The PKK in particular, but also all Kurdish nationalist political organisations, upheld the thesis that Kurdistan is a colony of Turkey, and they propagated the idea of an “independent Kurdistan”. This conception and aim of an independent Kurdistan became a raison d’etre for the Kurdish national movement. This went as far as treating those Kurds who did not accept the colonialism thesis as “traitors to the nation”, while those of Turkish background who rejected the thesis were called “Kemalists” and “collaborators with colonialism”. At the end of the 1970s this question came in for such a massive amount of discussion that the task of waging the anti-fascist struggle was quite forgotten. The discussion as to whether or not Kurdistan was a colony overwhelmed everything else.
Many left groups who are devoid of self-confidence and have developed no policies on the national question, did not support the colonialism theory at that time. But after the PKK became a significant force these groups began to adopt the theory. They saw Kurdistan as a burden, and were glad to hand it over to the PKK so they could take the burden off their own shoulders.
Colonialism is one of the PKK’s basic theses. Its strategy for revolution and its ideology are framed accordingly. The idea that Kurdistan is the colony not of imperialism but of Turkey is also what restricts the PKK to dealing only with the question of national liberation.
The colonialism thesis, the nationalist viewpoint and pragmatism supplement one another in the PKK’s ideology. The political handicaps that are confronted in the struggle, the mistakes committed in the course of actions, the search for wrong alliances are all nurtured by this ideology.
When asked why four TDKP (Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey) activists had been murdered, the reply was that they had been guests. Of course it goes without saying that guests must be subordinate to their host and do whatever is demanded of them… Exactly the same logic as this, saturated with nationalism, is what the PKK confronted in northern Iraq. Barzani told them exactly the same thing. But they did not accept it. The national liberation line they have, nurtured by the colonialism idea, could not stop them from collapsing into pragmatism, which is the inevitable fate of petit bourgeois nationalism. After a certain point, everything, politics, alliances, relations and actions will be characterised by pragmatism. One is always planning only for the short term.
Things that look good in the short term from a pragmatic viewpoint merely pave the way for negative developments in the long term.
The point that has been reached is the bankruptcy of ideological and strategic theses as a consequence of this negativity. They have gone from a theory of colonialism to seeking integration into Turkey, and from seeking independence to seeking autonomy, on the pattern of Chechnya’s autonomy within Russia, or the federal structure of Germany. Now ideological weakness is concealed with weaponry. Weapons are not in themselves a sign of one’s ideology, they are also not an instrument that justifies every kind of policy. In Africa and Asia there are dozens of organisations that are conducting an armed struggle, but a significant proportion of them are using their weapons to achieve goals that are within the system. As Mahir Cayan clearly pointed out, “The guerrilla struggle by itself does not determine a movement’s character.” The question is what programme, aims and purpose govern the guerrilla struggle. There is a war, granted, but what is the attitude to classes and nationality in the politics, practice and programme of the war?
The revolutionary movement was reproached for years with being “Kemalist” for not accepting the colonialism theory. In the meantime years have passed and there is nobody, not even the PKK, who talks of the independence of “colonial” Kurdistan. Today, where are the people who talked about the colonialism theory yesterday? Marxist-Leninists say the same today as they said yesterday. Life has once again confirmed today what the revolution and the common struggle had proposed and fought for yesterday.
Everybody must accept that the theory of colonialism has been shown to be bankrupt. Marxist-Leninists do not organise on the basis of nationalism. There is no other way and no other solution, this theoretical basis must be changed.
FROM COLONIALISM TO BELONGING TO TURKEY
According to the PKK, Kurdistan was inherited as a colony by present-day Turkey from its Ottoman predecessor. Today Kurdistan is supposed to be a classic colony of Turkey. At the centre of the PKK’s theoretical conceptions, as with many other nationalist Kurdish movements, lies “Turkish colonialism”.
“The Turkish bourgeoisie which is very strong in Kurdistan in the military sphere, also developed colonialism without any difficulties, in the political as well as socio-economic and cultural spheres. Under capitalism, everybody rules according to their power. The power of the Turkish bourgeoisie is also enough to colonise Kurdistan.” (“The Road to Revolution in Kurdistan”)
In the past, the left in Turkey talked a lot about colonialism. But what we are discussing today is not a repeat of that.
“COLONIALISM” IS A SUBJECTIVE DEFINITION
First of all, it cannot be said that Kurdistan was left to present-day Turkey as a colony of the Ottoman Empire. The national liberation struggle against the partition of the Ottoman Empire by imperialism during the first war of distribution created new relations and new formations. So the old relationships also did not exist any more after the war of national liberation. The Kurdish people, under Kurdish leadership, also took part in the national liberation war through an agreement with the Kemalists, and they fought against imperialism. However, after the revolution the government broke its accords, ignored the existence of the Kurdish people and placed the annexation and assimilation of northern Kurdistan on the agenda. To achieve this, attacks continued until the Dersim uprising was put down in 1938. After that, the petit bourgeois Kemalist dictatorship completed its annexation of northern Kurdistan.
Secondly, Turkish and Kurdish rulers took part in the oligarchy, which is an alliance of the ruling classes in Turkey. That means that the Kurdish and Turkish ruling classes have integrated themselves in the same structure from the beginning. This structure which we call the oligarchy forms the basis of national oppression, jointly with imperialism. Moreover, neo-colonial relationships have tied Kurdish and Turkish working people into the same relationships. In short, these relationships have placed two nations in a single social structure.
Thirdly, in the age of imperialism there is no colonialism other than imperialist colonialism. The example of Portugal is no proof of the colonialism theory that the PKK is trying to develop. There has been much discussion about this. In the PKK’s publications the same example is constantly cited. Portugal is used in an effort to show that a colony can also have a colony. The PKK, which does not take imperialism into account, says the revolution in Kurdistan is first targeted against Turkish colonialism. Amilcar Cabral, who led the revolution in Guinea-Bissau, a colony of Portugal, gives the best reply to this.
“Portugal is a henchman of imperialism (…) It is known that Portugal is itself a semi-colonial country. Since 1775, it has been a semi-colony of Britain. That is the only reason Portugal was able to maintain its colonies when Africa was being partitioned. How could this poor and miserable country maintain its colonies in the face of the greed and jealousy of Germany, France, England and Belgium, and of US imperialism, whose day was dawning? Because of the tactics that were preferred… England said, ‘Portugal is my colony, if it maintains its own colonies these will also be my colonies.’ And England used force to defend the intersts of Portugal. But the current situation is not the same. Angola is really no longer a colony of Portugal.” (“The Last Words”)
Imperialism itself is what leaves its stamp on colonialism. Without this there is no colonialism. Imperialism is the age of rule by the monopolies, which completely dominate economic life through the accumulation and centralisation of capital.
Another mistake of those who define Turkish Kurdistan as a colony of the Turkish ruling classes and not of imperialism and the oligarchy, is the claim that feudal relations dominate in Kurdistan while capitalist relationships are predominant in Turkey (some of those who say this consider the strategy for revolution in Turkey to be the uprising, while Kurdistan’s revolution is to come from people’s war). The degree of development of capitalism in western Turkey and Kurdistan is different, but that does not alter the fact that capitalist relations predominate.
Viewed this way, while exploitative relationships have developed worldwide and also in Turkey, there was not an inch of soil left that had not been encroached upon by imperialism. The colonialism theory was almost developed as an alibi for separate organisation and nationalism.
Because of the claim that Kurdistan is a colony of Turkey, resolving this was placed in the foreground and the struggle of the Turkish and Kurdish peoples was separated, instead of a joint revolution of these peoples and other nationalities, two different revolutions for the two countries were envisaged. Understandably, separate revolutions also meant separate tactics and strategies.
A NATIONALISM NOT DIRECTED AGAINST IMPERIALISM
What we particularly want to touch on is why and how the transition has been made from a theory of colonialism to wanting integration into Turkey. Here, something else must be mentioned. From the start the PKK described its aims on the basis of colonialism in the following way: “The revolution in Kurdistan is first of all targeted against Turkish colonialism. It is this that robs us of political independence, destroys and devastates the productive forces and pursues a policy of annihilating the Kurdish language, history and culture. This colonialism is supported from outside by the imperialists and internally by feudal compradors. These forces, closely connected to each other economically, are the targets of the revolution in Kurdistan. A movement that does not oppose first of all Turkish colonialism and its internal and external supporters at the same time cannot be considered to be revolutionary in Kurdistan.”
In and of itself, this statement is approximately correct. “Turkish colonialism”, imperialism and Kurdish collaborators are all described as a target, even if a correct and unambiguous formulation has not been used.
However, the PKK’s practice has never developed inside this framework. First of all, the PKK has in no way openly opposed imperialism, and if it is a question of “Turkish colonialism”, this is always presented as the main target. As a consequence of this logic, imperialism is always presented as a secondary target. In the PKK’s history there has never been a tactic of fighting imperialism. It looks on the Turkish oligarchy as though it had seized colonies outside of Kurdistan’s borders, for example like the relationship between the USA and Vietnam. From this analogy, the liberation of Vietnam did not see the destruction of US colonial power as an aim. Also, the PKK sees overthrowing the oligarchy in Turkey as a secondary matter or shows no interest in it at all. And if the oligarchy maintains itself in power, the PKK develops the strategy of trying to take Turkish Kurdistan away from it, and to impose this upon it. But the drawback of this is that the relationship between Turkey and Kurdistan is not the same as the relationship between the USA and Vietnam! Without taking account of the oligarchy’s relations with imperialism, and its economic, political, cultural and military dimension, one will get into endless difficulties if one tries to put the “Turkish” dimension of this in the foreground and build an entire strategy upon it. Inside the oligarchy there is no “Turkish” national purity, despite all the bourgeois demagogy that is deployed. So for this reason it is clear that a strategy that is not aimed at overthrowing the oligarchy and the imperialism inseparable from it will not be able to free Kurdistan.
This is actually one of the most important contradictions in the PKK’s theory of colonialism. In China and Vietnam, which are always cited as examples by the PKK, an actual struggle against imperialism was conducted. Whereas in the quote above, the place of imperialism was not clearly defined. One must ask what this analysis considers the influence of imperialism to be. Is Turkey, which is militarily, politically, culturally and economically dependent on imperialism, the determining force, or is it imperialism itself? The publications of the PKK do not answer such questions. Today, no answer will be forthcoming. For the reason that the PKK sees the USA or Germany as forces that might resolve the Kurdish question. Now we have to ask whether the genocides and massacres the oligarchy has unleashed against the Kurdish people for years are independent of the politics of imperialism? Is that the case today? This question is not clearly answered. If it was, the PKK would have to adopt a clear attitude towards imperialism, that is, struggling against it. But as we will later quote in detail, the peace politics of the PKK require it to have relations with imperialism. Moreover, the PKK does not wage a serious struggle against the Kurdish rulers and major landowners, though it says it does. Nor has it waged a struggle based on the land question. This means that the class content of the struggle has completely disappeared and on all sides it is narrowing down to mere nationalism.
GROWING “HANDICAPS”AND THEIR “SOLUTION”
Despite the positive development of the armed struggle, the handicaps put up by the colonialism theory did not become less, on the contrary, they came out into the open. The theory became a basis for separate organisation and a separate revolution, and separate states under all conditions. But experience has shown that this nationalist approach is a handicap which prevents results from being achieved. Instead of the national movement moving closer to revolutionary theory, its efforts to find a solution take it in a false direction. With this line, the PKK underwent political change while it was achieving the greatest strength it could from its armed struggle. Because of its class character it could not develop revolutionary politics which could bring about a solution. The theory of “belonging to Turkey” came onto the agenda in such a setting.
But this theory is incomprehensible. It causes one question after another to be asked. Of course the main origin of this chaos is the theoretical and ideological structure of the PKK at the start. There is no agreement between this structure and the theory. Those who uphold this theory increase chaos with the writings they pen in an effort to explain the theory. So before we deal in more detail with this theme of “belonging to Turkey”, it is a good idea to specify the following points.
*Separate organising and separate revolutions as a consequence of the colonialism theory have no other function from the very beginning than to use nationalist emotions which separate the peoples and weaken them in the face of the common enemy. The new aim, “belonging to Turkey”, which is a way out of their present handicap, is also a confirmation of what we have been saying. What can be understood of the goal “becoming a party of Turkey” is that the Kurdish national movement is admitting that what went before was a handicap. For what does it mean when yesterday they were saying “Kurdistan is a colony of Turkey” and now are saying, “The revolution in Turkey is also our revolution”.
*But these words are not sincere, they contain no strategic approach, because everything is made to depend on the revolution in Kurdistan. On the one hand they talk of “belonging to Turkey”, on the other they talk of “peace”. Peace with whom? With the oligarchy of Turkey? So if one signs a peace treaty with the oligarchy in Turkey and ends the armed struggle, what happens to the peoples of Turkey? What has happened to “belonging to Turkey”? The peace politics of the PKK have no room for the peoples of Turkey. They want a few rights for the Kurdish people but the Turkish people should continue to live under the repression and exploitation by the oligarchy. That is the result of what they have said. To turn to the peoples of Turkey with this nationalist logic to “lead” their struggle is also not a possibility. Striving to belong to Turkey was something the PKK claimed to have put on the agenda in 1997, but it is not new. It was trying to do it in 1991. The DHP (Revolutionary People’s Party) was a product of this and remained fruitless, as we will show later on. Sometimes they claim to have believed in belonging to Turkey from the very beginning. “Our operations in Turkey are not connected with our difficult situation, nor with the annihilation of the enemy’s military forces. These play a role, but only on the side. The basic political reasons for our operations in Turkey are made very clear in our party manifesto. We have the aim of creating Kurdish-Turkish fraternity, unity and commonality. As Kurdish revolutionaries we will not tolerate the oppression of the peoples of Turkey by the fascist leadership. We do not simply want to realise revolution in Kurdistan, but we also owe Turkey a revolution.” (Semdin Sakik, Yurtsever Genclik(Patriotic Youth), November 1997, issue 7)
According to this assessment, the PKK talked of “belonging to Turkey” years ago, and also predicted the common organisation of its peoples years ago. The PKK was founded in 1978, but 19 years had to pass before they started talking about “belonging to Turkey”. At its foundation the PKK stood neither for organising the peoples together nor for being a “party of Turkey”. Why have you called for an independent Kurdistan for years? Why did you only organise among Kurds? Why have you only fought in Kurdistan? These are valid questions. Undoubtedly it is well known that the PKK, since it arose, has only named revolution in Kurdistan as its goal in its publications. The concept of “belonging to Turkey” only appeared in its literature in the 1990s. It is also clear why.
*In reality the PKK is engaged in a search. The nationalist conception they had for years is a dead end, for in the name of its slogans of “a people”, “a land”, its efforts to organise the Kurdish workers, government employees and youth separated them from others. The current search is for a way out of this dead end. The war itself pushes them that way. All assessments which have been built up on the basis of the colonialism theory have losr significance, one after another. So it was possible to see that the nationalist theories were widely separated from life and the reality of Turkey and Kurdistan. Instead, the nationalist movment should acknowledge the facts as an expression of their sincerity. Their various searches are an effort to conceal all this. It is a symptom of the nationalist line that things have turned out the way they have.
The thesis of “belonging to Turkey” is not a result of their strategy for revolution but a necessity forced on them by life. The reason the PKK turned to the west was to relieve their difficulties in Kurdistan. For it is well known that it is impossible to achieve a result with a guerrilla movement confined to one region. This is particularly the case in our country. It can be seen that a guerrilla war restricted to Kurdistan and which does not spread, remains unsuccessful and means the guerrillas are confronted with isolation in areas uninhabited by people. Attempts to take the fighting into the big cities are a recognition of the fact that the war must spread throughout Turkey. This is made necessary in practice. Right at this point, a struggle conducted on the basis of Kurdish nationalism does not correspond to the needs of the war. Looked at this way, the nationalist theory must give way to the reality in the country, but the thesis of “belonging to Turkey”, which only exists on paper, also makes no sense. For what has happened to the things they defended up to today? What lessons have they drawn from it? Why has it come at this point? Why was it not defended yesterday, but only today? As long as these questions are not answered, the “tactic” of “belonging to Turkey” will also be condemned to fail.
In our conclusion we would also like to point to the following. The thesis of “belonging to Turkey” could be the start of a way out of the dead end if the correct lessons are drawn from it, with the perspective of strengthening the struggle. Up to the present that has not happened, they did not want to… So it remained a matter of military actions. No strategic viewpoint has been achieved. Since this thesis of “belonging to Turkey” is also being looked at from a nationalist viewpoint, it is clear that they have sacrificed it in favour of looking for a solution within the framework of the regime, such as seeking peace and dialogue. But whether one calls it “belonging to Turkey” or not… The task of revolutionaries today is to strengthen the common fight for the liberation of all our peoples. The PKK’s “belonging to Turkey” was from the beginning a consequence of their pragmatic aims and did not serve the task of revolution. Those who do not take, from a strategic viewpoint, the common organising and liberation of the peoples of our country as a basis, or do not work to improve it in an appropriate manner will not save themselves from the handicap of nationalism.
It is obvious that the revolution in Turkey needs a serious leadership and a serious struggle. Whoever does not fulfil these tasks in the struggle, will also have no success. Up to the present, the PKK has said many things, made many comments, given voice to exaggerated claims such as that the end of the struggle is in sight, but they have achieved no results. They are in a dead end, in political terms. That is, their words and claims can achieve nothing. In what they write, on one page they will talk of bringing guerrillas into the mountains and on another they will talk of peace. The strategies and tactics which are the basis of this are left unclear.
“If a revolution is achieved, it will happen in both Turkey and Kurdistan. The state will sit down at a table with the peoples of Kurdistan and Turkey and reform the laws and the constitution, create a democratic regime and develop peace through this.” (ibid, page 7)
The expectations from this are clear. The contra-state of Susurluk is supposed to sit down at the same table with the Turkish and Kurdish revolutionaries and patriots, carry out common reforms and produce a constitution and laws. Will these latter give rise to people’s power? What will the state be called? It is impossible to liberate our peoples in a struggle which has such expectations in mind. Such expectations mean that the politics of “belonging to Turkey”, are nothing other than continuing the nationalist line they have been pursuing.
WHY A JOINT LIBERATION?
The revolution in the Turkish part of Kurdistan will come onto the agenda as part of an anti-imperialist, anti-oligarchic people’s revolution of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples. This Marxist-Leninist approach, which rests on a historical and socio-economic analysis of the conditions in Turkey and a correct definition of its relationship to imperialism is the only valid road to liberation, so long as no very special conjunctural changes arise in these relationships.
The conditions for realising the right to self-determination of the Kurdish people depend on the peoples of the Kurdish and Turkish nations and the other nationalities achieving an anti-oligarchic and anti-imperialist people’s revolution under the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party and achieving revolutionary people’s power.
All states in the region (Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria) which have annexed Kurdistan and whose interests are the same as those of the oligarchy in Turkey and imperialism, are against an independent, democratic Kurdistan in Turkey. The same is true because of common interests with regard to the Kurdish parts of the other countries in the region.
Marxist-Leninists are objective: they base revolutionary theories on scientifically objective events and not on desires. So they do not struggle with national independence and liberation strategies which are not based on facts and pay no heed to the current situation. Marxist-Leninists take account of the balance of external forces, but they chiefly form their strategy based on internal dynamics.
As a whole, Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan are a neo-colony of imperialism. This statement does not mean that Marxist-Leninists of Turkey see the definitive solution to the Kurdish issue in the Middle East as depending absolutely on the maintenance of Turkey’s current borders. After an anti-oligarchic, anti-imperialist people’s revolution in Turkey, if as a consequence of the free will of the Kurdish people (as expressed in a referendum), separation comes on the agenda, they will support this. (They will support it, though the interests of the proletariat lie in the existence of one unitary state.) For Marxist-Leninists there is already a broad horizon for supporting such a goal of making a new Kurdish state a stronghold for the other parts of the Middle East, or that, with the other parts freeing themselves, an independent, united, democratic Kurdistan can be founded. (Of course, the first condition for supporting it is that imperialism is beaten and driven out from it.) However, the united-Kurdistan strategy, leading to the complete liberation of Kurdistan, depends on the freeing of the Kurdish people in the other parts, and this depends on a joint revolution of the Kurdish people and the oppressing nation. That is, democratic people’ revolutions in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The more these revolutions are accelerated, the quicker the Kurdish people will be liberated. Therefore the approach of Marxist-Leninists to the Kurdish national question is in conformity with the independence of Kurdistan and the interests of both peoples – oppressors and the oppressed. But first there must be unity for the common liberation of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples with a common organisation and a single revolutionary strategy. True liberation, in Turkish Kurdistan also, involves the unification of the forces of both peoples in one unitary and central organisation in order to overthrow imperialism and the oligarchy.
The opposite of this is not possible.
Why is this the case?
The determining factors are as follows:
Fascism, which is continually in power and propped up by imperialism, is the common enemy of the Kurdish and Turkish people. Both nations are subjected to massive attacks from fascism. Apart from the national oppression directed at the Kurdish people, the fate of both peoples is determined by fascism. The true cause of national oppression today is imperialism, which supports fascism and maintains it in power. So the national liberation war of the Kurdish people and also the Turkish people is closely bound up with class liberation and liberation from the power of imperialism and the oligarchy.
Both nations were forced to form common organisations, compelled by national oppression and assimilation in many areas. (The majority of these organisations are bourgeois.) They have influenced each other culturally because of centuries of the necessity of living together under one roof in the same state. Besides this, in their economic, political and social life they are, in the end, forced at all levels to work together for a common future. The oligarchy created the relationships of this multinational state to serve its own interests, and is now confronted by an enemy consisting of many peoples (Kurdish, Turkish and the other minorities). While the oligarchy and the Kemalist dictatorship practised national repression of the Kurdish people, the Turks and the other peoples were by no means ruled by bourgeois democracy. Apart from national oppression directed at the Kurdish people, there is no difference, as far as fascism and the state is concerned, between Kurdish and Turkish working people.
These basic factors make the liberation of the Kurdish people alone impossible, but the PKK and other nationalist Kurdish groups have yet to grasp this.
The PKK is a patriotic nationalist movement, for it restricts itself to the national question, Kurdish national borders and Kurdish demands. More importantly, it sees the social and class liberation of the peoples and nations who live together under the roof of the same state as a secondary matter. One can say that revolutionaries dedicate themselves first of all to the liberation of their own countries and push this process forward. But in a multinational state, that is not possible. The entire epoch of imperialism,that is, all national and social wars in this century, provide sufficient proof that this is a false conception. Their false analysis of conditions in Turkey is the basic factor explaining why the PKK is unable to perceive this reality.
The PKK, reproaches the revolutionary movement for recognising the current borders of Turkey in its attitude to the Kurdish question, even though the PKK itself has only a purely nationalist line. The PKK claims to stand for scientific socialism and the views of the working class. This is really an outstanding contradiction; the second contradiction applies to “external” reasons: an independent democratic Kurdish state will not only be rejected by Turkey on strategic grounds, but also by the states of Iran, Iraq and Syria. This “external” factor is as important as the first one.
Another factor which comes into it is the interests of imperialism in the Middle East and its influence over Turkey. This factor can be seen in the advantages which have accrued to imperialism in the developments of the past 10 years. A revolutionary Kurdistan which does not receive sufficient support but wants to separate from Turkey will be strangled at birth, because its existence is not in the interests of imperialism. What the USA thinks about all this is not a secret. For the reasons mentioned above, no nationalist movement, even if it conducts armed struggle, can realise the goal of an independent Kurdistan, if it does not have the perspective of a common struggle, common organisation and a common power to deploy against imperialism and the oligarchy, which dominate Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan. A revolutionary movement which divides the strength of the Kurdish and Turkish working people and, against these hostile powers, only relies on Kurdish national forces will be confronted with political, military and ideological handicaps, as is currently the case.
The war between Iraq and Iran and the Gulf War confirm our remarks cited above.
During the Iran-Iraq War, both of those states lost strength. Kurdish patriots in both lands did not organise jointly with revolutionary movements of the oppressing nations as a national and social force of the whole peoples of Iran and Iraq, and so the revolution could not be pushed forward. On the contrary, they were played off against one another. Moreover, those Kurdish organisations which based their policies on the support of these states have been dealt heavy blows as a result of the peace treaty between Iran and Iraq. Thus both Iranian and Iraqi Kurdish organisations are to blame for the fact that the Kurdish people were massacred.
In short, movements whose horizon is restricted to nationalism have little or no chance of success. Only a common struggle will bring the liberation of the peoples.
YESTERDAY – TODAY
“Imperialism, which today is trying to organise reaction again, to create a so-called peace under its control, is the enemy of all peoples in the region.
The PKK is convinced that in the region, peace and cooperation for the peoples on the basis of equality and freedom cannot be achieved without overthrowing the regime of imperialism and its collaborators.” (Founding manifesto, 1978)
“US imperialism is responsible for the September 12 fascism coming to power. It has erected a regime of oppression and torture in doing so.
Moreover, this regime has done everything to destroy the Kurdish people. While all this happened, the USA was not concerned. On the contrary, it gave its blessing to the suppression of ‘terrorism’ and ‘separatism’. ” (Selected works, volume 4, Abdullah �calan, end of the 1980s, page 133)
TODAY “I don’t say that I am totally against the USA. I am not against the technology, science and the people of the USA. I don’t say that everything American is my enemy. I don’t say that one should have no ties with the USA…” (“Kurdish documents”, 1991, Refet Balli, page 244)
“Certainly we have carried out no actions against US installations or persons, and we have no intention of doing this. Even though we are not at war with the USA, I don’t understand why the USA and its intelligence service see the PKK as the greatest danger in the world. What have we done to the USA to be treated like this? (…) Where have we attacked the interests of the USA to make them come after us like this?” (Abdullah Ocalan in Ozgur Halk(Liberated People), May 15, 1995, page 55)
Source: Halk icin Kurtulus(Liberation for the Peoples), Number 83, May 30 1998, second part of a series about the PKK.