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5ème Congrés. Programme du PKK. 1995. (en Anglais)
Party Program of The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
Our party was formed in the 1970s as a revolutionary socialist national liberation movement. The period of our party’s formation was set against the background of a global wave of revolutionary struggles, influenced by the successful national liberation movements of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It was also a time of increased tensions between the blocs of the USA and the Soviet Union, the rise of a radical youth movement in Turkey, and in Kurdistan, the overcoming of clan-based feudal structures which provided an objective basis for the founding of such a liberation movement. Our party, since its formation, has been shaped, both theoretically as well as in practice, by the great forward vision and determination of party leader Abdullah Ocalan. Our party achieved a decisive turning point in the history of Kurdistan by motivating our people, who had been erased from history by Turkish colonialism, to resist. Our party led the people to the path of liberation. From 1970-1978, our party existed as an ideological group. What began in student circles in the major cities of Turkey grew into a party which had created an organizational base among intellectuals and the youth movement in the cities of Kurdistan. The fundamental approach during this period was researching, examining, and creating revolutionary thought, followed by propaganda designed to spread this revolutionary thought to win over the intellectuals and the youths to the movement. During this period, a fundamental outlook was developed based on a sharp criticism of Turkish colonialism and the Kurdish elements which collaborated with this established system. This critique provided the base with a revolutionary education. One of the leading militants during this phase, who worked very enthusiastically and followed the party leader the closest, was comrade Haki Karer. The ideological group soon developed an organized and practical character and finally became a political movement.
Our party’s second phase, the phase of political development, was from 1978-1980. One of the most significant steps during this phase was the Founding Congress of November 26 and 27, 1978, when our party was formally established. The uprisings in Hilvan and Severek, which developed into revolutionary armed struggle, marked the beginning of the popular uprising for national liberation. This struggle, which was marked by the heroic contributions of comrades such as Halil Cavgun, Salih Kendal, and Cuma Tak, had the sympathy of the masses and thus began to transform into a broad popular movement. This development led to a destablization of Turkish colonialism, leading to the fascist military coup of September 12, 1980. During this time of political development, our party tried to organize the armed struggle as well as to probe the possiblities for support in other countries. The extremely brutal counter- revolutionary repression which followed in the wake of the September 12th coup forced us to make use of these possibilities. The party, therefore, initiated a tactical partial retreat. The years from 1980-1982 were some of the hardest ones in the history our party, as that was a time when the revolutionary movement was subjected to a bloody and cruel counter-revolution. On the one hand, hundreds of imprisoned party cadre were subjected to inhumane and destructive pressures in the prisons, while at the same time the handful of party cadre who were abroad were subjected to provocations. An attempt was made to entirely liquidate our party. Inside the prisons, the party resisted this destructive attack by means of the supreme resistance of comrades such as Mazlum Dogan, M. Hayri Durmus, and Kemal Pir. Furthermore, the party was also able to make use of the regions of struggle in the Middle East to train both politically and militarily, making it possible to return home and introduce a new phase of resistance. Historic milestones during this period were the 1st Party Congress in July 1981 and the 2nd Party Congress in August 1982. These developments were made possible by the sacrifices of countless comrades, among them Abdulkadir Cubukcu and Ismet Ozkan.
Our party, which waged heroic resistance both in the prisons and abroad to the various means of repression and provocation, returned home at the end of 1982 in order to organize resistance to the September 12th fascism. During this phase of resistance, the center of which was the revolutionary action of August 15, 1984, illustrated what human consciousness, determination, and convictions can achieve. This phase of resistance to the September 12th fascism, characterized by a range of armed propaganda activities, left a great impression both on the people and the international community. Core groups of our party again spread out across the country, reorganized themselves, and established ties to the people. Many comrades were martyred during this phase, including Sahin Kilavuz, Mehmet Karasungur, and Mahsum Korkmaz. The brutal fascist repression was resisted, and this marked the first steps towards a national liberation movement and a national liberation army.
The formation and training of a modern form of struggle and a modern army in Kurdistan was carried out under the hardest of conditions. Following the action of August 15, 1984, the biggest problem was continuing and expanding the resistance. Various conservative, individualist, incompetent, and other corrupting tendencies brought our revolutionary struggle to brink of defeat. But these tendencies were overcome during the 3rd Party Congress. The thesis of party leader Abdullah Ocalan, namely that class, not the individual, was important, and that history, not the moment, was primary, assured the further development of the revolutionary renewal following the revolutionary action of August 15, 1984. During the phase from 1987-1990, the guerrilla spread out and established itself all throughout Kurdistan. Hundreds of our comrades fell as martyrs during this time, including Ahmet Kesip, Mehmet Sevgat, Sehymus Yigit, Mustafa Yondern, Mustafa Omurcan, Haydar Karasungur, and Hasan Bindal. The struggle, which was also directed against unruly gangs and feudalism, was able to take concrete steps towards revolutionary procedures. This struggle, personally undertaken by party leader Abdullah Ocalan, helped tie our party to the people and led to the popular uprising known as ’Serhildan’. While these historical events were unfolding in Kurdistan, and as the world entered a period of fundamental change with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the PKK held its 4th Party Congress. This was also the time of the Gulf War, during which our party was able to profit from the favorable conditions in Kurdistan and consequently enjoyed a period of great revolutionary advance. In the end, the enemy used this situation to unleash its all-encompassing special war. As the guerrilla spread out through all of Kurdistan, and the Serhildan grew in intensity, our struggle brought a surge of popular rule. This phase of revolutionary development met with an international counter-revolutionary front which attempted to stall or suppress it, as was manifested in South Kurdistan. But our party was able to expose these efforts of the fascist special war, on the one hand through popular uprisings, and on the other by legal political work and the declaration of a unilateral cease-fire. This success was secured through party work, armed struggle, and the avoidance and suppression of groups which wished to liquidate the revolutionary process. Hundreds of comrades who waged heroic resistance during this phase became martyrs, including Ahmet Guler, Mehmet Salih Sahin, Aydin Adsay, Adbulkadir Bekiroglu, Kazim Kullu, Binevs Agal, Gulnaz Karatas, Bedriye Tas, and Nilgun Yildirim. They are markers on the path to victory, symbols of the revolutionary leadership of our party.
In its 5th Party Congress, after twenty five years of struggle and the last four years of intensive warfare, our party reached its historical highpoint. The struggle of the past twenty five years, and the accumulated theoretical and practical knowledge we have gained, have brought Kurdistan for the first time in its history to a point of all encompassing political, organizational, and military change and development. When we first drafted the party program of the PKK back in September 1977, there had not yet been a struggle, only the will and the consciousness of the necessity to fight. Our party program was not based on any practical experiences in the struggle, it was only a plan for one. But now we possess a wealth of theoretical and practical experiences, and we have made great political strides, so that now we can make real many things which were only ideas back in 1977. In addition to this, great changes have taken place in the world since 1977. The world looked different then than it does today. The Soviet Union has disappeared, the Soviet Bloc has dissolved itself, and there have been major developments in the socialist movement. The phase of Soviet-dominated socialism is finished. That was a phase of primitive and brutal socialism. Now, a new phase of socialism has begun, namely its rich phase. Our party is the embodiment of one of the most significant socialist movements during this new phase, and we plan to live up to our duties in our revolutionary work.
Our 5th Party Congress discussed all of these factors, as well as the far reaching revolutionary developments in Kurdistan and the most important political changes in the world, and we have incorporated these into our party program. This new program will henceforth be the foundation for our party’s historical development and success in its future phases.
Chapter One : The World Situation
The history of colonialism began with the transformation into a class society. All forms of production which the class society gave rise to during its development contain their own form of colonialism. The deeper on the inside the exploitation of one class, and its subsequent oppression, goes, there is a corresponding rise on the outside in the exploitation and oppression of other groups of peoples. Beginning with the introduction of slavery and up until today, an oppression and external exploitation of human communities has continually further developed itself. But there has always been resistance and a struggle against this oppression and exploitation.
In the course of history, violence did not always play a reactionary role. In the transformation processes of older societies, the use of violence was often unavoidable. When this violence was used to advance the productive forces, then it was progressive ; when it was used to hinder this development of the productive forces and to keep in place the old production relationships, then it was reactionary. It was just as reactionary when it was in the service of conquerors, those who established control over other tribes, peoples, or nations. Conquest is the first step towards the colonization of societies. In this sense, colonialism is always founded upon reactionary violence and, no matter what mode of production it is based upon, it always destroys and replaces the productive forces of the society it colonizes. In contrast to this, the violence which is employed by those societies seeking to protect themselves from colonialism or to free themselves from it is always a progressive and necessary means which may be employed during the development of the society. Revolution, which makes use of fundamentally different forms of violence, is the toughest, most penetrating, and most determining form of social development. The concentration of experiences of social struggles by the oppressed classes and peoples against oppression and exploitation clears the way, under appropriate circumstances, to the path of revolutionary development. At first, this development expresses itself as resistance to internal and external oppression and exploitation and is characterized by attempts at emancipation and liberation. This was the case with Islam and Christianity, which gave rise to feudal societies, and also with the French Revolution, the prime example of bourgeois revolutions.
The bourgeoisie, who had the support of the peasants and the oppressed peoples in their struggle against feudalism, supported the creation of nations and nation states in so far as they as they aided against domestic feudal divisions and external foreign domination. Following the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century, they contributed a great deal to the creation of a world market. On this world market, a few West European states played a major role, and these states brought a large portion of the other peoples of the world into a colonial status. When the capitalist- imperialist world system had fully formed itself by the last quarter of the 19th century, no countries existed which were outside of this system.
The unequal development of a handful of imperialist nations, together with the crisis of that system, led to a new comprehensive world division. Since more war materials were required for this redivision, a global conflict broke out. During this First World War, which brought great suffering to all of humanity, a revolution broke out in Russia.
The October Revolution which originated in Russia not only led to the installation of a new social order in Russia itself, it was also the impulse for a wave of revolutionary developments in colonized and dependent countries and provided the basis for the revolutionary developments of the 20th century. This revolution, which was one of the most significant turning points in social struggles and within the history of socialism, and which was one of the freest and most emancipatory revolutions, showed that workers and the working class could seize power and that it was possible to approach a world without exploitation. Although the system which was created by the October Revolution in Russia has collapsed, the influence of this revolution on the socialist struggle of workers and the revolutionary development of humanity in general will remain.
Between the two World Wars, the system in Russia, which was based on the October Revolution, was carried over to and built up in the areas neighboring the Soviet Union. Although the revolutionary initiatives in Europe were defeated, socialism for the first time became an ideological and political power factor all across the world. In conjunction with the developing objective preconditions, national liberation movements began to form and manifest themselves in the colonized nations, and these were organized under the working class in countries such as Vietnam and China. Within the imperialist system itself, particularly in those countries which had been defeated in the First World War, fascism became the new form of dictatorship for the bourgeoisie. This development led to the establishment of fascist dictatorships in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Japan, subsequently leading to a new imperialist war of world division.
Fear of the spread of socialism and the internal contradictions between the imperialist powers brought the world to war once again. The Second World War, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, was the biggest war which humanity had ever experienced, and it ended with the defeat of the fascist side - in particular Germany - and victory for the democratic side, wherein the Soviet Union played an important role. This victory brought with it a great surge of democratic and socialist advance.
The Soviet Union, which emerged from the Second World War victorious, but having suffered heavy damage, tried through its support of the rising national liberation movements across the world to create a counter balance to the capitalist system. By uniting the new administrations in Eastern Europe, which were based on anti-fascist strength, the Soviet Union formed its own bloc to counter the imperialist bloc. The people of colonized nations - influenced by the strong and globally visible socialist and democratic developments, and supported by the Soviet Union - began to call for national liberation, and the world experienced a phase of expanding national liberation struggles in a number of areas. National liberation movements were forming all across Asia, Africa, and Latin America at this time. Some of these movements - in particular Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and China - were more radical than others. These movements organized themselves under the leadership of the working class, but even those movements which were more based on the ideas of patriotism played specific roles in the struggle against imperialism. The success of these movements which had organized and expanded themselves in a short period of time led to the creation of new nation states, which essentially brought an end to the system of colonialism.
The USA, which took over the role as global policeman from Great Britain following the Second World War, understood that the era of classical colonialism was over. Therefore, the USA concentrated on a new form of colonialism. This based itself on seemingly political solutions, and sought to break the revolutionary aspects of the national liberation movements by means of special war regimes. The imperialist states themselves formed into a bloc and developed a system of special war to support the bloc in all possible areas. In this way, special war was intensified against the Soviet bloc and the strengthening revolutionary movements across the world.
The power struggle between the blocs of the USA and the Soviet Union had global consequences and ultimately ended with the dissolution of the Soviet bloc and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
The phase of socialism during which the Soviet Union was the central focus can essentially be described as the lowest and most brutal level of socialism. Within socialism, the Soviet revolution was a deviation which had the following characteristics : ideologically, there was a decline to dogmatism, vulgar materialism, and pan-Russian chauvinism ; politically, there was the creation of extreme centralism, a suspension of democratic class struggle, and the raising of the state’s interests to the level of the determining factor ; socially, there was a reduction in the free and democratic life of the society and its individuals ; economically, the state sector was dominant and there was a failure to overcome a consumer society which emulated what was abroad ; militarily, the raising of the army and acquiring weapons took precedence over other sectors. This deviation, which became increasingly clear to see during the 1960s, brought the Soviet system to a condition of absolute stagnation. Domestically, it was not able to bring about anything new, and internationally it brought all the revolutionary and progressive movements and initiatives tied to it to a point of no escape. Because this stagnation could not be overcome by means of a creative adaptation of socialism, it, in conjunction with reactionary tendencies at home and abroad, led to the collapse of the Soviet system.
Although the total defeat of the Soviet system was by no means the most desirable outcome, nonetheless, the removal of this stagnation has also led to the removal of stagnation at the global level as well. Now there are new possibilities for the development of socialism and revolutions. In theoretical and practical terms, socialism was able to free itself from Soviet dominance and is now in a phase of free thought and practical development. This phase will be the rich phase of socialism, characterized by a creative and scientific approach.
Socialism is an ideology whose roots lie in the history of humanity, the struggles of all oppressed and exploited peoples, since the days of the plebes and the slaves. Each historical phase has had its specific social struggle. In almost all religions, there are emancipatory tendencies. Along with the scientific progress during the capitalist period, socialism also took on a scientific form. The liberation of such an ideology from the narrow boundaries of one state and its hegemony opened the way to a creative and scientific development. Our party, which has at its foundations a creative and scientific approach to socialism, is contributing a great deal to this rich phase of socialism by means of new interpretations of socialism. Our party’s understanding of socialism and the form of socialism embodied in our party is one of the most furthest developed forms of socialism in the world. Socialism means the free orientation of the relationship between people and the society. Socialism is in opposition to all forms of authority which are separated from social reality and which seek to oppress or exploit. In the areas of science and production, socialism has as much to take as the society is willing give back. Socialism is a question of the quality and socialization of people. Under socialism, a well- balanced social development of people is of fundamental importance. Socialism is the ideology which is most interested in the welfare of people, it rejects dogma, and it offers the possibility of incorporating all aspects of human existence. Socialism means work ; socialism means theory, tactics, being human ; socialism means realizing our greatest task, namely human independence and self-realization.
With such an understanding of socialism, the representation of the leadership of the party, the people, and the democracy are excellently arranged. In the reality of our party, with this as its foundation, a type of person is created who goes from a situation of incurable confusion to a condition of development and the ability to solve problems. A leading militant personality is created, one which is marked by great self-control and the attempt to become like other great leading personalities, taking examples from the history of the Middle East. A personality which, with great care, understanding, effort, and determination, seeks to overcome all difficulties and change the negative into something positive ; a personality which, under all conditions, exerts a strong force of will and a fascination for the developing struggle of humanity, without seeking personal gain, to the point of being willing to give up one’s own life to that cause. This new socialist character and socialist ethic, which are being created by our party, will be fundamental standards during the rich phase of socialism.
Previously, in the name of socialism, an understanding and an attitude were created which were distant from specificity and which led to a similar form of individualism as that found under capitalism.
Representative of this development was the Soviet Union. With the decline of Soviet-style classical communist parties and the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new world situation has emerged. This world situation, in which the two bloc system has disappeared, can be briefly characterized as follows.
A) The retreat from socialism which followed from the collapse of the Soviet Union has slowed, and a discussion about a scientific socialist world analysis and the fundamental beliefs of socialism has begun. In this way, new life is developing within socialism, a phase of many directions. Even though some governments in a few countries are still developing in a socialist direction, socialism is not a viable political force world-wide. Although socialism is experiencing a phase of renewed discussion, there are some ideologically revisionist tendencies developing, which are either strictly nationalist or fanatically dogmatic and which are characterized by a lack of responsibility with respect to the problems of humanity and the dangers of bureaucracy.
B) With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the class situation and national liberation, as well as the true understanding of the words freedom and equality, are becoming more significant. Those national liberation movements which are active in nations still living under colonial status are pushing the oppressed national groups to exert their desire for freedom even more. These developments, which are often dismissed as "regional or local problems", can be seen world-wide. Struggles which are based on the desire for freedom stand in contrast to the interests of the imperialist states and, in so far as they do not lapse into mere nationalism, they play an important role in revolutionary developments. In such struggles, it often comes about that the leadership is taken over by a religious ideology. Particularly in the Middle East over the past few years, the new Islamic movements have grown and become more active. Such tendencies, by making use of the mistakes which socialism made with respect to the ruling conditions in the 1970s, do have a certain historical and social basis and they are of political significance. When these tendencies take a fundamental view of the revolutionary and emancipatory aspects of religion, and when they take a stand against imperialism and imperialism’s local reactionary helpers, then they can play a certain role within the revolutionary developments.
C) Although those states which once made up the Soviet bloc have fallen, no clear order has been established in Eastern Europe and the regions of the former Soviet Union. The continuous struggles in Caucasus and the Balkans are also strengthening the contradictions between the imperialist states. The people of these countries, who were fooled during the psychological propaganda wars of the imperialist states into adopting capitalism, are turning back to socialism once again as they wish to protect the social gains they once had. It’s still unclear how things will develop in Russia itself ; at the same time, Russia is seeking to preserve its world power status.
D) The collapse of the Soviet bloc shifted the problems of the socialist countries onto the imperialist system. This has led to an increase in the contradictions of capitalism, making its true face clearer to see. Propaganda such as "socialism is dead, our system is the best" has come to an end, and it has become much more difficult to fool the masses in this way. Efforts to push forwards with the capitalist order, which have resulted in degeneration in the cultural sphere, have led to absolute chaos. The thin unity of the imperialist states, which was formed due to a shared fear of socialism, is becoming increasingly weak. At the global level, increasing contradictions between the imperialist states have become clear.
Under the present conditions, attempts are being made to take back the economic and democratic rights which the people of the capitalist states were granted in order to equalize the social gains of the Soviet bloc. Along with increasing economic exploitation, the repression by the police state is increasing as well. Nuclear threats, environmental destruction, a rise in chronic illnesses - these and other things now threaten the lives of people and the society. The destruction of nature and the wiping out of natural equilibriums by the capitalist-imperialist states are bringing humanity to a new and seriously dangerous situation. This situation, which threatens not only the future of the society, but all of humanity in general, shows quite clearly how capitalism has developed into a system which destroys humanity, and how deep are the contradictions between humanity on the one side and capitalism and imperialism on the other. All these contradictions, which capitalism and imperialism are embedded in, make it clear that they cannot be consolidated internally, thus leading to different forms of democratic struggle by the working masses.
E) After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the USA tried to bring all regions of the world under its control with its notion of a "New World Order". This attempt at hegemony has resulted in a contradiction with those countries which emerged from the two bloc system with some degree of independence from imperialism. This contradiction will manifest itself in various forms in the future, and will put some degree of pressure on imperialism.
The Achilles’ Heel, or weakpoint, of the imperialist system are the new colonized nations. These countries are regions in which oppression and exploitation are intense, and where there exists a permanent state of economic, social, and political crisis. In the midst of immense exploitation and plundering, which support imperialism and the local collaborating bourgeoisie, in addition to pressure by the special war regime, the people living there have arrived at a situation which can hardly be tolerated. Under present conditions, imperialism is only able to maintain this new colonialism with great difficulty, and it cannot arrive at its desired solution to this problem, although it has tried all the methods at its disposal. The present state of crisis in the new colonized countries shows that the objective conditions for revolution are ripe in those areas. If, under these circumstances, the necessary subjective preconditions reach a certain degree, a path is opened for the rise of a revolutionary movement. Under the ruling conditions today, these are the countries where revolutionary developments will be the most intense.
F) In today’s world, women represent the strongest revolutionary dynamic force in the society. The suppression of women, which began with the transformation to a class society, has not been overcome in capitalist society, rather it has continued with finer methods while losing none of its destructive character. The capitalist-imperialist system subjects women to intense exploitation and views them as commodities. In dependent countries, the suppression of women has continued systematically, in that women are subjected to the severest oppression and exploitation. But it is also wrong to suggest that socialism, in the past, adequately dealt with the problems of women, or to suggest that Soviet socialism overcame the petty bourgeois view of women.
Women experience social inequality, oppression, and exploitation in multiplied degrees. In our world today, women everywhere are subjected to a double oppression and exploitation. For this reason, they represent the social group which has the greatest need for equality and freedom. At the same time, the liberation struggle of women from their suppression plays a fundamental role in the process of the development of social freedom and equality. When the oppression and exploitation of women are ended and women are liberated, only then can the society experience true equality and freedom. Our party has shown in its praxis what deep revolutionary dynamic women possess and what a fundamental role the liberation of women plays within the revolutionary development of the society. Therefore, the question of women will be the problem which socialism is most interested in during its rich period. At the same time, a creative and scientific approach to socialism will allow us to activate the great revolutionary potential of women.
G) The theoretical and practical fundamentals which great revolutionary progress has created throughout history, and the many contradictions which our world now finds itself in, show that the preconditions for revolutionary developments are favorable. Under these preconditions, it is possible - building upon national, class, gender, environmental, and other contradictions - to introduce a revolutionary movement. A scientific and creative approach to socialism is necessary to create and lead such a revolutionary development.
Chapter Two : Kurdish Society
The History Of Kurdistan
In our country, Kurdistan, one of the most fertile regions of the earth, humanity for the first time in its history began to cultivate agriculture, have a settled life, and to raise livestock. Various tribes have lived in this region since long, long ago, and they began a specific development towards culture. For these reasons, this region has played the role of the cradle of civilization for a long time. The region possessed many raw materials, as well as means of connection and transportation to other civilizations. This beneficial situation also had its disadvantages, however, since our country has also been a battleground for wars since long ago. During such developments, entire tribes were either wiped out or forced to live under occupation. The efforts by our people to settle in our country began when the Medes arrived on the stage of history in about 1000 B.C. The Medes, who stemmed from the Aryan branch of Indo-Europeans, waged a centuries-long war against their neighbors, the Persians and the Assyrians, in order to be able to settle down in this country and expand. The Medes, after first defeating the Persians and then overcoming the Assyrians in 612 B.C., formed the largest empire of that time period. The boundaries of the Median Empire encompassed all of what is today known as Kurdistan. The long years of their struggle gave rise to a national consciousness, while at the same time developing their freedom loving character. They adopted the cultures of the various tribes living in the region into their own culture, and they played a leading role in the formation of our national values during the development of this new culture. The Median Empire, which eventually took on the character of a despotic and enslaving empire, was defeated by the Persians in the year 550 B.C. From this date on, our people began a phase of permanent occupation and subjection to tyranny. From the 6th century B.C. until the 7th century A.D., when Arab troops invaded and took over the region, our people lived under the occupation of different enslaving empires. Persians, Greeks and Macedonians, Armenians, Romans, Byzantines, and others either chose Kurdistan as the battlefield for their struggles or, in the event of a victory, subjected our people to their rule. In either case, there was always a great loss of life, and our people were forced to live in the most mountainous and harsh regions of the country. This condition led to us forming an internalized, tribal society. During the feudal period, the occupation and tyranny which our people were subjected to increased. The victory of the Arabs in the 7th century was especially bloody. The Islamic ideology took over from national development, and in this way our people were alienated from their own values and were thereby hindered in their national development. This was an important factor which led to our people remaining under the control of foreign, feudal powers.
The period of Arab dominance and all of its oppression lasted until the 10th century. At that point, it began to weaken. The lack of another powerful occupying force resulted in a period of beneficial conditions, during which our people could again develop their national unity. The result of these beneficial conditions were the formation of various Kurdish feudal states, in particular the Kurdish state of Marwaniden.
In the 11th century, a new occupying force took over Kurdistan. These were the Oguz tribes, or Turks, which were near the upper levels of barbarism and which developed into a conquering power after adopting Islam. The Turks quickly organized themselves during these events into feudal lords. Because the cultures in the lands which they occupied were more further developed than their own, the Turkish tribes became mostly assimilated in the regions where they settled. The period of control by Turkish feudal lords over Kurdistan (Atabey, Hakan, Sultan), which we have only briefly sketched here, lasted from the 11th century until the 20th century. This period was marked by great violence and massacres. Despite the fall of the Atabey, the Akkoyunlular, the Artikogullari, and other Anatolian tribes, the Turkish feudal lords maintained their control over Kurdistan. Then the Mongolian conquerors and the Tibur swept through Kurdistan like a whirlwind. A large part of Kurdistan, which previously was under the control of the Safawidian Empire in Iran, came under the control of the Ottomans. Therefore, Kurdistan became divided between the Safawidian and the Ottoman Empires.
All of these periods of feudal control were of a very violent and exploiting character, and they always faced a violent resistance from our people. Because our people were never fully brought under their control, the banner of resistance was raised at every opportunity. The vast mountains of Kurdistan became forts of security, protecting our existence and our freedom. The period of Ottoman-Turkish feudal control over Kurdistan, which played a major role in the dividing and splitting up of Kurdistan, began in the 16th century. Sheik Idris-I Bitlisi, one of the representatives of the Kurdish feudal dynasty, played a major role in securing the power of the Ottomans over Kurdistan. This one person, who was a willing agent for the Ottoman sultans, divided our people at this time into two schools of thought. This division benefitted the political goals of both the Ottoman sultans as well as the Iranian sheiks. On the one hand, they used Kurdistan as their battlefield for their battles against one another, and on the other hand these battles were made easier for them by playing our people off against one another. Therefore, our people remained under their control. Even today, the Turkish colonialists continue to benefit from this division. At first, the Ottoman-Turkish rule was not very strong, and Kurdish feudal lords enjoyed extensive autonomy. This manifested itself in the sending of pledges of loyalty, soldiers, and gifts to the sultans. But in the 18th century, along with the advent of capitalism, which developed as the dominant mode of production in Western Europe, the Ottomans suffered a series of defeats and the resulting loss of income which they used to draw from their conquered lands abroad they were forced to collect by increasing pressure and exploitation on their internal colonies. In the 19th century, this tendency increased, and as a result, an uprising broke out in Kurdistan as a reaction to this pressure and exploitation, and several tribes took part. The bloody suppression of this revolt led to an increase in pressure from the Ottoman rulers. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed after the First World War of global redivision, the pressure on Kurdistan came from outside instead. During these years, the external conditions for achieving independence were especially favorable, because the imperialist countries were not able to establish a total occupation of the region. But the internal conditions (feudal tribal structures, the non-existence of modern classes, disorganization) and pressure from the reorganized Turkish ruling classes made it difficult or impossible to make use of the favorable external conditions. Centuries of continuous feudal domination over Kurdistan prevented the creation of a Kurdish society with its own dynamic. The feudalized tribal structure, which was heavily influenced by the foreign occupying powers, was of a very collaborationist character.
The Kurdish feudal classes which had formed found it more in their own self-interest to be dependent on foreign powers rather than to be independent. The struggle to preserve their own internal positions of power brought the society as a whole to a hopeless situation.
The Phase Of Capitalist Colonialism
During the phase of capitalist formation, the oppression and exploitation in our country greatly increased, even more so than in the times of slavery and feudalism when there was occupation and plundering. The capitalist colonial forces did not hesitate to use all the means of destruction at their disposal, both subtle and brutal methods, in order to erase the name of our country and the existence of our people from history.
The developments following the First World War had very deep and lasting effects on our country. Whereas before our country had been divided between the Ottoman sultans and the Iranian Shah, now we were divided up into four parts following an agreement between the Turkish colonial power and the British and French imperialists.
During the capitalist period, it was primarily the Turks who colonized Kurdistan. The Turkish Republic, which was founded on the remains of the Ottoman Empire after the war, had no problem in securing its hold over Kurdistan, which had been occupied ever since the Ottoman times. By expanding its capitalist socio- economic basis, the rule of the Turkish Republic, in comparison to Turkish administrations during the feudal period, was more extensive with respect to military, political, economic, and cultural matters. A legal foundation for the annexation of a large portion of Kurdistan into the Turkish Republic was provided by the Treaty of Ankara signed with France in 1921, and the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which the British played a major role in drafting. During the Turkish Republic’s formative years, the Turkish administration’s influence in Kurdistan was very limited. At the same time, the influence of Kurdish feudal and tribal lords (internal autonomy) grew stronger. In the first parliament of the Turkish Republic, one even heard mention of "the government of two peoples" and "the parliament of two peoples". As the central government grew stronger, there were conflicts between the Republic and the local authorities, who naturally wished to protect the class interests of the feudal tribal leaders. The governments of the Republic, who saw it as their task to "create an authentic Turkish nation within its own borders", were able to derive great benefits from their conflicts with the local authorities.
In order to create a military basis for the occupation of Kurdistan, the main precondition for a colonial praxis, the strategy of these governments was not to occupy Kurdistan all at once, which wouldn’t have been possible anyway given the balance of power at that time, but rather to take over the country bit by bit. In order to do this, classic methods of religious divergence were used to play the people off against each other. To prevent any internal or external opposition, the notion was spread that "wild, murderous Kurds were revolting". Just the right time was needed to launch this strategy ; at the same time, the uprisings which had been led by feudal lords, but which usually had a tendency to split, grew into full-scale revolts. Using these revolts as a pretext, the people were massacred, the local authorities destroyed, and our country was brought under the total control of the central government. A plan was then launched to intimidate our people from becoming active or launching another revolt ever again.
On the basis of the strategy which was pursued by Turkish governments in the years from 1925 to 1938, our country fell under total military control. With this as a foundation, the development of colonialism in the political, cultural, and economic spheres was much easier. Despite the fact that international conditions were very favorable for the liberation of Kurdistan from colonialism following the Second World War, there were no progressive steps undertaken in our country due to Turkey’s non-entry into the war, which was a result of their strong military control over our country and their attempts to maintain a backwards social structure. When the collaborating Turkish bourgeoisie grew stronger, with external support from the USA and internal backing from Kurdish feudal lords, Turkey underwent a period of economic development in the 1950s. The beginnings of capitalist agriculture and the founding of assembly line industries provided an impulse for removing the isolation which had surrounded Kurdistan.
Also, the crisis of imperialism at that time, along with the breaking open of the closed economy to a free market, played a role in this. In short, the development of Turkish capitalism, the market problems of imperialism, and the competition of Kurdish large land owners in capitalist efforts brought forth a form of colonialist capitalism in Kurdistan in the 1960s. The exploitation of the country’s natural resources and the effects of this type of capitalism, which led to a partial dissolution of feudalism, were devastating. Millions of people became unemployed as machinery was introduced into agriculture and people became separated from their lands due to Turkish industrialization. In order to prevent a reaction to these negative developments, school-aged youths, particularly in Kurdistan, were subjected to a primitive culture and a policy of assimilation.
The colonization of the Kurdish regions of Turkey, therefore, took place before the colonization of the other parts of Kurdistan.
One small part in the west of southern Kurdistan was under a French mandate for a time ; when the French departed, the area came under Arab control. A large segment of the population of this part of Kurdistan, which can be seen as an extension of the borders of northwest Kurdistan, were not recognized as citizens of Syria and held the status of outsiders. In the early 1970s, attempts were made to settle Arab peoples in the fertile Kurdish regions, but this policy was later abandoned. The Kurdish society there, which had lived according to traditional norms, has begun to gradually change over the past few years.
The vast majority of south Kurdistan remained under a British mandate until 1931. The British, together with the Arabs, sought to break the Kurdish resistance against them, and later a dependent Iraqi-Arab client state was created. The Arab bourgeoisie in this state gained full sovereignty in 1958 and exhibited parallels to the seizure of power in Turkey by Mustafa Kemal. Just as the Kemalists in Turkey had occupied northwest Kurdistan during the years from 1925 to 1938, the same task was undertaken in south Kurdistan as well. In 1974, a revolt led by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which had both semi-feudal and semi-bourgeois elements in this part of Kurdistan, was partially put down. Building on this, an attempt was made to complete the military occupation of south Kurdistan and continue with colonization in the other sectors.
The hegemony of the Shah over east Kurdistan dates back centuries. Although the Shah usually came from the Persian nation, they always tried to present themselves as the great leader of the Kurds and the Persians and to be accepted as such. An attempt was made to claim that both peoples stemmed from a joint ancestry. In fact, however, the Persians enjoyed the hegemony over the other peoples living in the empire and they subjected them to their rule. Iran, which began the 20th century as a British semi-colony, began to grow stronger after the First World War and the seizure of power by Riza Pehlevi, and certain bourgeois reforms were introduced. During the Second World War, the Soviet Red Army in the north and British troops in the south occupied the country. The Azerbaijani and Kurdish peoples took advantage of this advantageous condition to declare their own republics, with the support of the Red Army. When the Red Army retreated soon thereafter, both republics were crushed by the Shah’s forces.
After 1950, Iran took on the status of one of the USA’s neo- colonies, and under the rule of the Shah took on the role of gendarme for imperialism in the Middle East. The Shah’s regime, which grew in strength following the discovery of vast oil reserves, ruled the population with grim, fascist methods. Although capitalism in Iran was able to develop due to the country’s relationship to imperialism, this development had no effect upon Kurdistan, which maintained its feudal structures. On the basis of strengthening capitalist relationships, however, colonialist capitalism was eventually able to penetrate into east Kurdistan.
The Phase Of National Liberation
Because the KDP movement simply represented a continuation of traditional Kurdish revolts, partially adapted to the conditions following the Second World War, it was not able to take on the form of a modern national liberation movement. As a result, the movement suffered a defeat in the 1970s. One positive element of this movement was that it kept an element of Kurdish consciousness alive ; the negative side of this, however, was that the Kurdish national question became distorted and used as a tool for foreign hegemonical powers.
In the 1970s, when a certain degree of modern socio-economic development could be seen in Kurdistan, and after the KDP had experienced its defeat, new ideological and political tendencies began to develop in Kurdistan. While petty bourgeois tendencies of various forms arose in the northwest and southern parts of Kurdistan, our party, the PKK, came to represent the revolutionary and national line of the workers and the working class.
The creation of our party as a revolutionary socialist vanguard, as well as a modern national liberation movement, marked a very decisive turning point in the history of Kurdistan. Our party introduced a new phase, namely the phase which was characterized by the end of the developed colonial hegemony and the end of the destruction of our nation. Our resistance protected our national identity and propagated the national liberation struggle. By pushing through a revolutionary line within national liberation, based on the modern developments in northwest Kurdistan and the leadership of the working class and the population of the geographically largest section of Kurdistan, the mistakes of previous national liberation movements were corrected and the patriotic sectors of the population were united and regenerated on this basis.
Our party, which was officially founded in 1978 after a five-year ideological phase of formation, and which waged a political and military struggle for national liberation, dealt a heavy blow to the Turkish Republic, which denied the existence of our people. All of this led to the fascist military coup of September 12, 1980. In the period from 1970 to 1980, the ideological and political line of national liberation was formulated. On this basis, the people realized their first revolutionary actions. From a philosophical point of view, this was the time when they began to shed the colonial hegemony over their thinking. The period from 1980 to 1990 was one of building upon the resistance to the fascist and colonialist regime of September 12, as well as the revolutionary actions of August 15, 1984. The rule of the Turkish Republic over Kurdistan was undermined during this phase, as Kurdish society experienced an enormous rise of revolutionary and national consciousness, which led to the formation of a front and an army within the national liberation movement. These national and revolutionary advances in northwest Kurdistan, under the leadership of our party, began to have an influence over all of Kurdistan.
Today, a very penetrating national and social revolution is taking place in northwest Kurdistan. The national liberation struggle, which is aimed against the special war of the Turkish Republic, is being carried out in all parts of the country. The people, who have become united and conscious under the leadership of our party, are moving to break through colonial rule and create a national and democratic people’s power by waging a determined struggle despite unimaginable pains and difficulties. On this basis, the national liberation struggle will spread out to all the other parts of Kurdistan and create a united Kurdistan. The small, western portion of south Kurdistan is strongly influenced by the events in northwest Kurdistan.
Particularly since the mid 1980s, the people there play an active role in the struggle in large numbers. Furthermore, the population of this part of Kurdistan has undergone a significant national and democratic evolution under the leadership of our party. The relations between our national liberation movement and progressive Arab forces have played a major role in this raising of consciousness and organization among the people. In most of south Kurdistan, Iraqi-Arab dominance and hegemony was restored following the 1974 defeat of the KDP. In September 1980, when the Iraqi government pulled many of its forces out of Kurdistan just prior to the Iran-Iraq War, a new armed uprising began. Although this armed resistance sought to shed its old qualities and become modernized, it nonetheless failed to win any major achievements and was defeated once again in 1988. In the aftermath of the Gulf War, this portion of Kurdistan rose up once again, and following the intervention of the imperialist states, this region became one in which various forces were able to agitate. Although part of this region is under Iraqi control again today, there is a "federative Kurdish government" in most of the area, under the protection of the imperialist states. This situation in south Kurdistan was made possible by the effects of the national liberation struggle in northwest Kurdistan and the general world situation. This development has increased the ties between the northern and southern areas of Kurdistan, thus making a revolutionary union of both regions part of the agenda. Many different forces have taken advantage of the present situation in this part of Kurdistan.
In the eastern part of Kurdistan, there was heavy fighting at the end of the 1970s. When the Shah’s regime was overthrown in 1979, colonial rule was removed from east Kurdistan for a short period of time. But the Islamic Republic, which replaced the Shah, soon reasserted its hegemony over east Kurdistan and used brutal methods to deal a nearly total defeat to the traditional resistance forces there. Although the influence of the national liberation movement in northwest Kurdistan has expanded in east Kurdistan as well, the level of national liberation there is very low in comparison to the other parts of Kurdistan.
The present situation in Kurdistan, which is in a continuous process of change, exhibits the following characteristics :
A) There is a heavy struggle going on between those forces which wish to preserve the old colonial status, and those forces which support national liberation. In this respect, Kurdistan is one of the most fought over regions in the world.
B) At the present time, Kurdistan is experiencing a far-reaching national and democratic revolution. In this respect, Kurdistan represents a revolutionary center whose influence is felt not only in the entire region, but across the world. All life in Kurdistan is being affected by the changes being brought about by this revolution.
C) The status of Kurdistan which was brought about in the past (namely colonial division) is being broken by the national liberation struggle. New ties and a new unity are developing between the different parts of Kurdistan. The old harmony between the imperialists and their colonial state is wearing down. A struggle is taking place in Kurdistan between the new colonialist policies of the imperialists, the classical policies of the colonialist states, the politics of collaboration, and the politics of national liberation.
D) The national liberation struggle in northwest Kurdistan contains a decisive and directive element for all of Kurdistan.
The Characteristics Of The Situation In Northwest Kurdistan In northwest Kurdistan, an increasingly intensive struggle has developed for the past ten years. The revolutionary national liberation struggle, which our party is waging against the special war policies of the Turkish Republic, is the motor of this social change. The situation of struggle defines all sectors of social life. Furthermore, the national liberation struggle being waged by our party against the Turkish Republic has had determining effects upon the national movement and the national struggle in the other parts of Kurdistan.
After the new colonial capitalism developed in Turkey, its effects were then seen in Kurdistan, and in the 1960s a colonialist form of Turkish capitalism began to spread through Kurdistan. In Kurdistan, this economic structure, which formed around state industries completely dependent on the Turkish market, was based on the exploitation of the means of production in Kurdistan. The goal of Turkish colonialism was to swallow up Kurdistan. In the past ten years of war, this has become even clearer, and it has since taken on the form of a special war.
The foundations of economic life in Kurdistan, which are now almost entirely dictated by the struggle which is taking place, can be summarized as follows :
A) The colonial economic structure which was previously formed can now no longer be maintained in the manner it was before. The intensifying national liberation struggle has set limits to it.
B) Despite being limited, the colonial economy has not lessened in its exploitation and plundering, rather these have intensified. This is not in contradiction with the fact that the old structures of Turkish colonialism are eroding.
C) The Turkish Republic has installed a war economy in Kurdistan, and all economic life and economic potentials are completely utilized to benefit the special war. This war economy, however, is a big drain on the Turkish Republic and it has driven the Turkish economy to ruins.
D) In economic terms, the population are very weakened. But despite the conditions of a war economy, in some areas such as trade there has developed an economy for national liberation. The economic relations which have arisen in Kurdistan under colonial hegemony, and which are now developing under conditions of war, bring with them a social formation and change which are dependent upon them. In the past, colonial capitalism eroded the feudal social structures to some degree, and instead brought about its own social corruption and form. While the feudal lords at the top developed into a feudal comprador class, the peasant class began to dissolve, and together with the urban petty bourgeoisie a class of unemployed workers and young intellectuals was formed. Starting with the working class and including the intellectuals, these social classes formed the foundations of the colonial hegemony and they were subjected to a strong process of assimilation. These relationships are now in a period of deep change. The revolution being led by our party, and in particular the struggle of the past ten years, has led to rapid and extensive changes in the social structure of Kurdistan. The backwards social and cultural institutions which sought to keep colonialism alive are being torn town, and the society is showing the development of a revolutionary arrangement. At the present time, all reality is determined by the present revolution and struggle. On the one hand, a handful of traitorous collaborators with colonialism and the special war have been revealed, on the other hand, a patriotic population is forming, embracing itself more and more and seeking to overcome its differences and divisions. Under the existing conditions, the system of "village guards" should be viewed as a class. This class, which is composed of backwards feudal, tribal, and comprador forces, as well as spies, agents, collaborators, and some unknowing tribal representatives, represents a social, political, and military pillar of colonialism in Kurdistan. Turkish colonialism is relying more and more on these groups to oppose the revolution, but at the same time it fears the financial expense and political threat of this class. In the base of supporters which the national liberation movement has given rise to, a national Kurdish capitalist class also wishes to develop. The still weak Kurdish national bourgeoisie is comprised of patriotic wealthy persons, traders, and the upper class of the petty bourgeoisie. The existence and development of this new class in Kurdistan is entirely dependent upon the national liberation struggle. The struggle is resulting in the gradual dissolution of the peasant class, at the same time patriotism is on the rise within the petty bourgeoisie. The war has also given rise to a large class of unemployed workers, only a few of whom are able to find jobs. The migration which has resulted from the special war is an enormous social problem in Kurdistan. In accordance with the demands of the special war, economic and military means are applied to depopulate all the areas of Kurdistan which support the patriotic struggle. Our people have been spread all over the world, but the majority are to be found in the metropoles of Turkey itself. These migrants, who were created by colonialism in order to weaken the national liberation struggle, have in fact become a great means of support for the national liberation movement. The class of intellectuals, which used to be under the influence of Kemalism, have recognized that they can no longer oppose the revolutionary struggle and a great number have joined the patriotic ranks. Furthermore, the clear and educational force which the revolutionary national liberation struggle has brought about has helped give rise to an important movement of Kurdish intellectuals. The politics of Turkish colonialism, which aim to destroy the Kurds as a nation, have suffered a defeat at the hands of the national liberation struggle being led by our party. The educational system of the Turkish Republic no longer functions, and the policies of assimilation can no longer be carried out without obstruction. The Kurdish society is developing a broad, sound, and revolutionary national consciousness, and together with the developing struggle it forms a revolutionary nation. Because of this, the strong ties which used to be determined by tribal structures, and the resulting internal conflicts and factional strife, are disappearing, and in their place is a strong consciousness based on unity and solidarity. The revolutionary struggle being led by our party, however, has also had an effect of self-discovery upon other national minorities and religious groups who live in Kurdistan, or which are spread out across the world. The politics of our party has exposed the historical workings of Turkish colonialism, namely playing off different peoples against one another, and now that process has been turned around. Our national liberation struggle is the basis for unity for all disadvantaged groups adversely affected by Turkish colonialism, and in it they are able to find their own identity. Our party does not wish to lapse into a narrow form of nationalism, and our party views all the many cultures in Kurdistan as a richness ; that’s why all cultures are to be guaranteed and supported in their cultural freedom. Our party opposes capitalist-nationalist tendencies who wish to deny that Kurdistan is a land full of cultures, and our party seeks to create conditions under which different cultures can develop in full harmony and freedom.
The backwards world view which for centuries contributed to hatred among peoples is being done away with in today’s Kurdistan due to the radical revolution which is unfolding ; Kurdish society, which is presently experiencing the biggest process of renewal in its history, will instead possess a revolutionary and patriotic world view. In order to stop this radical revolution in Kurdistan, the Turkish Republic is waging a special war which knows no boundaries or rules. Political institutions which were once used to strengthen colonial control are being abandoned, and a special war administration is being set up instead all across Kurdistan. This administration, installed by the Turkish Republic, is carrying out the special war in Kurdistan. The Turkish army is building up all of its fighting forces and deploying them in the war in Kurdistan. In addition to traditional army units, there are new creations such as the special corps, the special army, and the special teams, as well as the village guard system and the contra-guerrilla forces which have been created. With the aid of these forces, and not obeying any rules, all forms of war and unimaginably brutal methods are being deployed in Kurdistan. But despite all of this, the Turkish army has lost its former control over Kurdistan and is presently in a hopeless situation.
In the struggle against the political and military control of the Turkish Republic in Kurdistan, our party has developed a political and military dominance. The war of the past ten years, in particular the events since 1990, has illustrated this dominance. There is now a form of dual power in Kurdistan. The feelings and thoughts of the Kurdish people have become revolutionized. The mass organizations and the National Liberation Front of Kurdistan (ERNK), together with their various legal and illegal associations, form a broad leading force, and the Kurdish population are to a large degree led by this force. The People’s Liberation Army of Kurdistan (ARGK), which our party developed during the course of the war, now has tens of thousands of fighters ; this people’s army is stationed in all the strategic regions of Kurdistan and it has placed the Turkish army in a position of immobility there. The events in Kurdistan are determined by the struggle between these two powers. As soon as the fighting forces see it to their advantage, and the conditions of war allow it, then other forms of political struggle can be utilized. The successes achieved up until now by the revolutionary national liberation struggle which our party is waging against Turkish colonialism have brought with them important political and social developments. It has been shown that the highly reactionary, unjust, and murderous special war regime of Turkish colonialism can be defeated, if no mistakes are made and the political and military line of our party is turned into praxis.
Chapter Three : The Revolution In Kurdistan
The Characteristics Of The Revolution In Kurdistan
The revolution in Kurdistan, which is led by our party, is a national and a democratic revolution whose most important characteristics can be described as follows :
A) Our revolution has two fundamental aspects, namely one national and one democratic. The national aspect takes aim at the rule of colonialism in the political, military, economic, and cultural spheres. In its initial phases, our revolution stressed this aspect. The national contradiction is the main contradiction and determines the solution for the other social contradictions. If the national contradiction is not resolved, there is no possibility to solve the remaining social contradictions on their own. The first steps which were taken in the name of the revolution were primarily national in character and they placed Kurdistan in a phase of extensive revolutionary development. The second aspect of our revolution is democratic. The democratic revolution aims to defeat the remaining social contradictions which have been in place since the Middle Ages. These contradictions include exploitation by feudal compradors, tribalism, religious conflicts, and the slave-like suppression of women. As soon as these contradictions are solved, the society will take on a democratic character.
Both aspects of our revolution are closely tied to one another. The democratic revolution develops in conjunction with the dominant aspect, the national revolution. Likewise, the national revolution is closely tied to the democratization of the society.
B) Another characteristic of the revolution in Kurdistan lies in the problem of leadership. The national and democratic revolution displays two types of leadership : firstly, that of class, and secondly, the leadership in the various geographical regions. As for class, the intensive struggle between the feudal comprador class, the petty bourgeoisie, and the working class has led to important results. The praxis of the national liberation struggle has shown that the fundamental force which will lead to the victory of the revolution is the unity between the workers and the peasants ; the leadership which will bring victory is the ideological, political, and organizational leadership of the working class. The leading forces of the other classes are steadily losing their power, and they can no longer pose a serious threat to colonialism. On the other hand, there has been a steady development in the leadership of the working class, which is embodied in our party.
Due to the division of Kurdistan into different parts, the leadership in the various regions is also of significance. Previously, South Kurdistan, despite its backwards social structure and relatively small geographical area, represented the leadership and the potential for all of Kurdistan. But the leadership there caused great damage and losses, and the national liberation struggle in this region has not had any results. This stagnating situation improved, however, following the rise of the national liberation movement in the largest and most developed region of Kurdistan, the northwest. The leadership in Northwest Kurdistan, whose struggle has been directed against the Turkish Republic, has been characterized by gained and lasting achievements.
Our party, which presented a solution to both the question of class as well as the question of the local leadership, has pushed the national liberation struggle in a revolutionary direction by fighting against tendencies such as bourgeois nationalism, national denial, and submission. The revolutionary socialist leadership provided by our party will continue to lead the national and democratic revolution, according to the line of the working class, on a socialist path, without interruption.
C) The third characteristic of our revolution is the long-term vision of the struggle and the broad mobilization of popular forces. This has manifested itself in praxis in the form of a protracted people’s war. On the basis of this long-term popular uprising, the use of all forms of struggle are required. Only through such a means of struggle can the strong foundations of colonialism be broken down and defeated. The struggle which is taking place, whose practical realization is this line, has shown the correctness of this approach through its significant revolutionary developments.
D) The fourth fundamental characteristic of our revolution is that it is not limited to Kurdistan, rather it has an influence on its surroundings and on the entire region. That shows the universalism of our revolution. This characteristic of our revolution can be explained by the fact that it is a social revolution with a broad base, and that it continues to grow stronger despite being in a world situation where there are developments aimed against it. It affects the interests of all the nations in the region due to the fact that Kurdistan is divided. This characteristic gives life to our revolution and exerts an influence on the entire region ; if things continue to develop in this direction, our revolution will have an influence at the global level as well.
The Tasks Of The Revolution In Kurdistan
Our revolution is necessary to arrive, through socialism, at our ultimate goal, namely a classless society. The revolution will realize the following tasks :
A) An end to Turkish colonialism and all forms of imperialist domination over Kurdistan. In order to do this, the following must be achieved.
1) A national, united front of workers, peasants, intellectuals, and other classes and sectors must be developed and expanded.
2) In order to secure the complete organization of the population, associations for workers, peasants, youths, women, and others must be further expanded.
3) The people’s war, the fundamental form of struggle against colonialism, must continue on the path to victory, and its base organizations and people’s army must be further developed.
4) Conflicts between the various population groups, which are continually fueled by the colonialists and their local agents, must be stopped. Those tendencies which aim at purely local or nationalist organizing must be defeated.
5) All attempts at "special regional status" or "autonomy" which do not aim to break the colonialism of the Turkish Republic, and which in fact are collaborations with colonialism, must be exposed and a decisive struggle must be waged against them.
6) The property of those people who collaborated with the colonialists during the war and who acted against the people must be confiscated and redistributed to poor and needy members of the society.
7) We must create our own institutions of economics, culture, health, and education in order to stop diseases and to fight against the other forms of destruction of nature and people which have been brought about by about by colonialism.
B) A national, independent, democratic society, ruled by the people, must be established. In order to do this, the following must be achieved :
8) The nationalization of all institutions, including factories, farms, and other establishments, belonging to the colonialists.
9) The abolishment of the colonialist financial and credit system, to be replaced with an independent financial and credit system.
10) There will not be any foreign military bases or other such privileges anywhere in the country. 11) Land reform must be carried out in the interest of the working class.
12) All debts by farmers to creditors and banks will be annulled.
13) As part of the democratization of the society, all hindrances to the organization of working people in the economic, political, and cultural spheres must be eliminated, and such organizations must be granted legal status.
14) New employment possibilities must be created for the workers, bearing in mind that the physical and mental development of workers is of great importance. Furthermore, the work day shall be 8 hours long.
15) The colonialist legal system will be disbanded and replaced by a democratic judicial system.
16) All forms of oppression against women will be stopped, and the equal status of women and men in the society will be realized in all areas of social and political life. Women, who possess an enormous social revolutionary dynamic, will be mobilized towards this aim.
17) All forms of oppression against minority groups, be they national or religious, will be stopped ; without lapsing into nationalism, all cultures will be guaranteed cultural freedom ; the various cultures in the country will be viewed as a valuable asset.
C) An independent economic structure must be built up. In order to do this, the following must be achieved :
18) The economy will be centrally planned.
19) Public ownership must be differentiated from state capitalism, and state capitalism must be resisted. The guiding principle which is to be realized is that in science, politics, and the production of the society, you can only take as much as you give.
20) In the realm of public property, an emphasis will be placed upon the development of heavy industries.
21) There will be public control over resources, transportation, trade, finance, and means of mass communication.
22) Farmers will be encouraged to form collectives and they will be supported in this effort.
D) In place of colonialist education and culture, a national educational and cultural system must be established. All dialects of the Kurdish language will be allowed to develop, although one will be made into the national language. With respect to the Kurdish language, literature, and history, intensive research will be carried out, and to aid in this, research institutes will be created.
23) The entire population will be able to learn to read and write.
E) For revolution and unity in Kurdistan, the following are needed :
24) The revolution in the various parts of Kurdistan is primarily the task of the people living in those regions.
25) Efforts at pushing through certain reforms under the guise of "autonomy", using the means of the colonialist state, are to be resisted in all parts of Kurdistan.
26) Efforts must be made to increase the support and solidarity between the revolutionary forces in the different parts of Kurdistan.
27) Efforts must be made to bring success to the revolutionary line in all parts of Kurdistan.
28) The basis of unity will be the right to self-determination for the people of all the various parts of Kurdistan.
29) The democratic rights of Kurdish people spread out across the countries of the world must be guaranteed. Kurds living abroad should join with progressive humanity and with the struggle in Kurdistan. Preparations should be made to facilitate these people’s return home to Kurdistan.
F) With respect to relations with neighboring peoples and international questions, we must apply the principles of proletarian internationalism. In order to do this, the following must be achieved :
30) Due to the division of Kurdistan between different countries, all relations with revolutionary forces among neighboring peoples will be based on the assumption that all revolutionary movements are themselves responsible for the revolution in their own country ; on this basis, different forms of joint struggle at various levels must be developed.
31) Unity with neighboring peoples must be based on the notion that all peoples are independent and free. All forced unities which are not based on this notion must be resisted. Relations with neighboring peoples, in particular with the people of Turkey, will be developed within our vision of a "Federation of the Middle East".
32) Relations with independent countries and their national liberation movements, cooperation with movements of the working class and revolutionary forces across the world, and solidarity with democratic, anti-fascist, environmental, and humanitarian circles must be built up.
January 24, 1995
5th Congress, Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
Sources : http://apa.online.free.fr/article.php3?id_article=746