Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Executive Committee Member Murat Karayılan has made striking evaluations about the ongoing attacks of the Turkish state against Kurds and the popular resistance of Kurdish youths in North Kurdistan (SE Turkey).
Saluting the resistance in the districts of Cizre and Sur, which have been continuing for over a month now, Karayılan vowed that they will call the perpetrators of the massacre against Kurdish women, children and youths to account.
PKK Executive Committee Member Murat Karayılan answered questions by Dengê Kurdistan (Voice of Kurdistan) Radio. Below is the interview translated by ANF English service.
In addition to the aggravated isolation of Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Öcalan, the state is waging a war against the Kurdish people with all its forces. How do you evaluate this all-out aggression?
The Kurdish freedom movement is going through a very critical process of historic resistance against the all-out attacks of the enemy, which aim to make our people surrender. This war was initially started in İmralı island (against Öcalan) where the psychological torture system was exacerbated. Most recently, two of the inmates in İmralı (part of the secretariat for resolution to the Kurdish question) were exiled without any explanation. This is a step taken against our leader Öcalan, who along with our three other comrades there, are confronting every psychological pressure and attack with resistance. This is a message we should all draw a lesson from in order to have a determined stance against the attacks of the enemy. As the Kurdish people and movement, we must lead this struggle to its conclusion now, as we are already at the final stage. In many countries and wars, urban warfare is the final stage.
The resistance mounted in Sur and Cizre today has an indisputable meaning. We salute the young Kurdish men and women who are resisting against a thousand-year-old atrocity. The people of Sur and Cizre have succeeded in this resistance so far. The state is mobilising all its technical and military capabilities, including Gendarme Special Operation, Police Special Operation, SAS commandos and most recently Maroon Berets. The only thing the state hasn’t resorted to is warplanes, which it cannot do because that would mean hitting its own forces.
The resistance in Sur has been ongoing for 50 days and in Cizre for 39 days now. This is a victory itself, over the Turkish state and AKP regime in the person of Erdoğan. As you see, 2-3 towns have stopped the state. What would happen if 20 towns did the same all together? The Kurdish people and Turkey’s democracy forces have seen that the tyranny of the state can be stopped and this fascist system can be broken by resistance. Those resisting in Sur and Cizre are militants of freedom and democracy; they are gaining a victory over the tyranny of the state.
Turkish state forces are approaching this issue tactically. They are trying to make sure militants run out of ammunition. To achieve this they are condemning the people to hunger and intimidating them to evacuate areas of self-rule. They are blatantly attacking and demolishing every single thing in their path. In the face of this truth, it is important to foil these attacks and lead this dignified resistance to its conclusion. All cities and towns in Kurdistan need to show the same resistance and stance that is being waged in İmralı. The enemy’s approach is, ‘We will save the whole of Turkey if we take Sur and Cizre’. This is actually true because not only the Turkish state but also the AKP government is caught in a quagmire and they are doing everything and anything to save their necks. Erdoğan has proved a tyrant, racist and savage person. In other words, the AKP’s reality has come to light only now. The resistance of the Kurdish people hasn’t only revealed this truth but also paved the way for freedom.
Most recently, a group of people including a deputy and co-mayor were attacked while carrying casualties in Cizre. Some lost their lives and many others were wounded. What are your comments on this savagery?
We have watched images from the incident; it is literally heartbreaking. We cannot treat this period as if it is normal after seeing the atrocity our people are being subjected to on the streets of Cizre. A group of people including a deputy, co-mayor and municipal council members get shot while trying to retrieve the corpses of those killed, for whom the European Court of Human Rights gave an injunction. The Turkish state has no law, no moral, no honour or humanity. They are not paying attention to European laws and conventions. We will see what the ECtHR will do. It is either yet to understand the AKP’s atrocity in Kurdistan, or just doesn’t want to understand.
It is 2016 and cities are being bombed by tanks and artillery. State forces are randomly hitting and demolishing houses regardless of who is inside. They do not care about casualties. Towns are being shelled day and night. In which state and country has this taken place? Doesn’t Europe see all this? It does, of course, but maybe doesn’t want to see. This is savagery. A war is being waged by the state against the people. Let me repeat once again; there are no professional guerrillas in the areas of self-rule but newly formed Civilian Defence Forces (YPS), which is the people themselves. Yet, there was no YPS in the area where Kurdish politicians were shot in Cizre. They were all unarmed civilians whom the Turkish AA news agency later portrayed as “terrorists”. Their lies know no bounds.
The boundary of tolerance has already been exceeded. Erdoğan was convinced after the 1 November election that Turkish nationalist and chauvinistic votes would keep him in power as long as he waged a war against the Kurdish people. He has no mercy or conscience. Yet, his atrocity is destroying and ruining the ground for the co-existence of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples. How will our people be able to live with them after these experiences?
The state is imposing its rule on the people by means of tanks and artillery. How can the people and youth accept this? It would be dishonourable to do so. The perpetrators of this atrocity are therefore targeting the integrity of Turkey also. Erdoğan’s policy is putting the country into a tight corner and he himself will be responsible for the consequences. He will be called to account. Numerous children, women and mothers have been martyred. Can he get away with it? No, I promise this. He will be called to account for all the crimes he is committing. The war between us and the Turkish state has been going on for years now, but it has never seen such destruction as the one caused during the last few months. The Turkish state is causing huge devastation. The incident in Cizre proves the state’s war against civilians. State forces have raked those people with bullets despite knowing that they were civilians. The Turkish state wants to get resultys by targeting civilian people and their representatives.
Finally, what message would you like to give?
What matters in this period is that everyone embrace their responsibilities without any hesitation or inner conflict. Asked if he would make a call from Cizre during a recent TV interview, Şırnak (Botan region) deputy Faysal Sarıyıldız said, “We make calls every day but noting happens as we are continuously being killed here. We have no more appeals to make”. Everyone should hear this outcry from Cizre. We are not in the 1930s or 40s. We are in the age of communication when the world is as small as a village and the influence of media on the world is stronger.
It is the duty of not only Kurds but also democrats and the Turkish left to mobilise public opinion; this can stop even the greatest of tyrants. Also if Kurds hear this outcry from Cizre and take action wherever they are, this alone will help stop the AKP. I cannot understand how Kurds in Turkish cities in particular call themselves democrat or patriots as they watch their own people being attacked and killed every single day, our wounded youths being denied access to hospital and bleeding to death. What are you waiting for there while our towns are being burned and razed to the ground?
This is why the people of Cizre are right to say ‘we are not making any more appeals’. It is a time for honour and dignity, time to act rather than to just utter words and make comments. Everyone should do whatever they can. If the Kurdish people in and outside Turkey and North Kurdistan, and the four parts of Kurdistan act, they can achieve anything. Our liberation is in our own hands, as has never happened before. Everyone should therefore be attentive to the outcry rising from the towns of resistance and fulfill their responsibilities with an awareness that we are going through an extraordinary, pressing and critical period. This will help destroy the castle of tyranny and herald the triumph of democracy and freedom. Our commitment and trust is stronger than ever.