Ocalan: Is Kurdistan on the verge of a new revolution?

Is Kurdistan on the verge of a new revolution?

Abdullah Ocalan

In order to understand the Kurdish question, a look at the historical background is absolutely essential. The continuous tragedy shows that this historic problem is not solvable by simple means. Once Turkish nationalism became the state doctrine, the Armenian and Assyrian peoples became the victims of open genocide. The Kurds on the other hand were subjected to an insidious genocide through the denial of their identity. Their language was forbidden, the names of people and places were “turkified”, state terror and humiliation became part of daily life – all of this up to the most recent past.

The Kurds were expelled, robbed of their property and goods and condemned to poverty; thousands of their villages were burnt down. Women were targeted by sexist politics, children were systematically assimilated. The Kurdish people were to be robbed of their future. Our rebellion is focussed against this economical, political and cultural genocide. Our historic breakaway has the sole objective of ending the tragedy of our people.

After the thirty years of our struggle, the Kurdish people’s yearning for freedom and their own identity has developed to the point where there can be no going back. By attaining a sustainable culture of democratic resistance we have given the people back their voice.

Neither the beginning of the war nor its continuation were our preference. Our ceasefires speak for themselves. Despite the fact we have directed our calls for peace to numerous governments of various political persuasions, the state’s answer has always been to merely attempt to exterminate us or force us into surrender. Even during my more than eleven years of imprisonment there is nothing I haven’t tried in order to establish lasting peace. Strategic peace and democratic politics have become a national vision for the Kurds.

Our peace endeavours remained unanswered. Instead unofficial talks were held simply to stall us. In the space of a year more than 1500 Kurdish local politicians were taken into custody. Not even the smallest opening to achieve a peaceful, political contribution was left. So I will not stretch the patience of the Kurdish people any longer. As of the 31st of May 2010 I will withdraw   from the process. The way things proceed from here, whether towards war or peace, from now on depends on the decision of the leadership of the KCK [translator’s note: Peoples’ Confederation of Kurdistan or Democratic Confederation of Kurdistan]. From the 31st of May 2010 I will no longer be responsible for what happens. However, should the government truly be seriously interested in a lasting, peaceful solution to the conflict, I am at their disposal if this is what both sides want.

Ours is not an ethnic struggle. The Kurdish revolution is rather the heart of the Middle East. This revolution will lead to changes in a whole sphere, such as those made possible by the French Revolution or the Russian Revolution. But unlike them the Kurdish revolution will be free from nationalism. The model of a solution suggested by me is based on the model of democratic autonomy. This provides for a solution through which internal conflicts will not be carried outside the borders. On the other hand, we reject the universal hegemony of the ruling powers without entering into open conflict with them. It is possible to guarantee one’s existence and one’s principles without being absorbed by the global hegemony, also known as “empire”. The solution to this problem based on democratic autonomy will have a positive influence on the whole of the Middle East.


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