ANF/ALİ GÜLER - BRUSSELS 08.10.2014 18:30:18
In an interview with ANF, PYD (Democratic Union Party) co-chair Saleh Moslem made important statements on the present situation in Kobanê, the details of the meeting with Turkish authorities in İstanbul, and the Kobanê decision of France.
Moslem said he had a meeting with the Turkish authorities last week in İstanbul and added: “The Turkish authorities promised us that they would help to Kobanê. But they don’t keep their promise despite all our insistence”.
Stressing that it is only the Kurdish forces effectively fighting the ISIS gangs in the Middle East, the PYD co-chair emphasised that they welcome the decision of France to help Kobanê. Müslim also stressed that the attacks on Kobanê are aimed at the will of Kurds, and greeted the Kurdish people rising up for Kobanê in North Kurdistan and Europe.
Are there any civilians in Kobanê except for the fighters?
There are currently around 10 thousand people in Kobanê, including women, children and elderly. These people don’t want to leave the town. Our forces are defending these people at the cost of their lives.
Today (Tuesday) the coalition forces bombarded some bases of ISIS around Kobanê at noon. What was the influence of these strikes?
The air strikes didn’t produce any result till yesterday. All the strikes were some 15-20 km away from Kobanê. And those bombings were not influential. But, yesterday they were quite.
How do you evaluate the air strikes?
According to us, it is a late decision. They must have been carried out earlier. But despite all, the conduction of strikes is positive move that we expect should continue to take place.
Why is ISIS attacking Kurds?
I have not understood it so far and I really want to get it. But we have to know this; ISIS, according to us, is an evil. They try to take people 2000 years back in time when the world and humanity have achieved this much progression. This is an absolutely meaningless and unrealistic idea. Humanity has left caliphate behind some 2000 years ago. This is why the strategy of ISIS cannot be put into practice. They have plundered all the places they reached until now and massacred the people without distinction. They spoil things wherever they go. And this is indeed what the powers sending them to there want to happen.
The powers that do not accept and do not recognise the Kurds, those who are against the system we have established in Rojava.
Why do they see your system this much threatening?
In our system, all the Arabs, Armenians, Syriacs, Syrians and Kurds live under equal conditions. There is a social contract. The women and the children are also enjoying equal rights. The women are represented in all the cantons with 40 percent quota, and additionally there is the co-chair system. This is what they do not accept. Imagine, the Syriacs enjoy the right to officially use their own language only in Rojava in the world. All the balances in the Middle East are changing with this system. This is why it has quite many enemies; primarily the states having divided the Kurds up; Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Many commanders of the Baathist regime from Iraq are currently taking place in the ranks of the ISIS. These are the ones who have not accepted the Kurds throughout the history. Their aim is to destroy this system.
What is the exact role of Turkey here?
The USA vice president Joe Biden has also voiced it clearly; there is a cooperation between Turkey and ISIS ranging from logistic support to allowing the passing of the militants. All these are clear and apparent.
Kobanê is facing a massacre which is happening in front of the eyes of the whole world. Despite everyone being against this massacre and the ISIS, the silence remains. How do you comment on this?
Some want to intervene but lack the power to do so. And some others don’t want to render themselves the target of ISIS. And some others aren't doing it because of their own interests. At the moment it is the Kurds who are under the danger. This is why it is the Kurds who have to resist. Today, our forces and the coalition forces are the onlyones fighting against ISIS.
Are you satisfied that the strike of the coalition forces has helped? Which demands do you have from them?
We have been saying from the very beginning that we do not demand that they “come here and fight for us”. We just ask them to open the border gates, and sell us the anti-tank and missiles we need and we will pay for. They aren't doing that even. This is what resents us. It would not be true to say that “ISIS occupied there and seized the weapons”. No. Some forces provided these heavy weapons to ISIS. They are using it against us. This is clear and apparent.
How would you comment on the statement of the French Minister of Foreign Affairs who said “We will help Kobanê"?
We find it very important. But it is late decision. We have been telling the same for two years but no one has paid attention to us. We are fighting ISIS on our own lands for one a half year now. This is not the war of the Kurds alone. It is the war of the whole humanity and for democracy. Everyone finds us right but they remain silent. We fight with kalashnikovs against tanks and missiles. We put a great human will. If we had anti-tanks and heavy weapons, no one would be needed. There would also be no need to have all those warplanes take off in order to hit ISIS targets. But when it is a matter of interests, things turn out to be different.
How moral is this while on the hand there is a city under the threat of massacre, and on the other hand, there are the interests of the states?
This is immoral. First and foremost, the human values should be protected, whatever the consequences might be. ISIS set dozens of churches on fire when it entered Mosul. It is a thousand-year-old history and the history humanity that was burnt down there. This is how the matter must be treated. Humanity and values must be preserved. These are the enemies of humanity.
France has made a statement but when will they take action? Days, if not hours, might be too late for Kobanê. What would your call be regarding this?
When we tell them to act urgently, we talk on the basis of this sensitivity. I have just returned from France (Tuesday evening). We held meetings with high level authorities,- and we told in all details how urgent the situation is. Whatever will be done must be done now. I repeat here once again that there's no time to lose.
Erdoğan made a statement yesterday saying that the PKK and YPG are also terrorists to them, just like ISIS is. After this, people who took to the streets in North Kurdistan were targeted in armed attacks. Many people have died so far. What would you say on this attitude of Turkey?
This is blackmail. There is hypocrisy here. We are protecting the values of humanity against the ISIS gangs. Erdoğan is not honest. This shows us that his mentality is not different than that of ISIS. Kurds feel under threat and take to the streets. Firing bullets on these people proves that he has the same mentality with ISIS. Because, today it might be Kobanê, but tomorrow it might very well be Hewler, Amed and Mahabad facing the same threat. One is killing civilians in Rojava, the other those in North Kurdistan.
You visited Turkey last week. With whom and what kind of meetings did you have?
Yes, three days ago I met the Turkish authorities in Istanbul.
They promised us to “help Kobanê”.
What kind of a promise?
They told us that they don’t want Kobanê to fall. “We will open a corridor to help you. We have to be in unity against the ISIS” they said. We found it positive. Now they are taking time. We insist that they keep their promises. They told us “not to explain the content of the meeting to the press” but they themselves are attacking us.
Do you have any message to the Kurdish people demonstrating everywhere for Kobanê now?
What is targeted in Kobanê is the will of the Kurds. Everyone should know it as it is and act accordingly. We find it important that our people take to the streets and stage protests. It is sacred to us. I am greeting all of them. By protecting Kobanê, we are protecting the will of Kurdish people. Kurds must be resisting. They must step up their actions to the highest level. They have to show it to the whole world so that no one would ever dare to attack Kurds again.
I also criticize the silence of South Kurdistan. Some TV channels in the south say that “this war is between the PYD and the ISIS”. This is not true. People from parties other than us were also beheaded and massacred. They were not members or supporters of the PYD, they were killed because they were Kurds. They shouldn’t feel comforted today as South Kurdistan is also among the targets of the ISIS. Once they find the opportunity, they will attack Hewler as well because according to them Kurds are nonbelievers and they have to be annihilated. The government of South Kurdistan and the people must be aware of this fact and stand with Kobanê.