Karasu: Gemlik march should be part of the struggle for democracy

The Gemlik march is against genocidal colonialism and fascism, said KCK Executive Council member Mustafa Karasu, adding that democratic forces in Turkey should also be a part of this.

KCK Executive Council member Mustafa Karasu said that democratic forces in Turkey should also be part of the Gemlik march on 18 November, and added: "Undoubtedly, the Turkish state will prevent it or try to prevent it. It is a fascist government, but we cannot give in to fascism. This fascism cannot be destroyed without paying a price."

First of all, we would like to have a look at the situation of Abdullah Öcalan; his continuing resistance in Imrali, as well as your evaluation of the campaign with the aim of Öcalans physical freedom and a status to Kurdistan, which was was announced on October.

The isolation on Imrali is being carried out in line with the genocide policy of the Turkish state. Just as the Kurdish people are being heavily oppressed, an intense isolation is being imposed, and the voice of the people is wanted to be silenced. Also Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] is being tried to be silenced as the leader of the Kurdish people. On this basis, isolation is being imposed under false pretexts. In this respect, it can be stressed out that isolation is a reflection of the policy in Turkey. By looking there, we can understand what the policy in Turkey is against both the Kurdish people and the democratic forces.

Both lawyers and families request meetings, but they are not allowed to see the prisoners on Imrali. There is no justification for this attitude of the state. The unspoken justification is the policy of genocide against the Kurdish people. As part of the genocide policy, Rêber Apo is kept in isolation, silenced and not allowed to speak. In the same way, the Kurdish people are under pressure, they are silenced, they are not allowed to speak and this is how the genocide policy against the Kurdish people is carried out. The connection of the AKP with the Kurdish policy and the genocide policy is clear. It is not about any prisoner or convict meeting with his family or meeting with his lawyers. It is about the Turkish state’s policy towards the Kurdish people.

There is a struggle against this policy. This struggle began when the international conspiracy [October 9, 1998, when Rêber Apo was forced to leave the Middle East. The following odyssey ended on February 15, 1999, when Rêber Apo was abducted and taken to the prison island of Imrali.] against Rêber Apo. The struggle against the international conspiracy was initiated under the slogan: “You cannot darken our sun”. Since then, there has been a struggle against both the conspiracy and isolation. This struggle has gradually turned into a struggle for the Kurdish people in general and for the democratic forces all over the world. Because the policies and attacks against Rêber Apo are attacks against the Kurdish people and humanity.

Today, the struggle of the Kurdish people has reached an international dimension. The peoples of the world see Rêber Apo as their leader, the democratic forces, intellectuals and socialists do the same. In this regard, we can say that 25 years of resistance of Rêber Apo and the resistance against genocide and conspiracy in the Turkish Republic have brought the struggle against the international conspiracy and isolation to a new dimension. It has reached a very important point. The struggle of the peoples and democratic forces of the world against the conspiracy in the form of the newly announced campaign on October 10 clearly shows the level that the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and for the freedom of Rêber Apo will reach in the future.

Because of the development of this new stage of struggle, it is no longer possible to keep Rêber Apo in captivity. No matter what they do, they can no longer keep the lock on those doors. Those doors will be opened and Rêber Apo will regain his freedom. This is our struggle as well as the struggle of the peoples of Turkey, as well as the world's struggle for democracy. The struggle to free Rêber Apo is the struggle against isolation and the struggle for democracy in Turkey. In this respect, we really would like to congratulate our international friends and our people on their successful struggle. They have taken a very important step. Still, in many parts of the world, peoples, democracy forces, freedom forces, women, young people are participating in the campaign for the freedom of Rêber Apo and they are constantly expanding this campaign. In this way, they are not only struggling for the liberation of Rêber Apo; they are also struggling for the spread of his paradigm throughout the world and for the development of the peoples’ struggle for freedom. The more the peoples of the world get to know Rêber Apo, the more they will struggle for freedom, the more effectively they will struggle for democracy, the more powerful they will struggle for socialism. The struggle for the freedom of Rêber Apo has turned into an ideological as well as political struggle, a struggle for the freedom of peoples, of the oppressed, and of women. This fact needs to be seen.

This multifaceted struggle has emerged around Rêber Apo. This is not only due to his personality, but also because of the paradigm that he has put forward. It no paradigm just for the Kurds, it is about all humanity. Since it is related to all democratic and freedom forces, the struggle to liberate Rêber Apo has become a struggle for humanity, a struggle for democracy, freedom and socialism. This struggle will grow like an avalanche, because it has such a character, such a nature. The 25-year struggle against the international conspiracy, the struggle against isolation, had very important results at that stage. No struggle so far has been in vain.

Rêber Apo’s struggle for freedom has indeed had great results. This may not be sufficiently understood today, but the more the struggle around him evolves, the more this understanding develops. Like I said, it is a struggle to bring all humanity to a free life, a democratic life, and that is an important step, and in this respect. Especially next year, this will increase even more. I would like to salute once again those who started the campaign on this basis. I wish them all, everyone who has worked for this campaign, success in their work.

Shortly there will be the march of Gemlik [Originally a rally in June 2022 aiming for Gemlik, the city from where ships depart to the prison island of Imrali. The rally was forbidden and several people were arrested.]. You have called on the people to join this march before. What can you tell us about it and its meaning?

The Gemlik march is important. It is a march for Rêber Apo, a march for the struggle against isolation. In fact, it is a march of struggle against genocide. That is why it is so important. The Kurdish people claim their leader. A people that cannot claim its leader, if it cannot claim its organization, how will it be liberated? Peoples struggle for freedom with their leaders and organizations. Without a leadership, without an organization, there can be no struggle. Especially if this leadership has become the soul of the whole people and organization, how can a struggle be waged without such a leadership? Neither the organization can wage a struggle nor the people can wage a struggle. In this respect, of course, our movement and our people have been protecting Rêber Apo at the highest level for 25 years and will continue to do so.

But it is very important not only for the Kurds but also for the peoples of Turkey and the democratic forces of Turkey. If fascism is carrying out so many attacks to genocide the Kurds, if fascism is institutionalized for this reason, if it has become so arbitrary, so reckless, to suppress the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom, for the genocide policy, then not only Kurds but also the democratic forces in Turkey should support the Gemlik march. They should be part of this march.

The struggle for democracy in Turkey cannot be waged without understanding the position of the Rêber Apo, nor without understanding the Kurdish reality. How can there be a struggle for democracy in Turkey without embracing the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and its leader? Can there be democracy without Kurds? Democracy cannot develop in Turkey when Kurds are killed at the same time. It is simply not possible. Moreover, democracy is being opposed because every democratic step benefits the Kurds. We emphasized this many times. The reason why there is hostility to democracy in Turkey is such, is that the Kurds do not benefit from democracy. Whenever the smallest democratic right emerges, it is immediately attacked so that the Kurds cannot benefit. In this respect, of course, the youth and women of the Kurdish people should join the Gemlik march from everywhere. There should be more flow to Gemlik from the metropolises; from Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir and nearby places. There should be a flow from all over Kurdistan. All hindrances should definitely be broken down. Even a march that is organized just to show an attitude in the hope that democracy and struggle will develop is attacked so much; so how will freedom be won? How will the freedom of the Kurdish people be won? In this respect, the Kurdish people need to be determined and insistent on this issue.

We see the insistence and determination of the people. Everywhere people say that they will march to Gemlik. Women and young people say they will march in the democratic political sphere. The democratic forces are embracing it, and say that they will join the march. This march must be part of the struggle for democracy.

Right now there is a lock, a barricade in front of democracy. How will democratization develop without breaking this? The Turkish state prevents marches, it prevents demonstrations and meetings. Only marches and meetings that support the government are allowed, thus the institutionalization of fascism continues. In this respect, the march to Gemlik is also a march against genocidal colonialism and against fascism. There was going to be a march last year, but there was Corona and other factors, so it was postponed. But this time there will be a strong embracement of Rêber Apo. Especially because the campaign is so advanced in the world, the Gemlik march should be considered as a part of this campaign. Therefore, undoubtedly, the Turkish state will try to prevent it. It is a fascist power, but fascism cannot be surrendered to, it must be fought against, a price must be paid. This fascism cannot be overthrown without paying the price. So we cannot surrender. Surrendering to this fascism means the end of the Kurdish people. In this respect, we believe that the Kurdish people, the young people, who have embraced their leader throughout the last 25 years, will embrace their leader and participate strongly in this march. And, of course, again, the democratic forces of Turkey should also be a part of it. If they are so indifferent to the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom, to the policy being carried out against the Kurdish people’s leader, their struggle for democracy in Turkey cannot be credible. The struggle waged by those who remain indifferent is not a struggle for democracy. They are deceiving society. In this respect, I call on both the Kurdish people and their international friends, the struggle for democracy in Turkey, to participate strongly in this march.