Interview with Cemil Bayik, co-representative of the executive committee of the Kurdistan Communities Union – 05.04.2023


With each day that passes it becomes clearer that the results of the upcoming presidential elections in Turkey will be decisive for the future of the country. The vote on the 14th May is a “vote of fate”, as it is called by many, for both the revolutionary-democratic forces as well as for the forces behind the fascist regime consisting of Erdogan’s Islamist AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party MHP . The election takes place 100 years after the foundation of the country in a time when the republic faces it’s perhaps largest crisis so far. The war of extermination against the revolutionary movement in Kurdistan and it’s allied democratic forces waged in the past 8 years has bled out the economy of the country, and an expansionist and aggressive politics of occupation in the region as well as the open support for jihadist forces such as the Islamic State and Al-Qaidahave led Turkey into a deadend regarding their foreign policy. While both incapable to distance itself from the Western bloc under the leadership of the USA due to economic and military dependencies and simultaneously ogling with the Eurasian bloc with the Russian Federation, Turkey stand between the fronts, can neither advance nor retreat, and risks a further decline.

The terrible earthquake that haunted vast regions of North and West Kurdistan as well as regions in the West of Syria and Turkey at the beginning of February laid open all the deficits and showed the entire world what the current state of Erdogan’s regime is. The more than 50’000 official deaths (some say that more than 100’000 died) were not the direct result of an inevitable natural catastrophe, but are primarily the result of a building industry which has been in cahoots with those in power since decades and is corrupt, leading to insufficient standards regarding materials and oversight and unscrupulous bungles, as well as an absolutely insufficient preparation for catastrophes. Until today people are struggling for their survival in the hit areas and are attempting to save their existence under the rubble on their very own. As a reaction to the destruction in vast areas of Kurdistan and the foreseeable humanitarian disaster, Cemal Bayik, the co-representative of the political umbrella organization of the Kurdish liberation movement, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), declared a unilateral halt on military operations and that the guerrilla would limit itself to acts of self-defense if attacked. Despite ongoing Turkish attacks against bases of the guerrilla in South Kurdistan as well as against liberated areas of Northern and Eastern Syria, the Kurdish liberation movement has declared to uphold this halt of military operations until after the upcoming presidential elections. Less than a month before the elections, it remains difficult to foresee what result will be brought about on May 14th. The Kurdish liberation movement has repeatedly declared that a vote alone will not defeat fascism and that it is possible that the regime of Erdogan will attempt to hold on to power with all means necessary. The situation in Turkey is highly dynamic and the outcome of the elections as well as the events surrounding May 14th will influence the entire region of the Middle East both directly and indirectly. It is therefore all the more important for revolutionary forces to follow, analyze, and assess the situation and all developments to be able to draw the correct consequences. The interview with Cemil Bayik at hand is a very valuable testimony that allows us a detailed insight into the background of the ongoing struggle for power in Turkey and the region, and with remarkable clarity it sketches a revolutionary perspective that goes far beyond the upcoming election.

Bayik forcefully underlines the importance of Kurdistan’s revolution for the democratization of Turkey and the region as well as what the far-reaching importance of these proceedings could be for the global revolutionary-democratic movement. He highlights how the situation in Turkey is connected to the global power struggles between imperialists. For these reasons, this document is also a very valuable reading for the revolutionary movement in the capitalist centers.

Widerstandsvernetzung Zürich 2023

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