PKK Executive Committee member Duran Kalkan stated that Tayyip Erdoğan’s position and policies bring Turkey closer to a period of conflict and war.
Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 9:00 AM
BEHDINAN - ANFPKK Executive Committee member Duran Kalkan spoke to Ersin Çelik for the show Political Space aired on MED NÛÇE, and made important statements. The second part of the interview has been translated into English below.
‘FACING NEW ATTACKS, PKK STANDS STRONG AND PREPARED’
Everyone should know that Tayyip Erdoğan’s position and policies bring Turkey closer to a period of conflict and war. In such a situation, nobody can expect us to act any differently, we will not bow down to this. PKK has the power and preparation to resist all future attacks, and will defend itself just like how we did in the past 40 years. We are not in a position of weakness and we will defend ourselves.
We are primarily struggling for the solution of the Kurdish issue, and on this basis we take Democratic Middle East Confederalism as the foundation for a new Middle East where all problems caused by chauvinist nationalism and power/state-centric mentalities are resolved and peoples live sisterly in a democratic union. Kurds are a prepared leading force in this resistance and have an impact on the Middle East.
Kurds’ resistance against fascist ISIS attacks in Başur (Southern Kurdistan), Şengal and Rojava (Western Kurdistan) is a clear indication of this effort. Everybody saw the Kurds’ strategic position, consciousness and organization. All Kurdish movements are careful, sensitive and know that Kurdish union requires democratic union. Therefore, they are adamant on transforming the recent strategic gains into Kurdish freedom and democracy in the Middle East through careful tactics and policies.
I have questions about two of the issues that come out of your evaluations. Firstly, while this issue is debated in Turkey, there is also talk of invading Syria. Even if it were a mere claim, what would it imply in reel politics? How do you evaluate this debate? May this be interrelated with the total war concept you mentioned? Because invading Syria implies invading Rojava. The other issue is whether this new concept put forth by Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP will enter the red book in National Security Council meetings and become state policy?
Let me begin with the second one, the opposition did not come directly from the official AKP administration. It came from the de-facto AKP administration. If you notice, Ahmet Davutoğlu acts like Tayyip Erdoğan’s assistant. The official administration made the statement in Dolmabahçe and welcomed the Newroz statement. Tayyip Erdoğan then intervened in the AKP. We do not think that this was Tayyip Erdoğan’s personal intervention, this is state and regime policy. As the top state official, he spoke on behalf of the state. We do not treat it as a mere pre-election policy, we view it as the beginning of a new period of conflict. Some AKP and Tayyip Erdoğan supporters claim it is temporary…
It is portrayed as a tactical policy?
They try to soften it by saying things like “it is just until the elections, it will soon change.” These are inaccurate views. They serve to whitewash Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP. It may have an aspect that serves the upcoming elections but it is mainly the beginning of a new process. Therefore, democratic forces, Kurdish people and freedom fighters should be prepared for AKP’s new process of conflict. It is a new process not limited to Tayyip Erdoğan and involving the state itself.
‘AKP IS PREPARING TO JOIN THE WAR IN IRAQ’
On the other hand, AKP adopted a position of war and conflict. They are now engaged in military preparations across Bakur (Northern Kurdistan). Depending on the AKP’s stance, armed conflict can return after the elections. AKP’s military preparations are not limited to Bakur and spill across borders. Let me give you this information: we receive reports confirming that the AKP’s military preparations target not only Rojava but also Iraq. They have been deploying troops and transporting guns and ammos in order to join the civil war in Iraq.
The Turkish army and state’s preparations are both domestic and geared towards Syria and Iraq. While they prepared the army for invading Syria, they even brought tanks and other significant forces. However, the situation in Syria and the regional and global conjunctures did not allow this to happen. They saw that there is resistance, Kurds are resisting and Syria is in turmoil. They backed out when they thought “if we enter we may not be able to leave.” Also, the conjuncture did not allow them. Neither Russia nor the US nor Europe would allow Turkey’s military interventions in the region. Therefore they chose to get involved through proxy wars where they support actors and organizations on the ground.
‘THERE MAY BE AN ATTACK ON AFRIN INSTRUCTED BY ERDOĞAN’
They were the main support behind ISIS attacks on Rojava during the Kobanê war, they were the main support to al-Nusra as well. They supported the Saudis in Yemen and the same alliance supports certain organizations within Syria for proxy-war purposes. Therefore it is difficult to foresee what may happen if current AKP policies are not thwarted after the elections. Armed conflict may resume within Turkish borders in Northern Kurdistan, the AKP may spill this conflict over the borders and intervene in Syria, Iraq, Rojava and southern Kurdistan. This is a probability as they support several organizations politically and militarily for this purpose, they may be used as proxy actors.
During the Kobanê war, Tayyip Erdoğan said “It will be Afrin’s turn after Kobanê.” If there is an attack on Afrin, it will be decided and instructed by Tayyip Erdoğan, we are sure of this. Both the Ankara administration and everyone else should know this. Through supporting certain organizations, they hope to further the siege of Afrin.
The people of Rojava and their freedom forces, PYD, YPG-YPJ are aware of this and take the necessary precautions. Nobody should think that we will be easily defeated. They saw this in Kobanê and tasted defeat. Kurdish people and freedom forces won a historic victory in Kobanê. Afrin can do this as well, so nobody should underestimate. Erdoğan’s words were threats and those threats may soon be put into practice. We are aware of these dangers and Turkey’s military efforts to support certain organizations in Syria and Iraq.