Turkey: Kurdish movement ‘will stop Erdoğan imposing fascism’

Cemil Bayık, the co-chair of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK, the umbrella organisation of the Kurdish liberation movement), spoke to Firat News Agency about recent developments in Turkey.

Bayık spoke about the alliance between Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the arrest of MPs from the left-wing, Kurdish–led people’s Democratic party (HDP) parliamentarians, as well as a possible cross-border operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long armed struggle in Turkey for Kurdish freedom.

Bayık said a wave of fascism was sweeping through Turkey and that the arrest of HDP MPs was the latest proof. “[Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and [MHP leader] Devlet Bahçeli have united in Turkey and are trying to institutionalise fascism,” he said.

“To do this they are trying to remove every obstacle in their way … they are jailing HPD MPs and members, blockading HDP headquarters, seizing municipalities in Kurdistan by appointing custodians, destroying cities, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, abusing Kurds, democrats and intellectuals, torturing prisoners, executing prisoners of war, tying them to the back of vehicles and dragging their corpses, exposing dead women’s naked bodies, allowing animals’ to decimate the corpses of people they’ve killed.

“To achieve this, they need to silence the media, intellectuals and artists. This is why they have shut down opposition media and imprisoned journalists. They are merging nationalism and religionism to form the societal foundations for fascism.”

Bayık said the government and its allies were resorting to such policies because they were actually weak, stating: “They are practicing a very intense psychological warfare … If they were strong they would not do this.”

Bayık explained that the government and MHP were trying to advance the village-guard and watchman systems in Turkey's Kurdish region.

“They want to organise a treacherous force that is in collaboration with them and get them to attack Kurds. In this way they want to turn the Kurdish question into an intra-Kurdish matter rather [than] an issue between the Kurds and the state.”

The KCK co-chair said the regime in Turkey would collapse if the progressive sections of society came together. “Young people and women in particular have an important role; intellectuals, artists, writers, academics, journalists and workers also. Alawites, different national and cultural groups and Sunni democrats too.

“All who are worried by this regime need to come together and form an alliance. If they do this, this regime will collapse.  This regime has no international support; its support internally is weak. They are afraid of losing power, being tried and jailed; this is why they are resorting to such actions.

“Erdoğan wants to turn the AKP into the new regime’s founding party and himself into its chief. This will mean suppression, imprisonment, torture and insult for all peoples and religions.

“This is why all circles that are against the institutionalisation of fascism need to form an alternative struggle.”

Bayık also commented on state of emergency rule in Turkey, declared after a failed coup against Erdoğan in July. He said: “The government used the July 15 coup attempt as an opportunity to declare state of emergency. They did this to add legitimacy to the policies they were going to implement.

“Erdoğan has weaponised the state of emergency law. He is trying to deceive international and internal forces in this way. State of emergency has no legitimacy.”

Bayık also touched on Turkish officials' recent statements hinting at an operation on PKK-held areas in the Kurdistan Region (KRG) in northern Iraq, stressing that Erdoğan would not be able to defeat the PKK.

“Erdoğan says he will eradicate the PKK. With this, he is trying to fortify nationalism, chauvinism and fascism in Turkey. He wants to commit genocide against the Kurds. He wants to eliminate secular, socialist and democrat circles in order to build a regime grounded on nationalism and religion.

“This is why Erdoğan is trying to demonise the PKK and Kurds in the eyes of Turkish society and the international community.”

Bayık said Erdoğan knows the only way to carry out genocidal plans against the Kurds and institutionalise fascism is to “eradicate the PKK”.

“He considers the PKK a major obstacle to this goal and attacks the PKK and anybody related to it with great anger. However, Erdoğan will only bring about his own downfall in this way, just like Hitler did.

“He can never eradicate the PKK. He is not strong enough to do this, even if he uses all the state’s means and receives support from some international and regional forces, and even from some Kurds. The PKK is a movement supported and formed of millions of people. It is not made up of a small cadre alone, nor just a small guerrilla movement.

“The PKK has a place in the hearts and minds of Kurdish people, democrats, patriots and socialists. The PKK is the hope of the oppressed, of all the oppressed outside Turkey as well.

“If Erdoğan wants to eradicate the PKK, he will need to massacre all the Kurds, all the oppressed, all the intellectuals, democrats, writers and artists that sympathise with it.

“They [Turkish officials] have recently been talking of conducting an operation on [the PKK base at] Qandil. Let them come if they can. The Kurdish people will not greet them with flowers. Turkey will probably experience the biggest defeat in its history.”

Bayık concluded that there could be no democracy, freedom, justice or a safe future in Turkey unless the AKP and MHP were defeated.

“If people want to secure their future, they should fight against Erdoğan-Bahçeli fascism … This is a struggle for everyone and there will be a definitive victory if it is supported by everyone.”

[Abridged from Kurdish Question.]

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