Full text of Mala Bakhitiyar Speech at BDP Congress in Ankara October 14, 2012

Dear Representatives of Kurdish parties, Turkish lawmakers, representatives of embassies, and dear guests:

First of all, I would like to pass on, and on behalf of his green spirit, the greetings of President of Republic of Iraq Mam Jalal to each of you, a president who is the genuine representative of democracy in the region and dependable for holding discussions to address political problems.  

Let me read out a poem by the great Kurdish poet, Dildar, who was from Koya (town), a symbol of prosperity and bravery, but with some slight changes which I am going to make:

Do you see, the enemy? Do you see, the enemy? How the Kurdish speaking people can live on! Our breastworks will not be defeated by the bombs of all the time.

Where are those who said Kurds were dead?   Where are those who said Kurds were dead?      

Be courageous to see!    Be courageous to see how Kurds live on! Our flag of Kurdishness will never fall.        


Besides the greetings of his Excellency Mam Jalal and PUK leadership council, I would like to also pass on those of flowers of pomegranates of Halabja town, and those of stalks of wheat of Garmiyan, the Anfalistan of Kurdistan, those of Doli Baze which was once bombed with chemical weapons, and greetings of Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Shengal, and ordeal of conscience of Kurdish people.

Salute of Sulaimani, Erbil, Duhok to you, to Diarbakir, Dersim, Hekari, Erzurum, Salute to you, Salute of Sulaimani, Kirkuk, Khanaqin and Duhok to Sine, Mihabad, Saqiz, Kirmashan, Wirme, Qamishili, and Amuda.

Salute to you, the strugglers, Salute to you, the freedom seekers, Salute to you, who are now in Ankara, Istanbul and the rest of the cities in Turkey. You are along with freedom seekers of other parts of Kurdistan, lined up for freedom, Kurdishness and liberation.  You have held your Congress in a decisive condition in Middle East, a situation in which the dictators are falling and being replaced by democracy , and those who remain unfallen must become democratic – there is no way around it.

Countries inMiddle Eastwill definitely become democratic over next 10 or 15 years. The democratic rights of all nations and groups will be then given, and among them, the right to self-determination of Kurdish people in all four parts of Kurdistan must be met.        

It is no longer possible for governments to deal with the democratic rights of nations with the eyes of Ottomans, Safavids, Fascists and dictators. Those eras have been over and never come back. Now, the history is for democrats, freedom seekers, progress, civil liberty, and right of self-determination of the nations who have been deprived of such right.

Let us have a look at history, if you are proud of history, let us read it well and take history of wherever part ofKurdistanyou want!  Botan Emirate? Dersim? Or Agridakh? Ubaidulla Nehri? Sheik Mahmoud? Simko? Qazi Muhammad, Iraqi Kurdistan Uprising or its federalist right? Or their Excellencies Mam Jalal or president Barzani?

History tells us that invaders cannot kill the democratic will and fate of the nations on earth, and thus invaders should shift to a righteous path as nations are always on such path. In the current century, there are four major nations in Middle East- Turks who enjoys their power, Arabs, Persians, so do they except one nation, a major nation with a 50 million population still does not have a political right in three parts of Kurdistan.

If the democratic and political rights of Kurds were given during the past century, the Middle East would have experienced all troubles, bloodshed, economic loss, destruction of cities and villages and all other types of calamity.

And now, let our Arab, Turkish and Persian brothers be informed that we, as Kurds, are on the way moving towards democracy, peace, and fraternity.  We do not want the blood of any Arab, Turk, or Persian be shed by Kurds, and similarly, we do not want the blood of any Kurd be shed by them. We want to live side by side in a democratic condition, and be together as freedom seekers, and together we can reconstruct our states and solve our problems. Let us together serve women, children, beauty and contribute to the progress.  Europe was in wars for 150 years- the French, Germans, Hungarians, Britons, Italians, Spanish, and Russians, these were the major European nations that had been in wars against each other for 150 years, but finally, they resorted to democracy, right to self-determination, and recognition of independence of these nations. Now, Europe is a leader of progress and rehabilitation across the world. Europe would have never witnessed their current progress if they had continued in fighting each other.  We can do as did Europe provided that we become patient, being pro-peace and recognize the rights of each other, allow Kurdish, Armenian, Balochi, and other existing nations in East access their own rights.    

I want to take you back to 85 years ago when League of Nations recognized the Treaty of Sevres to the Southern Kurdistan, according to which, we were supposed to gain the same autonomy as we have now. But, the Turkish state at the time did not allow that Treaty be enforced. Instead, Turkish state replaced it with Treaty of Lausanne, which it put an end to it too. I am just asking you, Turkish state, Turkish parliament, CHP party and AK party a question : if the Treaty of Sevres was put into force for us at that time, what kind of prosperity, progress, and economic and peace relations would have been made between us and nations in Turkey, Syria, and Iran during that 80-year period? Now, 85 years have been wasted!

Now, Iraqi Kurdistan has good relations with many states. Peace and stability exist in Iraqi Kurdistan. Our trade relations are on their growing and expansion path. The federal experiment in Iraqi Kurdistan proves that if Kurds access their democratic rights, they can make fraternity and friendship with the nations in the region. Let us take a lesson from history, a lesson from Treaties of Sevres and Lausanne. Let us not allow them be repeated. And, they should not be repeated. Also, no one can impose Sykes-Picot Agreement or Treaty of Lausanne.

Thus, intellect, logic, accountability, conscience, and duties of this stage compel us to resort to democracy, and let us all raise the flag of democracy, provide right to self-determination to all nations, human rights, and thereafter, the Middle East will witness dramatic progress. Let us give up the accusations such as that one is terrorist – PKK is terrorist, Demak is terrorist, Komala is terrorist…… this kind of speech is outdated. 

Mandela was a terrorist but later he became the president of South Africa, Yassir Arafat was a terrorist and later he became the president of Palestine, Barzani was a terrorist and later he became a symbol, and Talabani was a terrorist and now he is the president. Castro was a terrorist and later he became president. Those who were accused by governments of being terrorists, they will become presidents later.  Thus, the sooner the problem between Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan be solved, the better is. We, as Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and above all of us within PUK, Mam Jalal, has intensified all his efforts, since late Turkish president Turgut Ozal’s era, to help all sides address this problem.  I hope and I want to conclude my speech with this: we have heard many speeches but the essential and fundamental problems of Kurds in Northern Kurdistan have still remained unsolved, which they must be solved. Respected Ocalan should be freed. If he is not freed, the problem cannot be solved.

When Leaders and politicians are put into prison, they will always become greater, the governments will become smaller. The leaders will become always greater in prison. The prison itself is small, but the outside prisons all belong to the leaders who are imprisoned. Thus, release him as soon as possible and solve the problem. Let us take the path of democracy and peace, that is the only our path.  I am delighted with the presence of my comrades from the parties in other parts of Kurdistan in this hall.

Finally, I want to narrate a story of mine. I came to Hakari area in 1977, we were Peshmarga. I have been Peshmarga for about 15 years ( it isn’t too much with a laugh). I was with late Rasul Mamand and we reached Dalanbo Mountain near Masi Ro village, heading to welcome back Mam Jalal. I can still remember the date which was July 1977. I met a shepherd who wore Kurdish clothes and kept his head covered with a scarf. He was about 14 to 15 years old. I kissed him. Late Rasul Mamand asked why I did kiss him. I replied that it was for the first time when I met a Kurd from Turkey.  Many years after meeting a shepherd from Hakari for the first time, I am now in the congress of thousands of Kurds who seek democracy. Salute to you! And I kiss your eyes. I am pleased that I see you determined to get their rights. I am delighted that you keep your head up. I am sure your path towards enthusiasm and Kurdishness will certainly record its victory. Respected Ocalan will be released. You will gain your political rights. I am sure this is the history and it tells us that freedom and democracy will be brought about for sure.

I Wish you all, Kurdish nation, and pro-democratic peoples in the region long life.  the website of Leadership Council of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan