News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following article “Duhok, KDP, ve SMDK” was written by M Ali Çelebi and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.
The meetings between the parties under the umbrella of TEV-DEM in Rojava and ENKS resulted in the October 22 Duhok Agreement. It has prepared the way for meetings between parties from Rojava, the KCK and the KRG. One of the articles of the agreement was that the KCK and the Hewler (Erbil) government be seen as guarantors of the agreement. Following the Duhok agreement a delegation from ENKS and TEV-DEM went to Kandil to discuss the current situation with the KCK. 7 people, including Aldar Xelil and Sinem Mihamed, participated in the meetings in the name of TEV-DEM and 9 people participated from ENKS. According to sources from Rojava, the KCK stressed that the alliance was historical and that it was important that the people and political parties of Rojava participate in this alliance. Following this the Rojava delegation took part in a series of meetings with the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) in Hewler over the first week of November in which the SNC’s former president Ahmed El-Carba is also reported to have taken part.
In accordance with the Duhok agreement a council will be formed that we resemble a consultative assembly. It will consist of 12 members from TEV-DEM, 12 from ENKS and 6 from independent parties. Such a picture has emerged. Every autonomous administration (Xweseriya Demokratîk) in Rojava has their assemblies, councils of ministers and presidents.
The politicians from Rojava with whom I spoke said that this body will involve itself with the general situation of the Kurds and their general strategy. The body will be able to make binding decisions regarding the general situation of the Kurds. However the Rojava cantons will be able to make their own decisions as before.
According to the agreement the parties from ENKS will take positions within the cantons. Within this framework the constituents of the assembly, council of ministers and the canton’s service organizations may change. Some articles within the social contract will be revised. Those articles on which agreement is reached can be voted on and changed. Because of the current fighting the general elections which had been originally planned for 2014 will necessarily be delayed.
This Process Will Continue Until Elections
Following the general election the constituents of different political bodies will be redetermined. In Rojava the legislative assembly is called the Meclisa Zagonsaz, while the council of ministers is called the executive assembly. Within the Meclisa Zagonsaz which was formed from appointed individuals during its first term there are individuals from parties within TEV-DEM, MRGK and representatives of all the peoples of the cantons. Some tribes even have representatives. After the general election a cabinet will be formed by people chosen by the Meclisa Zagonsaz. It is important that ENKS has promised to respect the outcome of this election.
The article which has come to attract the most attention is the article around self-defense. According to this the ENKS parties will consult with the YPG, YPJ and the defense ministries. They will present their suggestions and evaluate the position of the self-defense forces. It will be become clear how political parties with military elements will be integrated into the canton forces with ENKS. Any points of agreement will be brought to the canton administrations and the administrations will accept them. When it comes to the question of Rojava’s existential dynamics the command will – in the words of one of the Rojava administrators – “certainly” remain with the YPG and YPJ. The ENKS units will be integrated into the general command, while the commanders of these forces will serve in positions in the high command.
The KDP and the call of history:
The delivery of weapons to Kobanê through the opening of a corridor following the agreement is meaningful for Kurdish unity. A strategic role has now fallen to the KDP, which is the real patron and backer of ENKS. The [states of the region and international powers] watched ISIS for a while and made them pull back from their steps toward independence. Forget about the states themselves they showed that they can destroy any claim to status simply through a collection of subcontractors. The KDP should understand that if Kurds cannot preserve their unity then they will make others do what ISIS could not and turn Hewler and Kirkuk into rivers of blood.
The KDP, KCK, and PYD Must Not Miss the Opportunity to Get Closer
To not allow representation to Rojava while allowing the Turkish Armed Forces to keep bases in places like Bamerni and Kani Masi and allow them to conduct reconnaissance flights its not a position taken for Kurdistan. The KDP must not miss the strategic opportunities which history has placed into the hands of the Kurds, and must turn away from the anti-PYD policies that it has forced onto Rojava as part of Turkey’s anti-Kurdish paradigm. It must recognize the cantons, and must cease from being the obstacle to the Kurdish National Congress. This is to say that the call of history is for unity. Members of the SNC should read well the global demonstrations which spread from Afghanistan to Honduras for the 1 November World Day for Kobanê. A new mode of organization capable of including all peoples and faiths should emerge, and it should democratize and run along egalitarian principles.