Ceren Güneş (Özge Aydın) from the organisation DKP has become the first internationalist woman to fall in the current invasion.
She fell on November 3rd, in the defence of the Til Temer area from the Turkish army and jihadist proxy forces. This is the same region where Ivana Hoffman, or Avaşin Tekoşin Güneş, who shared her revolutionary second name, fell in 2015 fighting the Islamic State. The Turkish state is sending many of the same fighters, with the same aims, back to the land women like Ivana Hoffman liberated. Once again, while the international powers turn their backs, women like Ceren Güneş are joining the resistance.
Ceren was born in Turkey. She had been in North and East Syria for four years. She was a commander in the International Freedom Battalion and worked tirelessly in battle and also in organising for the world she wanted to see. Her comrades remember her as always smiling, always giving energy, a radiator of warmth, strength and kindness.
Many internationalist women have been drawn to the Rojava revolution to defend the values and spirit as well as the territory of the revolution. Some have also lost their lives in resistance. Last year, when the Turkish state began its occupation and ethnic cleansing project with the Afrin region, Anna Campbell from Britain was killed by a Turkish airstrike.
To struggle against capitalism, patriarchy, the nation state and all oppression makes you a target of the forces of fascism. It carries danger. But these women knew just as we do that to carry on without challenging the system as it is is only a different kind of death, and an even greater danger. That if we decide to stand up and fight, no matter what happens, we become free.
The statement from DKP on the martyrdom of Ceren speaks rightly of many internationalist women, those who have fallen and those who are still walking their path, when it says: “She did not come to these lands to die but she never hesitated to challenge death. She came here pursuing her great dreams.”
That pursuit and those dreams will carry on, in the hands of women all over the world struggling for freedom, and everyone trying to make Ceren’s dream a reality.
Those who have fallen in struggle show us the way. We love you, and that’s why we will keep fighting. Şehîd namîrin.