Jineology – science of women, science of revolution

Camilla Power, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of East London

“If women combine forces they can make a huge revolution”

With these words,  Fouwza Yusuf, cochair of Kongreya Star launched the founding congress of the Women’s Council of Northern and Eastern Syria (Jun 14 2019).

Practical evidence for women “making ourselves powerful” and “building a new life” was all around us. As a Perwerde delegation of US and European academics invited by Rojava University, we brought a message of solidarity to this historic congress. It was one of the most multicultural events I have witnessed with translations across four, five or more languages, and representation from multiethnic and multireligious communities, Islamic, Christian and also the preAbrahamic Yezidi. Women wore dazzling celebratory costumes showing off their traditions, alongside the more practical military fatigues of the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units). Continue reading

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CELEBRATING 15 AUGUST 1984

PEACE IN KURDISTAN

Statement, 15 August 2019

For Kurdish people the 15 August is celebrated as the Day of Resurgence and Resistance. On 15 August 1984, Liberation Units of Kurdistan, led by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with its guerrilla commander Mahsum Korkmaz, launched the armed struggle for freedom.  This was six years after the founding of the PKK.

In the circumstances there was no option for the PKK but to resort to armed struggle if any manifestation of the Kurdish desire for identity and recognition was to be maintained and fulfilled. On 12 September 1980, the Turkish armed forces, led by General Kenan Evren, seized power in Turkey in a military coup. One of the chief aims of the coup was to crush the Kurdish movement. The constitution was suspended, parliament was abolished, all political parties and trade unions were banned and martial law was imposed throughout Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of people were tortured, thousands disappeared, up to 650,000 people were arrested, films were banned, journalists imprisoned and killed and newspapers prevented from publishing. Many death sentences were passed; the PKK had 122 death sentences passed against its members. The PKK withdrew some of its members from Turkey to Lebanon and Syria and began political and military preparations, which culminated in the 15 August actions. Kurdish resistance has gathered and spread since. Continue reading

 The Ilisu Dam: a critical juncture Open Letter to the Foreign Secretary.

Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP
Foreign Secretary
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AH

7 August 2019

Dear Foreign Secretary,

 The Ilisu Dam: a critical juncture

Over the past two decades, we have written to your predecessors on numerous occasions (most recently on 10 June 2019) to express our grave concerns over the adverse environmental, social and geopolitical impacts of the Ilisu Dam on the River Tigris in Turkey, which is now nearing completion.
Continue reading

Hasankeyf Briefing

 

Based on a visit by Julie Ward MEP, Prof. Felix Padel, and Henry Brooks (Kurdish Solidarity Cymru), 13-16 July 2019. For questions please contact Peace in Kurdistan on estella24@tiscali.co.uk or Kurdish Solidarity Cymru on Twitter @KSCymru

Hasankeyf

Figure 1: Soldiers at Hasankeyf surrounding protesters not long before speakers were due to start on the day of the Big Jump. After negotiations the army agreed to allow the speeches but not for anyone to jump into the river.

This year, on 14th July, a date marking worldwide campaigns to save and preserve vital freshwater ecosystems, the three of us joined over a hundred local and international activists at Hasankeyf in southeastern Turkey.

hasankeyf

Continue reading

Statement of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) Concerning Turkey’s Threats

The Turkish state has permanently and continuously launched its threats of aggression on the DAA areas of north and east of Syria, and these threats have increased recently by the mobilization of Turkish military forces on the northern border of Syria in the east of the Euphrates, aiming to foil the democratic project and destabilize the state of security and coexistence among the components of the Syrian people.

What happened in Afrin more than a year ago, when the Turkish regime and the terrorist militias implementing the Turkish agenda launched aggression on the city is the best witness to the hypocrisy and lies of this regime through displacement and looting. Continue reading

WOMEN’S ALLIANCE FOR KURDISTAN, IRAQ AND SYRIA

https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/activities/womens-alliance-for-kurdistan-iraq-and-syria/

NEWS BRIEFING August 2019

REMEMBERING SHENGAL 5 YEARS ON.

1.Yazidi women ‘ready to fight’ to avoid repeat of massacre
2.Women of Shengal: We have organized to avoid further massacres
3. YPJ: We reiterate our pledge to avenge Yazidi women
4.TJK-E calls on women to join demos for Shengal on 3 August
5. PKK’s intervention in Shengal
6. Following genocide, Shengal reinvented itself anew
7. Events all over the world to remember Shengal
8. TJA Statement to Remember the Yezidi Genocide of 3 August 2014
9. The 5th Anniversary of Shengal Massacre Infographic
10. My people were massacred five years ago. The genocide continues.


Continue reading

TJA Statement to remember the Yezidi Genocide of 3 August 2014

Dear Women, Friends

On August 3, 2014, Êzidî (Yezidi) people, who have fought for existence, experienced the 74th genocidal massacre in their history in the witness of the whole world. Tens of times, Êzidîs have been subjected to attacks and massacres carried out by the male-dominated mindset having been in power for thousands of years with the help of the national state and fascist militarist understanding and exploitation of belief. Daesh, a form of deposited, ganged and militarist ruling male-dominated mindset,  drove Êzidî community to the brink of annihilation and carried out the most profound massacre on August 3 against the women, who are  the essence of life and the existence of the community. Continue reading

An evening of poetry, music and film

YOUR FREEDOM AND MINE

 An evening of poetry, music and film celebrating the resistance struggle of the Kurdish Freedom Movement on the occasion of the publication of “Freedom Poems for Ocalan” marking Abdullah Ocalan’s 70th birthday! 

 Tuesday, 16 July 2019, 7.30pm

Theatro Technis

26 Crowndale Road, London NW1 1TT

(5 min from Mornington Crescent station/Northern Line)

https://theatrotechnis.com

For more information contact

Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com

Mobile: 07846 666 804

 

KURDISH NEWS BRIEFING, 27 MAY 2019 – 17 JUNE 2019

NEWS

  1. Northern and Eastern Syrian women’s assembly to be founded
  2. HDP’s Buldan: Mr. Öcalan is the key to peace
  3. US: Kurds should be represented in political talks on Syria
  4. Turkish novelist details online abuse as authorities crackdown on ‘obscenity’
  5. US official holds counterterror talks with Syria Kurds
  6. Turkey continues to arrest Dutch citizens on suspicion of PKK support
  7. Sinn Fein demand release of Ocalan and return to peace talks
  8. Rail workers vote overwhelmingly to support jailed journalists in Turkey
  9. British Unions continue to work for freedom for Öcalan
  10. Leyla Güven discharged from hospital: I will return stronger
  11. KNK celebrated its 20th anniversary
  12. “Kurdish Struggle” panel discussion at British Parliament

Continue reading

The Ilisu Dam: a critical juncture: Open Letter to Jeremy Hunt MP

Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt MP
Foreign Secretary
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AH

10 June 2019
Dear Foreign Secretary,

 The Ilisu Dam: a critical juncture

Over the past two decades, we have written to your predecessors on numerous occasions to express our grave concerns over the adverse environmental, social and geopolitical impacts of the Ilisu Dam on the River Tigris in Turkey, which is now nearing completion. The Turkish Government has now announced its intention to start filling the reservoir on or after 10 June 2019.

You will recall that in 2001 the UK construction company Balfour Beatty, which had been seeking UK  export credit support for the project, withdrew from the project after parliamentarians, experts and non-governmental organisations had expressed their opposition.  Since then, other EU companies have also withdrawn due to environmental, human rights, cultural heritage and other concerns.

The dam was planned without consultation with downstream states, in contravention with international customary law.  Even today, decades after construction began, there is no agreement between Turkey, Syria and Iraq on downstream flows; this despite expert reports suggesting that operation of the dam, in conjunction with a further planned project at Cizre, could reduce the flow of the Tigris during dry years to a trickle. There is a very real fear that the project could seriously jeopardizing the water supply of major Iraqi towns, and put agriculture downstream at risk. The UNESCO site of Mesopotamian Marshes in southern Iraq would be threatened with drying out due to reduced downstream flows. The potential for the dam to exacerbate existing regional conflicts, not least over water, is thus severe, a threat recognised by the FCO under previous administrations.

The dam is opposed internationally. Indeed, the announcement of the proposed filling of the reservoir caused protests in Turkey, Iraq, continental Europe and the UK. A particular focus of concern is the loss of the ancient city of Hasankeyf, a site of international historical and cultural importance whose flooding (should the reservoir be filled) would be a loss not just to the region but to humanity as a whole. The threat posed by the Ilisu Dam project prompted the World Monuments Fund to list the city on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world. Continue reading