Thirty-five years ago, the first shot of the PKK was fired in Eruh. On the occasion of the anniversary of their armed struggle, the Executive Council of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) published a message.
Full text of the PKK statement reads as follows;
“The revolutionary guerrilla initiative of 15 August 1984, a milestone in the history of the Kurdish people, marks its 35th anniversary today. On the path of Leader Abdullah Öcalan and under the command of the legendary commander Egîd (“the brave”, real name: Mahsum Korkmaz) began 35 years ago in Eruh and Şemdinli a still ongoing guerrilla war for the freedom of Kurdistan. This selfless and historic resistance concretized the existence of the Kurds. The Kurdish people are now a respected member of the free human family and a source of enthusiasm and morale.
On this occasion, we first congratulate Leader Apo (Öcalan), all our comrades, guerrilla forces, our women’s and youth movements, our patriotic people and all the revolutionary and democratic forces on the Day of the National Resurrection. In the person of Egîd, the pioneer of the revolutionary initiative of 15 August 1984, we commemorate the martyrs of the Kurdish liberation movement with love, respect and gratitude and promise to realize their ideals and to preserve their memory. We call on all democrats to oppose the anti-Kurdish, fascist-colonialist and genocidal mentality and politics and wish every person who stands up for freedom and democracy much success in their struggle.
We know all too well that the initiative for freedom has faced with many challenges and obstacles up to date. The foundation stone was laid by Abdullah Öcalan and his friends at Newroz in Ankara in 1973, who led the party’s foundation in Amed on November 27, 1978 and achieved an ideological victory in 1982 on the basis of the historic prison resistance against the fascist military junta.
Only with its own strength has the Kurdish people achieved all this. Our chairman called our historic initiative the result of resolution for freedom, of commitment and will. He said the decision to lead the fight for freedom to the mountains on the basis of prison resistance was to concretization of victory with the guerrilla.
Turkish state lost, freedom movement won and grew stronger
The resistance for freedom was led with great courage and dedication, with heavy losses and great suffering, by a pioneer party, a guerrilla movement and a people. Every moment of this 35-year relentless struggle, we followed breathlessly and experienced nearly 50,000 martyrs, many times more wounded and hundreds of thousands of arrests. Under brutal attacks of the fascist-genocidal Turkish Republic, villages were burned down, residential areas razed to the ground, cities depopulated and barbaric torture perpetrated. There is no kind of torture that was not used by the genocidal mentality against the Kurdish people, their women and their youth. But neither persecution nor torture could deter the Kurdish people from their legitimate struggle. On the contrary, these methods have heightened the awareness of freedom, deepened the faith, strengthened the will and developed the organization of the people. In this sense, the Turkish Republic has always lost while the Kurdish people and their freedom movement have been the victors and grew stronger.
Guerrilla resistance has made Kurdish identity known
Now everyone sees that all the achievements won over the last 35 years for the freedom of Kurdistan have come about as a direct or indirect consequence of the revolutionary guerrilla initiative of 15 August 1984. The Kurdish people gained the spirit and the consciousness of freedom, a great courage and sacrifice, the power of organization and action, the aspiration and the commitment to win, the will and the passion for a free life on the basis of this resistance.
The Freedom Revolution of Women, which has become the hope and precursor of free humanity, began and developed as consciousness, will and action on the basis of this very initiative. On August 15, 1984, the National Resurrection Revolution was launched in Bakur, northern Kurdistan, laying the foundation for a democratic nation. This had a direct or indirect impact on the status achieved in Bashur (South Kurdistan). Another consequence was the revolution of July 19 in Rojava, which represents a glimmer of hope for the entire world. The homeland and identity of the Kurds became known and recognized thanks to the guerrilla resistance.
The revolutionary vengeance resistance will continue
The 35th year of the August 15 Revolutionary Initiative, which has witnessed a great struggle and important achievements since the beginning, has been a year of struggle developed on this basis. The 35th year witnessed the martyrdom of PKK Central Committee’s valued members Zeki Şengali and Atakan Mahir, and endured as a struggle of vengeance. In all four parts of Kurdistan, in prisons and abroad, the 200-day hunger strike resistance with the motto “Break the isolation, smash fascism, free Kurdistan” broke the isolation on Imrali. In the elections of March 31 and June 23, the fascism of the AKP and MHP suffered heavy defeats. The fight against the fascist DAESH (ISIS) gangs led by the Kurds has achieved historic successes. The resistance for freedom and democracy has won. The fascist, colonialist and genocidal mentality and politics have lost. In this spirit, on the first anniversary of their death, we commemorate Zeki Şengalî, the immortal Uncle (Mam) of Shengal’s Yazidi people, and the legendary guerrilla commander of Dersim, Atakan Mahir, with gratitude and eternal respect. The revolutionary resistance of vengeance will continue to accompany us in the new fighting year.
We salute the historic resistance of the guerrilla
As we enter the 36th year of the August 15 initiative, we are leading a revolutionary struggle against the totalitarian warfare of the fascist AKP/MHP alliance in all areas of life, both as guerrilla and as people. The selfless guerrillas, endowed with the spirit of victory and enlivened by the new paradigm based on the Apoist line, are inflicting heavy blows to the genocidal forces in all regions of Kurdistan from Serhed to Xakurke, from Dersim to Mardin.
On this occasion, we salute the historic resistance of the guerrillas, which has lasted for 35 years, and congratulate the fighters and commanders of the HPG and YJA-Star for their successful actions and wish them continued success. At this point we also remember with respect and love all our brave martyrs in the person of Şevin Bingöl, a valuable militant of the PKK and PAJK and an immortal commander of HPG and YJA-Star, who fell a martyr in the 35th year of struggle. We reaffirm our unwavering resolve that the Apoist path, ranging from commander Egîd to commander Şevin, will always bring great victories. We are convinced that the 36th year of fighting will witness a stronger revolutionary vengeance struggle and more tremendous victories in remembrance of Martyr Diyar Xerib (Helmet) and Martyr Şehîd Şevin.
We emphasize our willingness, as the Kurdish people and their liberation movement, to successfully address all our revolutionary and democratic tasks and duties under the guidance of Leader Apo. We are neither afraid of the threats of Erdoğan-Bahçeli fascism, nor are we deceived by their games and tricks. We are calling on the ruling Turkish forces and all others speaking on behalf of Turkey to act in a serious and consistent manner. We point out once again that any fascist and genocidal attack will be retaliated in kind on the basis of the struggle of the guerrilla and the people.
In this sense, we call upon our guerrilla forces, women’s and youth organizations, our people and our friends to work stronger than ever in order to develop the resistance in the 36th year on the basis of the revolutionary people’s war strategy; to increasingly enhance the resistance campaign ‘Free Kurdistan and Democratic Middle East against isolation and fascism’; to respond to fascism with effective actions of resistance in all areas of life; to further embrace the spirit of revolutionary initiative and victory; and to celebrate the Day of Resistance and Resurrection everywhere with great enthusiasm and mass participation.”