We share the following statement from Kongra Star, the umbrella organization of the women’s movement in Rojava:
To the public and to Kurdish society:
To begin, we respectfully commemorate the three Kurdish women who died in Makhmour and in the Zînê Wertê region as a result of Turkish airstrikes. In addition to these two incidents, the Turkish state killed an 80-year-old mother in Afrin, once again demonstrating its intention to continue its history massacres and genocides against the Kurdish people. As Kongra Star, we condemn these murderous policies.
The recent events in southern Kurdistan have raised concerns about the unity and future of the free Kurdish people. The KDP has positioned its military forces and technical equipment in the Zînê Wertê region near the Qandil Mountains, which is under the control of the PUK and is strategically important for the Medya Defense Zones. This has led to even more fear and concern. It is very clear that these developments will be directed against the values of the Kurdish people today and tomorrow, in the short and long term. If not stopped immediately, the occupation tactics of the Turkish state— which have been used against northern Kurdistan since the 1990s— will remain and spread throughout southern Kurdistan as well. This will create a chaotic and dangerous situation for all Kurds, and for all forces fighting for the freedom of our people.
No Kurd can remain silent against these attacks. No Kurdish organization should be allowed to pass coordinates of guerrilla, peshmerga or refugee camps to Turkish state forces or others so that they can attack. Such actions must not be legitimized. It is clear that this is an attempt to destroy all the values and achievements that have been created through decades of struggle for freedom and democracy.
As Kongra Star, we are deeply discouraged by the recent events in the Zînê Wertê region, the attacks on guerrillas and civilians, the embargo on the refugee camp in Makhmour, and the fact that the Turkish occupying forces have already invaded southern Kurdistan. We expect the KDP, PUK and PKK to reach a common outlook on this crisis, and to solve the problem through political dialogue. We urge them to work together to preserve the freedom of the Kurdish people in all regions, which is the legacy of tens of thousands of martyrs, and to work towards national unity.
In this context, we call on the KDP to learn from the village protection system developed by the Turkish state in the north. Our call to the KDP is to appreciate the values that have resulted from the unprecedented struggle of the people of Kurdistan over the past 150 years, spilling the blood of tens of thousands of martyrs, and to refuse to stand in the way of solidarity and freedom.
We call on all patriots, democrats, leftists, socialists, intellectuals, artists, and women’s movements, as well as civil society, tribal leaders, religious leaders and believers in Kurdistan to break their silence, and to make every effort to prevent these events from leading to a civil war.
Our people in southern Kurdistan are also opposed to the joint plans of the KDP and the Turkish state to deploy their armed forces in Zînê Wertê. We welcome the vigilance and attitude of the population against these plans, and call for these activities to be intensified and expanded. The women of southern Kurdistan in particular must play a leading role in resisting Turkish occupation.
As women from southern Kurdistan and Rojava, we have worked extensively towards national unity. Given the events of Zînê Wertê, which pose a great threat to the national unity of the Kurds, we must fight together and take the leading role in opposing a possible war—in which we as women have always paid the highest price.
We call on all Kurdish and democratic forces to expose the genocidal occupation policies of the Turkish state, which prevent the unity of the Kurdish people, and to strengthen an organized struggle against them.
Kongra Star Coordination
April 23, 2020