News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
Sînem Mihemed, the co-president of Rojava’s People’s Assembly, is currently in Norway in order to draw attention to the revolution in Rojava and the project of democratic autonomy. According to an article appearing in Yeni Özgür Politika written by Baran Adıyaman, Mihemed’s visit was organized by Roja Darian, the president of the Kurdistan group with the Norwegian Labor Party, and Mihemed has been accompanied during her visit by Serbest Welat, a member of the PYD Commission in Norway. Mihemed has also visited with the local Kurdish community in Oslo and stopped by the Kurdistan Cultural Society. During of of these meetings Mihemed answered questions on the recent proclamations of autonomy within Rojava’s three cantons and the state of national unity among the Kurds.
What Was Spoken About With The Norwegians?
Mihemed met with various officials in the Labor Party – the party which received the highest number of votes in the 2013 general election – including Jan Bøler, who is responsible for the party’s relations with Kurds, and Mari Abay West, a member of the party’s Commission on International Projects. Mihemed confirmed that the meetings had gone well and that she had informed the officials on the progress of affairs in Rojava and the project of democratic autonomy more generally. Mihemed said that the party members were most interested in the canton system and and considered the system to be a suitable model for the Middle East. Party officials also shared their desire to send a committee to Rojava within the shortest possible timeframe in order to know the region better.
The Third Way Has Proven Itself
Mihemed went on to explain how the United States encouraged various opposition elements to initiate a civil war, but that the Kurds of Rojava did not play this game and chose a third way, saying “Today’s developments have proven that the preference for a third way was the right decision. In the last couple of years more than one hundred thousand people have lost their lives, and close to a million have been forced to flee their homes.” Mihemed also pointed out how many thousands of people from other parts of Syria have settled in Rojava. Mihemed emphasized that the Geneva 2 meetings achieved absolutely no progress and that fighting continues throughout Syria. Mihemed also affirmed that the YPG and YPJ defense forces were composed of Kurds as well as all other peoples of the region and that they viewed no religious or ethnic group as their enemy. However Mihemed also stressed that the YPG would respond to any attack.
The Cantons, A New Flag, A New Anthem
Mihemed tool part in a people’s meeting together with many Kurds – most from Northern and Eastern Kurdistan – living in and around Oslo at the Kurdistan Cultural Society. Mihemed answered questions about the new canton system and why proclamations of autonomy were made at different times. Mihemed said, “There are breaks between some regions in Rojava. There are areas of Arab settlement under the control of the ISIS and the al-Nusra Front. For this reason the cantos proclaimed autonomy separately. But a decision taken in Efrin also applies in Cizîre. There is such discipline and organization. The existing problems will be dealt with in time. Unity among the cantons will thus take on its full meaning. Once again it should be known that the Kurds are the most organized force in Syria.” Mihemed added that within the Cizîre Canton there was a work to create a new flag and anthem that would represent all of the peoples and faith groups of the region, but also that “a decision might be taken to keep the old flag and anthem, the people will decide this.”
The Attitude Of Kurdish Parties Outside The PYD
Mihemed stressed the importance of national unity during this process, and explained the attitude of other Kurdish parties and their relationship to the PYD, saying “since the beginning we defended a system in which all the parties of Rojava would have a place. However when this did not happen we accepted the two assembly system. Young girls and boys sacrificed their lives to protect this system. There is no family that does not have a son or daughter fighting in the ranks of the YPG. On the other hand ENKS members are not even able to attend meetings most of the time because of disagreements among themselves. Once more some of them attacked the YPG together with organizations like the ISIS and the al-Nusra Front.”
The Cantons And Foreign Relations
Mihemed – while speaking of those countries which made enemies of Rojava and in particular the United States -added that even countries which seem to have supported Rojava, such as Russia, have not done anything in practice. Despite this, Mihemed continued, they attached much importance to diplomacy and intend to explain how they will establish a democratic system to the rest of the world. Mihemed concluded by saying that wherever one is in the world one needed ought to work materiality, politically and diplomatically for Rojava, saying “Today everyone should be a Rojavian.”