Karasu: A democratic revolution has definitely taken place in North Kurdistan

Mustafa Karasu said that the municipal elections were "historic."

Mustafa Karasu, a member of The KCK Executive Council, spoke about the situation that emerged after the municipal elections in Turkey and North Kurdistan. 

In recent months, there have been large-scale protests against the international conspiracy, along with colorful 8th March celebrations, and the mobilization of tens of millions of people for Newroz. In addition to this, the guerrillas’ have been uninterruptedly serving fatal blows to the Turkish army with the revolutionary actions they have been carrying out. This atmosphere was intensified by the Command of the People’s Defense Headquarters (HSMK) who released very important information during Newroz.

Again, the outcomes of the municipal elections in Northern Kurdistan and Turkey have been historic. To begin with, how do you evaluate the municipal elections of 2024?

Before I get to your question, I would like to start this interview by stating that the political will of our people in Wan was attempted to be usurped. Wan is the only place in Turkey where the metropolitan and district municipalities were won by a single party. This usurpation has once again revealed what kind of anti-Kurdish mentality the AKP-MHP fascist government has.

DEM party candidate Abdullah Zeydan was put into the election. The High Election Committee (YSK) accepted this, and the people went and voted for him. He won by a landslide. This usurpation is clearly a conspiracy against the people. This is their message to the people that no matter who they choose, if the government wants to do something differently, they will do it differently. This is, in fact, the denial of the social and political will of the Kurdish people. They are not recognizing the Kurdish people’s right to self-government, even locally. It is a political genocide practiced by the genocidal colonialist mentality.

The Kurdish people must not accept this attitude of the AKP-MHP fascist government in any way. The AKP usurper cannot represent the people of Wan. They cannot govern that municipality. All districts of Wan legally belong to the DEM party. The people of Wan and all Kurdish people must continue their struggle to stand against these usurpers. They must repel those who set up this conspiracy. Not only the people of Van, but all Kurdish people must play their role in this repulsion. This is how the struggle for democracy and freedom develops. This is how freedom and democracy are won. This is how the Kurdish people win the right to self-government, the right to govern themselves. In short, these attacks can only be repelled through struggle.

These municipal elections were historic. Both in Kurdistan and in Turkey, a major blow was dealt to the special warfare regime, which is being waged against the peoples with all the means of the state. All of their lies, the deception, oppression, intimidation, and fear, they all collapsed. The truth cannot be hidden, this was seen in the elections. This situation marks the success of the peoples of Kurdistan and Turkey who did not kneel to any kind of attack and oppression by the state. In this respect, we congratulate them, the people who have been kept under a heavy plan of subjugation since 2014, for the stance they have put forward. I would especially like to congratulate the peoples, laborers, democrats, women, and different ethnic and religious communities in Turkey for their stance against AKP-MHP fascism.

It is necessary to understand that if it were not for the great struggle and stance of the Kurdish people and their allies—including the leftist democrats and Alevis—against the AKP-MHP fascism, the peoples and laborers of Turkey would have collapsed under the heavy pressure of the AKP-MHP fascism. This great struggle must be given the acknowledgment it deserves. It was this struggle which resulted in the AKP-MHP fascism’s failure to create the Turkey it wants.

Especially after the May 2023 elections, there was an air of negativity, hopelessness, and pessimism that the special warfare under the AKP-MHP rule, the Turkish intelligence service (MIT), and even the Kurdish collaborators in alliance with the AKP wanted to create. With such psychological warfare, it was aimed that the Kurdish people and the opposition forces were destroyed. So much so, that politics in Turkey and Kurdistan would now be redesigned by this government, and in the second century, Turkey would be shaped in this way. However, the Kurdish Freedom Movement, which has been the leading force in the struggle for democracy in Turkey and the Middle East for years, did not allow this to happen. It immediately launched a move to disperse this pessimistic atmosphere and raise the struggle.

The Kurdish freedom movement emphasized from the beginning that when the heavy isolation and psychological warfare imposed on Rêber Apo is broken, so will the oppression in Kurdistan and Turkey. The global campaign with the name ‘Freedom for Abdullah Öcalan, a Political Solution to the Kurdish Question’ was launched for this purpose. This campaign symbolizes a struggle against the special and dirty warfare of the AKP-MHP fascist government in Turkey and Kurdistan. There is a great embrace for Rêber Apo all over the world. This embrace is a direct struggle against the Turkish state, which keeps Rêber Apo in solitary confinement and carries out a policy of genocide against the Kurds. Therefore, it is a struggle against the Turkish state, which implements a fascism based on anti-democracy in Turkey, because the AKP-MHP fascism has maximized its hostility to democracy in order to harm the Kurds.

On this occasion, we celebrate April 4, the birthday of Rêber Apo. As part of the freedom campaign for Rêber Apo, our people and our international friends should take this opportunity to respond to the AKP-MHP fascism’s hostility to Kurds and democracy by going to Amara and celebrating his birthday there.

For years, AKP-MHP fascism has been portraying the struggle of the Kurdish people as though it was dividing Turkey, saying that it is fighting against terrorism, promoting chauvinism with all kinds of tools and means, especially in the press and media, and gaining a certain support in Turkish society. However, although the AKP-MHP government has been attacking with all means of warfare uninterruptedly for nine years with the support of foreign powers, it has not been able to suppress the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom in any way. With the revolutionary operations that started in the fall of 2023, the guerrilla dealt heavy blows to the Turkish army one after another. With these blows, the fascist dream in Turkey has been destroyed. Thus, the failure of the AKP-MHP, which declared itself a government of war, has been seen not only in Turkey but also in the world. Undoubtedly, not only the Kurdish people, but also all the peoples in Turkey who are under the oppression of AKP-MHP fascism, have gained morale and courage to stand against this power. These war policies of the AKP-MHP have started to be questioned.

In the reality of Kurdistan, where the AKP-MHP government is waging war, the protests against the February 15 conspiracy, the Freedom March that took place Kurdistan in February, the revolutionary actions under the slogan of ‘Jin Jiyan Azadî’ carried out by women on March 8 in Kurdistan, and the Newroz celebrations in Kurdistan, Turkey, and the world, has predetermined the attitude of the Kurdish people in the election.

While evaluating the great defeat of AKP-MHP in the elections in Kurdistan and Turkey, it is necessary to see the attitude, performance and impact of the Kurdish people and freedom forces after the elections of May 2023.

The AKP-MHP fascist alliance wanted to strike a blow against the Kurdish people in the municipal elections. On the contrary, it was the DEM party, with the Kurdish people and their friends, that dealt a heavy blow to this fascist power in the municipal elections. In this context, what did the results of the municipal elections in Kurdistan show us?

The AKP-MHP alliance wanted to completely break the will of the Kurdish people in the environment that was created after last year’s elections. It made plans to deploy soldiers and police all over Kurdistan, especially those close to the war headquarters. The alliance with Hüda Par was realized within this framework. Süleyman Soylu did not highlight the value of the state’s cooperation with Hüda Par for nothing. It is commonly known that they are cooperating with the KDP to suppress the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom. The KDP’s policy in this municipal election was in line with that of the AKP. So much so that AKP, MIT, and some Kurdish collaborators have worked in various ways and with various manipulations to create the idea that the AKP will take a step in the solution of the Kurdish questions after the elections. This was done so that the AKP gains votes in Kurdistan. For years, the KDP has been approving the Turkish Republic’s policy of Kurdish genocide in Northern Kurdistan and Rojava. They assumed that with this approach, the Turkish Republic would accept them as an authority. This is the KDP’s problem and what determines its policy.

After last year’s elections, the Green Left Party started a process of questioning and self-criticism about the disconnect in its relations with society and its shortcomings and inadequacies in its electoral tactics. Especially the weakness in social relations and organization was questioned. In this process, the agents of special warfare and their collaborators have tried to change the chemistry of the Kurdish democratic movement by misleading the efforts of the Green Left Party, by distorting the source of the problems and giving false reasons, and even by misrepresenting the direction of the Green Left Party and deviating its line. In short, the Kurdish democratic political line put forward by Rêber Apo was tried to be deviated and put into the nationalist-liberal line. Of course, these were futile efforts. Because the Kurdish democratic political movement was not developed by someone sat at the table, it follows a tradition created by the serhildans in Kurdistan and the Kurdish democratic revolution. Like this, the psychological warfare against the Kurdish people after the May 2023 elections was repelled.

When this year’s elections approached, a very important decision was taken and a primary election was held. This primary election was not based on only party members like in other parts of the world. All local democratic dynamics were included in this process. This did not only create enthusiasm and excitement among the people; it also attracted the entire Kurdish democratic dynamic, to join this process. There were some shortcomings and inadequacies. But it was a very important and courageous initiative. This initiative expressed the confidence of the Kurdish democratic political tradition in the people and the Kurdish democratic accumulation.

Of course, it was an important democratic stance that HDP co-chairs courageously took responsibility for the inadequacies in the election process and announced that they would not run again. This gave confidence to the people, as they once again saw that their party was sincere and different from other parties. The HDP and the Green Left Party held their congresses, conferences, and meetings and clarified their policies and positions. In doing so, they touched the people. This has led to an important clarification in the minds of the Kurdish people and their friends. After the May 2023 elections, an attitude and stance in line with democratic mentality was correctly developed. There was not a wobble or a shift in the wrong direction. These facts must be seen when one talks about the great success of the municipal elections.

The Kurdish people have been waging a great struggle for freedom and democracy in North Kurdistan for more than 50 years. It is clear that a democratic revolution has taken place in Kurdistan. There may be incomplete aspects, but a democratic revolution has definitely taken place. Three to four generations have been molded with the values of this democratic revolution. This democratic revolution, molded by the paradigm of women’s freedom, has deepened, and the democratic consciousness of society, especially women and youth, has developed. We should see the actions and stance of Kurdish mothers as the most concrete proof of this.

Society is no longer dependent on an authority, nor is it an ordinary mass of individuals. After more than 50 years of organized struggle, it is a community of people with a will that has gained consciousness and asserted itself as a will. Armed with democratic values, it wants its will to be recognized. For this reason, it has reacted with great anger and rage against the dismissal of the co-chairs it elected in the local elections and the appointment of trustees, as well as the imprisonment of MPs and party executives. Appointing trustees against the will of such a people is the heaviest attack on them. Our people rightfully saw this as a Kurdish hostility.  These people have changed, they have recognized themselves, and gained an important stance through more than 50 years of great struggle and heavy sacrifices. On the other hand, the survival of the Kurdish freedom movement and its struggle in every dimension in the face of all these brutal attacks has allowed the people to put more belief and struggle forward. There is an unbroken bond between the guerrilla and people. The attacks against the guerrilla only serve to deepen the anger of the people, which is what pushes them to struggle against genocidal colonialism.

The first thing the appointed trustees did was attack institutions related to Kurdish language and culture. Some of these institutions were closed. Women’s institutions that contribute to Kurdish democracy were closed down. Heavy attacks were carried out, especially against women. More female politicians have been imprisoned in Turkey, than in any other country in the history of the world. In general, Turkey holds the record for politicians in prisons. The proportion of women among these politicians is unprecedented anywhere in the world. All this has increased the reaction of the Kurdish people against the AKP-MHP government, which is conducting a fascist policy through appointing trustees. As a whole, the attacks on the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom everywhere have also revealed a serious attitude against this government.

Under all these factors, the Kurdish people dealt a heavy blow to the trustee policy in the local elections. It destroyed the trustee policy. This also revealed a stance of struggle against the heavy pressure on the Kurdish people and the occupation operation against the Medya Defense Areas and Rojava Kurdistan.

The concentration of soldiers and police in the region, using Hüda Par and enlisting the support of Kurdish collaborators, did not yield any results. We can say that Şirnak is one of the most successful places for the Kurdish people. The state has usurped Şirnak, which it abuses as a war headquarters. But still, Şirnak was the victor in this local election. The state has lost! The people of Şirnak have shown the whole world with their attitude, that the state has lost all of Kurdistan. I congratulate the people of Şirnak and salute them respectfully. They have clearly demonstrated that Kurds are strong-willed and honorable people; they have also given morale to the entire Kurdish people. The state’s seizure of the municipalities by concentrating soldiers and police in 5-6 districts is an absolute expression of its defeat. It is a confession that there is no element of the State left in Kurdistan except the military-police force. The people know that they won the elections not only in Şirnak but also in Uludere, Çukurca, Şemdinli, Esendere, Qileban, Savur, and Beytüşşebab. In fact, these are among the places where people are angry with the state and are breaking away from it. All this was achieved even though the atmosphere of the elections were not democratic or fair. The results express the opposite of this reality. Had the atmosphere been fair, the world would have better understood the stance of the Kurdish people.

The center of war in Kurdistan is Şirnak, and its governor is Wan. The DEM party has won all the big districts of Şirnak. The victory of the DEM party in all districts of Wan is actually the victory of the entire people of Kurdistan against the genocidal colonialist special warfare headquarters. The people of Wan should be congratulated. The people of Kurdistan are successful in all cities and districts. We congratulate them all. Therefore, we will not name them one by one. Though, in Hilvan and Batman, where the Kurdish democratic movement won its first mayorship in 1979, the DEM party’s success also has great significance. On this occasion, I would like to commemorate Edip Solmaz, Nadir Temel and Dürre Kaya with respect and gratitude. Hilvan municipality is also wanted to be usurped. Out of respect for Nadir Temel and Dürre Kaya, our people must continue their struggle with determination; they must never allow this usurpation.