Ismat Sherif Vanli, a prominent Kurdish historian and politician, was born in 1924 in the Kurdish district of Damascus. He studied law and history in Syria, Lebanon, France and Switzerland, and dedicated his doctoral dissertation to the Iraqi Kurdish uprising led by Mullah Mustafa Barzani. He was one of the founders of the Kurdish Lawyers Association in Europe and also one of the founders of the Kurdish Students Association in Europe and for some time became the president of both. During Mulla Mustafa Barzani’s uprising against the Ba’athist regime, he also represented Mullah Mustafa Barzani in Europe. He made great efforts to introduce the Kurds in Europe. He was very knowledgeable about politics and history. Ismat Sherif Vanli died in 2011 but did not stop criticizing Ocalan.
Professor Ismat Sherif Vanli was a respected figure among all Kurds, so Abdullah Ocalan did not hesitate to take advantage of him. When the Kurdish National Congress (KNK) was established, the PKK asked Ismat Sherif Vanli to head it. He presided over the KNK for five years but resigned. Ismat Sherif Vanli never supported the PKK. He just introduced himself as a defender of Kurdish rights, regardless of political or partisan orientation, but his presidency of the KNK led a group of Kurds to consider him as members of the PKK. “Abdullah Ocalan, after being arrested in 1999, violated all his previous positions to save his life,” Ismat Sherif Vanli said. “The biggest mistake of my life is that when I was president of the National Congress, I accepted that Abdullah Ocalan be the honorary president of the Congress at the same time, but he acted as if I had no presence and interfered in all our affairs, so I resigned.”
“What Abdullah Ocalan did after his arrest is just surrender and that’s it,” said the history professor at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, in part of his remarks about Abdullah Ocalan. Even what is written in the book “Democratic Civilization” is unscientific and denies all Kurdish rights. Sometimes he compares himself to the prophets, and this is cultism. I wonder where Ocalan gained his legitimacy, who easily introduces himself as the leader of all Kurds. I have to say that Abdullah Ocalan may have read some history books or be interested in this field, but as a history expert, I say Ocalan mixes up issues and the result is not scientific. He interprets everything based on personal and political interests. “I can honestly say that Abdullah Ocalan’s thoughts and minds are like a garbage, full of everything.”
The lawyer criticized the PKK leader in parts of his criticism. “The PKK leader has sent the book “Democratic Civilization” to the European Court of Human Rights as a defense? Are European judges really free to read this nonsense writings? “In this book, he imposes his views on everyone and, without scientific reasoning, calls everyone a feudal or bourgeois and Kurdish nationalists retrogressives.”
Ismat Sherif Vanli called Abdullah Ocalan a “coward” who “made his life sweeter than the PKK members. He knows, so he did not go to Qandil and then was arrested. He knew a large number of Turkish intelligence agents were in the PKK and would kill him.”
“Abdullah اOcalan’s statements about Kurdish rights are contradictory,” said the Lausanne University professor. He demands legitimate rights for the Kurds of Iran, Syria and Iraq, but introduces the Kurds of Turkey as part of the Turkish nation. Of course, one cannot expect anything different from someone who introduced Saddam Hussein as a democrat in 2001. I must say that Abdullah Ocalan reduced the Kurdish issue in Turkey to a union issue. “His goal is to pave the way for Turkey’s membership in the European Union, which is part of the Copenhagen Accord.”
“Abdullah Ocalan says somewhere that an Iranian Kurd can say I am a Kurd and I am an Iranian, but a Turkish Kurd must be a Turk,” said the history professor. I must say that Kurds are Iranians, but not Turks, Iraqis nor Syrians. He called the Kurdish demand for legitimate rights in Turkey feudalism. “What Ocalan says to the Kurds in Turkey has no choice but to die in the future.”
Given that today is the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1938, it is better to cite Ocalan’s view on him “Ataturk was not a racist and wanted to donate the Kurdish autonomy but his surrounding prevented.” “This is not true at all,” says Ismat Sherif Vanli.
Referring to Ocalan’s criticism of Ghassemlou, he said: “Ocalan does not understand the various positive aspects of Iran’s policy towards the Kurds and only insists on his negative attitude. The Kurds in Iran are in a much better position, but Turkey even denies the existence of Kurds. Even Kurdish parties opposed to Iran do not understand this well.”
Ismat Sherif Vanli also called Europe a hypocrite and said that the European Union had adopted a 29-page document in 2000 to make Turkey rehabilitate Kurdish villages and allow their inhabitants to return, but this had been removed when the bill was presented to Turkey. “
This history professor accuses Ocalan of having an “iron fist” and says “Ocalan issued an order from the prison without participating in the PKK National Congress and asked for its name to be changed, and he did so. All of Ocalan’s statements about democracy are empty claims, and he interferes in everything through his people. The point is that Ocalan is killing Kurdish youth in order to democratize Turkey, for example. Anyone who criticizes him will be removed. Today’s world is not the world of being Serok/Leader. If this title was good, Churchill and General de Gaulle would have chosen such a title for themselves. Once in a PKK publication, I read an article that portrayed Ocalan to the level of the prophets, Napoleon and Alexander the Great. Today, Ocalan or Barzani or anyone else can not defend the rights of the Kurds, but they have no right to deny the rights of the Kurds. Ocalan’s followers are blindfolded and only obey.”