28th December 2015
by Duran Kalkan*
Kurds entered 2015 with the historic Kobanê resistance against ISIS’ (Daesh) fascism. The resistance in Kobanê was a matter of life or death for Kurds, its great significance due to the affect it had in definining and determing the fate of the Rojava Revolution. In this sense the Rojava Revolution as a whole was definitive for the existence and freedom of the Kurds.
Now Kurds are entering 2016 in historic resistance for self-rule against the fascism of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in North Kurdistan (E/SE Turkey). The people, primarily in Cizre, Silopi, Nusaybin, Sur and Kerboran, are resisting heroically across cities and towns of North Kurdistan against the terror of the Turkish police and armed forces. This resistance is also of historic importance to Kurds; it seems that it will also determine the fate of the Kurds’ struggle for existence and freedom.
The 1st November ‘snap’ general election was in fact a civil coup by the AKP, which is now instigating a genocidal campaign in Kurdistan. The government sees its hold on power as being tied to the success of this campaign. Laying siege to Kurdish towns and cities, the AKP is openly employing a policy of massacre and forced migration. The policy of burning Kurdish villages and forced migration implemented between 1992-1995 has been updated and is being repeated in towns and cities. This state terror and massacre is aimed at crushing the Kurdish resistance and completing the Kurdish genocide.
The strategy of the AKP government also seems to have become clear. From what we can see this strategy is made up of three points. The first is to blockade the resistance in North Kurdistan from Turkey, Syria and Iraq. To silence and sever Turkish society and its intellectuals and democratic forces from the Kurdish resistance, the AKP used the ISIS gangs. This was the real aim of the 20 July Suruç massacre and 10 October Ankara massacre in which 135 people were killed in suicide attacks. If today the resistance in North Kurdistan isn’t echoing in Turkish cities this is the reason.
To blockade the resistance from Syria the AKP organised new jihadist gang groups and gave the USA concessions to turn a blind eye to the weakening of the anti-ISIS coalition, thus aiming to prevent the Rojava Revolution from spreading to more central areas in Syria. The AKP’s supposed inclusion into the anti-ISIS coalition was completely for this reason. Furthermore the downing of the Russian plane, which was a provocation, was also to achieve this. With this provocation the aim was to create a NATO-Russia conflict that would weaken the anti-ISIS coalition and isolate the Kurds.
It was clear from the outset that the AKP based its Iraq strategy on relations with the Kurdistan Democrat Party (PDK). Giving some concessions to the PDK, the AKP strengthened its ties with this party and attempted to increase tensions between the PKK and PDK, while also augmenting its influence and activity in Mosul and the surrounding area. The developments following 1 November: the Turkish FM’s immediate visit to Hewlêr (Erbil), KRG President Massoud Barzani’s visit to Ankara and the deployment of soldiers to the Başika region were all aimed at blockading the resistance in North Kurdistan.
The second point in the AKP’s strategy is to blockade towns and cities one-by-one. If we look carefully we can see that they are not targeting towns and cities in North Kurdistan together but separately. In this way they are hoping to isolate, weaken and crush the resistance.
In fact they are further atomising by attacking not the whole city or town but only a few neighbourhoods at any one time; and this is the third point in the AKP’s strategy. In the end only a few Kurdish neighbourhoods are left to face Turkish state forces that use curfews lasting weeks to crush and displace the people. If the desired result is not achieved in one attack then curfews and sieges are being repeated. All military means including tanks, mortar and helicopters are being used. The only thing not being used in the cities and towns are warplanes, which are being used extensively in rural areas. In essence the AKP government is carrying out a full-scale war against the Kurdish people and Kurdish Freedom Movement.
To invalidate the AKP’s blockade strategy the people are engaging in a counter-strategy that aims to realise self-rule and freedom. The essence of this strategy is to cancel out the AKP’s stretegy, isolate the AKP and raise the consciousness of the people, organise and mobilise them.
If we assess developments in this framework we can see that the AKP’s successes in 2015 are: coming back into power in the 1 November ‘election’ after the defeat in the initial 7th June election and reaching an agreement with the USA to prevent the Rojava Revolution from spreading across the Euphrates. (Since the writing of this piece, the Syrian Democratic Forces have crossed the Euphrates.) Apart from this the AKP has no notable successes in 2015. The Kurdish Freedom Movement has invalidated all the policies they have attempted to implement as part of the aforementioned strategy.
For example their attempts to topple Kobanê and suffocate and crush the Rojava Revolution were defeated. Victories by YPG-YPJ meant that the Cezire and Kobanê cantons were united. Furthermore the AKP government’s attempts to isolate and sever ties between coalition forces and Rojava Kurdistan were invalidated. Also the strategy to blockade North Kurdistan from Syria was also neutralised.
We can also see a similar situation in relation to Iraq. The victory of guerrila forces in Shengal (Sinjar) and the PKK’s policies in regards to the PDK have nullified the AKP’s strategy. The withdrawal of Turkish soldiers from Başika is recent proof of this. Kurdish resistance in South Kurdistan and Iraq is stronger than the AKP assumed. It can be readily said that strategic unity and solidarity between Kurds will develop in the upcoming period.
As for Turkey it is clear that the massacres by ISIS and increasing police terror have affected the people partially. However it is not possible for this to last and ingrain itself. This is because the contradictions in Turkey are very strong, as is the people’s desire for democracy. For this reason an advanced and revolutionary democracy alliance between the Kurdish resistance and Turkey’s democracy forces will develop. It is safe to say that the AKP’s blockade strategy from Turkey has also been defeated.
Ultimately the AKP government’s blockade of North Kurdistan has been defeated in all quarters.
Spreading the resistance can further invalidate the sieges of neighbourhoods, towns and cities. The Kurdish Freedom Movement and Kurdish people have the strength and experience to do this. The AKP attempted to instill fear and panic in the people by using ISIS-like psychological warfare tactics but the people have defeated this by resisting. What remains is the aftermath and affects of the war in Kurdish towns and neighbourhoods.
The Kurdish people concluded the Kobanê resistance with victory in the spring of 2015 and gained an historic triumph. The same will happpen in the spring of 2016 in North Kurdistan, where the resistance for democratic self-rule symbolised by the Cizre resistance will end in victory for Kurds and guarantee their existence and freedom. This will open the path to democratisation in Turkey primarily and the whole of the Middle East.
21 December 2015
*PKK Executive Committee Member