Zelal Ciger: ‘The system built in AANES and Sinjar is the most democratic governance’
The co-chair of the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) in North East Syria shared her evaluations on the ongoing attacks targeting the Kurds in NE Syria and Sinjar.
Policies designed by Turkey and Iraq to increase pressure on Kurds, who have built a new progressive model of governance in North East Syria and Sinjar have been continuing and the pressure is intensifying.
The resistance of the people also continues against these attacks targeting the Kurds living in Sinjar and in various town of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).
The Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) Co-chair Zelal Ciger spoke to Jin News regarding the ongoing attacks in North and East Syria and the pressure being applied against Kurds in the region.
Ciger emphasized that the attacks against Sinjar and NE Syria cannot be considered separately from Turkey’s aggressive policies.
”Turkey’s potential attacks relation to its policies with the anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne which Turkey believes is expired. Therefore, Turkey is trying to get a share from this war.
Turkey occupied the lands of Northern and Eastern Syria, placed it’s mercenary gangs in the occupied areas, and has shut down vital water supplies coming from the Euphrates River,” she said.
She went on: “This water does not only belong to Turkey, it flows from the Rojava lands to the Iraqi region and the people meet their needs with this water. Currently, the water is decreasing, no longer flows into Iraqi territory. This is a policy of plunder.”
‘Referring to the attacks in Sinjar the TEV-DEM co-chair said: ‘Sinjar is a town connected to Southern Kurdistan and Iraq. The mass killings in many areas of Sinjar and the fate of thousands of people is unknown.
How can a state tolerate the murder of its own people? When there were attacks on Sinjar, neither the Iraqi government nor the Southern Kurdistan government protected the people from the attacks due to their relations with Turkey.”
She referred to the Kurdish fighters’s efforts to protect the Yazidis in Sinjar. “It was the People’s Defence Forces (HPG), Free Women’s Units (YJA-Star) and Peoples’ and Women’s Defence Units (YPG-YPJ) forces that protected the people of Sinjar.
The people of Sinjar then created their own autonomous government system. If there are currently pressures against Sinjar, it means the Iraqi government wants to take revenge against the Kurdish forces who protected Sinjar against ISIS,” she said.
Commenting on the system built in Sinjar, Ciger said, “The people of Sinjar were inspired by the Rojava revolution. Yazidi people saw that victory is possible only through resistance.
Therefore, any development in Sinjar today will also affect Rojava [AANES]. Currently system built in AANES and Sinjar is the most democratic governance.”
The TEV-DEM co-chair also pointed out the importance of the governance model put forward by AANES. ”Cantons have already been established within the framework of the Autonomous Administration.
It is the most democratic system in which the people can govern themselves and have free right to speak. It is also an exemplary system in Sinjar.
It can also be created for Iraq in general. However, neighbouring states are considered the system as a threat. This is because it is a system against the power hegemonies.”
Ciger also shared her opinion regarding the current developments in Turkey, focusing on the isolation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party leader Abdullah Öcalan and the conditions of the political prisoners.
”The people in Turkey cannot freely express their thoughts. One cannot even express your own opinion on social media, as you risk detention for sharing videos or articles. At the same time, elected people are arrested by the state and the state attempts to break the will of the people.”
Ciger said. “‘All peoples living in the Middle East and the world should now have an attitude towards this isolation and the crimes against humanity committed by Turkey. The Committee Against Prevention of Torture (CPT) and international courts should fulfill their duties”.
Many mothers will not be ‘celebrating’ but ‘grieving’ on Mother’s Day in Turkey
Mother’s Day will not be celebrated by many Kurdish mothers who will be grieving over their lost or ‘disappeared’ children.
For many mothers, Mother’s Day will have a loss of ‘celebratory’ meaning as they confront the loss of their children on that day. Two mothers, Fahriye Çukur and Nazlı Şen, spoke to Jin News about their years of longing for their ‘lost’ children.
Fahriye Çukur, the mother of 17-year-old Rozerin Çukur – who was killed in the self-governance resistance in Diyarbakır’s (Amed’s) Sur district in 2016 when the Turkish military carried out a deadly campaign in many Kurdish cities in Turkey following the declaration of curfews – described the pain and sorrow she feels.
She described her feeling of loss by stating that every day for her feels like the very first day she lost Rozerin. The feeling has been the same, every day, for the past five years. In this sense, she said Mother’s Day has lost its celebratory meaning for her.
”There is no cure for my pain. I still have the hope that my daughter will come. I still can’t accept it. We were not allowed to take Rozerin’s body for six months. We waited for her funeral for months. There are still families who cannot find their children’s bodies”.
She continued: “I lost Rozerin, but not only Rozerin, we lost many of our children”. Fahriye said: “Every child and every young person is a Rozerin for me. Not only me, but those mothers are now spending Mother’s Day without their children. Children and people were killed here and nobody even said what to do. How can a person be killed so easily? Where’s the justice?”, she asked.
Nazlı Şen, mother of 12-year-old Helin Şen – who was killed during the curfews in Sur as she was going to buy a bread – also expressed her feelings. Şen stated that even although five years have passed since her daughter was killed, her pain is still acute and ever-present. ”I feel like my other half is gone. I breathe, but I do not feel alive”, she said.
Şen stated that Helin’s case continues through the courts again, after the suspension decision was lifted. “I will not stop until the police who killed my daughter are punished”, she said.
Commenting on the upcoming Mother’s Day, Şen said: “I have been spending Mother’s Day for five years without Helin. Helin used to get up early on every Mother’s Day to buy me a gift. She never forgot to celebrate my Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day has turned into sorrow for us. I hope no mother experiences this pain”.