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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Sat, 3 Jan 98 23:15:41 CST
From: Arm The Spirit <ats@locust.etext.org>
Subject: Party Program Of The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)
Article: 24902

Party Program Of The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)

[3 January 1998]


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.