Hediye Yusuf, co-chair of the Cizîre Canton and the Central Board member of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), spoke to Jin News about developments in the Middle East, the struggle of women in the region, and the new post-election era in the US.
“Iran and Turkey play a strategically important role in the Middle East”, said Yusuf. “The Iranian government protects its own Islamic system and Turkey goes with the NATO mission and wants to establish its own hegemony, creating a new Ottoman system”.
Nation states collapsed in the Middle East
The nationalist strategy, supported by the international powers, who insist on a nation state structure, would bring Kurds only more massacres and even a genocide, Yusuf noted. “In the face of this insistence on the nationalist line, Kurds decided to build a democratic confederalism system in order to unite the people and form a free Kurdish society. Nation states have collapsed in the Middle East. They could not respond to the needs of the people in the region”, she said.
“Therefore the Autonomous Administration insists on establishing a democratic national structure. The democratic system will change the destiny of the Middle East. As Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan says, the only way to solve the crises in the Middle East is the way of democracy”.
‘US relations with the SDF may change’
According to Yusuf, the Freedom Movement is the only group fighting against Turkey. “For this reason, Turkey attacks the Freedom Movement as well as taking advantage of the political vacuum that arose in the Middle East”, she said. “Turkey is struggling for profitable achievement. America has two political ambitions in the region. The first is to eliminate the achievements of the Freedom movement and Rojava, and the second is to accumulate the most interests in the Middle East”.
Joe Biden’s policies may somehow differ from Trump’s and will likely have a softer political structure, according to Yusuf. “They might try to correct some policies that could not be implemented in the Trump period or that damaged America’s reputation. Trump has caused great damage to American politics. However, nothing significant will change in the Middle East, because one must not forget that America already has a specific strategy for the Middle East”, she said.
Even though the strategic position of the US towards the region may not change significantly, US relations with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) may change regarding the fights against the ISIS, Yusuf stressed, but this in itself is not decisive, because “the Kurdish people, who have resisted for 41 years and have achieved great success, can only survive on the basis of the philosophy they believe. As long as Kurds maintain their achievements, they can take part in emerging politics”, she said.
‘Women will secure their status in the 21st century’
“We insist on creating a democratic nation structure within the framework of the Autonomous Administration system”, said Yusuf. “Women’s leading role in this movement and their resistance to protect their identity and free will had an impact on global politics as well as on politics in the Middle East. We believe that women will secure their status as decision makers in the 21st century”.
She also pointed out the innovative nature of the co-chair system within the Autonomous Administration in Rojava. “Women’s equal participation in the administration has made a great impact on global politics”, she said. “With the co-chair system, women expanded their struggle and influence”.