THE ATTITUDE TO THE LEFT AND TO ALLIANCES
The attitude of the PKK to the left and to alliances can be divided by us into different phases. The phase up to 1980 was characterised by various fights with the left. One can truly say that in this period alliances and unifications were not in the PKK’s programme.
Only after the September 12, 1980 coup did the PKK become aware of the need for alliances. Experience in the period when the United Front of Resistance To Fascism arose shows that alliance arose from need and weakness at the time.
In the PKK’s history, the third alliance phase stands in contrast to the second. Here the conception of alliances was marked by an emphasis on “strength”. The number of alliances in which the PKK played a leading role helped bring this about and the number of bilateral and trilateral agreements soared. Alliances and agreements were concluded, fell apart and were unilaterally declared null and void, sometimes all on the same day. In doing so it was publicly announced that some forces were enemies and hostile while others were friends. But most of these alliances and agreements were created by the PKK and at the same time rendered null and void by it. No balance sheet was drawn up, nor was a reckoning given. The PKK’s attitude to the left and alliances caused chaos in the alliances.
THE NUMBER ONE LINE OF THE PKK TOWARDS THE LEFT
CONTEMPT FOR THE LEFT
After the PKK had attained a certain amount of strength, its adopted a slighting and contemptuous attitude to the left. Here are some examples of the PKK’s views on and assessment of the left:
“The Turkish left is a left which has dragged itself along slowly and remained backward in the class. (…) In the ideological sense it is very dogmatic, either extremely liberal or very dogmatic. In the political sense it is truly sectarian and not capable of the flexibility that is needed. (.. .) It is not the vanguard in the struggle but rather an obstacle to it. (… ) but the quality of the people has declined so much, they are so much in the grip of the system that they cannot come to their senses at all. (…) They have not cleanly broken with the state ideologically, their separation from it has not been complete.” (Öcalan, “The current problems of the guerrilla struggle”, April 1980)
As can be seen from this, the left has no positive characteristics whatsoever. So it can be treated as though it doesn’t exist. But it gets worse.
“You know and see yourselves that the left is a heap of ruins. Let us take a look at socialism and the state of the left organisations.
How did the castrated left, the left which has broken into 40 different bits , the good-for-nothing false left, which has been basically just like the right up to now, and which was wiped out in the particular struggle at the time of the September 12 coup, how did it get like that? Has it been able to organise the merest hint of an opposition? In the struggle for rights has it been able to make even the slightest progress? No. The left today is at its most scattered, least organised, most gossip-mongering, most incapable of achieving any results, has shrunk to its smallest size and is now in the position of vagabonds who are good for nothing (…) (Öcalan, Serxwebun, Number 107, November 1990)
Adjectives were chosen to make the left look bad and to insult it. This approach to the left in Turkey, which counts its past for nothing, sees nothing positive about it, counts its achievements as worthless, all this is nothing other than an assessment which has nothing in common with reality… Is it itself not the result of this same past?
Are there no aspects of the left that can be criticised, are there no mistakes or shortcomings? It is clear that there are but these are absent from this criticism. The conclusion that can be drawn from the criticisms is that those uttering them feel contempt, a desire to humiliate, to kep secret all the positive values that have been created before and are being created now, yes, all theyare trying to do is utter insults. What right have they to do that? I have such-and-such a number of guerrillas… Fundamentally their right to utter such insults springs from that. But that is not how revolutionary criticism is conducted. To possess a certain amount of strength, to have a certain number of armed guerrillas does not give anyone that right.
On the one hand, their attitude to the left weakens their statements vis-a- vis alliances with the left. If the left is as they portray it, possessing nothing positive and incapable of beginning anything, it begs the question why they would want to form alliances with it.
Because this left has made no contribution to the people’s struggle, nor to the national movement. With a left which is in such a situation as that described: “it is not the vanguard in the struggle but rather an obstacle to it” and leaving aside any contribution to a possible alliance, there is still an obstacle: why should anyone at all make an alliance with such a left?
Here the true reason is factors like the need to present oneself as in favour of alliances, or to show the organisation to be correct at the national level. The PKK is agreeable, it wants to form alliances, it will even grant all kinds of help (money, weapons, personnel) but the left is useless. Whatever is done, nothing will result from it. The PKK wants to create such an image. But this image has nothing to do with reality. The left is neither in the state the PKK has described, nor is the PKK so active in matters of alliance-building as it portrays itself to be.
THE SECOND MAIN LINE IN THE PKK’S APPROACH TO THE LEFT.
Good, so what happens when somebody on the left, despite everything, takes seriously the PKK’s calls to form alliances and seriously seeks to form an alliance? Then pragmatism and the mentality of wanting to exploit the left will come into the foreground. The PKK will have a positive attitude to those who want to form an alliance if they can be “controlled” and “exploited” as a means of achieving aims which are reformist and prepared for compromise.
Their main aim will be to win such people to their “peace” policy in the political sense, to get them to put their strength towards furthering this.
On the other hand they will try to use these forces in the military sense for logistical purposes and for support in the cities. But in any case the PKK will be the ones who determine everything and force things on everyone. They themselves will not accept any obligations towards the others. the PKK will not let itself be criticised by the “alliance forces”. In practice they force the others to lose their own political identities. In most alliances formed by the PKK this has been the dominant line. The PKK knows that when it signed protocols with eight or ten organisations, which previously had some influence but which now barely exist, these did not contibute much to the struggle but did allow the PKK to profit from the left’s weaknesses, on the basis of the reasons cited above. Nearly all organisations which were in alliance for a time thoroughly lost their own identities and mutated into propagandists for the PKK. No organisation came out of such an alliance strengthened. Alliances should strengthen all their participants and allow them to develop, but despite stateements by the PKK that task was never fulfilled.
For example, in 1988 there was the Revolutionary Unity Platform… This was founded by the PKK, the Acilciler (translator’s note: “The Ones Who Are In A Hurry”, a group which said it followed the teachings of Mahir Cayan and carried out armed actions, especially in the 1970s), the DKP, the TKP (B), the SVP and the June 16 Movement. Which of these organisations/movements are still in existence today? But at the time this alliance was said to be the “only road to liberation”.
Another example is the Alliance of Revolutionary Democratic Forces, founded in 1993… The members were the PKK, the TKEP (Communist Labour Party of Turkey), the MLSPB (Marxist-Leninist Armed Propaganda Unit) the TKP-Kivilcim (Communist Party of Turkey-Spark), the TKP/ML Hareketi (Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist Movement) (which is today part of the MLKP or Marxist-Leninist Communist Party), the TDP (Revolution Party of Turkey) and Devrimci Partizan (Revolutionary Partisan)… The questions cited above apply also to this alliance.
WHAT FINALLY HAPPENED TO THESE ALLIANCES?
NEITHER THE PKK NOR THE OTHERS OFFICIALLY ENDED THE ALLIANCE.
But a different ending to the alliance than this one can hardly be expected, when one side (the PKK) constantly importunes the others, who are seen as inferior, while the other side, accepting these conditions, gives in.
The PKK’s contempt for the left and its simultaneous conclusion of alliances with it has led a lack of seriousness on its part going hand in hand with the contempt. For this reason, alliances were established to serve the temporary interests of the PKK in making propaganda, and after a certain amount of time these alliances were left to their fate.
“both with the left in Turkey and with the state in Turkey”
The way the PKK views the peoples of Turkey, the democratic, revolutionary organisations from the viewpoint of alliance was shown by us in previous sections of our series: “The secondary element of secondary alliances…”
Alliances and agreements with the left were never so important for the PKK in any phase.
In periods when there were obvious weaknesses which needed new areas to be addressed for propaganda purposes, or some aspect of Turkey was seen as offering new room for manoeuvre, then relations with the left were granted more importance than hitherto.
BUT THIS DID NOT CHANGE THINGS IN ESSENTIALS.
Proof that nothing really changed in the way they saw alliances lay in the way they sought alliance partners among the bourgeoisie, instead of giving precedence to revolutionary circles. And finally the PKK had this to say with regard to its politics of compromise, the politics of “if you do not make peace with us we will escalate the war”: ” (…) From the beginning we have been prepared to enter into discussions with the Turkish left and the Turkish state.” (Öcalan, “At The Turning-Point For Actually Existing Socialism”, January 1990)
The PKK gives itself two alternatives. One is the left in Turkey, the other is the state… Such an equating of the two is not the product of revolutionary logic. This logic continues: since the left in Turkey is useless, all that is left is the state. That is why the left in Turkey is also to blame for the efforts and attempts of the PKK to hold talks with the state and reach compromise with it. This is because the PKK simply has no other choice; making compromises becomes a strategy and they try to use the “left in Turkey” as a cover for it.
To the extent that “peace” takes precedence, aliances with revolutionaries take a back seat:
When the PKK concluded that an “independent Kurdistan” was possible in spite of Turkey and the other states in the region, its preferences, primary interests and alliances also corresponded with that. After it dispensed with socialism and an independent Kurdistan, all that was left were solutions within the system, such as a federation, autonomy, national and cultural autonomy, that is, bourgeois solutions. To achieve this intention means having no more interest in alliances with the revolutionary left (here the entire revolutionary left is meant). Bringing the state to the negotiating table, uniting with the state and placing hopes in the imperialists are all now praised as far-seeing tactics.
Under these circumstances they do not scruple to attack the left. Because the left which they despise is, despite its failings and mistakes, against the system, that is, it tries to change the system and destroy the state. It is not possible for opponents of the system and those who are not against it to be side by side. Alliances are formed correspondingly. They try hard to find “progressive” elements in bourgeois circles (especially the monopoly bourgeoisie).
Alliances for the sake of the “peace” propaganda become an essential part of alliance politics. Electoral alliances take precedence. Reformists are preferred as partners. but this does not mean a complete end to ties with the revolutionary movement. Since the oligarchy has long failed to take any steps towards peace, the PKK thinks it useful to keep the revolutionary movement in reserve. Relations are maintained on this basis.
MESSAGES TO THE OLIGARCHY SENT VIA THE REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT
The pragmatism of the PKK results in inconceivable behaviour when it comes to its views on and assessment of the left. It uses its relations to address the oligarchy.
For example, when the PKK is laying stress on peace, its leadership starts to talk of condemning “terrorism”. It does this because of an assessment which treats the revolutionary movement as a target.
“Dev-Sol carries out good actions but it has no effect on politics. They have not ben able to develop a connection between terror and politics. Now they are unsuccessful.” (The Kurdish File, page 256)
“The result: the left in Turkey is at its most non-functioning, its weakest and only serves to cover the failings of the regime. Why? Because they proceed from a false understanding… Dev-Sol and other organisations try to develop revolutionary terror actions and will fail, and they know it. Fundamentally it is an outburst of anger that they are not carrying out actions. Occasional violent actions do not have the character of weakening the regime, rather they trengthen it. Because they are not used as means for an overall struggle against the “special war” it cannot be expected that they will annihilate the apparatus for “special warfare”, on the contrary, because of its weaknesses it will even strengthen this entire structure…” (Öcalan, Serxwebun Number 118, page 11, October 1991)
Öcalan’s description of revolutionary violence as terror is not a slip of the tongue. He repeats it in countless public statements and interviews.
(…) The left in Turkey is fairly backward. You speak of Dev-Sol. They are very out of control, I don’t know if we should call them terrorist. They are very primitive. Can they fit into classical definitions of terrorism? Our situation is different. For us violence is simply an instrument of politics. ” (Öcalan, interviewed by Semih Idiz for Cumhuriyet, December 7, 1991)
The designations above serve to supplement the expressions used earlier. Devrimci Sol is called a “terroist” organisation. This is not an unfamiliar term to us. But we are not accustomed to hearing it from a movement waging an armed struggle against the oligarchy.It should be the oligarchy and not the PKK using the term. The PKK has been called that for years, and it still is. As though there were people who simply see revolutionary violence as an end in itself, they say for them violence is an instrument of politics and then spreads the rumour that Devrimci Sol is interested in violence for its own sake. This statement comes from classis literature on terrorism. What is the PKK trying to tell the oligarchy? It is quite clear that it is trying to send a message. Another declaration at the same time clarifies the message in a way that leaves little room for doubt. “How they want to change Turkey is a mystery to me. Perhaps we could reach agreement with them, but they are very out of control. It is hard to make even one of them tractable. Should we call them terrorist, they are very primitive.” (Sabah, December 7, 1991, same interview)
the message to the oligarchy is: “You can reach an agreement with us, but not with Devrimci Sol.” “You can’t change them.” For someone who is hellbent on reaching agreement with the oligarchy, it is naturally difficult to be seen together with Devrimci Sol, or the DHKP-C.
The pragmatism of the PKK produces an original variation on exploitation. Of course the revolutionary movement does not permit such relations with itself . But the PKK exploits the revolutionary movement in its absence, as it were . A journalist asks the PKK leader: “There is talk of an agreement by the PKK with Dev-Sol. Is Dev-Sol the long arm of the PKK in the cities?” Öcalan replies: “In general, the situation I have created allows the left a little room to breathe. But to say that we have given Dev-Sol a task or a commission to carry out is very improbable. It is true that Dev-Sol gets strength from us. But we have never given them instructions to go and kill such and such a person. I want to make that perfectly clear. We can really make good use of them. The Turkish left is very backward.” (same interview)
They do not give Dev-Sol “a particular commission”, but they could if they wanted to. And if they want to make use of this they will! The PKK is ready to reach agreemnt with the state. So the state must make good use of this. If the state does not come to an ageeement, the PKK can cause a bloodbath by firing wildly on crowds of people in Kapalicarsi (a marketplace), or it can give tasks to Devrimci Sol. They can exploit it.
In relations among revolutionaries there is no room for words like exploit, and the logic of exploitation. This logic, this mentality is the bourgeoisie’s, which is accustomed to exploiting everyone. Revolutionary and democratic public opinion can bear witness that the DHKP-C never has had such a mentality and will not let anyone else exploit it. But these excerpts we quoted quite clearly reflect the PKK’s attitude to the left
ANOTHER LINE OF THE PKK IN TIES WITH THE LEFT:
TAKING NOTHING SERIOUSLY, NOT PRESENTING A RECKONING.
The PKK has not even assumed responsibility to the movements with which it has concluded an alliance. One assumes that it has formed a front with these organisations/parties. Consequently it is correct that all matters cited in the programme of the front should firstly be discussed by the front. The PKK does not do that. It shuts out its partners in its front and talks to others in the first instance.
The PKK is quite insensitive to criticism from the left. There are no replies to current criticisms. An explanation is sought but they don’t even bother with that. The PKK does not consider it necessary to give an explanation of various statements that are of concern to the revolutionary movement. When the revolutionary movement criticised these statements and the mentality underlying them, it wrote in an article in Berxwedan,”The death agony of the Turkish state”, the following: “(…) TC (The Republic of Turkey) and the press which obeys it like to cover up a great deal… There will be no contact for these maters on grounds of revolutionary responsibility and principles (…) The friends of the Dev-Sol movement must also be able to see these facts. It is not a serious attitude when these friends have the habit of answering every statement in the bourgeois press and expect us to do the same. To take everything seriously and then publish declatations and distribute them is a sign of not understanding reality. In our opinion this does not aid strengthening fraternity among the peoples (.. .)” (Berxwedan, page 4, December 31, 1991)
The PKK says it will not answer everything that is written in the bourgeois press. But a revolutionary movement the PKK call friends is also called terrorist by it, exactly the same way the state does. It is quite obvious taht a game is being played here. If it is the oligarchy playing this game, is the aim to get two movements warring against the state to quarrel with each other, because of statements in the bourgeois press, or is it something else? Not to take this matter seriously, not to quarrel with it itself shows a lack of responsibility and seriousness in a movmeent which is for the friendship of the peoples, community and solidarity among the revolutionary movements? But in general the PKK does not display this responsibility. It places no value on saying, “Yes, we said those words,” or “the press distorted that.” Exaggeration of their own strength and egocentrism
In the PKK one can see a huge amount of the petite bourgeoisie’s special characteristics of exaggerating their own strength and egocentrism. The opposite of this characteristic, namely not trusting in the peole and in their own strength, and exaggerating the strength of the enemy are further peculiaritie, and the first peculiarity is very pronounced here. These two sides of the same coin result in constant deviations to the left or the right, a kind of zigzag.
As we mentioned before, the massacre in Maras was a typical example of this. December 1978, when it happened, was also the year the PKK was founded. This being the case, the PKK sees the massacre on December 24 as a provocation directed against it: “This is certainly fascism’s reply to the feelings we managed to arouse.”
The same procedure also happened after the announcement of the fascist military putsch on September 12, 1980, even if the tale grew even more exaggerated with the telling.
As one sees, there is not the experience, the breadth of the class struggle in turkey inthe assessments the PKK makes. Absolutely everything is about the PKK itself. The state of emergency only came about because it existed and because of its struggle. Even the collapse of the Ecevit government was because of its failure to halt the development of the PKK. Even the occupation of Lebanon was supposedly aimed at the PKK and was menat to drive it out.
In the same way, the attacks of the oligarchy on political prisoners such as the August 1 decree and the start of discussions about the cofffins (prisons ) of Eskisehir were seen by the PKK as an attack on it. Here the declaration about Eskisehir prison is of interest.
In the PKK’s view, the conditional releases in 1991 were a provocation the Republic of Turkey was arranging against it, but since the PKK was aware of it, it managed to render it ineffective via the so-called “dungeon conference”: on November 1, 1991the provocation by Mehmet Sener was rendered ineffective, and so on November 2, 1991 the next provocation was started in the form of the Eskisehir prison. Although the opening of death cells in Eskisehir was seen as a provocation against the PKK, the PKK only responded to it with a few days of hunger-striking. They put up no serious resistance to it but after the victory they did not hesitate to call themselves the victors.
Another example: “Colonialism has carried out certain undertakings as a reaction to our congress. One of these is the massacre of our Alevi people in Istanbul/Gazi. The decisions of our congress with regard to the cities of Turkey and the revolution in Turkey and the successful steps taken in these directions have caused the regime to carry out such a massacre…” (Özgür Halk, January 1996, number 62)
The effects of the PKK’s egocentrism on ties with the left are reflected in its desire that nobody outside the ranks of the PKK can be successful. The entire left has to mould its policy along PKK lines. That is their wish. Their attempt to tie the left to themselves through alliances is a result of this mentality. It has reached the point that they are unaware other organisations and movements even possess an independent political identity. So any development independent of them has to be something the Republic of Turkey cooked up. Their assessments and vivid fantasising about the punishment of Sabanci are a result of this development.
The subjectivity caused by egocentrism is far from being able to assess events precisely and come to correct conclusions. This being the case, theories about plots fill the vacuum.
Everything that the state’s institutions and imperialism do is directed because of and against the PKK. So there is one plot after another, one wave of infiltrators after another, one provocateur intrigue after another. All decisions and tactical alterations are caused by the PKK. In short, there is no end to plots, infiltrators and provocateurs because everyone wants to hem in and destroy the PKK.
SO THE HISTORY OF THE PKK IS A HISTORY OF THESE EVENTS.
AGENTS PROVOCATEURS, THE HOST-GUEST MENTALITY AND THE ROLE OF THE PKK IN
DISPUTES AMONG THE LEFT
The PKK based its attitude to the intra-left disputes it played an important part in before September 12, 1980 (the military coup) upon this mentality. This mentality even caused it to make the confrontations worse. For example, the Tekosin movement was declared to consist of informers and provocateurs working for the Republic of Turkey, and was almost annihilated. The HK (People’s Liberation), the DHB (Revolutionary People’s Unity) and other organisations and platforms, among them various other Kurdish organisations,politics in practice were called “servants of the Republic of Turkey” and they too were partly destroyed. Hundreds were killed in these clashes. The independent political identity of other formations and their corresponding right to uphold their politics in practice was ignored. It sufficed for these political formations to engage in politics the PKK did not agree with for the PKK to turn against these organisations. The PKK mentality was that there was a plot behind everything, and a lot of groups were called “servants”, “agents provocateurs” and seen as part of a vast Republic of Turkey plot against the PKK, and the PKK acted in accordance with this viewpoint. The PKK has desired of all organisations that they give up independent politics and implement those of the PKK, indeed it has insisted upon it.
The statements of the PKK in 1978 make clear its distorted attitude towards other organisations in Kurdistan: “All those who gather under the banner of patriotism are counted as part of the democratic forces. Democratic rules will apply inside these forces. Those who gather under another banner – assuming they have not been deceived – do not even have the right to live.” (The Road to Revolution in Kurdistan)
The patriotic banner, as the PKK says, is that of the PKK. This attitude made sure that fights among the left had their origin in the PKK leadership. It is significant that among all the revolutionary organisations active in Kurdistan there were scarcely any which did not become involved in clashes with the PKK.
The main reason for this is the PKK’s attempts to wipe out by force other revolutionary, patriotic forces, because it had little faith in the people and itself.
Our organisation saw the clashes at the time and the PKK’s attitude in the following way:
“The clashes inside the left in Kurdistan have become more violent than the struggle against the oligarchy and have degenerated into outright hostilities. In the clashes between the KUK and the PKK, the UDG and the PKK and HK and the PKK, umpteen revolutionaries have been killed. In the mountains, clashes have involved the use of automatic weapons. When the PKK (the supporters of Apo) began the clashes, it wanted to win supremacy through violence, it did not occur to it to wage an ideological struggle.” (Devrimci Sol magazine, July 1980, number 3, page 6)
The development of the PKK after 1984 shows that the PKK is not so heavily involved in clashes on the left, but this is not evidence that it has abandoned its false line. For there has been no self-criticism of this phase and these clashes. In this sense, there is also no guarantee that if the same conditions were to occur again, such things would not be repeated. The murder of four TDKP (Revolutionary Communist Party of Turkey) members in Dersim in 1993 shows that there has been no fundamental change of attitude. This incident showed that the PKK saw itself as the host and other organisations working there should wait for permission before beginning their activities. According to this mentality, the PKK would be a guest in Turkey, and would have to ask the left for permission. Has the PKK actually asked for permission, for example when deciding to expand to Turkey?…
This mentality of the PKK shows how superficial it is in its attitude to left and alliances. It also perpetuates the possibility of clashes on the left breaking out. The host-guest mentality makes it very difficult to form alliances in which there are mutual obligations.
At the fifth congress of the PKK in 1995, the following statement could be made without hesitation:
“The class struggle in Turkey is nothing other than this situation. The left could not overcome its status as objectively agents, and today to a large extent they are subjectively agents as well.” The PKK wants to draw everybody to practice the politics of the PKK, to lay their political identity to one side and become a part of the “politics of peace and compromise”. Those who do not fulfil this wish are seen as a long arm of the “special war”. This attitude condemns all alliances to death from the very beginning.
MIDDLE EASTERN-STYLE POLITICS
PRAGMATISM DETERMINES EVERYTHING
The PKK’s ties to Barzani and Talabani (leaders of Kurdish parties in Iraqi Kurdistan) are in accordance with its perceived needs. The PKK has sometimes called Barzani and Talabani “collaborators”, “traitors” and agents, and at other times they have been called “patriots”. It is not clear where hostilities start and friendship begins. The viewpoint of PKK leader A. Öcalan was expressed in the following statement when asked whether he would sit at the same table as Barzani. “Of course we will sit at the same table. These matters are not so important for me, we would also sit down with the devil.” (The Kurdish File, page 225, Rafet Belli)
To show the significance of alliances for the PKK we have only to glance at a declaration made after an official, written treaty with the KDP (Barzani’s party). According to the PKK, “this was not serious. The KDP understands nothing about alliances.” Then it was said that such alliances were concluded because of “liquidationism”.
These clear statements show the pragmatism which underlies their concept of alliances.
There are an almost infinite number of articles in PKK publications which describe the treachery of Talabani and Barzani. Sometimes they are called “traitors”, sometimes they are commanders of “Hamidiye” units. (Translator’s note: these were Kurdish irregular forces which served the Ottoman Empire during World War I.) But then the same Talabani appears at Öcalan’s side so a common declaration can be read out by them.
With this outlook, the PKK leadership saw no problem with Dogu Princek, who is notorious for betraying revolutionaries and patriots to the authorities. They even praised him in a manner he did not deserve: “Dogu came a great distance and was a guest for a couple of days. Is that a lot? Dogu can be proud that he came to see us in 1989 and 1991. He had courage to come like that… While Dogu does that, the people who constantly and shamelessly criticise us do not even send us a greeting…” (The Kurdish File, page 308, Rafet Belli)
Through its pragmatism and lack of principle, the PKK is in a state in which it can exploit everything and everybody for its current and day-to-day needs .
Developing relations on the basis of daily (short-term) requirements, according to the relationship of forces based on one’s own advantage, all this fundamentally represents Middle Eastern-style politics. In this kind of politics, behaviour is not based on principle but on day-to-day requirements , and those treated as friends today can be called enemies tomorrow. The PKK has actually tried to theorise this:
“The diplomatic and political calculations which are of great interest at the international level will increasingly become predominant. Today anyone can occupy a particular position and tomorrow it can be seen that they have changed their position. Today’s enemy can be tomorrow’s frind and vice versa. It is a requirement of politics to see such rapid alterations and be prepared for them. The language of politics in the Middle East requires contradictory and different attitudes to be accepted as a fact. An attitude such as “friendship forever” or “eternal enmity” is not very meaningful.” (Ali Firat, in Özgür Halk, number 72, 1996, page 72)
WHAT THE PKK CANNOT ENDURE, AND THE ROOTS OF IT
In the assessments of the PKK about Devrimci Sol yesterday and the DHKP-C today, there is always thorn in their flash that they cannot endure.
On the one hand they cannot bear the strict refusal to become part of the PKK’s politics. On the other hand there is their lack of self-confidence in the face of the politics of the Party-Front.
At present, when the PKK talks of things like expanding to Turkey, alliances and various other things, these have always been present in the politics of the Party-Front. On the other hand the PKK absolutely does not want the left to develop as an alternative. Its attitude to alliances is a clear token of this.
Only the oligarchy can be unhappy that the struggle of Devrimci Sol and the DHKP-C is going forward. The advance and expansion of a people’s movement which takes the armed struggle as its basis is in our country the greatest support that the national people’s liberation movement can have. It simultaneously means the advance of the struggle and spreading actions against the enemy throughout the land.
Why do they not want the leftist movement to go forward, when on every occasion it is called “incapable of moving forward”, “leading nothing” and even “making the work of the state easier”, when the situation is thus?
For it is clear that the PKK, now trying to force itself on the state, is weakened by such a development – in contrast to its earlier status, when it was the only movement in Turkey conducting an armed struggle, and with these recent developments its reformist and compromising politics are being choked.
For this reason we can say from the viewpoint of unification that groups which deviate from their political viewpoints, which try to gain something via the pragmatic attitude with the help of the PKK’s strength give the PKK the courage to pay no heed to the left movement, all unifications that have been achieved or are being achieved under the motto “deny thyself and come unto me” will contribute to developing unification. The PKK which has this logic tries to cover this kind of logic p, with the help of the left movement.
THIS BASIC FACT MUST NOT BE FORGOTTEN BY ANYONE:
To the extent political alliances have any strength, are achieved on the basis of maintaining and continuing an independent identity. In the alliances which are created around the PKK, this understanding does not exist. If the partner in an alliance doe have such an attitude, the PKK will set the protocol aside before two days have passed.
Twenty years of practical activity on the left are enough to show that such alliances do not last long.
Despite the PKK’s apparent readiness to engage in alliances, the unwritten condition is clearly discernable that alliances will be accepted with those who “say yes to an alliance under the leadership of the PKK” and those who take part are not allowed to assert themselves in the struggle in Kurdistan.
This alliance contains invisible conditions. Participants are not allowed to have any ambitions in the struggle in Kurdistan. The PKKexpects these movements to set in motion in turkey developments corrsponding to those in Kurdistan. Since they are conducting a guerrilla struggle in Kurdistan, the “left in Turkey” must support the Kurdish national liberation struggle in the cities. As already mentioned, the PKK, which conducts an armed struggle in Kurdistan, sees the armed struggle in Turkey as terrorism. The PKK which actually ought to be glad of the existence of an organisation which conducts an armed struggle in Turkey, instead sends the oligarchy messages with the various assessments it makes and is quite clear that it does not want an independent left with its own political identity.
This logic, whatever its intention may be, cannot approve of the development of the revolutionary struggle apart from its own.
The PKK, which looks down on the left in Turkey, winning and exploiting some structures for themselves which show a large number of weaknesses and inadequacies and have not completely found their political identity, must see a political line which speaks of the fraternity of the peoples and a joint struggle as a barrier to the PKK’s own struggle and so prefer to view it as a development which supports the special war and fascism.
DEVRIMCI SOL ASSESSED THIS LOGIC OF THE PKK IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:
“As in everything the PKK does, in undertaking an alliance-front it is currently at midpoint. Not alliances, not a common struggle, in its own words it looks for ‘groups and grouplets which lack character and identity which can be made use of’. Although it is a force which struggles, it has never tried to achieve alliances which can drive the struggle forward. On this point it can never achieve success. It has never managed it.” Central Committee of Devrimci Sol, “Let us raise the struggle against false alliances”
As can be seen, we are opposed to a culture of alliances which must be changed.
The PKK is a national movement which has been responsible for important developments up to a certain point in the struggle of the peoples of Turkey. >From its struggle, its guerrilla war – both in the positive and the negative sides – lessons can be drawn. However it must be noted the the unfavourable attitude shown in alliances with the left cast the greatest shadow on the achievements of the guerrilla struggle.
To emerge from this shadow is the same as furthering the struggle of the peoples of Turkey. Pushing forward revolutionary alliances. Ignoring criticism or reacting to it violently will not remove the shadow of it at all. As we have shown in our series, we are talking about complete and utter pragmatism. There is inconsistent behaviour, where what was said yesterday has no value today.
ALL THIS MUST BE DISCUSSED.
We believe that our peoples, Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Georgians, Cherkess, Laz, Bosnians, all the people of Anatolia will remove, improve the revolutionary unification of our peoples. They will establish revolutionary people’s power in Anatolia. Those who have a part in this historic achievement must be open and ruthless about their mistakes, because of infinite responibility towards the peoples.
On this point everyone will be assessed and judged by history.