Cemil Bayık, the co-chair of the Executive Council of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union), assessed for Stêrk TV the Turkish invasion of South Kurdistan, the cooperation of the ruling party KDP with the AKP/MHP regime, the current developments in Rojava and the repression against the Kurdish freedom movement in Germany. Bayık also elaborated on the importance of the ‘Defend Kurdistan’ campaign.
"The Turkish state cannot achieve results with thousands of soldiers and mercenaries"
What are the current developments in the ongoing war between the Turkish army and the guerrillas? How do you assess the current situation?
The Turkish state attacks Avaşîn, Heftanîn, Zap, Metîna and all regions in Northern Kurdistan with NATO weapons. The army is using all the weapons at its disposal. Our headquarters has repeatedly made public that the enemy is using chemical warfare agents. Despite the weapons technology they are using, they are not achieving results. Therefore, they want to strike the guerrillas with chemical warfare. At the same time, the KDP is besieging the guerrilla areas. This is done at the request of Hulusi Akar [Turkey's defense minister]. The Turkish state cannot achieve results with thousands of soldiers, mercenaries and chemical weapons, so it asks the KDP to enter the war.
"The guerrillas are fighting this battle for humanity"
There are special units under the command of the KDP. They are not peshmerga. The Peshmerga are not involved in the war. These special units are besieging the guerrilla areas. This siege serves the Turkish state. Without this participation, Turkey would suffer heavy blows and ultimately defeat. Nevertheless, we will develop the struggle against the Turkish state and end AKP/MHP rule. Against the attacks of the Turkish state and the use of chemical weapons, Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], the PKK and the Kurdish people are waging a relentless and epic struggle with their guerrilla philosophy and their bond with humanity. The guerrillas have no other means than medium-weight weapons. With these, they resist the technology of the Turkish state and inflict casualties on the invading forces. They do not allow the enemy to occupy any more areas in South Kurdistan. So the guerrillas are not only fighting this battle for themselves, but also for South Kurdistan, the Middle East and humanity. The attacks are huge, but so is the resistance against them.
"International powers are silent because NATO is behind the Turkish state"
In many wars around the world there were bombardments, for example in Vietnam. Today we can say that the bombardment of Kurdistan by the Turkish state, especially in Zap, Xakurke, Avaşîn and Heftanîn regions, is ten times more violent than the attacks on Vietnam. All kinds of prohibited weapons are used. Mountains, vineyards and gardens are burned, animals are killed. The enemy does not want to leave anything of Kurdistan because it is hostile to Kurdistan and the Kurds. Because the PKK hinders it as it wants to take revenge on the Kurdish people for the PKK guerrillas. Because the latter has fought for and protected the achievements of the Kurdish people. Nobody makes a sound against this aggression of the Turkish state. Why is there silence about this? Because NATO is behind the Turkish state. NATO has warned everyone so that no one raises his voice.
"Whoever defends democracy and human rights should stand by the side of the guerrillas"
You spoke about the policy of the KDP. There have been many initiatives and calls for the KDP to change its behavior. Is there any change in behavior?
There are standards of patriotism. What does patriotism require of us? It demands that we stand against massacres and invasion. It demands that we love the people and the country and stand up for their values. Patriotism requires us to stand up for the beauty of the nature of Kurdistan and the region. Without doing that, there is no question of patriotism. Today we see that the fascist Turkish state wants to eliminate everything that exists in terms of values in the four parts of Kurdistan. It is not doing it secretly, it is doing it very openly. In the face of this, Rêber Apo, the Kurdish people and the guerrilla organizations HPG and YJA Star take everything and resist. They are making history in all the suffering and problems. The guerrillas have only one life, but they are not afraid to give it. They give their lives and pay a tribute to their people and their country. We wish that those who call themselves socialists and defend democracy and human rights will stand by the side of the guerrillas against the invading Turkish state.
"KDP forces have nothing to do with the peshmerga"
We expected the KDP to fight with us against the fascist Turkish state. This was our wish and hope. Unfortunately, we have seen especially in Behdînan that the KDP leadership does not take our side against the Turkish occupation. Why hasn't it stopped its siege? There can be many reasons for this. We know that. I don't want to go into it too long. If the KDP is not on our side against the Turkish occupation, at least it should not justify Turkey's invasion. It could have done that, and it was expected by everybody. But what have we seen in practice? KDP units have been established under different names that have nothing to do with the peshmerga.
"KDP serves the invasion"
They are mercenaries who represent the interests of the KDP. These forces are trying to encircle the guerrillas. They are advancing further and further and want to create a lot of problems for the guerrillas. That is what they are doing. They are trying to cut off the connection between areas and limit the guerrillas' range of movement. They are trying to keep the guerrillas from getting equipment and other necessary supplies. In this way, they serve the invasion. Our demand was that if they did not stand by us, at least they would not be an obstacle. But that is exactly what they are trying to do to pressure the guerrillas.
"Important civil society initiatives"
This has caused friends of the Kurds, Kurdish artists and institutions, and other circles to become skeptical of the KDP. They stated that they do not agree with this policy. They opposed it and protested with actions. Thus, an important work was done under the name of "Defend Kurdistan", which has done a great service to the Kurdish people. I would like to take this opportunity to express my greetings and respect to all those who have contributed to this.
"Germany and the KDP oppose the peace initiative"
The initiative "Defend Kurdistan" has defended the unity of the Kurdish people and clearly shown that conflicts among the Kurds must be avoided. However, both the KDP and Germany have opposed those who have done this work. The participants were not allowed to do their work. Actually, the KDP should have been happy about this initiative. If Defend Kurdistan says it is against occupation and invasion of Kurdistan, the KDP should be happy that this work is being done. But we have seen that it is doing exactly the opposite. Why Germany is acting this way is understandable. The initiative is an obstacle to Germany's interests and relations with Turkey. Turkey and Germany share a common anti-Kurdish policy. But why did the KDP stop these people?
"Artists can take further steps"
Nobody understood that. What the KDP did was not helpful to itself; on the contrary, it harmed it. For us, this situation was very regrettable, because these are people who are friendly to the Kurds. They are in solidarity with the Kurdish people and that is why they came to Kurdistan. They have tried to contribute to a solution of the conflict between the Kurds. In my opinion, that is of great value. So why did the KDP stand in the way of that? No one understands. Also, artists have come to South Kurdistan for talks and have made statements. I thank them as well. They can take further and stronger steps because they represent the conscience of the Kurdish people. The struggle we are waging also affects them. People from abroad can say that they do not want an internal Kurdish war and instead advocate unity. This is worth a lot. However, it is not enough for Kurdish circles to limit themselves to statements. It is not a sufficient demand to say that they defend Kurdish unity and oppose the war. That does not mean much. If one states to be for unity and does not want war, stronger steps must follow. Because despite all these calls and declarations, we see that there is no change.
"Germany supports Turkey also on the international level"
On July 11, the congress of the Kurdish umbrella organization KCDK-E was banned in Germany. How do you assess this action against the legal political work of the Kurdish people in Germany?
What Germany is doing is at the request of the Turkish state. Germany has fulfilled the wishes of the Turkish state before, because the German state has strong interests in Turkey. According to these interests, Germany stands behind Turkey and fulfills its specific demands. Turkey has stronger trade relations with Germany than any other country. Germany sells a considerable amount of weapons to Turkey. This is common knowledge. Germany also defends Turkey at the level of the European Union and NATO. On the other hand, these are two countries that are close on ideological issues. In his time, Hitler already expressed this fact. Those who have read his book know that. There are many things in history where Germany and Turkey have acted together.