News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF) The Co-president of the BDP, Selahattin Demirtaş, is on a two-day visit to Colemêrg (Turkish: Hakkâri) Province, as part of the BDP’s campaign for the upcoming election. Demirtaş spoke to a large crowd on the significance of the struggles taking place throughout Kurdistan and the wider region, and the significance that the upcoming elections in Turkey would play in these struggles more generally. ‘The message that we will send here,” said Demirtaş, “is of the highest importance. These lands that have seen much pain and oppression, but just as much they have seen resistance; and in these heroic lands history is now being written.”
Demirtaş was greeted by local BDP officials as well as thousands of Colemêrg residents at Depin, where a celebration took place with music and halay dances, before he continued on to the city center accompanied by on a convey of hundreds of vehicles. Demirtaş then addressed a large crowd in front of the municipal hall. Many in the crowd carried posters of the Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan and flags of the PKK and KCK. BDP Colemêrg MPs Esat Canan and Adil Zozani, Colemêrg Mayor Fadıl Bedirhanoğlu, and local BDP and HDP functionaries and candidates were also present.
Demirtaş spoke to the crowd of the peace process begun by Abdullah Öcalan and the efforts that the people of Colemêrg had made in this process, and were continuing to make in the struggle for a new, autonomous and democratic region. Demirtaş connected the struggle in Rojava to struggles in North Kurdistan, and saluted the resistance of the people of Colemêrg that had opened the way for such struggles in the first place. Finally Demirtaş addressed recent attacks on people by the right-wing HÜDA-PAR party in the Lice district of Diyarbakir Province, speaking of the party’s connection with the violent history of Hezbollah and the latter’s cooperation with state authorities in oppressing, terrorizing, and murdering Kurdish activists. Demirtaş made it clear that the BDP was committed to the peaceful political process, and warned HÜDA-PAR against further provocations ahead of the March elections.
In Rojava `The young men and women of the YPG are putting up an historical resistance`
Demirtaş spoke to the crowd of how the struggles throughout Kurdistan were making history, and connected resistance in Colemêrg in the past to the current successes in Rojava, saying “in front of the eyes of the world the Kurdistan people are writing the history of Kurdistan themselves. In particular in Rojava today I am sure that to witness history being made in Rojava, to witness the autonomy that is being built and the milestones that are being passed there day by day, moment by moment, creates more excitement in Colemêrg than anywhere. Because our people are without a doubt putting up an heroic resistance there. The young men and women of the YPG are putting up an historical resistance. And those from Colemêrg, Şemdinli, Çukurca and Yüksekoval have also contributed much labor to the construction of autonomy there. Today when we look to Rojava – to Efrîn, Kobani, Cizîre, and to Qamişlo – we see the results of the resistance of the youth of Geverli and Colemêrg. For that reason let us send out from here in Colemêrg thousands of greetings to Qamişlo, that castle of resistance. Let us send thousands of greetings to President Apo who has created this whole legend of resistance. Believe that the unity, that national alliance, and the togetherness of heart that all of us here in Colemêrg have shown concerning our country’s fate has changed much. Three years ago when we were starting our work for the general election here, as you were writing that historical legend, you as the people of Colemêrg both young and old sent a message of unity of spirit that opened the way for many developments.”
‘If you want to engage in politics, do politics. Do not engage in provocations.’
Speaking on the recent attacks by HÜDA-PAR party members on tradesmen in Lice, Demirtaş condemned the party, and while he emphasized that the BDP would play no role in such violence he reminded those that wanted to create tension that the people were not defenseless. “A party called HÜDA-PAR that has almost no members went to Lice and attacked tradesmen and workers’” said Demirtaş “those tradesmen responded by themselves. The people responded themselves…if you want to engage in politics as a political party then engage in politics. Don’t go around engaging in provocations. But let everyone also know that our tradesmen and our people are not defenseless.”
HÜDA-PAR is known to be an outgrowth of Hezbollah, an illegal right-wing Kurdish nationalist and Islamist group that has been responsible for the murder of many people around Kurdistan since the 1990’s and is known to have cooperated with the Turkish state against the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Demirtaş likewise called on within the Freedom Movement to be “prudent,” saying “let the attacks come from whoever they man, there is a right to self-defense. But also be careful against provocation. It is not only HÜDA-PAR who is against us but the AKP, MHP and CHP. Let most of all our party youth be careful; their goal is to create tension. There are those who are uncomfortable with the cease-fire. They want to take us from this calmer environment and create tension. They are using them for this. Our people is a disciplined and organized people. They are a force that can stand against their games.”