writes Hediye Yusuf, a member of the executive council of Democratic Union Party (PYD), for Jin News.he uprisings and anti-government protests that started in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011 created new opportunities for the people. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the streets shouting their demands for freedom and democracy. This spark was a sign in a society within which people were no longer willing to live under pain and torture, and it was a message that despotic systems and nation-states to be abolished. These uprisings became a breath of fresh air for the peoples of the Middle East,”
The peoples of the Middle East were waiting for such a spark which created the emergence of new opportunities so that they could gather their strength and rise up again. While the peoples demanded a new life, they did not know how to achieve it. The reason was: organised and leading cadres were not able to lead because they did not base themselves on strategic and political ideology. The rising up of the peoples in the Middle East started like this but has not yet concluded. Due to the control of foreign powers, they cannot resurrect themselves. At the same time, the capitalist powers are participating in the 3rd World War in order to renew themselves.
Sovereign powers have always preferred a new crisis to design their own interests. The more they deepen the crisis, the more their benefits are served; the more their intervention is legitimised. There is no doubt that capitalists and nation-states caused such a catastrophe, using their power to protect their sovereignty,
The peoples also sought to find a leader in the face of these attacks. The absence of a leader has caused a humanitarian crisis. The peoples’ revolution was destroying itself, causing such a desperate situation to emerge. In this case, Ixvan-i Muslimin and al-Qaeda, jihadist organisations, ISIS and all Islamic Salafis have become an option. Foreign powers also have become an option for these peoples. The purpose was originally simply to get rid of the present supporters of the status quo. Unfortunately, this situation brought with it what we call, the 3rd World War. The conflicts still continue amongst these external foreign powers. Everyone wants to get the biggest part from the conflict and get rid of the rebels in the region.
The situation was different in Rojava Kurdistan, because the Kurdish people had been fighting for more than 30 years in Northern Kurdistan, and it strengthened the freedom struggle in Rojava Kurdistan. The struggle of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and thousands of ideological representatives of the movement formed a free life and democracy in Rojava Kurdistan. At the same time, they created the consciousness of a free, democratic and peaceful Kurd; they created an organised society against the sovereignty of the nation state. Thousands of revolutionaries were martyred for the struggle. Patriotism, unity, freedom of peoples all together with women and youth have all created a tremendous legacy for the revolution.
The spiritual bond consisting of values of leadership, pioneering, patriotism, and the Kurdish freedom revolution, became the basis of a strong organisation that made the revolution possible. The opposing forces expected to take down the uprising. Turkey thought that with the Adana Agreement it signed with the Syrian regime, the Kurds did not have the power to revolt. The Syrian regime also had the same thoughts.
The establishment of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in 2003 and Yekîtîya Star in 2005 were established to prevent major destruction. They were based on the ideology of Abdullah Öcalan to provide a solution to the system going through collapse. The Syrian regime needed democratic change not to fail like Saddam’s regime as it needed to get rid of the central government administration. For this reason, the PYD, the women’s movement Yekitiya Star and the youth began to get organised over these principles and struggled for peace, freedom and democracy.
However, the Syrian regime responded with violence. It killed hundreds of representatives and patriotic people and forcibly displaced them. The government made pressure on people not to revolt and not to change the regime. Especially after the 12 March 2014 rebellion, the government attacked heavily against the people. However, the people continued to organise with greater anger and established and maintained its organised struggle.
The boycotts launched on 14 March 2011 sparked the Arab uprising. People of Syria had it with the Baath regime, but unfortunately as I mentioned above, they were not ready and organised for an uprising. So they faced the terror and invasion. So they shed blood. Syria has become a lake where all the global terror drifted in and this crisis is still ongoing.
Whilst all these were happening Kurdish people set the line of struggle. Our language and our struggle had a massive revolutionary power. All assemblies, communes, women’s organisations, youth organisations and civil society organisations were united under the Democratic Society Movement (TEVDEM) and formed the Rojava Kurdistan Assembly. Then they formed the Peoples’ Defence Units (YPG) and Women’s Defence Units (YPJ) in order to protect the people’s uprising and the resistance.
The Rojava revolution was organised on the basis of the democratic society paradigm. Later on, on 19th July 2012, the Kobanê resistance started and spread to Afrin and Cizîre. The 19th July revolution was a historic moment for the people of Kurdistan. It was a re-birth and it was a breakthrough for the recognition of the existence of the Kurdish people. The 19th July showed that the Kurds were not terrorists or murderers. It showed that a new life can be established despite all the years of oppression. It showed that women have a free and equal position in a modern movement.
The Rojava revolution gets its colour from a free and democratic ideology. It has grown and spread and reached to an extraordinary power. Although some of the Kurds close to the Syrian regime tried to define our organisation as if it was limited to a narrow group, they failed.
The Rojava revolution is based on the success of the peoples of Bakur, the peoples of Rojava. It is the first ever model that offers a solution in Syria. However, the powers in the region felt uncomfortable with the situation, especially Turkey and its affiliated armed groups. They wanted to destroy both the political movement and the revolution. They transferred Al Nusra, Western Tendru forces, DAESH and their own forces to the region to destroy the democratic reality. The attacks of the gangs still continue and they are still trying to destroy our revolution.
The Rojava revolution has reached to an international fame, because of its success against ISIS terrorism, which threatens the world. The Kurdish problem is now seen as a political problem all over the world. The world saw the honourable resistance of our people. The Kobanê resistance and the ongoing war against ISIS showed that the revolution was inevitable. The peoples organised themselves within the framework of the democratic nation paradigm.
Including Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Yazidis and other communities, this system inspired all the peoples of the Middle East and the world. This is one of the great achievements of the 21st century. However, it must be remembered that more than twelve thousand martyrs sacrificed their lives without hesitation for the freedom and unity of the peoples. We are grateful to those martyrs.
The Rojava revolution is leading the democracy front. It has formed a strong front in the third world war. The revolution is not over yet. The battle fronts are getting crowded. Turkey is trying to prevent this revolution to be successful, because they can only maintain their power if the revolution fails. That’s why today, Turkey conducts the concept of an all-out war with its partners on the territories of the Rojava revolution. The freedom of the Kurds has been a nightmare for them.
That’s why Turkey further aggravates the isolation on our Leader Öcalan in order to destroy the democratic nation project. People in Northern Kurdistan are under heavy attack. It imposes political genocide and commits massacres because they know that Northern Kurdistan and Leader Öcalan (Apo) are the biggest figures of the Rojava Revolution.
Again, they tried to occupy Rojava and several of our cities with their affiliated partners. A great resistance was demonstrated in Afrin and Serêkaniyê. Attacks still continue in these regions.
For this reason, the 19th July Revolution has a special importance for thepeople. This revolution is an achievement of the democratic nation project. All the peoples of the Middle East should oppose the Turkish offensive. We will continue to fight in the four parts of Kurdistan not to be separated.