News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/DİHA – Özgür Gündem) Thousands have demonstrated in Istanbul, Izmir, and Diyarbakir in support of the revolution in Rojava and with the demand that the rights of Kurds be recognized at the Geneva-II peace conference. The peace conference is scheduled to take place this coming week, January 22nd, in the Swiss city of Montreux.
HDP co-president Tuncel, BDP MPs Faysal Sarıyıldız and Selma Irmak, and HDP Mayoral Candidate Sırrı Süreyya Önder attended the rally in the Istanbul district of Kadıköy. İlkay Yenigün, the co-president of the BDP Istanbul District Branch, told those gathered that “peoples in Syria have been rising up for freedom and democracy from 3,000 years ago until today. But today it is the Kurds who are carrying out the struggle for democracy and freedom and building a free and democratic life with the revolution they have made.”
Irmak, a BDP MP from Şırnak recently released from Turkish prison after being arrested and detained for over a year on political charges, also spoke. Irmak stressed that there were those who wanted to keep Kurds divided, saying that “however the Kurdish vein of resistance worked against this. Today in every place that the Kurds live they have become an important element of the struggle for democracy. There are those who want a new Lausanne, but this isn’t the old world and the Kurds are not the old Kurds. Then individuals spoke in the name of the Kurds. I beg your pardon, but no one has the authority to represent the Kurds.”
Sırrı Süreyya Önder addressed the rally in Istanbul and spoke of the debt they all owed to Rojava. Önder is reported to have said “today the place we have come to in Rojava is the most democratic response to imperialist pressure. The right honorable Mr. Öcalan has sent his greetings to all of us that are supporting this resistance and building it on a democratic foundation.” Önder also connected the struggle in Rojava with the struggle that began with the Kurdish people and other democratic forces in the aftermath of the September 12th Fascist Coup. Önder continued, saying, “this was all accomplished by all revolutionaries. We have an obligation of solidarity with the people of Rojava. We are going to see our obligations through.” Following Önder, HDP co-president Sabahat Tuncel spoke about the Kurdish role in building democracy in Syria, saying that the construction of democracy would only be possible if Kurds were given representation at Geneva.
In Diyarbakir BDP Mayoral Candidates Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı joined large crowds who met to call that the parties at Geneva “recognize the free will of Rojava.’ Kışanak called for international forces to recognize the Kurdish people, and to look at the success of the Kurdish struggle for democracy as a model for the larger region. Kışanak said “thanks to Kurdish people’s philosophy of democracy Rojava Kurdistan is the only place left in Syria that is not ruined. We are saying take this as an example. Today they will have a meeting in Geneva and will debate the future of Syria. There is a revolution happening before your eyes. If you want freedom for Syria first you will call the Kurds and listen to them. Accept the Kurdish High Council, let them show you what kind of country they intend to build.”