The Rojava Report

News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan

Wives of Village Guards: Put Down Your Weapons

The village guard system, which was first set up by the Turkish state in the early 1990's, has been responsible for some of the instances of civil conflict in Kurdistan

The village guard system, which was first set up by the Turkish state in the early 1990’s, has been responsible for some of the worst instances of civil conflict in Kurdistan

Wives of “Village Guards” (Turkish Korucu) have challenged their husbands to leave their positions as village guards, while calling for the village guard system to be demolished – according to a report in Özgür Gündem.

The village guard system was set up by the Turkish state in the 1990’s as a local, paramilitary organization that would support the Turkish army in its fight against the PKK. Many Kurds were forced into the village guard system by the state’s ultimatum to either become village guards or evacuate their villages. The system had a divisive effect within Kurdish society, and was responsible for some of the worst instances of civil conflict among Kurdish communities.

Women made the call in the village of Êzdinan, in the district Şax (Turkish: Çatak) in Van Province. Like in many villages in the region, the residents were given in a choice – leave their village or accept positions as village guards. Most refused and left, but some stayed. The women asked their husbands to put down their weapons and leave the village guard system for “an honorable life.”

Perihan Soğukbulak, a resident in the village, spoke thus: I am speaking to all village guards, all agents, and supporters of the AKP; remove yourselves from this dirty war…how much longer will people take the side of the AKP? How much longer will they be village guards? To begin with my husband is a village guard. And I am calling on all village guards, and my husband first and foremost, to put down their weapons.

Êdî bes e! (Enough Already!)

Şahristan Kılıç, another woman from the village, called the money their spouses earned as village guards as “blood money,” and brought up the fact that the guerillas and political prisoners have families too, and were in this sense no different from the village guards. “Êdî bes e! Lets end the system of village guards. Let no more blood be spilled.”

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