The 81-year old Yusuf Gulo was killed along with his two grandsons in a Turkish drone missile strike on 9 November in the city of Qamişlo, in northeast Syria.
Born in the village of Çalê in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority province of Mardin (Mêrdîn), Yusuf Gulo was the son of a family that was exiled after the legendary Kurdish rebellion led by Sheikh Said in 1925, described by many scholars as ‘the first large-scale nationalist rebellion by the Kurds’.
Yusuf Gulo and his family have always been actively involved in the Kurdish freedom struggle in northeast Syria, and eight of his children and grandchildren lost their lives during the revolutionary struggle leading to the establishment of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).
Yusuf Gulo’s brother Ehmed Gulo spoke to Nazım Daştan from the Mezopotamya News Agency and told about the life and political struggles of his brother.
“Wherever the Kurdish revolutionaries rebelled against the enemy, Yusuf Gulo, his brothers and sons all supported them,” Ehmed Gulo began.
“Many revolutionaries from the North [the Kurdistan region in Turkey] came here after the military coup in Turkey in 1980. Yusuf Gulo joined them on the frontlines. This continued till the international plot targeting our leader Apo [Abdullah Öcalan, imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party PKK]. After he was captured and taken to Turkey many things happened and the struggle went on.”
After explaining that Yusuf Gulo had actively taken part in the foundation of the Democratic Unity Party (PYD) and that many of his family members had been martyred in the revolutionary process, Ehmed Gulo said his brother and his grandsons were on their way back from a funeral the day they were targeted by a Turkish drone.
“Turkey is targeting Kurdish patriots because of the defeats it is suffering; because of the accomplishments of the Kurds. The Kurdish people are about to claim all of their rights, and they are paying a very high price in the process. One of them has been Yusuf Gulo. His contribution has been astonishing. He’d given his word to his people. ‘I got in the first train and I will go all the way to the last station,’ he used to say. He was 81 and he never stayed away from the rebellion.”
The funerals of Gulo and his grandsons have been buried in the Martyrs Cemetery of Delil Saruxan in Qamişlo after a funeral procession attended by tens of thousands of people.