Apo: The main thrust is directed at me


Kurtuluş Tayiz


The Turkish original of this article was published as  Apo: Asıl hamle bana karşı  on 24th October 2015.



According to a report by Serpil Çevikcan of the daily Milliyet, Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] recently told a group of government representatives that it is him that the PKK and the HDP are really targeting. “These [the PKK and the HDP] are using Erdoğan as a decoy while their main thrust is directed at me. They are trying to undermine me,” Öcalan has said.


“The people’s revolutionary war” launched by the PKK was a move primarily against İmralı. By terminating the solution process, the PKK and the HDP ended up short-circuiting Abdullah Öcalan, who had been the government’s interlocutor in that process. They also whipped up a hatred of Erdoğan which they used as a smokescreen to disguise whet they were doing. While sidelining Apo, they blinded the Kurdish masses through this Erdoğan hatred. They kept shouting “Erdoğan the murderer” to push İmralı out of the game. 


But who or what force was it that did this? Isn’t the PKK obliged to its leader? Does the HDP regard İmralı as a burden on its back? Did the PKK and the HDP move to circumvent Apo because they regarded him as weak and inadequate in the face of the state?


I think not. It would be wrong to explain this on the basis of the PKK’s and HDP’s inner needs and requirements. Or rather, this sort of interpretation does not bring us closer to the truth. It is a “deep hand” within the PKK and HDP that has undermined Apo. This “deep hand” also happens to be an “outside force” that has been able to bring the PKK and HDP under its influence. They developed a strategy of “people’s revolutionary war” in opposition to Apo’s preference for a “national solution” compromise with the Turkish state. They killed two birds with one stone. They re-escalated terror inside Turkey to subvert a Turkish-Kurdish solution (also covering Erbil) that Ankara was trying to promote through İmralı. Simultaneously they also bolstered Demirtaş against Apo in order to assert their control over the entire Kurdish movement. 


In an article I wrote last week, I had noted that Demirtaş was now more popular than Apo [Demirtaş’ın popülaritesi Apo’yu geçti, 17th October 2015]. Kandil and the HDP leadership are now entirely in the grip of an outside force, and İmralı cannot do much after this point. Öcalan might well come back on stage yet again for the sake of a peaceful solution, trying to reclaim a role for himself, but basically they have taken the PKK that he founded and the HDP that he ordered to be founded away from him. Öcalan has been pushed into a corner on İmralı. This takeover against Öcalan was decided at a series of meetings in the US and in Brussels, as the public might remember from the leaked phone taps, circulating on the internet, of a certain Süleyman Müftügil, who has been Gülen’s Israel connection.


There has always been this debate about the real boss behind the PKK — was it Syria, or the US, or Iran, or Israel? Or was it always NATO that was pushing and promoting the PKK from the outset? The idea that Apo is the PKK’s one and only boss is based on the government’s acceptance of Apo as its interlocutor for the solution process. The “people’s revolutionary war” launched by the PKK, however, has put paid to this notion. Even if the solution process were to be taken out of the deep freeze in the near future, and Apo were to be reinstated on centre stage, I don’t think this reality is likely to change.   


Hence it seems that the question of being “native and national” is not only Ankara’s but also Diyarbakır’s problem. Kurdish politicians might find this angle, too, worth paying attention to.