Free Mr. Ocalan and Solve the Kurdish Question!

Rebwar Reshid

By Rebwar Rashed:

In this very moments of writing this article Kurds are being killed either by IS, the Islamic State, or by Turkey, a member of NATO and candidate to the EU.

Talking about Mr. Ocalan compels us to retell about much else of the history of the Middle East, otherwise it’s impossible to understand Mr. Ocalan’s case. A new narrative must be told.

It is quite obvious that while Mr. Ocalan was under house arrest in Italy, he was pursued by the most professional intelligence agencies – such as CIA , MOSAD,  M16, MIT and others belonging to the West – which resulted in his being captured in Kenya and handed to Turkish government on Monday, 15th February 1999.

Mr. Abdullah Ocalan is a Kurd. He belongs to the largest nation in the world without its own state, a people that have struggled in history and striven for freedom, respect, national and democratic rights.

Mr. Ocalan was born, by the will of nature, into a Kurdish family in that part of Kurdistan which we Kurds usually call Northern Kurdistan. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, there were new-born states in the Middle East. One of them is Turkey, which became a state after World War 1, on 29th October 1923. Kurds, unlike Arabs and Turks, didn´t got a state of their own. Northern Kurdistan was thus annexed to the new Turkey.

The Turks were well aware of the Kurdish desire to be a sovereign nation too. Unlike the Turks who marched into the Middle East some 800 years ago, Kurds belong to the region’s original population, along with Assyrians and Jews. The Turks had two options in 1923: Either to wage a war against the Kurdish independent struggle or let the Kurds break away from the new Turkey and pave the way to an establishment of mutual interests between Turks and Kurds as two neighbors.

Unfortunately the Turks chose Option 1, that is to fight and suppress Kurdish people.

The Kurdish people have made many uprisings against Turkish oppression in the last 91 years. There were at least 40 different uprisings until the birth of the PKK in 1979. The Turks have a long history of maintaining an administration of suppression. Many ancient people, such as the Laz, Cherkes, Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, were literally exterminated by the Turks. The Turks have been waging genocides against original peoples of the Middle East. Saddam Hussein’s killings, for instance, were a bloody re-run of sad chapters of the history of genocides committed by the Turks long before he was born.

Even acts of slaughtering and beheading people were committed against Kurdish guerrillas by Turkish military forces long before the ISIS/IS atrocities in the area.

Therefore, in order to understand Turkey’s aggression and outrages against the Kurds and against Mr. Ocalan today, we have to understand two very essential points:

  1. The only nation the Turks didn´t succeed in eradicating is the Kurds.
  2. The only political party/ popular uprising Turks didn’t succeed in eradicating is the PKK, Kurdistan Workers Party.

Mr. Ocalan is the head of the PKK, and is ”the world’s most prominent Kurdish figure” in the modern history of the Kurds and one of the great professionals in organizing people and forming political structures. Mr. Ocalan has many political qualities such as charisma, tolerance and political and social vision.

After the successful ISIS attacks on many cities in Iraq and Syria, the International Community, the public democratic opinions of the world, the West and NATO, started to witness a Turkey with far more political ambitions and a more dangerous political agenda than it had feared.

  • Turkey continues to refuse to fight ISIS, despite the release of their 49 hostages by ISIS. Turkey´s border has been almost officially open to jihadists wishing to join ISIS, which is including supplying them with weapons, logistics and medical care.
  • Turkey didn’t hide its intention of rebuilding the old Ottoman Empire, at least, in a political dimension, to “liberate” Jerusalem, and take over more Kurds lands, especially Kurdish oil and other resources.
  • Turkey is still using all kinds of means to stifle the Kurdish defense inside Kobané.
  • Turkey sees Kurds as more of a threat than ISIS/ IS or other Islamic extreme and radical groups. And it is doing its best to isolate the Kurds. Turkey shamelessly tries to represent Kurdish people, to talks for Kurds, about Kurds and on behalf of Kurds.

But the people of Kobané  put up a great resistance; and the entire Kurdish people in Turkey started Turkey-wide protests; Kurds from all parts of Kurdistan, both inside their countries and in abroad, started to protest against Turkey and to demand support for Kobané; the International Community, UN, US, NATO and the democratic public opinion started, slowly but surely, to understand Turkey’s filthy intentions and talk about helping Kobané, including with practical support which yet has to be seen.

Turkey has been unable – in the past, during the past 90 years, and certainly today – despite its uncivilized methods, to suppress the Kurdish struggle for peace and freedom. That’s why Turkey again has two options, like 91 years ago when it became a state.

  1. Solve the Kurdish issue by peaceful and democratic means, by granting the Kurds their national and democratic rights. There are different types of possible political structures – for example, a Kurdish-Turkish Confederation. Turkey can win broader Kurdish sympathy throughout the Middle East and this would pave the way for peaceful coexistence and political and religious pluralism.
  2. Keep waging the dirty war as it has done for the last 90 years. Nobody wins and especially the Turks can never been a winner. The Kurds have proven that they get stronger, more organized, more united, more prepared and skilled to defend themselves and to fight for their rights. If the Kurds will be continually forced to be in a war, they will become stronger to fight for total independence.

There is a wide Kurdish national consensus to go for peaceful solutions simply because the Kurds do not suffer from a sense of inferiority and enjoy great self-confidence. The Turks can no longer, by no means and under no circumstances, cheat the Kurds. Turkey is announcing a “Peace process” but in reality it is doing nothing peaceful in practice. Turkey is thus only playing a game in order to be able to buy more time, hoping of getting rid of the Kurds all of a sudden.

If the Turks choose the new Option 1, first of all they must let Mr. Ocalan be free so he can have his residence in Amed/Diyarbakir, have the opportunity to meet Kurdish people and international political figures and so pave the way for a conciliation process between Turkey and Kurds and the building of practical structures for a union between Kurds and Turkey in a new state – probably, the Confederation of Kurdistan and Turkey.

There was so much clamor about capturing Mr. Ocalan in 1999 but it was really no such big deal as they painted in contemporary media. Mr. Ocalan was defenseless. His imprisonment didn’t just help end his role in the conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish rebels, but everything tells us that he is the main bridge between Kurds and Turks. Let’s preserve, respect and help this bridge to keep us up.

The US, NATO, the West and the International Community must take their share of responsibility and put political, economic and diplomatic pressure on Turkey to solve the Kurdish issue by peaceful means and with no delay.

Let´s have Mr. Ocalan back to his home among his own people!

That´s a good start.

Rebwar Rashed has a Ph.D. degree in Political Science. He has translated several books into Kurdish and also written many articles in Kurdish and English about the Kurdistan National Liberation Movement, human rights, anti-Semitism, equality between the sexes and ethnicities, and the need for a democratic and peaceful struggle.

4 Responses to Free Mr. Ocalan and Solve the Kurdish Question!
  1. Jan Best de Vries
    October 18, 2014 | 12:48

    Maria E. Luten, Azad Kardoi and Jan Best de Vries are writing a historical and political book starting with the Kurds under the final years of the Ottoman empire uptil today, the Dutch title is “Koerdistan is één land”, but we would like it to be translated into American English (Kurdistan is One Country), because American readers should understand that PKK Is not a terrorist organization, but actually Turkey is a terrorist state. We hope to get in Erbil during our stay in December financial support for the translation.

    • Rebwar R
      October 19, 2014 | 16:14

      That´s good news.
      Thank you.
      There are many atrocities commited by Turkish governements, but we Kurds have never have time/ been able to communicate with the West/ Democratic public opinion etc.
      We must start as soon as possibe.
      Thank you again, rebwar

  2. JoopFinland
    October 21, 2014 | 14:47

    And let us not refrain from targeting the Dutch authorities who have been guilty of a. the capture of Öcalan in 1999 while he was asking for permission to stay on Schiphol in the Netherlands, and b. the declaration of PKK as a terrorist organisation and the destroyment of the PKK office in De Blauwe Aanslag in The Hague. I was an eyewittness of the last fact and I wish everybody who fights for real freedom in this world lots of luck

    • Rebwar R
      October 23, 2014 | 15:50

      Through a peaceful and democratic dialogue we have to make the whole world understand that Turkey is not just been fighting Kurdish people, but rather have a history of exterminating other people. Turkish history is full of genocides. This is a tragedy for mankind. It has to be an end to it.
      The Kurdish question deserves much more respect and support than it has received to date.

      Thank you/ Rebwar

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL