The PKK, Religion And Recent Incidents At The University Of Dicle

Are the latest attacks against patriotic Kurdish youths aimed against the active involvement of the PKK and the BDP in the latest negotiations?






In time we will understand whether the incidents that have been occurring at the University of Dicle in the past few days are the work of a handful of students or part of a centrally administered plot. It is now well known that the Kurdish people’s leader has started a democratic peace process through the democratization of Turkey. We will eventually understand whether this latest series of incidents is aimed at this process or not. I personally hope that it turns out to be the work of a handful of idiots that do not know what they are doing.

It is quite obvious that while in the middle of a peace process initiated by the Kurdish freedom movement it cannot involve itself in clashes that will only strengthen the hands of those not in favour of a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. This line of thought surely also applies to the patriotic Kurdish youth who support the move taken by their leader. The Kurdish freedom movement cannot and shall not be part of any violence other than with the intention of defending itself. The patriotic Kurdish youth shall also not enter into any violent conduct other than to defend itself. Within this context it seems increasingly likely that these latest incidents have been initiated by circles that oppose a democratic solution to the Kurdish question.

We are unable to comment on how much Gulenists (members of the sect led by Fetullah Gulen) have to do with these latest incidents. We do know however, that Gulenists opposed the previous Oslo meetings between us and the Turkish state. They were the ones that leaked the Oslo meetings to the press. The Turkish judiciary (a Gulenist stronghold) attempted to investigate those who attended these meetings on behalf of the state. The Gulenist belief was that the PKK should not be given a seat on the negotiating table. They felt that even if the Kurdish question was to be solved, it should be done so without the involvement of the PKK and the BDP (the Peace and Democracy Party). The subsequent increase in political arrests under the name of the “KCK operations” and the parallel increase in military operations against PKK guerrillas was a product of Gulenist thought. This was done with the belief that as a result of these operations the PKK would become a marginal force. What followed was a two year long period of intense political and military operations.

It is now becoming clear that the Turkish Hizbullah held a similar position. During a recent visit by the newly formed “committee of experts” the leader of a political party close to the Turkish Hizbullah clearly states that he is on the same line as the Gulenists and their police minded so-called writer Emre Uslu. This individual tells the visiting “committee of experts” that if steps are to be taken to solve the Kurdish question they should be done so without the PKK’s involvement. This also comes to mean that they oppose the move taken by the Kurdish people’s leader Mr. Abdullah Ocalan. What this actually means is that during this process the Kurdish people should not be taken seriously. Whether some like it or not, the PKK and the BDP has shown that it is a righteous representative of the Kurdish people. Of course there are other parties and political currents in the mix. However, the overwhelming majority of those struggling for Kurdish political rights are represented by the PKK and the BDP.

Are the latest attacks against patriotic Kurdish youths aimed against the active involvement of the PKK and the BDP in the latest negotiations? The declarations made by the leader of the political party representing the ideology of those involved in the attacks seem to bring this to mind. The Kurdish freedom movement has declared on many occasions that “it will not be in any negative action against these circles if they do not attack our people”. In other previous declarations, calls have been made to these people to not allow themselves and the Islamic faith to be used as part of any plot against Kurdish political demands. While the PKK has insisted on this sort of stance, why these latest attacks? We do not want to engage ourselves with conspiracy theories; however, one cannot help but ask “have forces that do not want a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question come onto the stage?” It is well known that there are certain forces that are happy for the violence to continue between the Kurdish freedom movement and the Turkish state.

The president of the University of Dicle and many of its academic staff are Gulenists. It is also well known that the security forces are dominated by Gulenists. It is being said that these officials are involved in the latest incidents. The clashes at the University of Dicle are reminiscent of the university clashes of the 1970’s. In those years, fascists would attack revolutionary students under the protection of uniformed police officers. The same has happened at the University of Dicle. If the government does not intervene in these incidents, then its sincerity towards the on-going process can be legitimately questioned.

Some circles have tried to provoke the violence even further by claiming that the incidents broke out as a result of the PKK’s approach against Islamist students. This is nothing but demagogy and manipulation! The Kurdish freedom movement’s approach to religion is clear enough for everyone to see. The PKK does not adopt a Western positivist approach to religion. It also does not adopt an understanding in which society is divided into secularists and religious extremists. The PKK holds the belief that both secularism and religious extremism are twin concepts of positivist scientism.

The Kurdish freedom movement defends the freedoms of all religions and faiths. All beliefs should be able to freely worship and practise their religions. It is needless to say that the PKK is against the idea of shaping social, political and cultural structures on a single religion’s teachings. The PKK believes that the right to express and practise one’s spiritual beliefs is a fundamental freedom; for this reason it is completely irrational for some circles to claim that the PKK can take part in any sort of altercation with any group on grounds of religious differences.

The Kurdish freedom movement’s view on religion is very clear. The Kurdish people’s leader has clearly expressed his opinions on these matters in his books; he believes that all religions carry deep social realities within them. In this respect, Mr. Ocalan sees Moses, Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammed and all religious leaders as representatives of certain historical and social realities. Buddha and Confucius are also thought of in this sense.

In summary, the PKK’s approach to religion and all faiths is structured on the basis that all faiths and religions are historical representatives of humanities continuous search for ultimate truths. In this respect, before anyone decides to comment on the PKK’s approach to religion one must read up on and comprehend of Mr Ocalan’s – and therefore the PKK’s – philosophical approach to religion. It is clear for everyone to see that the PKK does not approach religion in the same way as positivist secularists, classical leftists or those that see religion as a means of political exploitation. 

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