Karasu: Kurdish people must heal the wounds of the fire with unity and solidarity

Mustafa Karasu, said the fires in North Kurdistan "have been deliberately provoked by the Turkish state."

Mustafa Karasu, a member of the KCK Executive Council, spoke about the fires in North Kurdistan, saying they had been deliberately provoked by the Turkish state. 

Karasu also spoke about the ongoing international campaign demanding freedom for Abdullah Öcalan and sent his "respectful and loving greetings to the esteemed scientist, philosopher, and professor Noam Chomsky, wishing him a speedy recovery." 

As a result of the fire in Amed (Diyarbakir) and Merdin (Mardin), fifteen people have lost their lives while dozens of people are injured. This incident once again painfully demonstrated the importance of self-organization, while highlighting the fascist Turkish state’s hostility against Kurds. What would you like to say about this tragic incident?

First and foremost, I hope for God’s mercy to those who perished in the fires in Amed and Merdin, as well as for the injured to recover quickly. As the KJK recently stated in a news release, this fire is a calamity that was deliberately orchestrated by the state.

When a fire breaks out in the Aegean or Mediterranean region, the state immediately dispatches helicopters, fire planes, UAVs, and other means. Despite the fact that interventions in these areas are frequently insufficient or delayed, fires in Kurdistan are rarely managed. The Turkish state does not act because it wants to deplete the Kurds and force them to abandon their homeland. That’s why the state is unwilling to combat the fires.

This fire resulted in many deaths and injuries, while the state tried to deflect the incident by calling it a litter bed fire, as if this were the cause of fatalities. The state’s hasty claim that the fire was caused by leaf litter beds, without conducting any research or contacting any eyewitnesses, is the reflex of a criminal caught red-handed. To avoid the notion that the culprit was Dicle Electricity Distribution Inc. (DEDAS), and therefore the state, an attempt was undertaken to create the perception that the fire was caused by litter beds, exonerating DEDAS and so the state.

Eyewitnesses reported that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit. Nevertheless, state officials, agencies, and government-affiliated TV channels are spreading the idea that the fire was caused by litter beds. Because of their fear of the government, even the opposition press reported in this way; they took official statements as a basis rather than eyewitness accounts. If the fire had broken out anywhere else in Turkey, the eyewitness reports would have been the basis of any reporting. It has been seen once again how the events in Kurdistan are distorted and how the press is used as a tool for this. Several eyewitnesses pointed out that there have been repeated complaints that the electrical poles and wires, which were already old and needed to be renewed, caused the incident. This is not said by one person, but by all the villagers in the affected area.

DEDAS has not only become a tool for the exploitation of Kurdistan, but also a tool for the oppression of the people. Like no other institution, DEDAS works with the gendarmerie in the region. The gendarmerie has become a kind of military force under the command of DEDAS: they have raided villages and houses over and over again. For years, the people have repeatedly stated that they are being oppressed by DEDAS. DEDAS has become a nuisance for the people. Nowhere in Turkey is there a similar institution. If there were, the people in the Aegean, Black Sea, and Mediterranean regions would revolt, and the gendarmerie could not act like a military institution owned by a company. When it comes to Kurdistan, the military and police see the Kurds as enemies. For this reason, it sees itself as entitled to all kinds of oppression against the Kurdish people.

The Turkish state uses all the resources of Kurdistan as a means of oppression and exploitation. At least 80 percent of the electricity and energy used in Turkey is produced in Kurdistan. There are dozens of dams built on the Euphrates and Tigris. For example, the Keban, Karakaya, Atatürk, and Birecik dams were built on the Euphrates. They produce the electricity that is currently consumed in Kurdistan, tenfold. Also, many other dams have been built on the Tigris. At the same time, most of the oil is also extracted in Kurdistan. However, the Kurdish people do not benefit from even a fraction of this energy. In fact, the energy they produce has become a means of exploiting the Kurds. It is being created in Kurdistan, but is not given to the Kurds. And if it is given, it is given at an exorbitant price. This is exploitation. This is neither moral nor just. If energy is produced on this land, the people of this land should benefit from it. Electricity, the basic need of the people, should be provided free of charge.

Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] pointed out that energy and water should belong to society. In Turkey, even energy and water have been handed over to exploitative companies. Energy, water, soil, and air are related to human life. These cannot belong to anyone other than society. The Kurdish people must see how colonialist and genocidal the Turkish state is. The state uses every possibility of life as a means in its genocide of the Kurdish people. It has been produced in Turkey with cheap Kurdish labor, and using this has created opportunities for Kurdish genocide, especially in terms of weapons.

In the past, in Turkey, services such as electricity and water were completely owned by municipalities. The municipalities ruled that these facilities were not for exploitation but to provide and develop services. Now they have been handed over to companies and turned into an instrument of exploitation. Such situations have once again shown that in order for electricity not to be an instrument of exploitation, it must be operated by the municipalities that exist to serve the community.

The Kurdish people should not expect anything from the state. They should not ask the state for anything. Everything the state does and will do is to genocide the Kurds. Kurds must meet their needs by making themselves an organized society and creating social power. To ask for something from the state that wants to commit genocide against you is to ask for something from your executioner.

In the fire of Amed and Merdin, the people suffered great losses. The Kurdish people must heal these wounds with their unity and solidarity. People should not be dependent on this genocidal state. Times like these are precisely the times when it is necessary to show patriotism.

The isolation of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan continues. As a result of the struggle against this isolation, it is evident that a lot of pressure is being put on international institutions. How do you evaluate the struggle to break the silence of international institutions?

Before answering this question, I would like to send my respectful and loving greetings to the esteemed scientist, philosopher, and professor Noam Chomsky, wishing him a speedy recovery. Chomsky has made great contributions to the enlightenment of humanity and the development of democratic thought. As a true scientist, he has always been on the side of the truth and the peoples. He has always stood by the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and democracy and has always tried to do his part as a dear friend of the Kurdish people. He has taken part in every action towards the liberation of the Kurdish people and Rêber Apo. He played a very important role in the recognition of the Kurdish people’s struggle for freedom and democracy in the world. Because of this friendship, the Kurdish people take a close interest in his health, and every positive news about his health brings joy to the Kurdish people. The Kurdish people will never forget their friends and will value them accordingly.

The lifting of the isolation of Rêber Apo and his return to health, safety, and free working conditions are among Chomsky’s priorities and efforts. Today, if the struggle for Rêber Apo’s freedom has gained an important dimension, Chomsky’s attitude and stance, for decades, has played an important role in this. He was not only a friend who defended the freedom of the Kurdish people and Rêber Apo; he was also a great thinker who valued Rêber Apo’s paradigm and made efforts to promote it.

Undoubtedly, the struggle against the international conspiracy and isolation has been a great struggle waged by the Kurdish people at a heavy price. The struggle that has entered its 26th year has never stopped; it has continued uninterruptedly until today. In addition to the struggle of our people, the role of the international friends of the Kurdish people, democratic forces, and women around the world in opposing the conspiracy and embracing Rêber Apo has played a great role. Especially as Rêber Apo’s ideas were recognized by intellectuals and democratic circles around the world, the struggle against the conspiracy grew. Rêber Apo’s freedom was embraced more strongly. Today, if the international institutions responsible for Imrali, especially the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), are struggling and unable to defend isolation, the attitude and struggle of intellectuals, democratic forces, and women around the world have had an impact on this.

The worldwide campaign for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo and the democratic solution to the Kurdish question had a significant impact on this. The ‘Reading Days’ in which the prison writings of Rêber Apo were read and discussed, brought the campaign to a new level. Now ‘Dialogue with Ocalan Days’ are being organized, which is again a great step. In this way, Rêber Apo is better understood. It is clear that this will further strengthen the struggle for Rêber Apo’s freedom. The more people learn about Rêber Apo, the more they get to know him, the stronger the campaign will grow and eventually become unstoppable.

The uninterrupted continuation and expansion of the worldwide campaign for the freedom of Rêber Apo through creative ways and methods will bring us closer to his freedom.