Kalkan: Turkish state has never been weaker in the face of the Kurds

PKK Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan underlined that; ". The AKP government has never been weaker. The Turkish state has never been weaker in the face of the Kurds. The guerillas perform better than ever."

PKK Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan made important evaluations for MED NUÇE regarding the current political developments in Turkey and Kurdistan.

We hereby publish an extract from Kalkan's interview to journalist Ersin Çelik, translated by ANF English service.

Most recently, there has been an Turkish army operation in Lice in which 24 battalions of soldiers participated. But it is now understood that the operation ended in failure. How do you assess the performance of the guerillas so far? Also, should we expect this resistance to increase?

Yes, the operation in Lice was a fiasco. All of the information that we receive proves this. The participation of so many soldiers and the status they are in are really a fiasco.

24 battalions of soldiers is as much as the population of Lice…

Even more, Lice’s population is not as high as that. They did so much propaganda. From the outside, it seems like the AKP is leveling Kurdistan and its mountains. But this is not true. These are all lies that are part of the psychological warfare. They are aimed at intimidating Kurdish people and breaking their will. They aim to deceive the international public. They are trying to say “Kurds do not have power or the will, you will not win if you establish relations with the Kurds, so establish relations with me.” The truth is different, however.

Why do you think the existing clashes and their results are carefully hidden from the press?

AKP’s power is based on psychological warfare and lies. They will be exposed if the truth is not hidden. This is why they do not want any alternative voices. They arrested people simply because they showed solidarity with Özgür Gündem.

They really cover up the truth a lot. They pretend that we don’t exist, and say “We beat them! We are defeating them in Lice and its suburbs!” This is not true, however. This should not deceive anybody. The AKP government has never been weaker. The Turkish state has never been weaker in the face of the Kurds. The guerillas perform better than ever. The guerillas were a force that was fighting only in North Kurdistan until 3-5 years ago. They now fight in all four parts of Kurdistan and have become the hope for freedom and democracy in the Middle East. It is not possible to deceive the public with lies such as “We are beating and defeating them.”

According to the information that we receive, Lice operation was a fiasco. They tried hard for 15 days, but lost 30 soldiers. We lost 7 guerillas, and 2 guerillas were taken as captives. They also arrested 3-4 young people that wanted to join the guerilla. They interrogate people and accuse them of being guerillas. For them, all Kurdish youths are potential guerillas. So after all of their attacks, the operation’s results were a fiasco.

They may say things like “PKK and HPG hide their casualties.” But their losses are obvious. We heard from the press, they said that they killed 12 people. But they hide their casualties. Even if their statements were accurate, the operation is still a fiasco. All of these show the success of the guerillas.

The municipalities in Kurdistan are targeted by the AKP. It is possible that DBP municipalities are seized through appointed trustees. Do you think that an appointed civil servant can govern a municipality in Kurdistan? What would be the consequences of this?

Now, what happens if someone appoints a president instead of Erdoğan? What would that system be called? Erdoğan brags about being elected. So why is he appointing civil servants in place of elected officials? Are AKP members and Erdoğan the only elected people? Did DBP co-presidents and councilors not get elected? They did, and they received so many votes. Many of them received 70-80-90 percent of the votes in their districts. Arresting elected officials that received so many votes means arresting all those people that voted for them.

The attacks on the municipalities are not new. They have not been exposed enough actually, and public opinion was not influenced as much. There have been operations targeting co-presidents and councilors for over a year now. Half of DBP co-mayors have either been removed from their posts or arrested. They want to remove the rest from their posts or appoint unelected people to their positions.

With these attacks, they are saying “Kurdish people do not have a will or a choice. I will control everything.” This is the reason why the self-administration resistance took place. Ahmet Davutoğlu challenged us in Ankara and said “everything will be as I want.” The peoples’ assemblies in Cizre, Sur and Gever said “No, we have a will too.” The democratic self-administration resistance took place because of this, now they are using the same tactics against municipalities.

The attacks on the municipalities are attacks on the will of Kurdish people and the solution of the Kurdish issue. In return, everyone must resist the attacks and stand up for their will. People have elected the municipal administrations and only people can change them. The municipalities should unite with the people upon this basis.

We should also state that if the elected officials are removed from their posts and put in jail, and some state employee comes in and says that they are the new mayors, they will be targeted by our defense forces. We will not allow them to be mayors and use peoples’ resources. We will not allow them to seize the municipalities. Whoever accepts them will be the target of our people, guerillas, and self-defense. They should know that this is a very serious issue. No state employee can break the will of the people. As the Kurdish people and the movement, we are strong enough to respond to this case. Everyone should be careful and avoid misreading the situation. If anyone acts against the will of the people, people’s will will suffocate them.

We had previously discussed the AKP’s plans to change the demographics of Kurdistan. As a new development, Erdoğan made a statement in Kilis and said “We can grant citizenship to Syrian refugees.” In parallel, the construction of refugee camps in Kurdistan continues. How do you assess this development?

This policy is not applicable and is simply brutal. Humans should not be approached like this. There is no love for humans, they see society as money; some object that can be bought and sold. Erdoğan’s mentality on humans and the society is very dangerous. They have no love for the creator and her creations; it is all a lie.

Europe could not understand this and take a stance at first. Syrian peoples were deceived and exiled to different places.

At this point, does the PKK have an alternative for Syrian refugees? How does the PKK evaluate the situation, and what solution proposal does it have?

First let me say this, we will not accept the AKP’s plan to change the demographics of Kurdistan. Everyone should know that AKP cannot settle in Kurdistan, Kurdistan is not alone. We will struggle against this. They are trying to pit Kurds against other peoples, nobody should fall into this trap. This is dangerous. We are not a movement that is bothered by peoples’ coexistence, we defend Democratic Confederalizm and Democratic Nation.

Kurds have coexisted with other people throughout history. They have not fought any people. The PKK says ‘yes’ to peoples’ coexistence, but will resist the destruction of Kurdish people’s lands and the construction of buildings for people other than the Kurds. Nobody will turn a blind eye to this, and we will resist. No social group should be a part of their plan, but they can establish relations with the Kurds. Kurdish people will then support them and share their food with them.

To the Syrian refugees in Turkey, I say that there is a war in Syria and the AKP attacked the Syrian regime and peoples in Syria in many different ways. Now it is said that Esad spoke to Erdoğan. Syrian society has been crushed and insulted, we see and understand this. But they should be mobilized, becoming refugees that abandon their land is wrong.

They should avoid being a part of AKP’s policies. Yes, they need to defend themselves in the face of attacks. But they should not allow the AKP to use and enslave them.