In an interview conducted by ANHA with Monika Gärtner-Engel, Main Coordinator of the ICOR, the Turkish invasion on Mount Gara in Southern Kurdistan that was against the international law was condemned, this, among other issues, was discussed with Monika Gartner Engel as follows:
How do you evaluate the Turkish Aggression on Mount Gara?
First of all, thank you very much for your request for an interview. I am very pleased to answer your questions and to present the position of ICOR.
Regarding your first question:
It is indeed an aggression of the Turkish fascist Erdogan regime, which is against international law. This occupation is in line with various occupations and attacks in recent years, such as the occupation of Efrin in the Democratic Federation of Northern and Eastern Syria in 2018, the occupation of the area between GireSpi and Serekaniye in 2019, also in the Democratic Federation of Northern and Eastern Syria, as well as recurrent bombardments of the area in northern Iraq in recent years.
We strongly condemn this!
It is part of a policy of Turkey, which is now a new-imperialist country. A fundamental aspiration of all imperialist countries is the striving for the conquest of foreign territories up to the claim of world domination. Turkey's plans are in line with these aspirations. Erdogan has already stated several times that he strategically claims an area in Syria and Iraq that is oriented to the borders of the Ottoman Empire.
At the same time, Turkey's policy is also one of internal reaction against the working class and the broad masses in Turkey, and also against the struggle for the right for self-determination of the Kurds, which he wants to crush completely. Brutal external aggression and internal reaction are taking place, hitting the entire Kurdish and Turkish population.
The justification now provided afterwards for the invasion, stating that the PKK allegedly murdered 13 soldiers and MIT members, is a fabricated justification. The HDP has rightly called for an investigation.
One day after the four-day occupation of the area in Southern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq, a new wave of repression against HDP members and their supporters began with more than 700 arrests.
We condemn these arrests just as strongly and demand the release of all people in Turkey arrested for political reasons!
It must also be condemned that there is no clear condemnation on the part of the European governments of this aggression on Mount Gara, nor a clear condemnation of the arrest and repression of those who criticize the Erdogan government!
What do you say about the cooperation of KDP with the Turkish Occupation?
We condemn this cooperation with a fascist government. This cooperation cannot be in the interest of the people of South Kurdistan/North Iraq. The behavior of the KDP also shows where it leads to when bourgeois politics and ideology, as well as dependencies on imperialist powers and illusions in a bourgeois way out become the guideline of government action. Then the interests of the people and, in this case, the unity of the Kurds are betrayed!
What is the solution to the European support given to Turkey?
The governments of the European imperialist countries, especially German imperialism, cooperate with the fascist Erdogan regime. Neither are there clear condemnations of the occupations, which are against international law, nor are there clear condemnations of the repression against the Turkish and Kurdish people. On the contrary. In Germany, for example, revolutionaries who fought against repression and oppression in Turkey and were imprisoned there are put on trial. This was the case in the Munich trials, where 10 revolutionaries were convicted last year for alleged membership in a revolutionary organization in Turkey. None of these 10 were guilty of anything, neither in Turkey nor in Germany. What was convicted was a belief that upholds liberty, democracy and socialism. Likewise, Kurdish activists, who are accused of membership and support of the PKK, are currently being convicted, charged and suppressed.
Therefore, the question must also be formulated as to what is necessary to support and cooperate with the workers', women's, youth and revolutionary movements in Turkey?
In Turkey there are protests and activities to build up an antifascist united front. Workers' struggles against dismissals, for wage increases, etc., are taking place. There are protests of the youth, as currently at Bosporus University.
The ICOR, both its worldwide and its Europe-wide coordination, makes these struggles known, organizes solidarity and strengthens the international cooperation of the workers', youth, women's and revolutionary movements. It also organizes solidarity against arrests of revolutionaries, communists or Marxist-Leninists.
Practical solidarity is also of great importance to the ICOR: the construction of the healthcare center in Kobane in 2015 by 177 ICOR brigadists from 10 countries was an example of such practical solidarity. Just a few days ago we learned that more than 23,000 babies have now been born there. Also a medication donation collection, which has been continuing since then, or world-wide coordinated action days and struggles are part of this.
In Turkey fascism must be abolished as the first step. The further perspective for the people lies in the struggle for genuine socialism, a society without exploitation and oppression. This struggle for genuine socialism in the individual countries must be led today worldwide in a coordinated way. This is what ICOR stands for - the international coordination and cooperation of revolutionary parties and organizations. The allies of the Kurds are not the one or other imperialist camp, or bourgeois governments like Germany, which present themselves as democratic and, at the same time, trample on the interests of the Kurds, ban and persecute their parties. The allies are the workers' movement, the revolutionaries of the world.
In the imperialist countries in Europe itself, a struggle must be waged against the collaboration of the respective countries with the fascist regime in Turkey.
In this context, I would like to address the building of an anti-imperialist united front that the ICOR and the ILPS (International League of Peoples' Struggle) have started. In short, the imperialist struggle for world domination is being carried out on the backs of the peoples. This includes a rightward development in many countries, the establishment of proto-fascist or fascist systems, as well as a general tendency towards imperialist war preparations with an intensification of the danger of war. To oppose this, we want to build an anti-imperialist united front, which must also be an antifascist united front.
On all continents there are strikes and mass struggles taking place every day, which often remain isolated. The call states: "The international working class with the modern industrial proletariat as its core will only be able to stand up to the imperialist world system and become superior to it if it is united and mobilized! The international working class must be the backbone and leading force of the anti-imperialist united front."
The cooperation of parties, organizations, trade unions etc. in this anti-imperialist united front from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran etc. would be important.
What is your call to the people of the Middle East?
The imperialist world system is being shaken by more and more crises. An accelerated tendency towards a general societal crisis of the imperialist world system has emerged. In more and more countries, people are rebelling against living conditions. Especially the Middle East is characterized by many struggles of the workers' and mass movement, be it in Kurdistan, in Palestine, in Iran with many workers' struggles, and other countries.
In particular, there are two peoples in the Middle East without their own state, the Kurds and the Palestinians. A joint struggle of these two peoples, which also requires that mutual reservations be lessened, would be a great force for the peoples in the Middle East in the struggle for peace, freedom and socialism.
The whole situation cries out for a fundamental revolutionary solution. Ultimately, imperialism can only be abolished by building the united socialist states of the world. Socialism/communism is the only perspective of the peoples of the world. There is no halfway stage between capitalism/imperialism and socialism. Where illusions were stirred up, as now in Iraq, that the interests of the working class and broad masses can be represented with democratic autonomy, this ends in submission to the imperialists. In this respect, the strengthening of Marxist-Leninist parties in the individual countries and the higher development of their cooperation is very close to my heart.
This is the best perspective for the people in the Middle East.
The ICOR is now represented with 60 member organizations on five continents. We are working hard on the further strengthening of the ICOR.
I would like to mention the successful 3rd Middle East Conference of the ICOR, which took place a little more than a year ago. There it was decided to make increased efforts to build up the ICOR especially in the Middle East. With this in mind, I wish the further successful building of the ICOR.