Ahmet Şoreş Interview on '68's revolutionaries
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In the 6th of May 1972, three young leaders of the revolutionary movement of Turkey and North Kurdistan, Deniz Gezmiş, Hüseyin İnan and Yusuf Aslan, were hanged by the fascist junta. Their short life fully dedicated to the revolutionary action had created a living revolutionary culture and tradition which is being embraced and followed by the millions today. We present the interview made with Ahmet Şoreş, one of the MLKP commanders in Rojava, about the meaning and the significance of these three revolutionary leaders and other martyrs of the May, as well as about the current developments in Rojava.
May is the month in which many revolutionary leaders had been murdered or exposed to various conspiracies, so as Deniz Gezmiş, Yusuf Aslan ve Hüseyin İnan. What would you like to say about them?
May is a meaningful month, from the sense of both the oppressed peoples and of the leader parties and cadres. It is a month which has been ennobled with the May Day, the struggle day of the working class, with the martyrs of the leader cadres of Kurdistan liberation struggle such as Haki Karer, Mehmet Karasungur and İbrahim Bilgin and with the martyrs of the leader and vanguard cadres of the revolution struggle of Turkey and Northern Kurdistan like Deniz Gezmiş, Hüseyin İnan, Yusuf Aslan, İbrahim Kaypakkaya.
They were those who succeeded in becoming vanguards by making themselves the actual subjects of each front built for the victory of the revolution in Turkey and North Kurdistan. They were the leaders that rose from the youth movement, matured in the social struggle and then headed their way towards Palestine for the armed preparation of the revolution struggle. And they had passed through this process very quickly. Revolutionariness, isn't it the speed itself? Rather than a long-life revolutionariness, which might sometimes develop a basis for the tendency of maintaining the status quo, they formed their action with respect to the necessities of a revolutionariness equipped only with the work of "doing the revolution" itself. For our case, this is what we have to be equipped with; their speed!
Those revolutionary leaders symbolized with Deniz, İbrahim and Mahir went for what was necessary for the success of the revolution. First, they became the humans of action. They had jumped in the social movement. They shifted the leadership level born within the youth struggle up to a social leadership level. They founded an organization/party, and then they constituted its programme and its strategy. In order to have the arm as an active element of politics, they head their way towards Palestine. Finally, by giving the most beautiful example of becoming comrades in their action, they fought for each other to death.
For our case, commemorating the martyrs of May does not only mean carrying out some repeated works showing that we didn't forget them. But rather, it is a matter of leaderization through becoming the actual subjects of the revolutionary struggle. This can be done by fulfilling the actions of the martyrs of May, which already contain the historical accumulation and experience that would enlighten the question of meeting the social movements with the revolutionary action and organization, with the communist leadership in ideological, organizational, and moral sense.
When we turn our faces to the martyrs of May, we see the devotion, development of comradeship, becoming proletarian, becoming guerrilla, resistance and struggle against colonialism, as well as the internationalism. They were all free from worries and basic accounts. Death became smaller within their struggle. They ennobled the concept of death by pulling it out from being an ordinary biological problem. They succeeded in doing so with their love to the oppressed, with the way they chose for the success of the revolution which would make the dreams of the oppressed come true. And yes, they managed to this by detaching from the spontaneity and reformism, by equipping themselves with claim and courage.
The month May is also the month of the Dersim massacre. On the onwards of the second world war, the colonialist Kemalist dictatorship were imposing exile and surrender politics on the Kurdish-Alevi peoples of Dersim. But those honorable peoples of Dersim responded it with an unyielding resistance. Today, the Islamist dictatorship of Erdoğan is carrying on those same politics which were once applied by the secular Kemalist dictatorship. Thus, the month May is at the same time the month of the honor, rebellion, uprise and resistance against the colonialist rules and their massacres. These invasion and massacre politics are now being executed over the whole lands of Kurdistan. Under the regional war conditions started in the Middle East, the colonialist fascist Turkish regime is willing to invade the lands of Kurdistan. These politics can be defeated only by the national unity of Kurds and the common unified struggle of peoples. We are obliged to carry the ideals of those martyred in May to the success.
Deniz went to Palestine to develop the international struggle and Turkish revolution. And today, you are in Rojava. What has changed in the level of united struggle of the revolutionary movement since then? Do you think the struggle line of Denizs' and Ibrahims' in regard of regional revolution is appreciated well enough today?
Revolutionariness cannot be sustained without succeeding in being internationalist. Today, this is even more valid. Denizs', Ibrahims', Mahirs' saw the first period of imperialist globalization process and managed to be. Heading to Palestine for military training and crying out the freedom of Kurdish people while going to execution show us the purity of the internationalist consciousness. In those days, Turkish revolution was at the center of development strategy. Now, the path to Turkish revolution is crossing by the liberation of Kurdistan and requires to meet at the line of a regional revolution in Middle East. Without grasping this variable and criticizing the current revolutionary stance, one cannot be a successor of the '68's leaders.
The dreams of Haki Karer and other martyrs of May, who fell to martyrs in the struggle of Northern Kurdistan national liberation revolution, have come true in Rojava revolution. Their dreams were not dropped out. Their comrades and the ones who become comrade with them managed to do this.
MLKP is in Rojava as the successor of this legacy. It is here to carry their internationalist struggle and their united revolution line to victory. To develop the united struggle line, firstly, it is needed to perceive the Rojava revolution correctly. The idea of internationalism and united revolution in the struggle lines of Denizs', Mahirs', Ibrahims', today lives in Rojava. Unless defending this revolution and achieving the mentality to fight for this, it is very hard for the united revolution of Turkey and Kurdistan to reach victory. Some important components of Turkish revolutionary movement prefers to stand on reformism and national narrow-minded petty-bourgeois line, instead of waling on the footsteps of revolutionary leaders of '68. Today, in Turkey and Middle East, not only to carrying out revolutions, but also to keep on staying as revolutionaries, directly bounding with the liberation struggle of Kurdistan, particularly of Rojava and being a subject of it have become a must.
Turkish state is an active part of the regional war in Middle East. To defeat this policy, it is needed to combine the internationalist and united revolutionary line of '68's leaders with the concrete situation. Those who say that they are the successors of them, first have to manage to rupture from the reformist line and the narrow national politics. The leaders of '68 organized the rupture from reformist and nationalist left line of those times, instead of following it. And they became the vanguards leaving a revolutionary heritage to the peoples of Turkey and Kurdistan.
May Day is being celebrated in Rojava for the last two years. What was the message of May Day this year?
The Rojava revolution continues to develop as a national libertarian, women's libertarian, internationalist characterized regional revolution. Opposed to this, the USA centered coalition and Russia from the global imperialist forces are trying to circumscribe the revolution by different forms and to change its direction. Again, as one of the regional colonialist states, Turkey, is fighting against the revolution through directly invading Afrin. May Day was celebrated under these circumstances. The proletariat's filling the squares with a line of a historical day is very meaningful against the lines of imperialist global forces and of the fascist colonialist capitalist invading states. Celebrating May Day in the squares of Rojava will be the lever of an ideological stance in regard of continuing the national and gender centered liberation with the social liberation and formation against this siege.
2018 May Day became the historical day of upholding the call of revolutionary war and struggle against the Afrin occupation. Re-liberating Afrin is the main agenda of the peoples of Rojava and Northern Syria. This was the main demand of our peoples joining the May Day.
Lastly, do you have a call to the youth of Turkey, Kurdistan and region regarding this particular period?
This year, May Day was celebrated together with preparation works for the snap election in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan. It was massive and widespread. Hundreds of thousands of workers, laborers, women, youth, people from national and religious communities filled the squares.
Whoever wins the elections, a great tension and clash between the fascist regime and the oppressed will be inevitable. Therefore, election work must be considered and handled in fact as to respond the post-election period and as a preparation for organizing a revolutionary war in a chaotic situation.
Some wants to create a dilemma that as long as Erdoğan isn't elected, it doesn't matter who will be elected. We shouldn't forget who supported the occupation war of Afrin during the election competition. This snap election decision, in a way, was taken after so-called "the victory" of Afrin at the same time. Thus, in the election campaigns, a struggle line against occupation, war, exploitation and suppression must be essential. A mode of working, organizing and struggling narrowed down with a goal focusing the voting ballets will lose us. We must have to act with the consciousness that we will be in a tough and battling period. For us, this is a very important opportunity. If we consider this as an important opportunity to develop an organizational understanding based on practical struggle, both the election process and the post-election process will be the beginning of a significant upsurge.
Martyrs of May left all the requirements of this revolutionary and vanguard stance as a heritage to the youth. To get out of the swirl of statue-quo, reformism, spontaneity and hopelessness, the month of May must be a lever. This period can only be responded worthily with a guerrilla-style life and organization everywhere. This is the thing what will be facing with this period and revolutionizing the opportunities.