Murat Karayilan in front of poster of Ocalan / (c) Azad Lashkari
In a recent interview with Deniz Kendal from the ANF, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) Executive Committee Member Murat Karayilan said that the group’s imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan’s well-being was under threat and that an attack on him would be disastrous for Turkey.
Karayilan added that the ‘Battalion of Immortals,’ an elite force within the PKK would be fully activated and target politicians involved in the decision to eliminate Ocalan.
The high-ranking PKK member also commented on the Kurdistan Communities’ Union’s (KCK) recent call for a national Kurdish congress.
‘Targeting Ocalan will be disastrous for Turkey’
Deniz Kendal: KCK Executive Council Member Zubeyir Aydar spoke during the Kurdish Conference at the European Parliament and said that the AKP and MHP were working on a project to murder Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan. Aydar added that they had received information about this plan. What are your thoughts on this?
Murat Karayilan: Yes, it is a very important issue. Our movement received information on this issue. The AKP and MHP, and even some traitors of Kurdish origins, are debating on the murder of Leader Apo (Ocalan) and discussed what the reaction of Kurdish people would be if he was annihilated. Zubeyir Aydar’s announcement during the EP is based on this information. This should be taken seriously; this is why the KCK made an announcement and called upon different groups to take action.
Our people, the peoples of Turkey and all parties should know that the fascist [AKP-MHP] alliance has similar projects. Their unthinkable and dangerous approach shows how serious this situation is. In this regard, our people and all parties that want Turkey to become a free and democratic country should struggle carefully and take a stance against such racist, fascist and frantic plans. Such a plan would trigger a Kurdish-Turkish war that could continue for decades, and would not be accepted by any Kurd who does not deny her or his identity.
Leader Ocalan brought the people of Kurdistan to this stage of history. With his ideology, thought and struggle, he brought Kurdish society from the brink of destruction to a modernising and struggling society. He is both a modern leader and a philosopher. He has written nearly 200 books. His life, struggle and philosophy have deeply inspired hundreds of thousands of Kurdish youth. Nobody can get rid of this influence from the hearts and minds of Kurdish women and youth. Those who attempt to murder Ocalan will bring disaster. Approaching a leader, who has become the symbol of the freedom of women and society in Kurdistan, in this way means playing with fire. Leader Ocalan is a force for change and coexistence in Turkey. He is the modern leader of the march for people’s fraternity, coexistence and revolution in the Middle East. Today, the Democratic Confederalism and Democratic Nation paradigm is the only project that can solve the problems of the Middle East. Targeting him means targeting the democratic future and union of Turkey as well as the existence of Kurdish people.
If people still consider living together in peace and democracy in Turkey, despite the deepening war in the country, it is because of Leader Ocala. Targeting Ocalan is a madness that will add fuel to the fire in Turkey and bring disaster to the entire country.
‘If there is an attempt on Ocalan’s life, the Battalion of Immortals will be activated.’
D.K: What are your comments on the discussions about a physical attack on Ocalan?
M.K: Even discussing this subject is reason for struggle. As a people and as a movement we cannot accept such a thing even being talked about. So, we will fight against this with everything we have.
As well as our society engaging in an insurrection on the basis of a fracture between Turks and Kurds that would take years to heal, the Battalion of Immortals who have been organised for such situations will also take action. The Battalion of Immortals are sleeper-cells; always active forces ready to sacrifice their lives. The motto of this battalion is 'to target all politicians and leaders involved in the decision to attack Leader Ocalan'.
Of course things don’t have to come to that. We don’t actually want to talk, or think about these things. But we need to remind everyone that this situation, this emergency valve is there. This is not a threat, but the stating of a fact. There are such guards. And, with such an attempt by the Turkish state, the number of these guards will increase a hundredfold. If there are a thousand now, there will be a hundred thousand then. In short, when we say, “Thinking of this is playing with fire,” we are not exaggerating, or shouting threats left and right. Nobody should think that. If you are talking about destroying the strategic future of a people, we as the representatives of this people need to express the facts as clearly and openly as possible. In spite of this, if you are willing to take a chance, you need to think about what it will take away from you.
‘Whoever says they will destroy the PKK will face the consequences.’
D.K: Aside from this, Turkish politicians constantly talk of ‘destroying the PKK and making peace with Kurds.’ Is this possible?
M.K: If you ‘destroy’ the patrons of this cause, with whom will you make peace? Look at what Saddam did? Saddam implemented projects to destroy the Kurds, he excluded the Peshmerga, he even struck a great blow to the Kurdish Movement with the Algeria Treaty, and created Kurdish autonomy by collaborating with traitor Kurds.
Did that last? No. Does anybody talk about Kurdish autonomy in Iraq in the 1970s and 80s? No, because it was not genuine. So now, you push the patrons of this cause, the people who have devoted their lives to this cause, the families who have lost their children and the clans aside, and on the other hand say that you will ‘develop a solution’ with some traitors who have never protected their own kind, who have acted in enmity, who are not respected at all in society. What kind of a solution is that? Where in the world have you seen such a solution work, why would yours? Kurdistan’s society today is not one to fall for such disingenuous projects.
Today, as a people, as a society and as a movement, we are at our strongest. The flow of history cannot be stopped any longer; nobody is strong enough for that. Those who think they can do this with a few stooges and technical superiority will face the consequences of their actions.
‘The Kurds need a common strategy now.’
D.K: A discussion about national unity has begun among institutions, organisations and prominent people in Kurdistan following the KCK Executive Council Co-leadership’s recent statement. A wide array of people has responded positively. But there are circles that have yet to make their stance on this issue known. What do you think?
M.K: I wholeheartedly agree with this call for national unity. There will undoubtedly be a restructuring in the region after the war in the Middle East. The region will not stay the same. And the Kurds have created important possibilities and opportunities. The Kurdish people need national unity to turn these opportunities and possibilities into a foundation for freedom. Enough is enough!
The Kurds should have a common strategy now. We need to end this fragmentation. Nobody should think ‘we can achieve results in certain parts of Kurdistan without national unity’. That is not going to happen. At this time the enemies of the Kurdish people have made it their core strategy to destroy the unity among Kurds, develop dissent and create an internal conflict. As Kurdish politicians and the patriotic forces of the Kurdish people we should not fall for this. The way to defeat these attacks is to come together in a policy of national unity.
This can be a congress, it can be a conference, or it can be a narrower and more urgent platform - in some way, an initiative that will reflect the Kurdish people’s national stance. It will be a great shame if this does not happen. Forces that could never be near can come together - Turkey and Iran for example are about to go into a war over the conflicts in the region - but on the other hand their foreign make nine phone calls in one day.
This is the Age of information and communication. That is true. But it is also the Age of dialogue. If Kurds don’t try to solve their internal issues through dialogue, then it will mean they are left out of this Age. Nobody will value the Kurds. Kurds divided will not be valued by anybody. Outside forces will only create relationships with Kurds for their own interests, but they will not show any measure of value that corresponds to the actual Kurdish national reality. In this sense, we are in need of unity, as an absolute necessity. I find it necessary to stress this very strongly.
Editing by: Kurdishquestion.com
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