BEHDINAN (ANF) – PKK Executive Committee Member Murat Karayılan answered Dengê Kurdistan Radio’s questions on the recent developments in Northern Kurdistan.
Eights cities and towns in Northern Kurdistan have been burned and torn down by the AKP government and state which now tries to design these areas through various plans and projects in accordance with its own plans. These include TOKİ buildings and ‘street police’ application under the name of a ‘watchman’ system. How do you evaluate this plan?
We are going through a historic process in Kurdistan. The epic resistance for democratic autonomy, mainly in Sur, Cizre, İdil, Nusaybin, Şırnak, Gever, Silopi and Silvan, has turned a new page in the history of the Kurdish people. Courage and bravery has led up to a history of resistance that revealed the level of self-sacrifice reached by Kurdish youths today. This spirit of resistance manifested by Kurdistan Defense Forces forms the basis of greater steps for victory.
This is the first time an urban warfare has occurred in Northern Kurdistan. This war can be discussed with regards to its positive and negative sides but one thing is clear; it is the demonstration of historic resistance and victory.
The enemy forces that failed to enter the cities and towns in the face of resistance eventually resorted to demolishing these areas on the order of the Turkish President and Chief of Defense to “blow buildings up from a distance to enter the towns and cities”. This is how they managed to get inside. This is a disgrace and loss for the Turkish army which furthermore reflects this defeat as a victory.
This resistance forms the basis of greater steps to be taken during the coming process. The areas of battle house strong patriotism and defense of Kurdish identity and they have been a scene of marks left by the brave martyrs. The Turkish state now wants to remove this mark from these areas.
On the other hand, the state is making an effort to design the cities according to its own will and it is making this through the TOKİ (Housing Development Administration of Turkey) institution that is affiliated to it. The state actually wants to turn the cities into open prisons to be entirely under its own control. Our people should refuse to live in these prisons and struggle needs to be enhanced against this attempt.
On the other hand, the state is trying to subject people to forced displacement and migration to other cities in the western side of the country.
So you mean the state is trying to change the population of patriotic cities and towns?
Indeed. Besides, the state aims to construct high buildings in the targeted neighborhoods of cities and towns and to make these buildings over-crowded with mainly refugees with the goal of changing the demography of cities. We should stand against these deceitful plans of the enemy. No single Kurd should leave their homes and neighborhoods, they all should resist against this plan. What is crucial at the moment is popular resistance. Brave fighters of Kurdistan have created a new level by waging a struggle and the state wants to erase this mark now. While the areas ruined by war in Kobanê are being protected and turned into museums of history, the Turkish state wants to erase all the marks in the areas of resistance. It wants to demolish all these areas and construct new buildings to make sure that nobody remembers this resistance. By changing the neighborhoods and streets, it is trying to make the Kurdish people forget this sacred resistance, and make them regret experiencing such a thing. The system the state wants to initiate under the name of ‘street watch’ is in fact an ‘urban guard’ system. Anyone who accepts this system could be targeted by the revolution anytime. In short, there is a need for a political, social and cultural struggle against this dirty plan.
YPS General Coordination announced their retreat from Şırnak and Nusaybin to avoid civilian casualties and further demolition of cities. Still, there is an ongoing extraordinary situation in this areas. How should this be interpreted?
Turkish state wants to destroy the cities and towns where resistance has been mounted. We have seen this in the case of Sur where houses were demolished one by one after the end of the resistance. In Gever for instance, YPS units retreated due to organisational reasons, they didn’t announce their withdrawal like what happened in Nusaybin. They retreated on April 19 and there occurred no clashes in Gever from this date up until May 31. Yet, the curfew remained in force and state forces demolished the town within these 42 days. In other words, Gever was destroyed by 10 percent during the period of clashes and this demolition was escalated up to 80 percent after the ending of clashes. Buildings were blown up with explosives and the properties of our people were looted by the gangs of the state.
It should be known well that the Turkish state wants to punish our people, acting like an occupant state and army. The people of Kurdistan as well as the leftist and socialist circles of Turkey should raise their voices against the destruction of the towns and cities. Everyone should show solidarity with our people victimized by the ongoing onslaught of state forces.
What is your call to the people in this fragile process?
Numerous neighborhoods in eight cities in Northern Kurdistan have been burned and torn down during the process of clashes. Unable to triumph over the YPS resistance, state forces demolished cities, and with this approach and practice they have once again proven themselves to be occupant.
The Turkish army is enemy to the Kurdish people as military forces blew their houses up despite the fact that they had the opportunity to enter the neighborhoods with armored vehicles. Yet, Turkish army faced heroic resistance that inflicted heavy blows on them. And the enemy harmed our people greatly. The people living in the targeted areas are living under challenging conditions at the moment.
The Kurdish people should treat this process as a time of national solidarity and make sure our people in Nusaybin, Şırnak, Gever, Cizre, Sur, Silvan and Silopi overcome this process in the soonest time. We shouldn’t make our people dependent on the Turkish state. Nobody should go to Turkish authorities and ask for help.
One other important issue is the presence of AKP supporters in the society in Gever. What do they have to do with Gever? These are enemies, these are the people that burned Gever to the ground. Our people in Gever reacted and drove them away but our people should under no circumstance let them step on these lands which are covered with the blood of brave martyrs and are therefore sacred places. We shouldn’t let these traitors to dirty these lands with their dirty boots. It already came to light that our enemy is savage. Against this savage enemy, we should stand and act together. During this process, everyone should make self-sacrifice, be courageous and creative without dooming themselves to one single thing.
The freedom march in Northern Kurdistan continues. In Rojava, a major military campaign is being run at the moment and the Manbij operation is historic. This is a process of creating free Kurdistan and liberating our Leader. Guerrilla forces, our patriotic people and all democratic powers should strengthen their march in this scope. We believe this year will be the year of a powerful initiative because the foundation of this has been laid already. In the wake of the intense battle period in winter, struggle has now expanded and reached the peak in both cities and mountains. This is a period of accomplishing the revolution.