Karayılan: France is obliged to expose the real perpetrators of Paris massacres

"The French state is obliged to identify the real perpetrators of the Paris massacres. This is the expectation of all people in Kurdistan," said Murat Karayılan of the PKK with regard to two triple murders of Kurds in the heart of France.

Murat Karayılan of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) spoke to ANF about the background to the continued incommunicado detention of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and the Paris attacks.

The isolation of the Kurdish people’s leader, Abdullah Öcalan, is getting worse and worse. What does the Turkish government intend to do?

No other legal system would tolerate the practice against Leader Apo (Öcalan) designed by the AKP/MHP regime on Imrali. No other example of this kind of isolation and torture exists at present. Even in colonial law, there were certain legal norms that were followed. But the torture system implemented on Imrali and the isolation policy in force there go far beyond colonial conditions. Rather, it is a new form of domination practice with undefined dimensions that tramples on all human rights and moral values. Imrali is basically a mirror that reveals to the whole world the ruthlessness and lawlessness of the genocidal policy of the Turkish state in Kurdistan. This policy, which is implemented in the person of our chairman, affects the whole of society. It is a policy of isolation, exclusion and ultimately the elimination of the entire community.

Öcalan's defence team as well as his family members regularly submit requests for client interviews and permission to visit. But these requests are either refused or not answered at all…

We know of far more than a thousand lawyers who have submitted applications to visit Imrali. Bar associations and members of parliament have also submitted requests to this effect. Leader Apo's own defence team and family submit requests for visits regularly anyway, every week as far as I know. Most recently, various international legal organisations have also publicly expressed their wish for a meeting on the island. So, we can see that Leader Apo's situation has caused a certain echo on a global level and that the illegal Imrali practice of the AKP/MHP regime has been exposed. Various circles around the world continue to speak out, condemning the injustice at Imrali and taking a stand against the inhumane conditions there. Despite all this, the Turkish state, which relies on the international conspiracy forces for its actions, is implementing the treatment of Leader Apo, which is beyond humane standards, equally and with complete indifference to our people. We are facing a system of social torture here. This is what is being applied on Imrali. However, whether it is the resistance of the guerrillas in Kurdistan, the attitude of our chairman and his fellow prisoners on Imrali, the struggle in the prisons against oppression and the complete disenfranchisement, the resistance or the constantly reviving revolts of the people against the repression, which permanently runs through all social strata and political fields of action - it is revealed, again and again, that the policy of extermination in Kurdistan and the method of torture, violence and denial applied there will not bring any results to the rulers.

The will of determination rising from the midst of the Kurdish people's resistance; the women's consistent struggle for liberation and their attachment to the line of Leader Apo; the fact that the guerrillas have proved their invincibility time and again - all this clearly shows the reality that the Turkish state's policy of violence is futile. At the same time, this situation reveals to us that only the perspectives of Leader Apo can unlock the channels for a solution to these problems. Therefore, the slogan "Not isolation, but freedom for Leader Apo" is our key. The way to democracy and prosperity in Turkey, to a fraternal, equal and free life of the peoples, leads through a free Öcalan and the realization of his proposed solutions. There is no other way.

A few days before the massacre of 9 January 2013 in Paris, people of Kurdish origin were again the target of a deadly attack in the middle of France. One of those killed, Evîn Goyî (Emine Kara), was your friend and comrade. What can you say about the second massacre in Paris?

The massacres in Paris are two more manifestations that the cold-blooded policy of genocide of the Turkish state in Kurdistan offers.  With respect and gratitude, I remember the martyrs, especially I bow to our companion and party co-founder Sara (Sakine Cansız), who fell together with comrades Rojbîn (Fidan Doğan) and Ronahî (Leyla Şaylemez). I appeal to the patriotic Kurdish people and friendly peoples to participate in the commemoration demonstration on 7 January in Paris to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of our friends. A powerful participation would send an important signal for the legal prosecution of the Turkish perpetrators.

I also remember our three other martyrs from Paris; KCK Executive Council member Evîn Goyî (Emine Kara), Mîr Perwer and Abdurrahman Kızıl. Mîr and Abdurrahman were patriots who stood out for their determination and sacrifice in our march for freedom. As a talented musician who linked his art to the Kurdish resistance, Mîr showed how deeply his being was rooted in patriotism. And the reality that Abdurrahman Kızıl, as a freedom-loving person, placed all his actions in the interest of the resistance for decades is also something to be appreciated anew.

I knew comrade Evîn Goyî very well. She was a militant for freedom and a determined, unwavering champion of the women's liberation line. A courageous Kurdish woman and a symbol of values such as honesty, sincerity, sacrifice and a moral stance based on freedom - that was Comrade Evîn. She was not an ordinary woman, but a trend-setting freedom fighter, a personality with individual qualities, characterized by sincerity, seriousness and years of work and experience. She was a significant revolutionary fighter who was shaped and guided by a harmonized energy from the leading patriotism of the Botan region and Apoism. Comrade Evîn made an entire society blossom in her heart. She represented the national consciousness typical of Botan, stood for devotion and courage. Her death is no ordinary loss for our liberation movement and the Kurdish people.

How do you interpret the timing of this attack?

Is it a coincidence that the attack occurred five days before the eleventh anniversary of the Roboskî massacre? I don't believe that Evîn Goyî and the other two comrades were targeted in a completely random way so close to this important date - and before the tenth anniversary of the death of the first Paris attack. Comrade Evîn came from the Roboskî area. She not only belonged to the same tribe as those killed in the massacre, but was related to them. She was a revolutionary who had taken over the resistance of Sara, Rojbîn and Ronahî and set her footsteps in Paris as their representative. Is it supposed to be a coincidence that a militant pioneer, who is closely connected to the protagonists of both events, is attacked in the heart of Paris? Who can rule out that the assassination of our friend Evîn Goyî of the Executive Council of the KCK by an alleged racist gunman was not targeted and part of a wider plan? No one. It is obvious that we are dealing with a well-thought-out plan, a conscious and organized objective, as well as implementation.

The Turkish state terror in Kurdistan cost 17,000 disappearances by unknown perpetrators (i.e. by parastatal and state forces) in the 1990s alone. That is how many people were victims of extralegal executions at that time, which often happened in the middle of the street. With regard to the fact that the Turkish occupying state prefers to target Kurdish women, it is therefore by no means a coincidence. Quite concretely, it is about confronting the Kurdish women's movement, whose lineage plays a crucial role in making people confront the paradigm of Leader Apo not only within Kurdish society, but worldwide. It is clear that the second massacre in Paris, as well as the triple murder of 9 January 2013, was planned by the Turkish secret service MIT. I would like to emphasize that at no time will we accept that our unarmed and defenseless people are attacked in such a despicable and vile manner. Those responsible will be held accountable in any case. The memory of these precious companions will remain alive in the culmination of our successful struggle for freedom.

We are aware that the fascist AKP/MHP regime is particularly vindictive towards the Kurdish women's movement. On 4 January 2016, it was the time of resistance for self-government, three pioneers of the women's movement, Sêvê Demir, Pakize Nayır and Fatma Uyar, were executed by a death squad in Silopi together with a youth named Islam. At this point, I remember with love and respect these four martyrs and all other heroines and heroes who gave their lives in this resistance. I would also like to express our determination to fulfil our promise to them. They played a historic role and have gone down in history as heroes of an important era. Their will to resist is a fundamental force that still forms the basis of our struggle today.

What is the task of the French government regarding the Paris massacres?

The French state is obliged to expose the real perpetrators of these murders. This is the expectation of all people in Kurdistan. We appreciate the way democratic circles in France have dealt with the demand for the investigation of both massacres, but we also expect the government to take the same stance and expose those responsible. For this, it should take as a basis the Declaration of Human and Civil Rights of the French Revolution of 1789, instead of sacrificing justice to dirty economic interests and thereby actively preventing an explanation. This is where the current French leadership faces a test. Will it rely on dirty political and economic interests or on the law? This will become clear in the near future. It is clear that France will suffer from its complicity as long as it refuses to take an appropriate and fair approach.