In a recent interview with Medya News, Meghan Bodette, Director of Research at the Kurdish Peace Institute, spoke out against the Turkish drone strike that severely injured Delila Agit, a reporter for the women-led Kurdish television station Jin TV, and killed her driver, Najm el-Din Faisal Haj Sinan. “These attacks on prominent Kurdish women are crimes in and of themselves,” Bodette stated.
The strike occurred on 23 August in northeastern Syria as Agit was en route to cover a ceremony commemorating victims of another Turkish drone strike. “Extrajudicial killings are against international law. You cannot target these leaders; you cannot explicitly target civilians,” Bodette emphasised.
Bodette’s latest piece, published on 29 August, reveals that Agit is the second feminist Kurdish journalist to have been targeted by Turkey in less than a year. In October 2022, feminist Kurdish journalist and academic Nagihan Akarsel was shot and killed near her home in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan. “Kurdish women’s organisations and media workers believe Agit and her news outlet were deliberately attacked,” Bodette wrote in her piece.
She also highlighted the broader implications of Turkey’s military aggression. “This situation where Turkey has, through its military aggression and these drone strikes, given itself the ability to target and kill people with whom it does not agree as far away as Europe, in Iraq and Syria,” she said. She clarified that Iraq and Syria are sovereign countries and Turkey has no jurisdiction to operate there.
“And they contribute to democratic backsliding and instability across the region,” Bodette added, underlining the political ramifications of Turkey’s actions.
The attacks also have an effect on women’s movements. “They hinder the work of women’s movements both by removing competent leaders and by creating a sense of fear among women that prevents them from associating with these movements or joining and participating at higher levels themselves,” Bodette highlighted.
She concluded by discussing the far-reaching impacts of these actions. “That’s a threat not only to these women, their families, their communities, but also a threat to the entire concept of what a democracy is, of what sovereignty and territorial integrity are,” she said. “So this is a very destabilising pattern and it has a lot of impacts both in the directly impacted regions and communities and beyond.”
Bodette’s latest piece, which provides a comprehensive overview of Turkey’s targeted attacks on Kurdish feminist journalists, can be found on the Kurdish Peace Institute’s website. For an in-depth understanding of Meghan Bodette’s insights, the complete interview is available for viewing on Medya News’ YouTube platform.