"Leader Öcalan appreciates all peoples"

Muhammed Ali, who received training from Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan at Mahsum Korkmaz Academy, said: "He attached great value to society. He never said a bad word about the Turkish and Arab people."

Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan has worked in Syria and Lebanon for nearly 20 years. Abdullah Öcalan, who personally carried out the organizing activities in Rojava Kurdistan, Aleppo and Damascus, also carried out important training activities in this field. By training thousands of PKK militants and Kurdish patriots at the Mahsum Korkmaz Academy in Lebanon, he created the reality of fighting militants, women and people.

Kurdish patriot Muhammed Ali, got to know the PKK in 1984. He attended Öcalan's training at the Mahsum Korkmaz Academy in 1988. Muhammed Ali, who carried out the front work after education, is now 58 years old and continues his struggle.

Muhammed Ali talked to ANF about Mahsum Korkmaz Academy, the education of Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan and the impact it had on him.

Muhammed Ali said: "We went to the leadership. He asked if we were eating. When we stated that we were full, he said, ‘Bring tea for the friends’. The tea came and we looked at him in astonishment while he served us himself. This surprised me. It was the first time in my life that I saw a leader in the world acting like this. We were seeing leaders in other parties or presidents around the world. Everyone was serving tea to them, but our Leader was actually serving tea to us.

A planned life

The friends had told the Leader about me. 'Are you Muhammed Ali?' he asked. When I replied, 'Yes, president.' He said, 'Who is younger between me and you?' He asked. 'I don’t know,' I answered. He asked my age. I told him I was 25. He said 'Do you know how old I am? I am 42. You killed yourself. Make a daily plan for yourself. Have a system. This is how you evaluate your life. Not a minute of my time is wasted. I get up in the morning, do my exercise, have my breakfast. I go to education. Then sports again. My whole life is planned. Not so with you. You open a book. You are reading a few pages. Then you drop it and get another one. It doesn’t work like that.'

He made no difference between friends

I studied at Mahsum Korkmaz Academy for 45 days. In that training, there were PKK's senior executives, staff, and patriots and sympathizers like me. The leader made no difference.

The leader didn't really stop for a minute. He was always working. We started training at 8 am after sports and breakfast. He did not even take a break in education. He went to training in the morning and continued training uninterruptedly until lunch. After the meal, reports on sports and the practice of friends from 8 to 10 pm were read. Almost all training was given by the Leader himself. Friends were recording all the training of the Leader with cameras. Then they turned it into a book. Not a word said by the Leadership was wasted.

He did not compromise on values

The Leader was very sensitive about material and moral values. One day he was walking. He tapped his foot on a stone, and some rice came out from under the stone. He said to me, 'Go fetch a plate, collect this'. After I did that, he said, ‘Go to the academy and call the friends.’ He said to the friends at the academy, ‘Do you know who this rice belongs to? This rice belongs to Mazlum, Kemal, Akif, Hayri… How can you throw it like that?’. Then he asked who threw it. A friend immediately came forward and said, ‘I did it, president, I did it’. Everyone took responsibility for their mistake. They did not deny any mistake or mistake they had made.

Analysing the system

The vast majority of Leader training was on capitalism. He was trying to introduce us to the hegemonic system that dispersed and corrupted sociality. He was saying, ‘Who are those who distort and disperse this society, harm the people so much and hide themselves? What kind of system is this system? You should know them.’ Indeed, the Leader was speaking from the democratic civilization period to the establishment of nation-states. ‘If you are fighting and fighting against these states, You must know him well,’ he repeated.

His efforts were for everyone

The leadership gave great value to all peoples. He worked for all peoples. I have never seen him discriminate between peoples. I have never heard him speak badly of any people or be hostile towards anyone. I have never heard him say a single bad word about Turks, Arabs or other peoples in education. He was exposing the system and the state, which always corrupted society, made peoples slaughter each other and turned them into enemies. He underlined: ‘If our revolution succeeds, all peoples will be saved. The salvation of all depends on our revolution. The liberation of Turks, Arabs, Circassians, Palestinians and even European peoples depends on the victory of our revolution.’

Organising the Arab people

Aziz Arap, the first Arab martyr of the PKK, was in training with us. The Leader said of Heval Aziz; ‘Look, he joined the PKK. Because the Arab people see their salvation in the PKK. If you value Arab society and give weight to their organization, they will join the PKK, because they need revolution and freedom.’ He saw the mistake in frontline workers and cadres. He said that we did not work hard enough to organize the Arab people and that we made mistakes.

'You must work 24 hours a day'

The Leader was calling out to us as follows: 'We are Kurds, one of the peoples of the world who have suffered the greatest exploitation and genocide. We need to work 24 hours a day to liberate Kurdistan. I am ready to give you whatever opportunity it takes to wage this struggle and win the future.'

He attached great value to women

Taking leadership training has changed a lot in my personality and mentality. For the first time in my life, I saw women giving education, being in charge and using weapons. There was criticism and self-criticism in education. The female friends stood up and made their harsh criticisms. I saw democracy, equality and life in this academy. I realized the power of women. Man needs freedom. I saw freedom and love in this academy. There was no difference between men and women for the Leader. He wanted very much to help women emancipate. There were few women at that time. The Leader was putting more effort into the education of women. He tried to expand the women's army and movement. He was constantly talking to them, educating them.

The importance of Kurdish language

Leader Apo always wanted us to develop and train ourselves. He always wanted us to read books. He attached great importance to the Kurdish language. We were also taking courses in Kurdish at the academy. I learned to read and write in Kurdish at the academy. He also wanted us to know every part of Kurdistan. He said: “A patriot must recognize his land step by step. If you know your land, you can serve it.”

He said, "Kurdistan requires work and sacrifice, and a belief in our movement. If you do not believe in the movement, you cannot walk and do business with us. I give you whatever it takes to become conscious and work."