PKK leader Murat Karayılan’s interview with the Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post (JP) should have brought about heated discussions among the “socialist” groups in the HDP component, but obviously, they have their heads in the sand that is their survival strategy when it comes to a “sensitive” issue.
Karayılan was very frank because of his concern to convey his messages to his interlocutors more clearly and directly. Karayılan’s clarity should help socialists and revolutionaries to become clear.
With Joe Biden winning the elections in the USA, the “superpower” of the world, all actors had positive or negative expectations. It was no secret to anyone that the PKK wanted to deepen its relations with the US in this new era. Obviously, Karayılan wants to address both Israel and the United States through the interview.
Karayılan declared to the Israeli newspaper that he recognizes the right of the state of Israel to exist and declared his support for Zionism. Moreover, we cannot see even the slightest criticism of what is done to the Palestinians, who are oppressed people like the Kurdish people. Moreover, at a time when the USA and Israel put the final nail in the coffin of Palestine with the Agreement of the Century… Karayılan could not have been more generous to Israel than this.
Once again we see that when it comes to “national interests” there is no point in expecting consistency. Let us emphasize once again that the unity and solidarity of the oppressed are possible only through the red flag of socialism.
However, Karayılan is aware of the fact that their allies, the USA-Israel, are allergic to the “red.” So he feels the need to explain his “red” past: “When we founded the PKK, Marxist-Leninism was a trend, and we were influenced by these ideas. We, however, criticized the Soviet ideology. That is why when the Soviet Union collapsed we were not affected negatively, because we always kept a distance from them”.
In other words, Karayılan says bluntly or puts it to say that “we are for the US-Israel bloc, we have never been anti-US, do not call us Marxists, in the past Marxism-Leninism, was already in fashion, but we were never Sovietists which was hostile to the US. we have not been, we are already working together in the field, you can trust us, support and protect us more. “
Karayılan’s Jerusalem Post interview does not contain anything we do not know, only clearer expressions are used instead of implicit phrases. The timing and address of the interview required this. These are the things that the PKK has already said and implemented in the field.
What should we get from this?
We often come across those who defend that “the attitude of the Kurdish National Movement (KNM) should be justified as an effort to survive against a stronger enemy than itself”. Let’s say it is. But remember that every relationality gets you somewhere. You cannot ally with the USA-Israel and say “I am the most progressive, most libertarian”. It would be ridiculous. This is called shifting to the right, to liberalism, and a good shift towards narrow-minded nationalism. This part of the work is directly related to KNM. But the issue is not limited to this.
KNM is trying to lead the socialist movement and labor organizations in Turkey in this line that is the focus of the big problem.
Trying to be a strategic ally of the US-Israel, saying that Marxism and the class are dead, keeping business with the national and foreign ruling classes, and leading the socialist left and labor organizations while adopting the ideology of reactionary postmodern identity at the same time does not seem so possible but that is the case. It became possible because of the fact that the left has shrunken inside its bureaucratic shell which long since entered the orbit of the KNM, both organizationally and ideologically, to a large extent.
These groups are so dead that they neither attempt to criticize Osman Baydemir’s (a historical figure of the KNM) confession (HDP’s attempt to ally with Erdogan after the elections of June 7, 2015) nor Karayılan’s interview we have mentioned above. There is no small hint of criticism. This is complete surrender. It is tragicomic is that component parties of the HDP consider themselves more revolutionary than anyone else. They became deputies from the HDP list, seats are shared accordingly in labor organizations such as KESK(the leftist confederation of the public employees) which has completely sank.
We have to underline another crucial point in criticizing the KNM: of course, revolutionary socialists will continue to strongly oppose the oppression of the Kurds and the suppression of the HDP. Revolutionary socialists will never allow even the slightest blurring of consciousness on this issue and will continue to expose the pro-state line of social-chauvinist critics of the KNM.
It is as old as the history of national movements that a national movement seeks support from the great powers in the face of an enemy much stronger than itself. When the socialists and the working class rise again, national movements will also turn left. But it is clear that today is not that day. The KNM does not turn its face to socialism and the working class, but the superpowers and the liberal wings of the bourgeoisie. For this reason, socialists must insist on an internationalist attitude towards the Kurdish question, but they must walk along their own independent line. This is only possible through a class perspective.