News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following piece is a translation of “Rojava direnişi ulus-üstü bir direniştir” which was written by Ali Haydar Kaytan – a founding member of and leader in the PKK – and appeared in Özgür Gündem.
There is no need for oracles. The fate of our region, the cradle of humanity and civilization, is being decided in Kobanê. Will the wild beasts be let off their chains or will greater humanity prevail? This will become clear in the honorable battle in Kobanê.
In the fight between freedom and slavery which has been continuing for a thousand years one of these two contradictory tendencies will suffer a defeat at the hands of the other. Either the honor of humanity will come to predominance and will open the door for freedom and democracy. In which case all identities and cultures in this ancient geography of ours will have the chance to express themselves freely and live together in brotherhood. And women, who are history’s oldest oppressed gender, class and nation, will begin to build a world of freedom and peace. Or the wild beasts will take the upper hand and freedom and democracy will once again remain a dream. Even if it is not certain in what direction the day’s developments are going this is the obvious reality.
Everything indicates that it is not only Kurdistan but our entire region that is passing through an extraordinary period. To attempt to confront these these extraordinary times with normal measures of struggle is to consign oneself to failure. For our methods of struggle to be suitable to the character of the times they must be extraordinary. However we can turn the historical developments of such a war to our benefit by finding and implementing the most productive methods of struggle. What is important here is the organization of a relentless resistance struggle alongside that of the superhuman resistance in Kobanê. Success is conditional on taking as a basic principle a kind of action that relies on organized and conscious communities instead of a temporary and passing explosion of rage. Actions needs organization and organization needs action. That up until now there have been deficiencies in this area is apparent. Even so, the reality of the people who rose up in solidarity with Kobanê has presented us with great opportunities to create unity of action through organization.
Everyone knows very well what the AKP is imagining and what it wants to do. The Davutoğlu government wants above all to have Kobanê fall by providing all kinds of support to the ISIS gangs. However the fall [of Kobanê] is only the opening part of this plan. Behind this are designs to crush the whole of Rojava using ISIS. In fact the new President Erdoğan has expressed this openly. He said that after Kobanê next in line was Afrin, Serêkani and Hasekê. In fact he has drawn up a verifiable road map for them. For Erdoğan to speak like this is entirely normal, because it is Turkish officers from the Special War Department that are running the disgusting war in Kobanê. It is obvious to those interested in Rojava that ISIS has become an extension of the AKP. That they are attacking Kurds instead of facing the Assad regime which the AKP wants to topple so badly is proof of this.
It is necessary for us to repeat ourselves insistently: The AKP’s concern is not with solving the Kurdish issue, but with solving the Kurdish Freedom Movement and removing the Kurdish reality. With both the presidency and the de facto leadership of the AKP under his control Tayyip Erdoğan has not changed at all. The man who once said “if you don’t think about it there won’t be any Kurdish problem” is still at the same place. In this sense there was never anything like the “solution process.” The AKP and its leadership, in the common parlance, put on a song and dance and took the process as period to prepare for their own sinister goals. Against this leader Öcalan showed great effort in order to pull them toward a real democratic solution. He knew how to remain patient even in those places where patience was exhausted and never pulled back from a position advocating democracy and peace. In short we are indebted to leader Öcalan for the period of no clashes in Kurdistan and Turkey which has lasted until today.
Now the Kurdish people are taking their fate into their own hands. As the people of North Kurdistan take ownership of Kobanê they are intrinsically taking ownership of their own fate. They want to develop a solution themselves and for this reason they are being martyred. As these lines are being written 14 of our people have already lost their lives in the resistance. Everything has become quite open: The response of the AKP government to Kurds pouring onto the streets to support their brothers and sisters in Rojava has been to spill blood. ISIS and its local partners have taken a stand together with the AKP police and opened fire on the people who had taken part in the serhildan (uprising). Under these circumstances it is unavoidable that the people develop their own effective measures to defend themselves. The foundation of the defense of the people is organization and the foundational responsibility of responding in the moment of attack falls to the youth.
The AKP government, which had proclaimed its distance from the era of Turkey’s coups, is now applying measures that remind one of the coup era in Kurdistan. In order to drive the people from the squares the police are acting in conjunction with soldiers, they are declaring it illegal to go out onto the streets and are implementing measures appropriate to martial law. In order to preserve their own hegemony they are calling upon all kinds of unlawfulness. They do not want to allow anything like an opposition to exist. They look at any oppositional voice, any demand from the people, any position taken against their theft and despotism has an attempted coup and begin to attack it. Now is the time to say stop. The squares, the avenues and streets – they do not belong to the AKP police, nor the local partners of ISIS nor to the soldiers but to the people. It should be them who pulls back off the streets and not the people. Life is the highest value and its meaning derives from its willingness to make all kinds of sacrifice.
All the forces which are on the side of freedom, democracy and labor in Turkey should be in solidarity with the resistance of the Kurdish people in this process and must necessarily take responsibility for the Rojava Revolution. The only road to a solution is for all revolutionary-democratic forces to go into action with the spirit of super-national solidarity or solitary for the national-other; to limit AKP hegemony by uniting their forces and increasing the democratic struggle; and to establish the peace so longed for in Turkey. In particular the leftist forces should care to understand well the character of the process through which we are passing and fulfill their duty of leadership wholeheartedly. If they do not take responsibility for this duty and if they remain in a position of a spectator it is unavoidable that Turkey will slip into a new era of military coups. It is imperative that we free our people from the position of having to chose between coups and AKP hegemony. We are bound neither to the fascist hegemony of the AKP nor to a military-fascist coup. The only thing to which we are all obliged is to [working toward] our people living together in freedom and on equitable foundations.