KCK: The youth must educate and organize itself to lead the struggle

Regarding the self-immolation protests, KCK said, “Öcalan has clearly stated that he does not approve of such actions. Kurds should understand this as an instruction and act accordingly. There should definitely not be any actions of self-immolation."

On Monday evening, a young man set his body on fire in the central Sur district of Amed (Diyarbakır). The young man, identified as Mehmet Akar, succumbed to severe burns in hospital on Tuesday. In his suicide note, he makes it clear that he set himself on fire in protest against Öcalan's isolation on Imrali.

Akar’s farewell letter reads: “There is no news of Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan]. Neither his family nor his lawyers are allowed to see him. The applications are rejected without justification. We are concerned about the health condition of Leader Apo. In protest, I will set my body on fire at 21:21 in Amed’s Keçi Burcu (Goat Bastion).  May the light of the fire that ignites my body illuminate Imralı. I hope that this action will lead to the physical freedom of Leader Apo.”

The self-immolation of Mehmet Akar was preceded by the action of Veysi (Bubo) Taş in Mardin. On 12 January 2023, 65-year-old Veysi (Bubo) Taş burned himself to death in the industrial area of the central district of Artuklu in the province of Mardin in protest against the total isolation of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. After unsuccessful treatment in hospital, Taş lost his life.

The Co-Presidency of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council released a statement about the self-immolation actions, paying tribute to the martyrs but stating clearly once again “that we do not approve of these kinds of actions.”

The KCK statement released on Wednesday includes the following:

“We have been informed that a patriotic Kurdish youth named Mehmet Akar set his body on fire on the walls of Diyarbakir in protest against the isolation of Leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] and has consequently become a martyr. In the person of Mehmet Akar, we would like to once again commemorate all the martyrs of revolution and democracy with respect and gratitude, bow respectfully in front of their struggle and reiterate our promise of success and victory to the martyrs. In the letter he wrote before his martyrdom, Mehmet Akar stated that he did this action to protest the isolation of Leader Apo. Just a few days ago, Veysi Ateş had also carried out such an action and was martyred. It is our duty as a people and movement to protect the memory of these martyrs, who represent great love for the country, loyalty to the Kurdistan freedom struggle and Leader Apo, and to lead their struggle to victory.

Mehmet Akar’s experiences clearly demonstrate how AKP-MHP fascism uses provocations and wages a special war against the Kurdish people. Mehmet Akar was a Kurdish youth with patriotic feelings who sympathized with the Freedom Movement. Like every patriotic Kurdish youth, he made efforts to fight against genocidal colonialism and take more responsibility. However, the fascist AKP-MHP government, which is a special war regime, uses conspiracies and provocations in order to break up the Kurdish youth and distract them from the freedom struggle. One of the methods used by this fascist government is to influence families in various ways to prevent Kurdish youth who are patriotic and sympathetic to the struggle from this path. Mehmet Akar, a patriotic Kurdish youth, was one of those whom they tried to break through conspiracy and provocations. The fascist AKP-MHP government provoked his family with special warfare methods in order to distract Mehmet Akar from his path and struggle. By creating an environment of provocation, they wanted to create the perception that we kidnap young people through the HDP. However, our friend Mehmet Akar stated from the beginning that this was a provocation and that his family had been deceived. The fascist AKP-MHP government uses this issue for a deliberate campaign against the HDP with the help of its special war methods. But in reality, the AKP-MHP possesses an anti-Kurdish mentality and aims to discourage Kurds from the cause of freedom. All the special war methods, provocations and operations used by the AKP-MHP government serve this purpose. We therefore once again call on the circles that have fallen for the manipulations of the fascist AKP-MHP government: Nobody should fall for these games of the fascist AKP-MHP government. They must give up this attitude, which is the result of the provocations of this government and its special war chief, Süleyman Soylu. The fascist chiefs of the AKP-MHP, especially Tayyip Erdoğan and Süleyman Soylu, resort to these games not because they care about the Kurdish youth, but in order to make the Kurds give up the cause of freedom, the protection of their language, culture and identity, and consequently accept genocide. The aim of these policies is to make them give up being Kurdish and accept being Turkish. These special war policies are carried out by exploiting the feelings of certain people, manipulating others, and giving money to some. The fact that this anti-Kurdish fascist power keeps a number of dishonorable and collaborating Kurdish personalities at its side only serves to hide their anti-Kurdish and genocidal face. In reality, the aim of the AKP-MHP is to carry out the Kurdish genocide and to annihilate the Kurdish identity. The fascist AKP-MHP government conducts operations to kill Kurdish youth every day, and uses all kinds of lethal methods, including chemical weapons, against Kurdish youth. Today, Kurdish daughters and sons are being murdered with chemical weapons. So how can AKP-MHP fascism, which kills Kurdish daughters and sons every day, think of the benefit of the Kurds? Of course, this is not true and only represents great deception and manipulation. The AKP-MHP fascist government resorts to methods and immoral practices that are unprecedented in the world, and does not take into account any rules. It even makes family and maternal feelings the subject of special warfare and abuses them. Everyone must be vigilant in this regard and act knowing that these are games and deceptions. These families should know that they are not doing anything good for themselves and their children with this attitude. The AKP-MHP government is responsible for the lack of a solution to the Kurdish question and for all the suffering of the Kurds. Therefore, these families need to give up their wrong attitude and direct their protests against the AKP-MHP.

With his attitude, Mehmet Akar has defeated the Kurdish genocide policy and special war practices of the AKP-MHP government and the special war chief Süleyman Soylu. This attitude and the meaning it expresses has defeated all their measures. Therefore, his attitude needs to be understood correctly by everyone. Kurds are a people who are fighting for freedom. This cause of the Kurdish people is legitimate. They will never give up this cause. They continue to prove this every day with their attitude and struggle against the genocidal and colonialist policies and AKP-MHP fascism. Can this just cause be ended by influencing or deceiving some people through manipulations, provocations and special warfare methods? Can the Kurdish people, millions of people living with the consciousness and feeling of freedom, be distracted from their path by these methods? Can any results be achieved by approaching millions of Kurdish youth with such logic? Of course, this is not possible. But why insist on it when this is the case? Who benefits from this approach and these policies? It is very clear that it benefits no one except the fascist AKP-MHP regime, its gangs and collaborators. Undoubtedly, AKP-MHP fascism, which is the method of genocidal colonialism, is responsible for all massacres and deaths. It is responsible not only for the killing of Kurds, but also for all the injustice, lawlessness, corruption and misery in Turkey. Everyone in Turkey who is patriotic, democratic, socialist, libertarian and who believes in the dignity of humanity should not remain indifferent in the face of this situation and should express their protests strongly. Everybody needs to feel this responsibility and live up to this most basic humanitarian and conscientious duty. Turkish society needs to get rid of this fascist regime. Against the isolation of Leader Apo, not only the Kurdish people, but everyone in Turkey who does not support AKP-MHP fascism and who has human values must react and take action. Leader Apo is in isolation because he defends the brotherhood of peoples, the democratization of Turkey and a common life. Therefore, everyone who is in favor of the democratization of Turkey should not be insensitive to the isolation of Leader Apo and should take action against the Imrali isolation and torture system. It is not possible for Turkey to become democratic and move forward on the path of democracy without supporting the freedom struggle of the Kurdish people and Kurdish youth.

The patriotic Kurdish people and the youth of Kurdistan need to embrace Leader Apo even more. This is a requirement of the message given to us by the martyrs. Our friend Mehmet Akar has first and foremost given a message to the youth of Amed [Diyarbakir] and has called on them to support the struggle more. By carrying out his action at 21:21 p.m., he gave a clear message to the people of Amed and its youth. This is a message with a very deep meaning. Our friend Mehmet Akar has also called on all patriotic people from Kurdistan and the youth to fight more against the isolation of Leader Apo. The patriotic people and youth of Kurdistan need to therefore take this call as a basis for themselves, protect Leader Apo even more and increase the struggle.

On the occasion of the martyrdom of Mehmet Akar, we would like to once again clearly state that we do not approve of these kinds of actions. Leader Apo has clearly stated that he values this kind of willpower very much, but that he does not approve of such actions and that more creative and different actions should be taken instead. The Kurdish people and Kurdish youth need to understand this as an instruction from Leader Apo and act accordingly. There should definitely not be any actions of self-immolation. Undoubtedly, Mehmet Akar’s action is a great example of courage, sacrifice and commitment. In this sense, it is a great action. But the style of necessary actions must be evaluated on these grounds: our struggle has developed and grown. There are opportunities to work, struggle and develop in many areas of the struggle. The patriotic Kurdish youth needs to recognize this and act accordingly. The Kurdish youth needs to join the guerrilla and fight against the enemy in order to further expand the struggle. Those who do not have the opportunity to reach the guerrilla need to fight against the enemy where they are, in every city, neighborhood and village. They need to educate, raise awareness and organize the people, and in this way widen the struggle. Young people everywhere must educate and organize themselves to lead the struggle and the people. This is the right method of struggle that must be taken as a basis. Therefore, we once again call on all patriotic friends of the people of Kurdistan to express their protests more strongly against the isolation of Leader Apo, to increase the struggle to overthrow the fascist AKP-MHP regime and to build a democratic Turkey.”