News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following article “Gezi’den Rojava’ya bir köprü oldu” was compiled by DİHA and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.
The life of Aziz Güler (code name: Rasih Kurtuluş), the Rojava commander of the United Freedom Forces (BÖG) who was killed last month in Rojava during operations against ISIS gangs, was full of stories of struggle.
Güler graduated from the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Yıldız Technical University and was a founding member of Genç-Sen, Turkey’s first and only student labor union. Güler was from an Alevi Kurdish family from Çewlîgli (Bingöl) and became highly active in the struggles of the SDP.
A number of Güler’s friends and comrades have spoken out about his life.
‘He was always laughing…’
Yasemin Deliduman, who knew Güler from their work together within the SDP, said “I always remember Aziz with a smile on his face. Comrade Aziz laughed with his whole face, his eyes and his brow.” Deliduman also explained how Güler was deeply involved in the struggles of the youth and of workers, explaining how he had been in the frontlines during the Gezi resistance. “Aziz became a bridge between Gezi and Rojava” she said, adding that “it is symbolic that the state is systematically refusing to allow these bodies [of the fighters killed in Rojava back into Turkey].”
Deliduman announced that his family and friends had put together a petition to demand the state allow his body into Turkey.
‘We want his grave close to us’
Another comrade of Güler, Ufuk Çeri, added that “Güler’s face was a face full of laughter that was at the same time affected by the [troubles] of the people and the oppressed. The refusal to hand over the bodies of Aziz and the other martyrs is an extension of the policy of murder.”
Aylin Kaplan, another friend of Güler, reacted to this policy by saying “the refusal to hand over the body is a state policy. We want Aziz’s grave to be close to us.”