Kurdistan

As Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan unleashes more assaults on the country’s battered democratic institutions, Sam Wainwright looks at why Australia must support the democratic forces battling to create a just and democratic society in the Middle East.

Australian feminist and socialist activist Coral Wynter was among the speakers at a protest to condemn Turkey’s murder of women activists in Kobane, in north-east Syria/Rojava.

Three feeder columns of the annual Long March to free Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, which started in Geneva, Frankfurt and Luxembourg, are converging on Strasbourg, France, reports Peter Boyle.

A global day of action on September 14 drew attention to the Turkish government’s controversial Ilisu dam project on the Tigris River in Turkish Kurdistan. The dam is already being filled and if completed would flood the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf, 199 villages and 136km of the Tigris River valley.

Manjib is an ethnically diverse city in northern Syria. In 2014, it was occupied by ISIS (also known as Daesh). In 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, an alliance of armed groups supporting the model of grassroots democracy associated with the Rojava Revolution) had liberated the city.

Emel Dede is one of the Manbij Turkmen women who lived under the Syrian regime first, and then the Free Syrian Army and Daesh. She has been working for two years now for her future and the future of Manbij. She talked to Bêrîtan Sarya and Axin Tolhildan about this.

In recent days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have once again been ratcheting up their clash of the colonisers, writes Marcel Cartier.

“Freedom” can be a very difficult word to define, but it is easy to understand when you lose it.

Solidarity groups, NGOs and Kurdish Associations are planning a global campaign across Europe, Australia, Canada and the US to materially support the people displaced from Afrin, in northern Syria, after the invasion and occupation by the Turkish military and allied Islamist groups.

The Democratic Autonomous Administration of Afrin Canton in Syria’s north, which is resisting Turkey’s occupation, has warned all Syrians that Turkey’s murderous attack aims at ethnic cleansing.

Turkey’s murderous invasion of the Afrin canton in Syria’s north, backed explicitly or implicitly by Russia and the US, succeeded in taking the canton’s capital on March 18. But Kamran Martin says this is far from the end for the Kurdish-led resistance in defence of the democratic revolution in the region.

The Afrin canton in Northern Syria is under sustained assault from invading Turkish forces and allied Islamist gangs. 

The Turkish invasion, accompanied by reports of massacres and use of chemical weapons, aims to destroy the progressive, democratic Kurdish-led revolution in Syria’s north, which places women’s liberation at its centre.

The dark clouds of 21st-century fascism are once again hanging over the heads of the people of northern Syria. As if the inhabitants of the region often referred to as Rojava haven’t suffered enough over the course of the past 7 years of war, the Turkish state has come to the conclusion that the time is ripe to pick up the fallen, bloodied sword from the corpse that is Islamic State.

Together with Salafist mercenaries carrying flags of the Syrian ‘rebels’ – one of the many components of what at one historical juncture seemingly all so long ago was a cohesive ‘Free Syrian Army’ – Erdogan’s regime vows a ‘swift operation’ to destroy ‘terrorism’ in Afrin.

As Turkey’s air force bombed the Afrin canton in northern Syria, causing growing civilian casualties in a region that is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees, British Prime Minister Theresa May signed a new deal worth £100 million with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 28 to help Turkey develop new fighter jets.

By contrast, the socialist leader of the Labour Party opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, sent a message to a protest against Turkey’s invasion that expressed his solidarity with Afrin and the Kurdish people.

The umbrella organisation of political and social movements in northern Syria, Movement for Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), released a statement on recent attacks and threats by the Turkish state.

Turkey has attacked the Afrin district in northern Syria, which is part of the Northern Syria Democratic Federation that is seeking to create a new revolutionary system of “democratic confederalism”.

A seminar to discuss the challenges, achievements and lessons of the Kurdish-led feminist revolution in northern Syria, in Victoria University on November 4, attracted more than 80 people. It was the second seminar to be organised this year by solidarity activists and the Victorian Kurdish community in Melbourne.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) finally liberated Raqqa, in northern Syria, from ISIS occupation on October 17, after a battle of 135 days. In 2014, ISIS declared Raqqa its capital, which makes its defeat a decisive event.

The SDF is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious armed force made up of dozens of militias that is committed to the political project of “democratic confederalism”, the participatory democratic project associated with the Kurdish-led Rojava Revolution.

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