Statement of Kurdish-speaking Anarchist Forum (KAF)

By e-mail.

We stand against the military attacks of the Turkish state and call for the mass resistance.

Once more, as with the last thirty years, the Turkish state’s military forces with the support of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the political parties that are within the regional government, launched a military attack against its opponents and radical social movements in the area. The military attacks have always been through land, also by fighter jets and recently by drones.

In the meantime throughout all this period the resistance of oppressed people and libertarians continued against these military attacks by the Turkish government. The resistance took different forms including people’s march for peace and against war, protests and attacks against the military basis of Turkish forces inside Kurdistan, campaigns of boycotting Turkish goods, blockade of production sites and attacks against Turkish companies wherever they are present.

The Turkish state is not only attacking the Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava, in fact its political and military power has been extended to the Middles East, North Africa and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Turkish state is doing all these as a second powerful member of NATO before the eyes of the so called “international community” under the justification of protecting the human rights and the values of Islam. It does that by crossing all the borders without any restrictions and have been supported by the US, UK and the EU.

Having saying that, we are not complaining against or blaming the KRG, the Iraqi government or the political parties that are in power, because we know that they are united by their class interests. In our eyes they all are a united enemy class that support the capitalist state in Turkey against working class and exploited people. In opposition to them, we call for our unity with the whole exploited people in the region and the world and ask their support and solidarity.

We Kurdish-speaking anarchists have always been and will always remain against all types of wars. Our positions and attitudes regarding this were very clear. In the meantime we were supported the will and the struggles of the grassroots movement and the libertarians in Kurdistan, Iraq and Middle East.

We have tried, in the line of historical background of the libertarian position, to not take part in any sides of the wars. We have never surrendered to the ideologies of fighting against fascists or defending the homeland as excuses for taking part in wars side by side with the national Bourgeoisie or by the side of nationalist parties. We do not make distinctions between states whether they are small or big, developed industrialized or underdeveloped and not industrialized country, imperialist or colonized. We never supported state’s military or its militia as we are against all kinds of superiority, class domination and authoritarianism. We struggle against all ideologies, like, protecting “our” country, nationalism, religion, dictatorial or democratic country, and Neo-liberal. Therefore, considering our extremely limited forces, our imbalanced social force against the armies, the armed action’s uselessness in this given situation, we have resisted and will resist all attempts that try to drag us into military conflicts, into sacrificing ourselves to the interest of one side and into defending the nation and the state. So, we appealed to our comrades and supporters to continue and develop a non militaristic social struggle.

For us the anarchist, the issue is not only that we must not be part of any sides of the war between states and infighting militias, but it’s most importantly about maintaining and developing the social revolutionary front of the oppressed against the capitalist system, all armies and militias, against wars and inter bourgeois conflicts whenever that will be.

In such circumstances, if we cannot fight directly against the war, but we can at least, direct our actions and prioritize our tasks to develop and reinforce the anarchist movement through our involvement within the social movements of resistance and struggles.

Our war is the Self organizing of our struggles and of our resistances, it’s the social revolution and this cannot be achieved through any other methods like armed struggle, regime changes, parliamentary system and the political parties’ power plots. The history and the experience of the past struggles shows us that the social resistance and the social revolution rely on the revolutionary conscientiousness that emerges from the daily struggle of oppressed people in the society. We see ourselves as part of the same class movement and we are taking part in it to achieve our historical dreams. when we are not strong enough to the level of being able to resist the war as an autonomous force, we instead can form an attacking combative resistance against the state on other social struggles.

It’s clear that even an armed resistance without having a clear class conscientiousness behind it, it will eventually transform to another form of domination over people or at
least it will be controlled under the influence of the state for its benefits. The defending of a liberated place or territory although it might not be right, we believe without any hesitation that defending it by weapons is our duty.

In line of the above for the present time we believe the below steps are necessary as immediate actions:

– General strike wherever is possible that can paralyze the movement of economy and military and sabotage the war mechanism.

– blockading transportation of oil and gas to Turkey as both are the reasons for many of the current wars.

– Boycotting all Turkish goods, products and its companies wherever they are. replacing those goods by supporting and relying on local goods and products and trying to set up cooperatives and communes.

– Boycotting the Turkish state media channels and its culture centers wherever they are.

– Boycotting traveling with the Turkish airlines and holidays to Turkey.

– Calling on police, solders and Peshamarga to take the mutiny actions and to put their weapons down, leaving there barricades and the war fronts.

– Encouraging people to put attack the Turkish military bases and its companies in Kurdistan.

– Self-organizing and preparing for any potential situation that may happen in the future, whether it is resistance or anything else.

– Collecting the basic necessities and providing support to displaced people from their land and support them to flee from this war.

– Broadcasting and writing about the crimes that the Turkish military commit, including killing innocent people, livestock and destroying villages and environment.

– Calling for a mass uprising in Kurdistan against the current KRG power as they are our direct class enemy and our exploiters, to support people and take part however and whatever we can.

Kurdish-speaking Anarchist Forum 19th April 2022
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HPG: 41 soldiers killed and two drones shot down in 24 hours

ANF English.

According to the People’s Defense Forces (HPG), five guerrillas have been martyred so far in the Turkish army’s occupation attacks in the Zap and Avaşîn regions of southern Kurdistan, which started on Sunday evening. Information on the identities of the martyrs will be published as soon as it has been secured, the HPG press center announced. Within 24 hours, 41 soldiers of the Turkish army were killed and five others wounded, it said. Two drones were shot down by the guerrillas.

“Our forces continue to carry out successful and effective actions against the occupation operation in the Zap. The occupiers did not expect such resistance from the guerrillas and are in a state of shock. They have suffered heavy casualties and the fighting continues. Likewise, the bombardments and the movements of fighter jets over our territories continue uninterruptedly. The Turkish state is trying to cover up its losses by spreading reports of killed guerrilla fighters in its special war media. These reports are completely bogus and do not correspond to reality,” HPG explained.

The HPG statement provided details of the following guerrilla actions in the Avaşîn and Zap regions:

Avaşîn

At 9:40 a.m. on April 18, guerrillas advanced from close range with hand grenades and firearms against an advance by occupation forces toward Werxelê. Fierce fighting ensued, leaving twelve soldiers dead and two drones shot down. At the same time, a military unit was fired upon with heavy weapons, killing two soldiers. In the afternoon, another soldier was killed and two soldiers were injured. The intervention of the guerrillas forced the Turkish troops to retreat one stage.

Zap

At 3 a.m. on April 18, the occupation forces wanted to advance toward Girê Şehîd Ciwan. The guerrillas gained control of the unit and struck from close range using infiltration tactics, killing two soldiers.

On the morning of April 19, a soldier was shot dead by an HPG sniper at Girê Şehîd Ciwan. The Turkish army’s attempt to establish a position on the mountain peak was thus stopped.

At 2:40 p.m. on April 18, a Turkish Army airdropping operation on Girê Çiyayê Reş was attacked by guerrillas using sabotage tactics. Two soldiers were killed in the action. At 17:25, another sabotage action and strike with heavy weapons killed five soldiers and injured another.

On April 18, the occupation forces in the Kuro Jahro area were hit three times by guerrillas using sabotage tactics between 11 and 11:40 a.m., killing four soldiers.

At 2 p.m. on April 18, a sabotage action by guerrillas targeted a military unit that was advancing toward Girê Şehîd Harûn. One soldier was killed.

On April 18, between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., the occupiers were hit four times by guerrillas using sabotage tactics as they advanced toward Girê Şehîd Şemdîn. Five soldiers were killed.

At 2:30 p.m., the YJA Star guerrillas carried out a coordinated action at Girê Şehîd Şemdîn, shooting two soldiers at close range.

On April 18, between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., at least four soldiers were shot at Girê Şehîd Ciwan. On the same day, a group of soldiers was struck on the road between Girê Xeregol and Girê Şehîd Delîl, killing two soldiers. The unit was then forced to withdraw.

Fierce fighting continues to take place.

My son Ekim Can Polat’s heart could stop at any moment.

By e-mail:

I’m Songül Ilker. I’m a mother and I’m waiting every moment for the news of my child’s death. I can’t sleep at night. I can’t open the phones. Tears fill my eyes when my doorbell rings. My son, Ekim Can Polat, has been imprisoned since 2016.

I want to tell to you about how he was arrested, his court process, his exiles, the systematic physical and psychological tortures against him and his current situation. My son, Ekim Can, was a child who saw people’s troubles as his own troubles and was always worried about their troubles. He was never indifferent to what happened in his country. He was detained during the Gezi Park protests at the age of 15. He was held in the detention room for 3 days. In the same period, he was provoked and exposed by some media organizations as “Baby-Faced Terrorist”. Those who shot Berkin at the age of 14 made my son look like a terrorist when he was 15. In 2016, when my son was only 19 years old, he was arrested and he has been in prison ever since.

He was exiled continuously and is now in Denizli T Type Prison, which is his fourth place of exile. He had been exiled to Silivri, Bandırma and Akhisar prisons before that. During his trials, false witnesses were heard. As a result of the trials, the person who committed the crime was sentenced to 9 years, but was released on the same day. As a result of the trials, a predetermined court decision was read and my son was sentenced to 24 years.

So why is my son a prisoner?

The truck belonging to a private company burned down. Eyewitnesses describe the person who burned the truck as follows; He is 1.60-1.70cm tall and weighs around 65-70 kg. Fingerprints belonging to one person were detected in the crime scene investigation. Fingerprints described by eyewitnesses and detected in the crime scene investigation showed a person named M. Sezen.

On the day of the trial, Sezen’s father held a dialogue with the driver of the burning truck at the courthouse. This dialogue took place in the field of view of the security cameras, with a specific date and time, in no way hidden. Likewise, I witnessed this dialogue. The content of this dialogue is as follows. The driver of the burning truck said, “I had a hard time coming here, I spent a lot of money.”  Sezen’s father said, “I will cover all your expenses, I will give you money, but you should say in court that it was the tall man who burned the truck.”

In addition, on the day of the trial M. Sezen’s uncle came to me at the the courthouse and he threatened me the following. “Mustafa is engaged and will get married. He can’t stay in prison. Ekim has no one to support him. You are his only supporter. ”

The court’s decision was as follows; my son, Ekim Can Polat, was sentenced to 24 years in prison, despite the fact that Mustafa Sezen’s fingerprints were found on the gas can and eyewitnesses described him. He was released that evening.

Ekim was with his father, who was a construction worker, the night he was taken into custody. The police officers who searched the house took his father’s work materials (hammer, nails and gloves) as evidence. As a result of the investigations, only his father and the fingerprints of the police who took the materials were found on these tools. The court thought that this “evidence” could be used in a terrorist act.

My son has been in prison for 5 years for these ridiculous reasons. As if that wasn’t enough, he is systematically tortured physically and psychologically. In every prison his “right to treatment” and “use of medicine” was denied.

He was subjected to forced nude searches in every prison. They exiled him, saying he would be taken to the hospital. From the first day in Silivri Prison No. 5, his treatment was prevented and he was not transferred to the hospital. He was left alone in a cell in Bandırma T-type prison. They moved him to Akhisar Prison, where he was threatened  with death  and tortured. For these reasons, he started a hunger strike and during this action suffered a heart attack. Head guard Kazım Demirtaş threatened him saying, “If you don’t cooperate with us, we will kill you”.

Ekim Can is currently in prison for an incident that he has nothing to do with. This time, pressures began to form because he did not fulfill their wishes.

He was forcibly removed from the place where he was left, saying that it would be renovated. Then he was placed opposite a convict who had attacked him earlier. When they look, they can see each other. Judicial detainees, seeing what was done to Ekim, reacted by writing a petition to the administration, saying that this will not happen. The guard says, “Are we going to feed him, not put him to death?” They are doing what Yazid did. When he asks for water from the canteen, they say no, but they give it to other detainees.

Hear my voice, be my voice, don’t let my son die. Everyone is acting like three monkeys. There are dozens of sick prisoners like Ekim. You are our voice. They do everything to kill sick prisoners.

What I wrote offended them. I said ‘naked searching is torture’. The director of the prison said, ‘Your mother says so, but it’s not a crime, it’s in our rules’. Upon Ekim’s objections to these words, a guard threatened “we will bury you here, we will kill you”, and the prison director did not interfere.

At the time Ekim had a heart attack while on hunger strike, he was also diagnosed with a heart rhythm disorder, COPD, osteoporosis, and pituitary hormone imbalance. He is seriously ill and needs hospital treatment as soon as possible, but is not even given his medication. The last time we spoke, he said to me, “Your would be ashamed of your humanity if your saw the tortures here.”

They have been dealing with hospital referrals for months. He is subjected to physical violence when he is taken to the hospital. In February, at Denizli State Hospital the gendarmerie came to the doctor and gave information about Ekim’s case. After that, the doctor did not examine him. Treatment for Ekim never started. He was taken to hospital, subjected to violence there, and brought back to prison.

He wants to be treated, he wants the torture and violations of prison rights to end. They broke his belongings. Somehow, his money is running out even though his canteen needs are not given to him. The money I sent to him is not delivered to him on time and it is said that this money I sent is over.

They say to him, “if you don’t do what we say you will have trouble here”, “if you don’t want to have problems here, do what we say”

As of today (27.06.2021), my son is on the 19th day of his hunger strike and his heart can stop at any moment.

International Solidarity for the political prisoner Ekim Can Polat – Turkey

Songul Ilker : 0534 978 1315

Twitter : @ekim_songul

Mail : ekimcanpolataozgurluk@gmail.com

World Report 2021 Turkey: Human Rights Watch

U.S. State Department Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Turkey

Amnesty International Report Turkey 2020

THE STATE IS TERROR, WE DON’T SCARE. Devrimci Anarsist Faaliyet (DAF).

Devrimci Anarsist Faaliyet (DAF).

This morning, the Governor of Istanbul announced that all demonstrations in Beşiktaş and Sarıyer were prohibited. Announcing the statement on his twitter account, the Governor said, “Considering that it may adversely affect the efforts to protect the society from the epidemic and prevent the spread of the epidemic, all kinds of meetings, demonstrations and marches are prohibited in these districts.” said.

Let’s express the sentences that they could not. Fear prohibits. The fear of the AKP’s collapse is increasing day by day. As his fear grows, his prohibitions also increase. This fear didn’t start today. Those resisting in Gezi, in Kobani; Those who went out on the streets after the bombs exploded in Amed, Suruç and Ankara became the fear of the state. In all the previous years, the state has attacked and banned them due to it’s fear. The courage of those who resisted turned into a struggle.

Let’s say it again, every prohibition is a sign of fear. The youth was in front of the university against the trustee rector of Boğaziçi University appointed by the president on January 4, 2021. There was anger of thousands of young people who demanded justice in the face of law enforcement. This angry determination frightened appointed trustee rector Melih Bulu and his appointees. Those who afraid attacked the youth; attacked with baton, shield, rubber bullet and water cannons. They thought they were going to frighten and scare away. Nobody ran away. The youth pushed and pushed, and the police absurdly tried to protect themselves by handcuffing the door of Boğaziçi University by the despair. The resistance ended for Monday, it was said, “We will return for Wednesday”.

Those who were afraid of Monday could not wait till Wednesday. We – declared by the state media as a “terrorist organization” – have repeatedly said that the state is the “terrorist organization”. The state started a police terror from Monday evening to Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Within 2 days, the houses of nearly 40 of our friends were raided by the police, those who were wanted were detained by torture. The torture and threats of our friends who have been detained for two days continue today. This is terror. Raids, tortures and detentions continue with wanted lists in their hands.

We are not afraid of raids, torture and prohibitions. Your terror will not scare us. We will walk on you with courage.

You Will Go, We Will Stay! We will win!

COMMON STATEMENT OF APO and DAF AGAINST WAR, FASCISM AND RACISM, SOLIDARITY WITH THE REFUGEES AND IMMIGRANTS!

Anarsist Faaliyet    English version reproduced in full.

War and fascism are the only “response” the system can give to its own deep and total crisis, to its own contradictions that result from its basic principle – the oppression and exploitation of one human being by another.

At a global level, the political and economic bosses are attempting an unconditional attack against the people of the capitalist periphery through war, military operations, subversion of regimes and enforcement of new ones, aiming to control whole areas, sources of wealth, even whole populations. This is a condition in which millions of people are condemned to poverty, sickness and forced immigration as a prerequisite for ensuring the over-accumulation of wealth in the hands of global financial elites and for the rearrangement of geopolitical balance of power in the context of international competitions between global, regional and local powers.

The thousands of refugees and immigrants arriving the last few days in the Greek-Turkish borders with the hope of escaping war and misery, in search of a better life, are coming against the murderous and racist politics of the EU and the Greek State. Military and police forces and parastatal groups have blocked their way. They do not hesitate to use even live ammunition to prevent their passage to the interior of Fortress-Europe.

For the Greek State, adopting the role of the border guard and imposing a modern apartheid in its interior with thousands of refugees and immigrants being trapped in concentration camps, is another statement of its commitment to the policies of European Union and NATO’s war machine, being an integral part of it, participating actively in the war conflicts by sending military forces, warships and missile systems.

For the state of Turkey that continues the war operations, aiming to the extermination of the Kurdish people, and escalates the military intervention and occupation of Northern Syria with the support of Islamist groups, the entrapment of millions of refugees and immigrants in its territory – as a result of the Turkey-EU agreement- and the promotion of thousands of them in the borders of Evros is another tool to serve its political agenda in the wider region of the Middle East.

Both the states of Greece and Turkey are promoting nationalism, intolerance and the rhetoric of hatred within the context of their increasing rivalry. Their target is to spread fear within society, to convince the social majority, which is plundered and brutally exploited by the state and the bosses, that they share common interests with the political and economic ruling elites.

Fascists in Greece are causing the massacre of the immigrants who manage to reach the islands on the Aegean Sea, by preventing them from stepping off the boats on the shore; with the support of the Greek police they are torturing the immigrants at the border line along the Evros river and are sending the immigrants who crossed the river back to the Turkish side of the border. In the same manner, fascists in Turkey are attacking immigrants from Syria who have taken refuge to Turkey, in the neighborhoods, torturing them and threatening to send them to Europe by destroying their homes and shops.

As anarchists from both sides of the Aegean Sea, we believe that the prospect of war societies, of poverty and impoverishment, the resurgence of nationalism and social fascistization will have devastating results to humanity. We are convinced that class and internationalist solidarity between the people, the organized counterattack of the exploited and the overturn of the world of state and capitalism at a global level can set the terms for the creation of a society of prosperity, equality, peace and justice without exploitation, wars and disorienting rivalries.

FREE MOVEMENT AND DECENT LIVING CONDITIONS FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES

THE STATES THAT FIGHT AGAINST THE PEOPLE WILL BE DEFEATED

SOLIDARITY WITHOUT BORDERS!

Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF) / Turkey

Anarchist Political Organization-Federation of Collectives (ΑPO) / Greece

DAF statement on the war in Syria and the refugee crisis.

The War in Syria is Growing

The long-awaited developments began to happen In Idlib where is the last point of the war and also the last point of the djihadist gangs supported by TAF were stucked. The troops of the TAF were attacked by aerial strike on the night of 27 February to 28 -shortly before the “ultimatum” that T.C gave to the Syrian Army to withdraw from the places it took in Idlip- According to official figures, 34 soldiers died as a result of this airstrike, It was carried out by Syria according to T.C sources.

In a statement made by the Russian Ministry of Defense, the fine message to Ankara stated that the TAF elements should not leave the observation points established in accordance with the Sochi Accord. The “striking” message in the statement made by the ministry was that “the Syrian air force is operating against the HTS (Hayʼat Taḥrīr al-Shām, Levant Liberation Committee ) targets and the TAF troops should not be in this particular region”. With these statements that Russia insistently emphasized the partnership of T.C with Al-Qaeda derivative HTS, which is accepted as the terrorist organization by the whole world.

The war is growing rapidly, the heroism speech used by the state has risen, and the speed of the media as it equips its war uniforms and the fact that almost all of the opposition quickly adapt to this situation. The last air strike is one of the historical turns of the war in Syria since 2011. We experienced one of these historical turns on May 13, 2013 after the bomb attack in Reyhanlı, which cost the lives of 53 people. Although it is not said who and why “TC was at war” in Syria, we felt other shocking reflections of this war in our geography very close at the massacres of Suruç, Ankara, Reina, İstanbul Yeşilköy Airport in the coming years.

State’s War Opportunism

The “usefulness” of the Syrian War, which caused such devastating outcomes for the peoples, on the other hand, in terms of regional and global states especially by T.C, is extremely obvious. T.C, instrumentalized the civil war in Syria for the increasing nationalism in domestic politics and the pression applications such as state of emergencyagainst the street opposition. Likewise, with its military and administrative presence in regions such as Afrin, Euphrates Shield and Serekaniye, it effectively filled the “Neo Ottomanist” promises towards its nationalist-conservative base.

We know that wars are the processes for the states to suppress opposition within their borders, to silence voices against power, to stop manifestations, and to accustom the society to “state of emergency” practices. The “democratic” practices of the state are put on the shelf with the war process,. Social pressure and passivation increase.

The ongoing war process will be used to further mobilize the increasing pressure mechanisms towards society. Violent words and actions against the current functioning will be punished, and state violence will become the most evident. On the one hand, the state will shape these processes as it wishes, while on the other hand it will use the war for its economic purposes.

War as a Solution to the Economic Crisis

The economic crisis is destroying the lives of the oppressed; the economic crisis is being hushed up by the war!
The minimum wage was announced in December: 2,324 TL! According to the statements of the unions, the monthly food expenditure (hunger threshold) required for a family of four to be healthy, balanced and adequate is 2 thousand 219,45 TL. Only 105 TL more than the hunger limit was deemed proper for the worker. Moreover, 43% of workers in Turkey are working for the minimum wage. In the same year, the budget spent by the T.C state for the TAF is 19 billion dollars. According to data of 2019 the wealth of 25 billionaire boss of Turkey’s is 43.1 billion $. The number of workers who committed suicide because of they could not maintain themselves and their family in the last 6 years is 351!

The worker who sets himself up fire as he cry out “I can’t survive” in front of the parliament while the bosses add their wealth, lathe worker who committed suicide because he could not buy pants for his son, young worker who burned himself in front of the mayor because he could not find a job, The industrial worker who eventually threw himself into a 1600 degree iron melting boiler because he could not bring the end of the month with the wage he received.

Some of them who works, the amount in the hand was not enough to make a living; some of them who are looking for a job and c’ant find so they become dependent to a bite of bread. While the economic crisis brought the oppressed to the point that they could take away their life, the wealthy added money to their money by turning the crisis into an opportunity and creating new wars, let alone lose anything from their wealth. New wars meant new tenders for them. It was the time of making war speeches on TVs and decorating, tearing and giving “martyred soldier” news and growing their shares from the cake with unquestionable auctions.

Details of War: Immigrants

It was reported that after the air attack on the TAF in the Idlib region of Syria, the state decided not to prevent migrants from passing to Europe by land or sea. AKP Spokesperson Ömer Çelik said “Our refugee policy is the same, but there is a situation, we are no longer in a position to hold refugees.” . Many immigrants in Izmir, Canakkale and Istanbul were directed to the beaches and Thrace. Europe was being threatened by the acceleration of the movement of migrants to the West from Turkey, for a long time in case of worsening of the situation in Idlib .

The state, which uses immigrants as a trump card at every opportunity, enthusiastically embraced his trump card after February 27. Those who cannot give their message openly to the EU and the West, seek supporters in Syria with threats over their lives. The state, which does not hesitate to use immigrants for its strategic position and serves it to the world through its media, tries to open space for itself and trying to be the “playing” state, instead of the state where “games are played”.

Strategic Position Between States

The state’s war strategy, which became public after the war, is not only focused on political and economic gains in the current region. The target is also to be one of the states which has “influence” in the inter-state political arena. The state, which aims to take a position in this arena through actions such as being a party to the wars that continue from Libya to Cyprus, from Egypt to Syria, to support one of the parties, and to be directly involved in the war, also trying to expand it’s “self-ordained” domestic politics beyond it’s borders. This self-ordainism has evolved to “conquest policies” with nationalist intentions, and support is provided in all circumstances from the nationalist conservative mindset within the borders. Legitimacy is tried to be achieved by drawing the image of the state who has influence in foreign policy and trying to achieve this status through aggressive policies.

For those who express their long-term goals (such as 2023, 2071) with epic rhetoric at every opportunity, neither the events experienced on February 27 nor the loss of lives any other time are important. While every megaloman project, which is kneaded in accordance with the statist discourses, is marketed with nationalist intentions and holiness, the account of the lives lost in the war is not questioned and melts in the ambiguity of the martyrdom of the state. Those who are regarded as “details” for the sake of the interests of the states will not be remembered the next week, month or year.

The ones with Power do not hesitate to plunder the lives of millions of people for the sake of their own interests, and, as in every war, it tries to crush those who are oppressed in this war. What we need to do as oppressed is not to be a pawn in the war of Power. What we have to do is to defend our lives that are trying to be plundered, to continue our fight against all war propaganda and to build a free world.

Revolutionary Anarchist Action

Turkish and French language versions

Red And Black Telly: WORLD WAR III IMMINENT ?

Where were ‘stop the war’ when Afrin was being invaded?

Eyewitnesses to the Rojava revolution: women empowerment

ROAR Magazine

Protest against Turkish invasion in Serekaniye, Rojava. July, 2019 Photo: Olmo Couto / Shutterstock.com

The Rojava revolution is under attack. Debbie Bookchin and Emre Şahin share their thoughts on this unique revolutionary process after recently visiting the region.

Authors: Debbie Bookchin, Emre Şahin, Marina Sitrin

What has been taking place in Rojava is easily one of the most inspiring and exciting experiments in autonomous self-government to ever exist. It is also one of the most massive, and gender inclusive, often compared to the Spanish Revolution of 1936, as well as the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. And yet, people outside the region know little about the different dimensions of the revolution taking place in Rojava. And now, this revolutionary territory is under military and political attack — its very existence at risk.

What follows is the first of a three part interview series with people who have had ongoing relationship to Rojava, and who have spent time in the revolutionary territory. The first two parts of the series are with Debbie Bookchin and Emre Şahin. Debbie, a journalist, author, public speaker and organizer is Murray Bookchin’s daughter and spent a part of the spring of 2019 in Rojava. Emre, a Kurdish PhD student and translator, spent most of the summer of 2019, traveling to 14 different towns and cities in Rojava, conducting research and in-depth interviews.

The third part is an interview with Carne Ross, Executive Director of Independent Diplomat and author. Carne left his career as a British diplomat, having served in numerous embassies and was Head of the Middle East section and Deputy Head of Political Section at the UK Mission to the United Nations. Carne made the film, Accidental Anarchist, based on his time in Rojava.

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No Friends But The Mountains

Anarchist Communist Group

The Kurds have entered into alliances with local States and imperialist powers, always to be betrayed. After World War One, they were promised their own state by the victorious imperialist forces of Britain, France and the USA. These promises, enshrined in the Treaty of Sevres in 1920, proved to be worthless, and anyway it was always about how the great powers would carve up the old Ottoman Empire.

The Kurdistan depicted in the Treaty of Sevres would have been under British control. Some Kurdish nationalists supported this, but others sided with the Turkish nationalist military leader Kemal Ataturk to fight the Allied powers. These Muslim Kurds preferred Ottoman or Turkish nationalist control to domination by a Christian power. Others feared that the British would re-introduce Armenians – who had fled after the genocidal attacks on them by the Turks – would be re-introduced to the region. This was a decision to be regretted by the Kurds as they experienced the reality of life under the Ataturk regime.

The British had occupied the oil-rich province of Mosul, where many Kurds lived, in 1918. The following year Mosul was incorporated into the newly created Iraq. The Treaty of Sevres promised the Iraqi Kurds the chance to be part of this projected Kurdistan, a promise never to be fulfilled.

In 1920 Shaykh Mahmud Barzanji led an uprising of the Iraqi Kurds against British rule and declared a Kurdish kingdom in northern Iraq. At first the British had backed Barzanji, who they saw as offering a convenient buffer territory between their interests in Iraq and the Turkish state. He had become increasingly resentful about the failure of the British to keep their promises. He was wounded, captured and imprisoned in India until 1922.

However, the British now decided to bring him back to stabilise the area against the Turkish nationalists and he was installed as governor of south Kurdistan, but after his return he proclaimed himself King of Kurdistan, turned down the British deal and allied with Turkey. Barzanji was defeated and captured again in 1932. He sued for peace and was exiled to southern Iraq. During the series of uprisings against the British, the RAF used bombs and chemical weapons against Kurdish insurgents.

In 1968 the USA supported the coming to power in Iraq of the Ba’athist Party, which promptly began to attack the Kurds in that country. In the 1970s it supported the Shah of Iran as its ally in the region, and gave support to the Kurds against Iraq. When war between Iran and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq ended suddenly in 1975, Iran dropped its Kurdish allies and the Americans stopped supplying them with military aid. The Kurds then were at the mercy of Saddam.

In the 1980s The USA saw Saddam as a useful regional ally, particularly with the fall of the Shah and the Islamic Revolution in 1979 in Iran. The Americans turned a blind eye to Saddam’s atrocities against the Kurds. This changed again in 1990 with Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait. He was now the enemy of the USA and American support was given to Kurdish and Shiite revolts in Iraq. However with the declaration of a Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Iraq, the USA failed to provide assistance and the revolt was crushed.

With the Syrian civil war, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) of Turkey, who had been waging a war against the Turkish State, in alliance with its proxy, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) took over parts of Syria from the Assad regime. They defended themselves against attacks from the Islamic State. The Americans, seeking an ally in the region, at first supported the Kurds against ISIS with air attacks, and then later with financial and military aid. The Kurds had once again become a proxy of the USA.

All of this changed with Trump’s abrupt decision to desert the Kurds and to allow the Turkish state to attack the Kurdish area in Syria. But, once again, Trump has reversed his position of pulling US troops out of Syria, under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans, and the criticisms of many retired military leaders. What this means for the Kurds in Syria remains to be seen.

As for Russia, it initially gave support to the PYD and its military units, the YPG. Now, however, Russia’s uneasy alliance with the Erdogan regime in Turkey means that Putin has given the green light for YPG forces to be pushed back from the Turkish/Syrian border. Putin met with Erdogan at the Black Sea resort of Sochi last week, and there it was agreed that Russian troops in Syria would not intervene to stop the advance of the Turkish forces. For its part, the PYD has agreed for the return of control of north east Syria to Assad and his forces. The PYD might switch allegiances and go into alliance with Russia, which will cynically play them off against the Turkish State, and then in time-honoured fashion, drop the Kurds when they are no longer deemed useful. Putin’s support of the Assad regime is still a priority and comes before any support for the Kurds.

We should also be aware of the demands by the German Defence Minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to set up a security zone in the area and send thousands of troops there. This represents a move by the Franco-German bloc in Europe to intervene for its own interests.

Meanwhile, across the border in northern Iraq, the USA still supports the Kurdish autonomous region ruled by the Barzani family. However, this support has its limits. After an independence referendum with a 93% vote of Yes, in 2017, the USA used its troops to support Iraqi forces to push the Kurds back into their enclave and the areas taken by the Kurds in 2014, including Kirkuk and its oilfields, were retaken by the Iraqi government. This is in spite of the role that Kurdish forces had played in driving out ISIS from most of Iraq.

There is an old Kurdish saying that the Kurds have no friends but the mountains. Any attempt by the Kurds to ally with world imperialist powers as well as regional imperialist powers like Iran, have proven time and again to be disastrous. The Kurds are used as proxies, as cannon fodder for the interests of these powers in a danger zone where the USA and its British and European allies, and Russia and its allies of Syria and Iran, are in confrontation.

Only a revolutionary movement that unites Kurdish, Turkish, and Arab workers and sweeps away the ruling class in the Middle East, whether it be the Barzani family, the theocratic regime in Iran, the Assad regime in Syria and Erdogan in Turkey, can offer any real solution to the situation.

Support antifascist prisoner David Campbell and anti-ISIS prisoner Aidan James

Cautiously pessimistic

David Campbell, a New York-based antifascist, is starting an 18-month sentence after being convicted of “gang assault”, a charge that sounds similar to the notoriously terrible principle of “joint enterprise”, allowing people to be convicted for someone else’s actions. To make things a little easier while he’s inside, you can donate money here, send him a message using this form which his friends will print out and pass on to him, or pick something off his very extensive reading list (or even choose a book you think he’d like that’s not on there) and order a copy to be sent to:

David Campbell #3101900657
Eric M. Taylor Center
10-10 Hazen Street
East Elmhurst, NY 11370

If you’d like to write to David, but aren’t sure what to write about, here are some suggestions:

  • the last time you saw a good play, or your favorite …

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