by RUDAW 12.6.2013 – Asia Abdulla, the co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, is emphatic: “We will not allow any other force to come to Western (Syrian) Kurdistan and rule us again.” In an interview with Rudaw, she also says that outside interference in Syria’s Kurdish regions is a “red line that must not be crossed.” Here is her full interview:
Rudaw: What is the current situation in Western Kurdistan?
Asia Abdulla: In West Kurdistan, civil society organizations and administrative bodies are being built. The system there is independent and democratic. Now, we have an official entity. In order to establish this system, we have not asked anyone for help. We established the system through our own efforts. However, the future of Syria is still not clear. Kurds have to prepare for all sorts of scenarios.
Rudaw: Why were some members of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (Al-Parti) arrested?
Asia Abdulla: A group of them were detained for crossing the border. We have had other groups that have crossed the border and have not been arrested. But this group was arrested by the Asayish (security apparatus). Asayish is not PYD. It is a a national body and works to protect the nation. This detained group had been trained militarily, and tried to cross the border. Therefore, Asayish had to do its job as a national and state body.
This detained group had been trained militarily, and tried to cross the border. Therefore, Asayish had to do its job as a national and state body.
Rudaw: Why is your party against other Kurdish groups and organizations?
Asia Abdulla: No armed group has the right to enter the West. We have no problems with groups who fight the Syrian regime. But, today there is no Syrian government presence in Afrin. Some parties — in the name of Kurdish struggle — bring looters and bandits to Afrin. Why do you bring these bandits to the cities? If you are really concerned about the freedom of the Syrian people, then go fight in Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus. We are not against that. We, as a political force, also oppose the same regime.
In Aleppo, the regime shells Kurdish neighborhoods. In Afrin armed groups do this! The people resist both the regime and the armed groups. For us, there is no difference. Interfering in the affairs of Western Kurdistan is a red line that must not be crossed. We will not allow any other force to come to Western Kurdistan and rule us again.
Rudaw: Some political parties accuse you of signing some agreements with the Syrian regime. What is your comment?
Asia Abdulla: We do not believe we need to respond to certain political party leaders. Our reply is our struggle in Western Kurdistan. Those who constantly make statements against PYD, why don’t they make statements against those who interfere in our region’s affairs?
The task of the National Council is not to make statements. Their task is to protect, and struggle with the people. The party leaders must not make statements to the media. Their goal must be defending and serving the people.
Some parties have said, “The responsibility now is just too much! We will not shoulder these responsibilities. Let PYD take the responsibility, so that it will take the blame.” We accept criticism, but we will continue our struggle.
Rudaw: It is said that the PYD has ignored the Erbil Agreement?
Asia Abdulla: I attended the Erbil Agreement. At the end of the agreement, when we had discussions there were different views. We agreed on a number of points. One of them was defense matters. When there is interference, they show no reaction. We have our own stance on these matters. We are in a revolution now.
The task of the National Council is not to make statements. Their task is to protect, and struggle with the people.
A collective decision was made to avoid a war-of-words through the media. Before the decision, a statement would be made every now and then. After the decision, now there are three statements every now and then. We can complain against them. However, when we choose not to respond, let them not take this wrongly: Our lack of response does not mean they are right. In the Erbil Agreement, we decided that the media war must stop. We have stopped it on our part. They have not.
Rudaw: Why does the PYD not agree to a joint military of Kurdish forces in Syria?
Asia Abdulla: Both councils signed an agreement. They both agreed that there should be only one army in Western Kurdistan. The army was to be headed by an expert committee and everyone had the right to partake in the army. We do not accept anything but this agreement.
Rudaw: Has the peace process in Turkey in any way improved your relations with Ankara?
Asia Abdulla: We have not had relations with Turkey. Therefore, there cannot be improvement in relations. We still do not have relations with Turkey. However, the process in Northern (Turkish) Kurdistan will leave an impact on all Kurds, particularly Kurds in Western Kurdistan. The situation in Western Kurdistan will open a door on an international level. As PYD, we will try to have the High Commission participate in all meetings abroad in order to strengthen the political will in Western Kurdistan.