KCK's Bayık: Syria must accept Kurds' self-government and freedom
"Today, the world's most liberal, most democratic mindset lie with Kurds. And nobody wants to have such a people against them."
KCK Executive Council co-chair, Cemil Bayik, said that the new balances, in the context of the Third World War, came from a period when the status quo would be determined with struggle.
Recalling that the Turkish state run by the AKP-MHP fascist administration wanted to protect the status quo of the 20th century, he warned; "The struggle will be severe and violent, the attacks will be heavy and intense, and there will be difficulties, hardships and heavy attacks in the future.”
“The assailants have grown so much that the struggle has grown and developed, the Kurdish people have come closer to freedom, the genocidal colonialism has begun to die, The AKP and the MHP are going to break, and it is inevitable that those who want to end the Kurdish people will actually end themselves.” Bayik emphasized that they would not talk or reconcile with these forces, and added: “At the moment we are concentrating on fighting alone, we have no other agenda except fighting."
Co-Chairman of the KCK Executive Council Cemil Bayik answered ANF's questions. We share the third and final part of the conversation.
The French President received a Northern Syrian delegation and held talks. After these talks, it was announced that France will support relations with the Kurds. Why France?
First of all I want to say this: when it comes to the Kurdish question, none of the states has a consistent policy, what applied yesterday, doesn’t apply today.
Russia says, ‘Not without Kurds’, while on the other hand it supports genocide against Kurds.
The US is allied with Kurds to fight DAESH but remains silent when it comes to the attacks against Kurds in Afrin.
Iran says ‘I am against Turkey's occupation of Afrin’, doesn’t like Turkey politics in Syria and yet doesn’t take a clear stance.
This is why we have to look at the actual attitude of states rather than at what they are saying. No one wants to have Kurds against them too much.
What is preventing them?
The fact that Kurds are oppressed and fighting a just cause. Today, the world's most liberal, most democratic mindset lie with Kurds. And nobody wants to have such a people against them. Kurds, on the other hand, are important actors in Syria. In this respect, the Syrian regime does not want to be openly opposed to the Kurds. The same applies to Iran. Russia, which is in charge of policy in Syria, has to take it into consideration. Therefore France also has to take Kurds into account.
Is France in the same category, or different from the others?
Of course, the situation/position of France, the US, Russia, Turkey and Iran are different. Because in the last two centuries, indeed since Napoleon, France has had an interest in Syria. The impact of France on Syria is very high. During World War I Syria was a French mandate. There remains a French political mentality in Syria, a political hatred. In this respect, the relations of other states with Syria are daily but different from those of France. In addition to being an old colonial power there are also economic relations involved. In this respect, France's Syrian policy needs to be followed closely. Perhaps it does not come to the fore, but it is important to know and see the truth of a France presence which has always been in Syrian politics. It is important to see such a background and historical reality.
France wants to be influential if there is a political order re-established in Syria. In this respect, France has relations with Arabs, Kurds and Syrians.
Turkey could not accept unequivocally the Syrian policy of France. There has been a certain degree of convergence about the withdrawal of Assad, but now their politics are different.
On the one hand, Europe and the US want France to take a prominent role in Syria, precisely because of its better knowledge of Syrian policy. France can be given such a role. For example, France within the European Union is influential. Therefore, the European Union's policy on Syria could be better managed by France. Which is why the European Union may have been pushing France to take part in Syria and to carry out Europe's activity.
Turkey is still pursuing a neo-Ottomanism in Syria but this will not go down well with the Arabs. In this respect there is a certain distrust of Turkey coming from the Arab world. Turkey gives way to a very open and profound suspicion that in fact it is pursuing domination.
Other forces are also a bit different from Turkey not entering into direct political relations, military relations, they want to have an impact with economic relations. France is at the forefront of these countries. In this sense, it is understandable that the French would establish relations with the Kurds.
It was said that before occupying Afrin France had some assurances, that it was against it ...
We had this feeling, but Afrin was occupied. France showed some reaction but did not take this reaction forward. It even went to the United Nations, but nothing came out of there. In this respect there is an inconsistent political approach. We have to wait to see what happens to France's position. Will it be really consistent, will relations with Kurds be established on a democratic basis? Will it show some support to the role of Kurds in the democratization of Syria or will it opt for a word approach to show that what France not anti-Kurds but without actually any practice? We shall see this over time.
Should we take this dialogue and the subsequent statements seriously?
We have to consider these talks. We don’t have to consider them as an empty conversation, a distraction. The influence of France in the general policy of Syria is certain. If France takes this a step further, then we need to take it more seriously. Because France is a kind of “internal” power of Syria. It is not just an external force, but an internal force. It’s a state with supporters, lobbies, military and political associations. From this point of view, it is necessary to take with a certain degree of seriousness the relation France will have with Kurds. I will also add this: when the Kurds are concerned, one should look at facts rather than words.
What is the state of the regime and of its relations with Kurds?
The regime is still on its feet. At some point everyone wanted it to fall, but now this is not anyone's priority. In this respect, the relationship of the Syrian regime with Kurds is also important. There is a situation like this; the regime has not entered into an approach that will solve the Kurdish question on a well-founded basis. In fact, the approach of Kurds facilitates this: Kurds are in favor of the unity of Syria, not of its division. Indeed, the way the Democratic Federation of North Syria operates helps to strengthen the unity of Syria. They put forward a project aimed at Syria's democratization and living in Syria. In this respect, the Kurds are on the side of Syria's unity. In Syria, we do not favour division, we do not encourage any separatist approach. And we will not change the approach later.
The approach of the current regime is wrong. Relations with the Kurds are not being carried out in a healthy way, but the regime does not want to have the Kurds against it. It is necessary to produce a correct policy about the Kurds.
The situation in Syria is critical. At this moment Jarablus, Bab, Afrin, Idlib have been occupied. Gangs are leaving from East Ghuta, from there and from here, but this time what is clearly emerging is a region of gangs under an intensified influence of Turkish sovereignty. And this means division, separation. Syria is currently being divided by Turkey. Kurds have said they won’t divide the territory but Turkey is actually creating a region under its control within Syria.
Is the regime not uncomfortable with this?
Surely this makes Syria uncomfortable. Perhaps in the upcoming period, the regime in Syria can act jointly with Kurds against the Turkish occupation. To break both the occupation of Afrin and Idlib, Jarablus and Bab, there could be joined policies. They have no other chance anyway. The Kurds and Syria must fight jointly against the Turkish occupation. In fact, all the peoples of Shehba: Turkomans, Chechens, Armenians, Syrians, Alevis and Sunni Arabs must fight together against the Turkish state behind these gangs and mercenaries. Conditions will lead Syria to this point.
What happens if they don’t do that?
Syria will break up, will be divided. Syria won’t be able to keep itself alive. Such a Turkey will wipe out that kind of regime; it will also neutralize the political forces there. Should Turkey succeed in creating such a zone, it would be very difficult to predict what the consequences will be. Syria should be very careful! Turkey may think that Russia will remain cool about this. Today, Turkey is associated with Russia, tomorrow another relation will emerge depending on the policy.
In this respect, the state of the Syrian regime is critical because of the occupation created by the Turkish state. This occupation can be very costly to them.
Are you on the side of reconciliation between the regime and the Kurds?
We are in fact in favor of reconciliation between the regime and the Kurds. Kurds have such an approach and policy, but this would apply not to the old Syrian regime. Syria must accept the Kurds' presence, self-government and freedom. If so, we are certainly in favour of the union of Syria; we are in favour of Kurds contributing to solve problems in Syria. This has been our approach all along. Kurds' relationship with the US or any relationship with other powers is certainly not a relation aimed at dividing Syria. If there is a correct approach in Syria, if we act jointly, Kurds are there to help solving Syria's problems. The Syrian regime does not see this reality; it views Kurds’ right to obtain rights or to obtain freedom and democracy in a narrow separatism and nationalist mindset. They need to leave this approach.
There were talks among Russia, Iran and Turkey. What is your opinion on these talks?
Turkey is entering these talks with the only aim to promote hostility towards Kurds in these countries too. There is no other purpose. Turkey sees Kurds as terrorists and wants to conduct negotiations based on an all out Kurdish hostility. Russia is doing things together with the Turks on some issues related to Kurds; Russia, indeed is supporting Turkey’s hostility towards Kurds. Iran also gives a certain level of support to Turkey's Kurdish policy, but not to all.
Why is that?
Because Turkey wants to get support towards its policies of hostility towards Kurds to use this in the Middle East. And this is what bothers Iran and Russia. Turkey wants to use Russia and Iran through Kurdish hostility. They do not share this view though. In this regard, it cannot be said that they are completely united in these negotiations. Iran is disturbed by Turkey's Syria and Middle East policy. It is unthinkable for Iran to give full support to Turkey's Middle East policy. So Iran doesn’t really swallow Turkey’s position: "I am opposed just the Kurds".
In these talks Russia and Turkey were the most in agreement. There was not only a three-way dialogue. There are also economic relations. Akkuyu has economic interests in other matters. Russia also gets a share of the economic pie in Turkey; Turkey also wants to use the share it’s giving to Russia. These are fact. Turkey wants to use Russia in Manbij.
There are rumors of a possible joint action Russia-Turkey against Kurds and the US. This is being discussed. We are also receiving information and news about such a relationship but it is not clear yet. It is the territorial integrity of Syria, which has been voiced most of the time, at stake here. The concept of territorial integrity has become a concept that every force uses in its own way. Turkey uses this concept to justify attacks on Kurds.
The Manbij debate is still on the agenda, how much it affects you?
It is the Turkish fascist AKP-MHP government that brings Manbij on the agenda. In fact, in a way, the US accepted the occupation of Afrin, they remain silent. There are Kurds in Manbij, but most are Arabs. There are military and civilian assemblies and governments. As far as we know, the majority of them are made up of Arabs. It is governed by a democratic nation. Arabs and Kurds are together.
The Turkish state wants to put Arabs against Kurds in Syria. In Manbij, the Arabs did not fight Kurds, they live together, they have become a common democratic government. Turkey is opposed to it. It wants to demolish this democratic system and create a Manbij based on gangs. The majority of these gangs are from al-Nusra and DAESH. If Turkey takes Manbij, it will expand its domain further. Idlib, Afrin, Jarablus, Bab is already under Turkey’s control. Now, Turkey says, I will take over Tal Rifat, too. Thus, Turkey wants to expand the region where it is dominant to be influential in the Middle East. Thus it aims to maintain the new understanding of Ottomanism on the Arabs in the Middle East.
The people of Manbij do not accept this, neither do the Syrian regime and Iran. France will not accept it either. The US is ambivalent, inconsistent in this regard. Russia currently has a stronger alliance with Turkey than with the regime in Syria. It helps Turkey grow and get stronger.