Excerpt from an interview with PKK Executive Council member Durkan Kalkan. Click here to read the full interview.
Palestine is seen as a central reference on all continents. Even though left-wing movements on the ground have weakened, the issue is still a centrepiece of all international conferences. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in Palestine since the beginning of the year. What is your view of the situation in Palestine? Not only historically, but how do you see the prospects for a solution? How do you evaluate the struggle for the right to self-determination in Palestine?
As a people coming from the depths of history, living in the center of the Middle East and under genocidal attack for a century, we believe that we have a more accurate and deeper understanding of both the Jewish tragedy from history and the struggle of the Palestinian people against imperialism, Zionism and reaction. We always keep in mind the revolutionary role of the Palestine Liberation Movement, which is a source of inspiration in our region. In our region, the Palestinian people have been the most important people who have been in brotherhood with the Kurdish people. All organizations within the Palestine Liberation Organization provided the most important support to our party after the military-fascist coup of September 12th 1980. We always thank them for this. The Kurdish guerrilla resistance received its first basic training in Palestinian camps. I, too, received my first basic training in Palestine and I am also a Palestinian guerrilla. I have expressed many times that I am always proud of this.
Undoubtedly, the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom and democracy is sacred and their right to a free and democratic life can never be discussed or negotiated. Kurds know best what the psychological impact of such a situation is. We are always in favor of the Palestinian people’s struggle on this basis. However, religious currents have recently developed there too, and in our opinion they have caused some damage to this just struggle. Again, as in all problems, we see the imposition of a statist solution here and the division of that tiny piece of land into two states, for example, to the detriment of those peoples at most. In our opinion, the non-state solution of democratic confederalism is most necessary there and would be the most important salvation for the Palestinian people. While resisting the oppression and exploitation of Israel, it is not a good thing to fall under the oppression and exploitation of the Arab rulers. The policy of divide-conflict-rule is a policy of imperialist exploitation. Undoubtedly, it is difficult and a historical enmity has been formed. Nevertheless, the best solution for all peoples and the oppressed is democratic confederalism on the basis of democratic autonomy. Palestinian-Israeli democratic confederalism can gradually give birth to the democratic confederal unity of the peoples of the Middle East, which is the best solution for us. As a movement, we take the Democratic Middle East Confederation as a basis and defend it.
Kurds and Arabs will undoubtedly play a very important role in such a regional development. We see Kurdish-Arab relations as very important and of strategic value in this respect. For this, we believe that the alliance and brotherhood between the Kurdish and Palestinian peoples, which was formed in the early 1980s, will play a core role. Of course, the Jewish community will also have a place in this democratic union. Jews are also a historical part of the social reality of the Middle East. They are creative and advanced in intellectual and economic production. They have also made a significant contribution to the development of socialist ideology. They also have a certain democratic experience. The most extensive and comprehensible analysis of the Jews was made by the Leader Abdullah Öcalan in his Defenses. If Zionist influences are removed and democratic measures are taken as a basis, the Jewish community can also have an important place and contribution in the unity of the democratic Middle East. In our opinion, this is the correct and solution-producing approach. Otherwise, the narrow nation-state approach and monopolistic stance will only result in developing new conflict processes.
How do you assess Israel’s role in the Kurdish question in general and the Israeli regime’s relations with various Kurdish actors in the region?
The creation of the state of Israel should not be treated as a singular event. It is a project of the capitalist system and was put into practice throughout the twentieth century. Before the State of Israel, in 1923, the Republic of Turkey was set up by Britain as a proto-Israel. The alliance of Britain and France with the Kemalist Movement and the Treaty of Lausanne are based on this. Three years after the First World War, the Turkish Republic was established and, on this basis, the capitalist-imperialist system tried to dominate the Middle East. Three years after the Second World War, the establishment of the State of Israel, again under the leadership of Britain, was completed and Israel was included in the hegemony war being waged in the region by the Turkish Republic. The aim of these two powers is to bring the Middle East under global capitalist hegemony. Undoubtedly, this is intended to be done on the basis of a racist-chauvinist-genocidal understanding and policy. This is based on the Armenian, Assyrian-Syriac, Greek and Kurdish genocides. Therefore, one of the founding aims of the State of Israel is to prevent the Kurdish people from being independent and free. This was tried to be carried out on the basis of the Turkish-Israeli alliance. When the PKK developed and strengthened and imposed the freedom of the Kurds on world politics, the so-called Kurdish administration in Hewlêr emerged as a third force against this situation in early 1990. Although the war against our party was planned by NATO, in practice it was carried out by the Turkish Republic, Israel and the KDP. This reality is the basis of Israel-TR and Israel-KDP relations.
Launched on October 9th 1998, the international conspiracy attack aiming at the destruction of Leader Abdullah Öcalan was decided, planned and implemented together by the USA, the UK and Israel. When Leader Apo went to Russia, the Israeli state worked first and foremost to get him out of there. For 25 years, the State of Israel has been one of the main actors in the continuation of the İmralı system of torture, isolation and genocide and the imposition of extermination on Leader Apo on this basis. Today, Israel is working to buy the land of Kurdistan and is pouring a lot of money into it. The fact that it is sometimes shown as if there is a contradiction and conflict between the Israeli and Turkish states is a game played in order to mask reality and deceive the peoples.
As a result, the Jewish capital played one of the leading roles in the creation and continuation of the colonialist-genocidal attack called the Kurdish question. Today, they still play a role in blocking the solution. They give the most support to AKP-MHP fascism. They also have close relations with the KDP on this basis. There are already many allegations that the Barzanis are Freemasons. The State of Israel is opposed to the Kurdish freedom struggle on the one hand because of the opposition of global capital to Kurdish existence and freedom, and on the other hand, because Jewish nationalism considers Kurdistan as its own territory, and on this basis it conducts an active policy and plays an active role. However, despite all efforts, the success envisaged so far has not been achieved. What will happen from now on and whether there will be a change in this mentality and politics will be shown by the upcoming struggle. The Kurds do not have even the slightest trace of a racist approach and anti-Semitism. If the Jews also recognize the Kurdish reality and the right to a free life, then the situation so far may change.
For a democratic Middle East and a democratic world where peoples live together in fraternity! For World Democratic Confederalism!
Internationalist Commune of Rojava