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Protecting our existence as a nation and building a free life, says KCK leader

We are in a self defence position, says Karayılan

“We are in a restricted self defence position and have not exercised our full power yet. It is a warning position where we are standing now. If the state launches an incursion on Medya Defence Territories or any other part of Kurdistan then we break the chain and the situation will be completely different.” said head of Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (KCK) Executive Council Murat Karayılan.

Karayılan further underlined that they are still supporting the line living with people of Turkey on an equal and free basis and said “We will continue resisting does not matter if it takes a century. We cannot accept such dishonour; we cannot accept the assimilation policies on the Kurdish people. They will never be able to make us Turk.”

Since 1 June 2010 Kurdish problem entered a new phase. KCK executive committee had declared it by a public release. Following this declaration the clashes in Northern Kurdistan (Turkey) increased and escalated to the Turkish regions such as Mediterranean, Black sea and the Marmara Regions. Turkish army has launched several air attacks on ‘Medya Defence Territories’, a region in northern Iraq controlled by PKK. With the raise in the number of clashes the number casualties has also increased.

All these recent developments brought the Kurdish problem on the top of the agenda, as the most crucial problem of Turkey and whole region. While some are suggesting a military-security solution for the problem some others are suggestion new approach such a holding the problem with its all dimensions. What about KCK? How does KCK see the recent developments and discussions?

ANF interview Murat Karayılan, the head of Kurdistan Democratic Confederation (KCK) Executive Council. Karayılan explained what “Democratic Autonomy Solution” means.

* How do you evaluate the developments after 1 June 2010? What are the characteristics of this new era?

- Our leadership and movement have put great efforts for 18 years to develop a democratic solution for the Kurdish issue. Most recently on 13 April 2009 we declared a ceasefire which was ended on 1 June 2010. However, what we have seen is that AKP government and the Turkish state have no intention to make peace with the Kurdish people. They insist on their assimilation policies on our people and they want the Kurds unconditionally surrender. Our leader Abdullah Ocalan has declared that he is still supporting a democratic solution and he let the initiative to us. The responsibility of this new phase belongs to us. Nobody can blame our leadership for this.

* Mr. Ocalan has said that he can be part of a solution if there are negotiations. For your movement what is the role of your leadership Ocalan? How do you see the discussions about this issue?

- The role of our leadership is clear not only for our movement but also for the Kurdish people. As we have already underlined numberless times he is the leader of a people, he is the leader of the Kurdish people. His role is decisive for us.

He said the 3rd phase is over and he will withdraw until he is recognised as an interlocutor and negotiations start. He did it in the face of denial and destruction policies of AKP and the Turkish state.

We are a movement. We have a council, executive board and administration. We have been discussing for the last 6- 7 months how we can develop our own solution. Therefore, we decided to start a new phase. It was a necessity for us. If the state does not want to find a solution by negotiating with you then you have to find your own solution with your own dynamics. That is what we are doing now. Because the state does not want to solve the Kurdish problem but destroy the Kurdish people. This is a danger for our people. AKP has rejected all our reasonable proposals. This means I do not want to make peace with you but destroy you. This is the danger.

We consider the phase as “protecting our existence as a nation and building a free life”. We are developing a solution and are ready to welcome the state if they want to be a part of the solution. If not, we will make it with our own dynamics.

* There are some calls from NGO’s and some business unions for a cease fire and stopping the military operations. How do you see these calls? Is a ceasefire possible in this phase? If yes, depending on what?

- First of all I should say that following the call from the NGO’s in Diyarbakir in which they asked for a cease fire from us and stopping the military operations from the state the Turkish media disseminated false, fabricated news. This is a big lie. We respect all the calls from the NGO’s both based in and out of Diyarbakir. They are coherent and balanced. However, making calls itself does not suffice. A greater effort is needed. The framework proposed by the NGO’s is acceptable. If the state agrees on it too then we can start negotiations.

On one hand the Turkish PM is calling NATO and waiting USA on hand and foot. Despite all the tension with Israel, he is still sending delegations to Israel to buy Herons. Same with Syria and Iran. In order to destroy us they are holding security meetings one after another. One the other hand they are calling for a unilateral ceasefire. It does not make any sense. It is not acceptable. We have the power to resist the Turkish state, to stand on our own feet. All should be aware of this fact.

We are at a restricted self defence position. That means we have not exercised our full power yet. Because we are still of view of living together with Turkey and we are struggling for it. However, if the state as a result of these security meetings launches an incursion on Medya Defence Territories or any other part of Kurdistan then we break the chain and the situation will be completely different. We are following a well planned and organised self defence strategy. We gained experience during these years fighting in the mountains. We are limiting ourselves. It should not be thought that we are using all of our power. No. This is not our full power. Nobody should wrong calculation. We are at a warning position. But if they insist on deadlock, if they insist on denial and destruction then the Kurdish people have right to head other options. We have the power to resist. The palavers from the politicians saying that they finished the PKK in 1999 are their false theories. That time, upon the request from our leadership we withdrew out of borders. It was a way of showing good faith. The Turkish state should not be deceived and think that it was something that they managed themselves.

Karayılan has also stated that democratic autonomy means democratisation of Turkey however; AKP government and the opposition party CHP are digging more frontiers to harden the war.

* What is Democratic Autonomy and when are you planning to declare it?

- Democratic Autonomy means respecting and promoting different cultures rather than subjecting them to assimilation and genocide policies. It is recognising the right to autonomy of different cultures living within the country. It does not mean secession or establishing a new state but enjoyment of full rights. Autonomy was promised to the Kurds by Mustafa Kemal who failed to keep his promise.

It is common system in the world. If the state does not accept it then the Kurdish people will realize it in their lives. And if the state tries to stop it then we have to tackle it in out way. Democratic Autonomy is the only possible solution for the Kurdish problem.

* How will you realise it?

- Democratic Confederalism is an alternative system to 5 thousand year-old state tradition. It is the unity of people living together without existence of a state.

If the state does not accept it then it will create danger for itself. We will realize it with our own dynamics. The Kurdish people are willing and capable of this. Hope the state act rationally. It will lead a permanent solution. Such a solution will bring an end to the war, deaths.

It is the time to see the realities. Otherwise Turkey will find itself in the middle of a chaos. They should stop using outdated arguments like “mother tongue will destroy the country”. Look at the world. Countries where different mother tongues are taught at school still exist. They are destroyed.

AKP is not sincere in the solution and using the opposition parties like CHP and MHP as an excuse not to take necessary step on the way to solution.

* And if the Turkish state does not accept it?

As I said Kurdish people are willing and capable of it. It is not only us declaring the autonomy but the Kurdish people. Political parties like BDP, NGO’s will all work together to realise this goal.

And if the state does not accept and allies with neighboring countries or international capital then the Kurds ally with the mountains of Kurdistan.

* This is an edited and shortened version of the original interview published today in Turkish – BAKI GÜL -ANF / KANDIL