News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The BDP MP from Mersin, Ertuğrul Kürkçü, has stated that his party, along with the HPD, will struggle to create a new state structure based on local administration both in Kurdistan and the rest of the country, all while working to realize a new model of popular sovereignty. In an interview in ANF, Kürkçü stressed the importance and significance of the HDP’s model, saying “We will show that autonomy is necessary for everyone. If Istanbul had been autonomous no one would have suggest putting the artillery barracks in Taksim; If Mersin were autonomous no one would suggest putting a nuclear plant in Akkuyu. Now everyone sees this better. We are set on a direction of a local administration that creates an awareness of local autonomy.”
Kürkçü spoke more in depth about the issues facing the party and those items that will be on the agenda and debated at the upcoming First General Congress of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), to take place in Ankara on the 27 of October. Below are a number of excerpts from this interview, translated to English.
On the Election of Party Officials
We were certainly debate but we are not expecting a debate stemming from genuine controversy. We do not think it will be a tense congress but there are subjects on which decisions need to be taken. The Parliament of the Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) will meet a day earlier and the debates will be resolved here. In conformity with the HDP Congress procedures it will be a congress where all founding members can vote.
On The Main Issues Facing the Congress
…This election, and that the debates that will flow from the local elections, are the principal grounds of the struggle. In this respect the third pole about which we always speak in general terms, the third option, this is the main problem: the realization of an environment of popular sovereignty. And this ranks first along with the subject of autonomy that is before us and is included in it. A new state structure formed both on the autonomy of Kurdistan and autonomous, local governments. We need to take steps at the congress toward developing a program that will concretely identify the structure and construction of democracy and that can achieve this. Because you can call anything democracy or rather democracy can take many forms but we need to make clear that this will not be a democracy suitable to us if it does not recognize the autonomy of the Kurdish people, and if it does not remake all of our administrative structures in this way, and if it does not settle on a political structure along these lines; and we need to present a target for the people that is attainable and that can be evaluated by them as such.
On the HDP and the Stagnation of the Peace Process
[Our task] is to accompany the Kurdish people’s struggle for peace and the government wanted to confine this struggle to a single direction based on its own initiatives. Actually it was based on not sharing sovereignty, and it creates new period where the people will take the side of a solution and against an attitude that maintains this hopelessness…[Our task] is to accompany the struggle of the Kurds and at the same time to to articulate the dynamics of [the struggle for] freedom that emerged at Gezi and join them to this process as the dynamics [working for] peace.
On the Revolution of Rojava and the Conflict in Syria more Generally
The most important task of foreign policy now facing us is the joining of the Arab and Kurdish people in a struggle to create a new, democratic, emancipatory, self-directed and secular order and the defense of the revolution against the new threat of the gangs that Turkey and United States are feeding and empowering in Syria.
On the International Economic Crisis and Its Growing Impact in Turkey
[Our position] is for the protection of the laboring classes against the crisis and that it should not be the working class but the mechanisms of profit and exploitation that bear the burden of the crisis. Or more simply: there is a serious struggle that will be necessary in order for capital to pay for the cost of the crisis. This will also have a principal place in our agenda.
On the HPD’s Model of Local Autonomy and its Importance for the Whole of Turkey
We have a political duty to respond to the pursuits directed towards the achievement of autonomy by various localities and their attempts to direct their own fate; to present a politics in this direction; and to seek the approval of the people for a political environment that could provide for this local autonomy. An autonomous Marmara region, and autonomous Istanbul, an autonomous Mersin – it is important for us that the people of the Çukurova come to prefer this. We will show that for those who think we only want autonomy for Kurdistan and comprehend this as a form of “divisionism” that autonomy is important for everyone. If Istanbul had been autonomous no one would have suggest putting the artillery barracks in Taksim; If Mersin were autonomous no one would suggest putting a nuclear plant in Akkuyu. Now everyone sees this better. We are set on a direction of a local administration that creates an awareness of local autonomy.