Guerrillas: 15 August marks the key to peace

The Kurdish liberation movement celebrates its 36th anniversary. Guerrillas today say 15 August 1984 was the key to peace.

The Kurdish liberation movement has been fighting an armed struggle for 36 years. On 15 August 1984, a 36-man guerrilla unit led by legendary commander Mahsum Korkmaz - nom de Guerre Egîd ("the brave") - attacked a barracks of the Turkish military police in Eruh in North Kurdistan. A guard and an officer were killed, while the guerrilla suffered no losses.

The founding declaration of the HRK (Hêzên Rizgarîya Kurdistan) was then read out from the loudspeaker of a mosque.

The leaflet of the “Liberation Units of Kurdistan”, as the guerrillas called themselves in the first years of the armed struggle based on the “Unit for the Liberation of Vietnam” formed at the beginning of the Vietnamese struggle for freedom, said: “The HRK pursues the fight of our people for national independence, a democratic society, freedom and unity under the leadership of the PKK against imperialism, Turkish colonial fascism and their native lackeys.”

36 years on

36 years after this turning point in the history of Kurdistan, fighters from the YJA star and fighters from the HPG spoke to ANF about what 15 August means for them.

YJA-STAR guerrilla Penaber Botan said that the beginning of the armed struggle was a historic step in the renaissance of the Kurdish people. “With the first bullet fired under the command of Heval Egîd, fear settled in the hearts of the enemy so that he would think a thousand times before taking a step against us. The spirit of the guerrillas that emerged on 15 August lives on today in Heftanîn and Xakurke. All friends who are on the frontline at this moment fight against the enemy with this awareness "

The reality of the Kurdish people has changed

Guerrilla Roj Şoreş agreed: “On 15 August, something was created that continued today in Heftanîn. The fact that Kurdistan is resisting at the moment and the population is defending itself against the enemy is thanks to the offensive of 15 August. The reality of the Kurdish people has changed after 15 August. It was an uprising, a revolution."

On the footsteps of Commander Egîd

HPG guerrilla Ali Xebat pointed out that without the offensive of 15 August, today's revolution in Rojava would not have been possible. “This brought Kurds, Arabs, Christians and all oppressed peoples together. It proved that resistance is the right path to a free life. If the peoples are waging a revolutionary popular struggle against fascism today, this is because of the first bullet fired on 15 August 1984. There is a connection. We celebrate the anniversary with the resistance in Heftanîn. This is very important to us. Commander Egîd fired the first shot. As his successors, we resist against the occupiers in Heftanîn and fight for freedom. The offensive of 15 August in Heftanîn will be continued on the footsteps of Heval Egîd."

Guerrilla Welat Cûdî described the beginning of the armed struggle 36 years ago as the time of enlightenment for the Kurdish people “The enemy tried with all their means to destroy the Kurdish people. It was convinced that Kurds would never fight back. Kurds were not even granted the right to life and their own culture."