Adonis Diaries

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The Kurdish “Abbo” or Abdullah Ocalan by Nabil Al Milhem

Note:  If you are following the current military attacks of Turkey on the Kurds then this book might help understand the problems.  The leader of the Kurdish Workers Party has been in prison for over 6 years but the movement is strong.

“Abbo”by Nabil Al Milhem (Written on November 23, 2006)

This is a review of an interview conducted in Arabic by Nabil Al Milhem with Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of Kurdish Workers Party (better known under the acronym of PKK). This interview spanned 7 days in a secret meeting place after many attempts to sidetrack the Turkish intelligence services or MIT.

The Kurdish meaning for Abdullah’s family name Og Alan is “the one seeking revenge“.  In fact, revenge has been a widespread behavior among the Kurds. Abbo’s mother Aicha, from a second marriage, used to harass Abdullah since his early childhood to seek revenge with the kids; she would frequently threaten him that she would disown him if he ever showed leniency to harm done to him. The partisans or kirilla of the PKK affectionately shortened Abdullah to “Abbo”.

The PKK is located mainly in the heartland of Turkey in thesouthern region of Anatolia.  The home town of Abbo is named Amarley five kilometers from the Euphrates River and 80 km from the Syrian border. The town of  Amarley is surrounded by six villages, one Armenian village, two Turkish, and the other three are Kurdish.

A few years ago, Turkey threatened Hafiz Assad of Syria of invasion and the stopping of the Euphrates River flowing through Syria if Assad failed to deliver Abdullah to the Turkish authorities. Currently, Abdullah, or best known by his partisans as Abbo, lingers as prisoner for perpetuity on a Turkish island. The Turkish government was ready to execute him but listened to the European appeals for a stay of execution.

The entire village of Amarley feared Abbo’s mother and she enjoyed the support of her fierce 5 brothers who visited her occasionally.  Abdullah did not believe in the revenge attitude. Instead, he turned his society behavior into seeking close friendship with the kids categorized as belonging to the family enemies.

Abdullah did not fit well and spent most of his days hunting or resting on top of trees because he felt that his vocation is to fly free like birds.

Abdullah’s father, much older than his mother, was practically a non entity in family affairs, in contrast to his grandfather who was a fierce and renowned knight and who made his offspring live in his shadows.

One day, Abdullah got upset with his younger brother who kept ruining the plants instead of working and chased him with stones to his house; his father tried to stop Abdullah and he threw stones at his father too; then he left home for good.

He headed toward the capital Ankara and worked as a daily laborer until he saved enough money to continue his journey.  He was first in his classes and retained the respect of his teachers.

Abdullah graduated as a technical geodesic and worked as a government employee in the Diar Bakr region where he amassed riches from bribery and got acquainted with the Kurdish peasants’ conditions.  The Turkish army would not hire officer Kurds in its ranks and Abdullah had to enroll in political science at the University of Istanbul with a student stipend.

Apo was deeply religious in his early youth, could recite around 30 short invocations to God, fled to the Mosques when in despair or for seeking peace of min. He is very knowledgeable about the personal and historical facts of the Prophet Mohammad and the early Caliphates, and it appears that he leans more heavily toward the Alawi sect, which is a splinter of the Shiaa.

He read the Communist and Socialist literature but never was a Party member to any political organization.  He is a socialist and comprehend that the fight of his Kurdish Workers Party against Turkey is targeting its Fascist and Kamalist (Ataturk) ideology which cannot conceive of any type of Federalist system for the Turkish minorities. 

The PKK is based in Anatolia, the Turkish heartland, where the majority of all the Kurds live.

The Kurds inhabit a land within the frontiers of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran; the Kurds’s homeland was historically the buffer zone for any major expansion toward the Near-East or Levant of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and current Jordan.

For instance, throughout historical subjugation of the Near East region by empires such as the Assyrians, Iranians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Tatars, and lastly the Ottomans, all these expansionist empires did not attempt to invade Syria until they managed to conquer all of Kurdistan.

The Ottoman Empire, under Sultan Selim Yawouz, had to defeat the Farsi Shiaa with the help of the feudal Kurdish leaders in the battle of Calderon in Anatolia in 1514 before it directed its attention and military force toward Syria and Egypt.

Recently, Kamal Ataturk managed to impress upon the French to turn over the regions of Antioch and Iskandaron, which were part of Syria around 1933, after he managed to occupy the Kurdish region of Dir Sim.

The leader of the PKK affirm that the Kurdish people, and specifically the PKK, is the main obstacle for the success of the US strategy in the Greater Middle East; he understand that the US plan is to divide the region into two antagonistic axes:

1.  The first axe is the Sunny axe composed of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey;

2. The second is the Shiaa axe composed of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

This US strategy is meant to keep the region in constant conflict and totally reliant on its mediation and support.

Abbo is a stoic; he can forfeit modern luxuries and can resist the temptations of sexual intercourse for many years. Actually, he married Kassira, from a bourgeois family that was close to Kamal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey; the girl did not share his passion but she wed him to follow the order of the Turkish intelligence services.

For ten years, Abbo knew that she was a mole inserted in his Party by the Turkish establishment but he managed to confront the contrariety and did not punish her physically or executed her when she was tried for treason; they had no sexual intercourse. And during all that period he never entertained a girlfriend. His wife would never believe that he has been faithful to her physically.

The PKK confronted militarily the regular Turkish armies and the two other main Iraqi Kurdish movements of Barazani and Talbani.

For example, the Barazani Party relied on the tribal and feudal Kurdish warlords and sold his principles to the highest bidder in order to maintain the allegiance of the tribes;  but within 24 hours of a peace treaty between the Shah of Iran and Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Barazani’s army of 100,000 soldiers strong laid down its arms.

Jallal Talbani Party relied on the Kurdish middle class and was constantly seeking political solutions with the Turkish government, even at the price of military confrontations with the PKK.  Lately, the two other Kurdish factions are seeking the mediation of the PKK to resolving their endemic confrontations between themselves.

Turkey sent three times its army to wipe out the PKK with over $100 billion US aids and failed.

Once, Turkey concentrated a force of 300, 000 soldiers in its attack, evacuated over one thousand Kurdish villages and could not dislodge the PKK from the mountains and in its strongholds of partisans.

The PKK had to face the direct cooperation among the governments of Turkey, the US, Israel, and Germany.

During the Ottoman Empire it was Great Britain that sustained this ailing Empire in order to prevent the Russian fleet from reaching the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea.   It was Great Britain that stopped the advance of the Egyptian army headed by Ibrahim Pasha from entering Istanbul in 1840.

The war of attrition lasted twenty years but the PKK got stronger and more widespread among the Kurdish partisans throughout these upheaval and devastation.  In the early eighties, when the PKK got cornered, Abbo had to split his fighters. One group headed to the Turkish mountains in Anatolia and he led the other group toward the Middle East, I guess mainly to Syria and Lebanon.

The PKK fought against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 alongside the Palestinian and Lebanese Resistance; his fighters defended the castle of Beaufort (Kalaat Chkeef) in South Lebanon and 300 of his fighters managed to evacuate Beirut when Israel encircled the City.

Around 1990, Abbo directed his fighters to return to the Turkish mountains and had to confront many obstacles to that return home.

The PKK believes in friendship based on values and had strong connections with Hafiz Assad of Syrian, Greece, the Balkans, Russia, and the Armenians, though the Armenians still call Kurdistan “Arministan” because it was their kingdom in ancient history.

Abbo refused to appoint a second in command or instituting a central political committee for fear that the Turkish intelligence services would attract the prominent figures in the movement to split the revolution, and also to avoid the bureaucratic tendencies among the members of the Party, a tendency that he abhorred in the Communist Parties.

In fact, when his younger brother was made prisoner by the Kurdish leader Talbany, the latter tried to woo the Turkish government into offering a political solution in exchange of his prized prisoner.

Abbo never tried to remarry or associate himself with a girlfriend because he figured that any women would accept him solely because he is a famous figure and not for his personal characteristics.  He believes that love is the foundation for any marriage, and when love is over then the relationship between a husband and a wife is not distinguishable from a whoring business.

He thinks that the main struggle within a society is to spread the awareness of freedom and independence among the women in the families in order for society to enjoy freedom and liberty.  He looks favorably to the Prophet Mohammed marrying thirteen times because these wedding were not done under duress but consensual and he was soft and equitable and loving for his wives.

He believes that any marriage should not rest on religious dogma because the structure of families has changed through evolution and are different among societies.

Abbo claimed that the Kurdish people did not go through a slavery period, though it did not succeed in its evolution to experience any bourgeois period throughout history.

The Kurdish people is fundamentally a peasant and working class governed by a feudal and tribal system.  For this fact, Abbo believes that it is a much easier task to establish socialism in Kurdistan and be a role model for a happy and democratic society worldwide.  Actually, Abbo contends that the Kurdistan is the original bed of civilization that started 5 thousand years ago, and that the original Kurds fled Mesopotamia (current lower part of Iraq) to the northern mountainous region through successive waves of repressions and calamities.

The leader of the PKK affirms that he never carried a gun, shot a bullet, ordered an execution, or even ordered the start of the military alternative to the Kurdish struggle.

Note:  Abbo is still in Turkey’s prison but his confinement has been relaxed lately.  Abbo is ready to negotiate with Erdogan.

Currently, there are a few radical Kurdish factions, supervised by Israeli agents, trying to raise hell with Turkey because the current Turkish government has opened up with its Arabic neighboring States.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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