Remzi Kartal: Sweden should apologize to the Kurdish people

Former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was murdered on 28 February 1986. The investigation has been closed after 34 years. KONGRA-GEL co-chair Remzi Kartal talked about the issue.

KONGRA-GEL co-chair Remzi Kartal talked about the murder of Olof Palme and the decision to close the investigation case after 34 years.

First of all, why was Olof Palme targeted?

If we look at the relationship between Olof Palme Kurds and the internationally oppressed peoples, we could see why he was killed in February 1986. He was a social democratic leader in Europe and was in solidarity with all oppressed peoples. It was in solidarity with the Vietnamese people. It was against the war of American imperialism in Vietnam. It was against the policies of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa.

It was also in solidarity with the Kurdish and the Palestinian peoples. In this sense, Palme was killed both because he sided with the oppressed peoples and because he confronted the policies imposed by the imperialist USA in the international arena.

How was Olof Palme's relationship with the Kurds?

He was in solidarity with the Kurdish people. He stated that the Kurdish people deserve freedom and that the Kurdish problem should be solved on a democratic-political basis. After the 12 September 1980 coup in Turkey he exposed torture, arrests; in general, it opposed practices launched by the military junta. On this basis, he was a leader in solidarity with the Kurdish people.

Do you think that this relationship with the Kurdish people was seen as a threat?

It was dangerous for to have such a leader in Europe talking about the need to solve the Kurdish problem. On 15 August 1984 the PKK began an armed struggle in Turkey and this was a serious problem in terms of NATO allies. In this respect, eliminating Palme would be a gain for them. On the one hand, they would eliminate an opposition leader in Europe who was in solidarity with third world countries, and on the other hand, they would eliminate an internal opposition, i.e. in the same Europe.

How was the PKK accused of the murder?

There was such a scenario which meant that Palme’s killing would actually helps killing more birds with one stone. This was a concept that Swedish secret police, Säpo, used as did NATO's deep forces, especially the USA, Germany and England.

Palme was a leader who was in solidarity with the Kurdish people before the murder, and in this respect, was liked by the Kurds. International forces devised a plan to get rid both of Palme and the PKK by accusing the Kurds of the murder.

In 1985, the Swedish intelligence Säpo declared that Olof Palme was also on the target list of the and this was the sign of how the murder was planned a year before. The reflection of a false information that had nothing to do with the truth revealed the true intentions at that time.

What did Palme's shooting mean for the Kurds?

It was a huge loss for the Kurdish front. The elimination of a leader in solidarity with the Kurdish people was also a great loss in terms of freedom movement. The shooting of Palme was considered as the beginning of the process of putting the PKK on the list of "terrorist organizations".

What approach developed agains the Kurds after the murder?

After Palme’s killing, major operations against the PKK developed in Sweden, but also in Germany and other European countries. Criminalization of the PKK was heavy. After the killing of Palme, a terrorist campaign against the PKK was developed in Kurdistan and the Middle East, and in the international area, especially in Europe.

What do you think of the decision to close the investigation after 34 years?

The closure of such an important case in this way after 34 years reveals once again the influence of NATO's deep forces and an interstate concept. A person who died in 2000 is being held responsible for the murder. This, of course, in terms of the Kurds and the PKK meant that from the beginning it was clear that the murderer was not be sought among Kurds. Yet, many Kurds were arrested. Now, after 34 years, the case is closed and its closure accepted by everyone without a word. The blame is thrown on a dead person and end of the story. This proves that: Yes, Palme was murdered by the dark great powers which, 34 years later, closed the file in this way and basically eliminated it. An important struggle must be carried out against this.

The Swedish government is being asked to apologize to the Kurds. What do you think about this?

The Swedish government should be asked to apologize to the Kurdish people and explain what has been done about the allegations made against the PKK in the Palme file. Kurdish institutions will demand this. Along with the Kurdish institutions, progressive, democratic circles, civil society organizations, women's movements, friends of the Kurdish people should carry out an international work and create pressure, especially in Sweden. It is unacceptable to close this murder after 34 years without a serious statement about the PKK. The Swedish government should be asked to make a more acceptable, more reasonable and more accurate explanation. In this sense, we will struggle to achieve this.