving Rêber Apo’s physical freedom, there is indeed a global campaign for freedom. This is very important and significant. Our international friends started it and the campaign is taken up by Kurdish women and young people. Every day for the last three weeks, new people and groups from different places around the world have announced that they are joining this campaign. It is spreading and the number of participants is increasing. It is clear that the campaign is growing, diversifying and enriching. It started with press releases and marches. Now there are tent actions, rallies, larger statements, individual participation, discussion of Rêber Apo’s ideas, and much more. Even those who are not able to take action still participate by educating themselves and working on their own liberation.

This campaign is a campaign for freedom, to be free and to free oneself. In other words, it is a campaign to achieve freedom in theory and practice, to create a free personality and a free life. It is a struggle for the freedom of everyone. Because the responsibility of defending Rêber Apo concerns everyone. Everyone sees their own freedom in the struggle for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo against the system of torture, isolation and genocide on Imrali. A global freedom movement, a global freedom struggle has emerged. And everyone is being mobilized. It can be said that a global movement of movement has begun. Rêber Apo has called it ‘World Democratic Confederalism’. Its foundations are being laid, and indeed it can be said that a global revolution for freedom is taking place. There is a revolution for democratic socialism based on women’s freedom and ecology. In other words, people are acquiring new ideas and reaching out for a new way of life. This is spreading all over the world and in all societies. On all continents, people of all colors and sexes are participating. So there is a radical change and transformation. Such a movement of revolutionary struggle, of freedom struggle, of liberation and democratization is developing on a global level and is developing around Rêber Apo. It is so because Rêber Apo has developed today’s paradigm of social freedom. This paradigm gives a basis to the struggle for freedom of all the oppressed, especially women. The paradigm shows the way to the liberation of all the oppressed. With the ideas of Rêber Apo, everyone can fight against all kinds of fascist oppression and cruelty against the system of capitalist modernity.

On the other hand, there is the Imrali system. The system of isolation, torture and genocide that Rêber Apo has been opposing for 25 years through his historical struggle. This struggle affects everyone. The Imrali system was created through the international conspiracy which was the most concentrated attack in the framework of the genocide against the Kurds. The system of capitalist modernity, the global hegemonic system, was founded on the Kurdish genocide. It was founded on genocidal mentality and policy. Imrali is the center of the struggle against this genocidal mentality and policy. Rêber Apo is the leader of this struggle. He is the leader by his resistance on Imrali. Therefore, it is meaningful and important that this global campaign develops around Rêber Apo.

Kurdish society and women are also playing a leading role, which is also very important. The Kurds are a people that are ignored by this global hegemonic system, the system of capitalist modernity or the system of power and state. They want to destroy the Kurds and commit genocide against them. Women have already been destroyed by the mentality and policies of this system. In this sense, the situation of women and the Kurds is close, in fact, quite similar. They are the social groups that the system most oppresses, massacres, genocides and wants to destroy. They suffer the most from the system, but at the same time, they are the first to become aware of the system. They organize and struggle the most, they carry the burden of the struggle and lead it. It is a heavy and difficult duty, but it is meaningful and honorable. It is necessary to be aware of it.

The campaign has been up and running for about twenty days now, and there is movement every day. It was a new global beginning that is spreading rapidly. It will continue to spread and it will certainly bring results. Everyone should see their responsibility in it. Possibilities and opportunities need to be used correctly. All forms and methods of action should be used and therefore creativity is necessary. The Kurdish people, women and youths are already doing this. The Kurds in the four parts of Kurdistan and abroad are in a state of mobilization.

We used to say that the physical freedom of Rêber Apo is the solution to the Kurdish question, the achievement of free life and democracy for the Kurdish people. Now, the freedom campaign at the global level has really shown this. The physical freedom of Rêber Apo means opening the way for the liberation of all oppressed people, opening the way for the liberation of all women and workers. That is why they are so interconnected. This was shown most concretely in the campaign that began on October the 10th. Our international friends have greeted us and on behalf of the leadership of our party, I would like to greet all those who are participating in this campaign. I wish them success and I would like to emphasize that we firmly believe that they will succeed.

Of course, it is important that the campaign spreads more to the Middle East. In this regard, it is especially important that it spreads to Turkey. Recently, 78 intellectuals have issued a statement in support of the campaign. We consider this step as very important and meaningful and we would like to greet the intellectuals who made this statement as a call for peace. Their efforts are of great value. These thoughts need to be spread to the Turkish society, to the women, to the youth and to the laborers. Certainly, a great effort is needed for this.

The situation of Rêber Apo concerns not only the Kurds, but all oppressed people, women and humanity. Both the system of torture and isolation on Imrali and the resistance of Rêber Apo against it. The physical freedom of Rêber Apo should concern the Turkish society more than anyone else. The democratization of Turkey absolutely depends on it. It is a situation that will bring about the democratization of Turkey at least as much as the freedom of the Kurds. In other words, the destruction of the system of torture, isolation and genocide on Imrali and the physical freedom of Rêber Apo are important. It is very significant for Turkey to accept this and for such a mentality and policy to spread in Turkey. The intellectuals have made a breakthrough and an important and courageous step with their statement. This has to continue and spread. Those in the most difficult situation are responsible of doing the most.

Right now there is a war going on. Gaza has become a bloodbath. It is a war between the Israeli state and Hamas. Meanwhile, both the Palestinian people and the Jewish people are being massacred under the conflict of the war barons. These people should embrace Rêber Apo the most, they should focus on trying to understand Rêber Apo and the solutions that he creates. Because it is Rêber Apo who has created the mentality, the politics and the projects of solution that can stop this bloodbath. The people can find a solution there.

The solution of a democratic modernity comes through the concepts of “democratic nation” and “democratic confederalism”. Rêber Apo is a person who made great contributions to the resistance of the Palestinian people. He has recognized, met and talked with all Palestinian leaders. He has been in solidarity and joint struggle with the Palestinian people for a long time. And Rêber Apo also presented the important role of Jewish democracy in the democratization of the Middle East in the best possible way. It is Rêber Apo who expressed and defined the tragic situation of the Jewish people in the most accurate, comprehensive and understandable way. This can be seen in his prison writings, where he sheds light on many facts. In other words, Jewish, Hebrew socialists, democrats and workers can definitely benefit from Rêber Apo’s ideas. Jews have a certain level of sophistication in terms of ideas, and Rêber Apo valued them and brought them to a new synthesis. The struggle against the system of torture, isolation and genocide and for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo is a struggle of everyone. It is a struggle that affects everyone in one way or another.

I once again greet all those who are leading this struggle and wish them success. I once again call upon all oppressed people, especially women, workers, youth and all peoples of the world to join this campaign for freedom.

On the other hand, the war that is being waged in Kurdistan continues and seems to get more intense every day. What can you tell us about this war? How is the resistance of the guerrilla developing and are there any changes in the attacks of the Turkish state?

The situation of Rêber Apo, the solution of the so-called ‘Kurdish question’, everything is related to the war, it is carried out on the basis of the war. All the information about the war is given by the central headquarters of the guerrilla. No information is hidden from the public from our side, but it can be seen that the Turkish state is trying to cover up this war. Nevertheless, in the current situation, the war continues in every possible way. In this regard, October was an important month of resistance and struggle. October 25 was the 31st anniversary of the martyrdom of comrade Bêrîtan. I remember her with great respect and gratitude, as I would like to remember all our martyrs who fell in the month of October.

Our guerrilla warfare is led by YJA Star [the autonomous women’s guerrilla]. As can be seen, the fighters of YJA Star are in the vanguard in all the action balances. On this occasion, I send my greetings and congratulations to the entire leadership and fighting force of YJA Star. The struggle they are waging is the most important and meaningful struggle in history. The force waging this struggle is the spirit, will, consciousness, courage and sharp sword that come from free life. The fighters of YJA Star are the vanguard of the achievement of freedom. The leadership of YJA Star reveals how important and essential ideological and women’s leadership is in war. It also shows the importance and ideological significance of the Kurdish freedom struggle and guerrilla warfare. There is a great ideological struggle and it is developing.

It can be said that there was a turning point at the beginning of October. Some comrades evaluated the action in Ankara as a turning point and I strongly agree with them. I would like to respectfully remember the comrades Rojhat and Erdal. They really showed the necessary struggle spirit in this period. They expressed the necessity of fighting according to the philosophy of Zîlan. They also showed by their actions that there is nothing that the guerrilla cannot achieve and no enemy that it cannot overcome.

There were some developments initiated on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bêrîtan and the anniversary of the founding of the YJA-Star. There is a clear increase in guerrilla actions in October compared to the previous months, which is also shown in the monthly balance. There were some actions that really dealt heavy blows to the AKP-MHP fascist hordes. Therefore, I send my greetings to the resisting guerrillas and congratulate HPG [general guerrilla force] and YJA Star for their great successes. I remember all our martyrs with the greatest respect, love and gratitude, the last one being comrade Cûdî Çekdar who martyred Zap. It is these martyrs who lay the foundation of humanity.

On the other hand, there is another picture. I don’t know how much it needs to be said because the press has analyzed it, but the Turkish army is hiding behind the KDP. This is a clear fact that can be seen because there are pictures and videos of it. Actually, it is hard to understand whether it is the KDP hiding behind the Turkish army or the Turkish army hiding behind the KDP. They are so dependent on each other, so afraid of the guerrillas. They act as if they are one army. Can a force taking orders from two command centers stay together like that? It can’t. So there’s only one command. They’ve reached that level.

This is the situation in the [southern Kurdish areas of the] Medya Defense Zones [guerrilla-controlled areas]. Recently there have been actions all over Zap. Both in the so-called ‘Martyr Delîl’ in the west and in the east of Zap. For example, there was the action in Kokerê, which dealt a heavy blow to the occupation army. The Cûdî mountain and the whole area of Metîna became areas of action. The enemy responded with all kinds of counterattacks; with planes, artillery, tanks, with chemical weapons and even with tactical nuclear bombs. In other words, the resistance experienced there is beyond heroism. The actions have even spread to Xakurkê in Heftanîn. It can be said that the Medya Defense Zones have entered a total phase of resistance.

But it is not only this area. It can be seen that especially since the summer, the areas of Northern Kurdistan have been involved in the war. Recently, there have been actions from Serhat to Amed, Lice and Mardin. There has been a massive development in the guerrilla. It has started a new process on its own front. There have also been some actions in the metropolis.

There is no change in the enemy’s attacks. On the contrary, the blockade, impasse and stalemate are increasing. Tayyip Erdoğan talked about the morality and law of war regarding Gaza. He should do this a little for himself. Let’s not forget that even Hitler said that he got this inspiration from the Turkish Republic. He said that he got it from the ‘Committee of Union and Progress’ and the establishment of the Turkish Republic. Now, everyone who is ‘criticized’ by the Turkish government, by the fascist AKP-MHP administration, sees the real face of the Turkish Republic more clearly.

They try to manipulate the society in Turkey with complete demagogy and psychological warfare. Therefore, the information they give about the war consists of lies. The central headquarters of the guerrillas regularly exposes their lies. The Turkish administration is desperate because it has no solution. The outcome of this war is still not clear. My comrades have stated that without the support of the KDP, without the support of the “village guards” [villagers who are used against the guerrillas either by force or for a lot of money in the service of the Turkish army], the Turkish army would not be able to fight for a single day. They are defeated again and again. A handful of guerrillas can defeat an army. Everyone could see what a heavy blow was dealt by just two people in Ankara. Everyone witnessed the power and capacity of the guerrilla.