Karayılan: Prisoners to be released within a week

ANF, Behdinan 06.03.2013 – ANF Deniz Kendal has interviewed KCK Executive Council President Murat Karayılan about the ongoing situation and the process of talks between the Turkish government and jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan. We publish some extracts.

The KCK (Kurdish Communities Union) has recently released a statement , saying that you would have the right of self-defense against operations.

In accordance with natural and international laws, the Kurdish guerrilla movement has the right to defend itself and retaliate against the attacks carried out by the Turkish state forces. It has to do this to be able to continue its existence. It should never be forgotten that the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) movement emerged as a response to the state violence against Kurdistan and led the resistance in that violence environment. Our movement doesn’t take steps backward in the face of violence. On the other hand, unlike that period, our movement has got more opportunities now.The policies of the Turkish state and government obviously aren’t aimed at forming the sub-structure of a solution and a new peaceful process. They on the contrary deepen the lack of confidence that already exists.

The BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) delegation has stated that you would be releasing the prisoners you are holding soon. Should this development be expected to be practiced in the near future?

As our leader has demanded, we have decided to release the prisoners we are holding within a week, after the solution of some technical preparations. This will be a significant step taken by our side for the process of ongoing talks. We can deliver the prisoners to a BDP delegation or some other political parties or relevant non-governmental organizations that should reassure us about a safe delivery of prisoners.

Are you saying that the frame put forward at the most recent Imralı meeting intends to ensure a social peace?

Right. It would be denying the truth to say that there exists a social peace today in consideration of the massacres and pains the Kurdish people have suffered since 1925. Our leader is today working to develop a peace formula to overcome the deadlock in this problem which dates back to old times. Everyone should see that our leader has put forward the most reasonable method of solution on the basis of the ideological, philosophical, political and social aspects of the problem. However, this step by our leader is seen as a tactical political step.

With his perspective siding with a radical change in all aspects, our leader is proposing the changing of the old structure to a completely democratic republic. This proposal concerns not only our movement but also all the people in Turkey and Kurdistan as well as the Middle East region. All relevant circles therefore have the right to express their opinions on this subject. His perspective aims to ensure a solution for the benefit of all circles.

What would you say concerning the attempts aimed at sabotaging the process of talks?

It is true that some national and international powers inside and outside Turkey could constitute an obstacle to the solution of the Kurdish problem. However, the attempts of sabotaging the process could be defeated by the stance both sides should display on the side of peace and a democratic solution. From our own point of view, we will be having a determined stance for overcoming all kinds of obstacles.

What would you say concerning the attitude of some press-media circles and politicians whose statements sound as if all the problem has been brought to a conclusion?

There is no need to see the process through rose-coloured glasses. We should hold hopes for the future but we should at the same time be realistic. This is a serious problem towards which the Kurdish politicians and society as well as all relevant circles should approach cautiously. It is not right to make developments look like an accomplished solution. Apart from the ongoing talks with our leader, the Turkish state has yet no prominent project for a solution to the 90 years-old rooted problem. Leader Apo is working in order to finalize his solution perspective on the basis of democratic ways and to evolve the armed conflict to a political environment. In this respect he has asked for the opinions of our movement and some other circles.

The currently ongoing talks aim to make the solution perspective clear, which is a quite significant, historic and valuable effort. Those who do not side with this purpose obviously side with bloodshed. We attach great importance to our leader’s endeavors on the way to a peaceful solution. The current process could lead to a permanent peace as leader Apo is trying to draw the frames of the process on the basis of the efforts he has been giving for peace for 20 years now. However, the process could at the same time be disrupted and change into an expansive conflict at any time.

Could you explain the reasons why you treat the process cautiously?

The current process bears some difficulties in terms of making decisions and developing practical plans for the new process.

The first reason is the fact that the AKP government has yet not appeased our concerns about its approach towards the process. First of all, the policy of “fight against terrorists and negotiation with their extensions” supports a continuous conflict, not a permanent peace. In other words, should the operations and attacks on guerrillas continue, they will no doubt defend themselves and exercise the right of reprisal, as we have stated earlier. It is already known to everyone that the Kurdish guerrilla movement will have more power than state’s security forces to carry out operations with the coming of spring after two weeks. The continuation of operations means the continuation of clashes as well.

Besides our concerns about the policies of the AKP government, we have full confidence in our leader whom we will be supporting till the end. Despite the fact that we have formed an opinion following the letter he has sent to us, we are also supposed to think over some other points. In this respect, it is not easy at all for us to make a decision. The second reason is the fact that the Kurdish Freedom Movement currently has got quite significant opportunities and a conjunctural position that could impose a solution and enable success by means of its own power.