News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(The Article Below is a translation of “Rojava devrimine karşı Erdoğan-Barzani işbirliği” by Ferda Çetin, which originally appeared in Yeni Özgür Politika)
Erdoğan, Barzani, Şivan Perwer and İbrahim Tatlises kicked off the AKP’s election campaign in Kurdistan [this weekend]. And when some intelligent(!) Kurdish politicians went on about how “it would be wrong to understand this meeting as support for Erdoğan in the election campaign” it can be clearly seen that this was a manipulation.
The Erdoğan-Barzani meeting was fundamentally a reasonable and everyday affair. However this reasonableness was not a reasonableness related to the demands or preferences of the Kurdish people. What we are talking about is a reasonableness as relates to particular ideological-political preferences. The AKP and KDP are two “brothers” who take the same line on the subjects of statism, sexuality, family values and property. Both parties can be understood as having entered in the spirit of history as cogs in the wheel of capitalist hegemony relying on imperialist powers. All of those who are not apolitical or lack emotion know that Barzani and the KDP’s support for Erdoğan and the AKP is hardly an abnormal outcome.
As a matter of practical policy the AKP and KDP have take positions on a front that is doubtlessly to the detriment of the Kurdish people. The AKP and KDP are ideologically close on the foundational subjects concerning Kurdistan’s partition into four parts.
Outside of an allegiance to the Kurdish people the KDP and Barzani are much more “brothers” with Erdoğan and the AKP than with Öcalan and the PKK. As a matter of fact whenever an ideological debate or confrontation comes up, national belonging, allegiance to the same people (and even brotherhood), and attempts at territorial unity become particularly meaningless.
The Barzani-Erdoğan meeting is nothing more than a turn towards cooperation over practical policy by followers of two close ideologies. Şivan and İbo were only the seasoning on top of this ideological embrace. The AKP and KDP are uncomfortable by the effect the PKK has over the Kurdish people; Erdoğan and Barzani are uncomfortable that Öcalan’s leadership has been accepted.
The current interest that made Barzani and Erdoğan meet in Diyarbakir is hostility to the Rojava Revolution and the PYD. It is the popularity of Salih Muslim that grows everyday along with his representational quality as well an acceptance of his legitimacy.
Barzani and Erdoğan are cooperating strategically in order to obstruct the revolution that the Kurdish people have carried out in Rojava. The shutting of the border gates to Rojava Kurds and the violent embargo with which they have surrounded Rojava are part of the AKP’s and KDP’s coordination. Alongside of this, they open the doors to those who are fleeing Rojava and have done anything necessary to empty Rojava of its population.
The KDP and Barzani are anxious over the resistance of the YPG and are troubled about the success of PYD leadership. When Barzani said before his visit to Diyarbakir that “there is no revolution in Rojava. The PYD is cooperating with the Assad regime,” it was a reaction to the undeniable success of the Rojava Revolution, which from their [Barzani and the KDP’s] perspective has become untolerable. It was a reaction to the clear victory that the YPG have won over al-Qaeda, the ISIS, and the FSA.
That after the meeting many writers and politicians said that “the failure to mention Öcalan’s name and the question of his freedom was a major shortcoming” was really quite simpleminded and naive. Because the deeper, principal reason for the meeting – if successful – is to destroy the mark of Öcalan in all of Kurdistan’s parts. The wedding in which three hundred people were married was an event to camouflage this real goal. The collective decision on the part of BDP politicians not to attend this “cover up” was consistent, however the individualist attitude that publically invalidated this decision was tragic.
When in 1998 the Kurdish leader Öcalan went to Italy in order to claim political asylum, a new phase in the possibility for a political solution to this process was born. The Turkish state mobilized all of its diplomats to obstruct this process. Barzani also presented a dossier to the Italian government. In the dossier it was argued that Öcalan was not a representative of the Kurdish people and therefore he should not have the right of political asylum. A point-of-view and an analysis concerning the PKK was also included that argued it was a terrorist organization with no political legitimacy. This disgraceful dossier is now in the Italian state archives.
One more brief story to summarize: A long and violent war had just finished, and a commander calls a Kurdish soldier to his side, saying “We have achieved victory, and you showed much bravery on the front. Make a request of me, only ask for something that I can also give twice over to your two injured Kurdish friends lying in the hospital.” The Kurdish soldier, having thought a long time and scratching his head, presented his request: “My commander pluck out one of my eyes!”