The Underground Free Women’s Movement (TJA) in Kurdish Turkey

After the Syrian Kurds’ fight for Kobane against ISIS in 2014-5, many across the world were suddenly made aware of the Kurdish women’s movement in Rojava, northern Syria. But it was already flourishing across the border in SE Turkey, where women joined in taking up the ideas of imprisoned Ocalan and  intense cultural and political change to a horizontal anti authoritarian way of life was in full swing.

All this was suppressed in Turkey with Erdogan’s police and military crackdown in his bid to demonize the Kurds in a racist bid for dictatorial power. To his fury the revolution has continued and blossomed  in liberated Rojava, with echoes in Europe and beyond, despite Turkish support for ISIS and Al Qaeda, the economic blockade and the 750km long wall.

Here we republish a great interview on the birth, growth and suppression of the Feminist movement in Kurdish Turkey (Nth Kurdistan).

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Screenshot: Banner of the TJA website.

Interview with the Free Women’s Movement (TJA) in North Kurdistan

first published. Open Democracy • 31/10/2018 • Global Rights (some of photos/videos added by TheFreeOnline)

“Actually we have been calling our experience World War III. This is a war of destruction. The state does not call it a war, but this is the experience of those affected.”

After the Syrian Kurds’ fight for Kobane (a Kurdish city in northern Syria/Rojava) against ISIS in 2014-5, many across the world were suddenly made aware of the Kurdish women’s movement.

What has not reached us, however, is a much wider context that enabled the Kurdish women-fighters to confidently take up arms to defend themselves and their people. The unprecedented accomplishments of the Kurdish women predated Kobane and the war in Syria.

They are rooted in the evolution of Turkey’s Kurdish liberation movement, as it is represented by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and in the ideological shift of its leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

In what is regarded as a departure from the Marxist-Leninist perspective of national liberation, Ocalan developed a theory of democratic confederalism and democratic autonomy, making liberation of women into one of the central pillars of his struggle, alongside radical democracy and social ecology. The new ideology was first put into practice in Bakur (the Kurdish region in the southeast of Turkey) in the early 2000s and, despite continuing state oppression, the focus on and efforts towards women’s liberation within the movement brought visible results: a dramatic increase in women’s participation in the political and social life of the society, an evolution in their consciousness and the creation of various tools and spaces for their empowerment.

In Bakur, since the early 2000s, the Kurdish movement has been coordinating womens’ associations, women’s shelters, women’s local councils, cooperatives and academies, that have often functioned in cooperation with elected officials from the Kurdish parties in local government. Continue reading “The Underground Free Women’s Movement (TJA) in Kurdish Turkey”

Planting Freedom; CNT Backs Rojava Revolution

Let’s fight against isolation. Let’s put an end to fascism. Let’s liberate Kurdistan.

International Reviews Rojava LAURA GIMENO -CNT TERUEL

During the week of 11 to 16 February a hundred internationalists have been marching from Luxembourg to Strasbourg for the “Long March internationalist”, a march that has been organized for three years and has as its main objective to demand the freedom of Abdullah Öcalan.The long marches are one of the fighting tools that have been applied for many years in the points where there is a large Kurdish population in the diaspora.

For three years, this tool has been internationalized and has become a meeting point for people from different parts of the world who support the Kurdish cause, a meeting point to share experiences and training, a meeting point and confluence between different tendencies and ideologies of the left, united under the slogan “Let’s fight against isolation. Continue reading “Planting Freedom; CNT Backs Rojava Revolution”

Murray Bookchin and the Rojava Revolution.. free downloads

from autonomies.org/ shared with thanks        The ongoing uprisings and revolution in Rojava and parts of Turkey are largely modelled on the ‘municipal anarchist’ blueprint of Murray Bookchin, whose works had been neglected and often rejected, even by anarchists as being a ‘sellout’ or ‘anti worker’ etc.

see also…RADICAL CITIES AND SOCIAL REVOLUTION: AN INTERVIEW WITH JANET BIEHL

When the majority Kurdish movement, influenced by jailed leader Ocalan, finally rejected Marxism and Stalinism it adapted Bookchin’s community, ecological and anti state organisational ideas.

For decades the PKK marxist Kurdish guerillas had been resisting on behalf of the heavily repressed and ‘disappeared’ 18 million kurds in SE Turkey. Now they adopted municipal anarchism, dropped the demand for a new state and called a lasting ceasefire. Continue reading “Murray Bookchin and the Rojava Revolution.. free downloads”

The SDF conquer 35% of Hajin , the last big Fortress of ISIS

note: this blog thefreeonline.wordpress.com, has now been banned in Turkey with Dozens more pro Rojava and anti Fascist sites

The SDF conquer 35% of Hajin with heavy losses
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 The northern part of the city, including the hospital, has been conquered by the Syrian Democratic Forces, (SDF) after fighting throughout the week.

Thirty Islamists have died in the fighting. The Islamic State had been entrenched in the hospital and the mosque despite being non-combat sites. Continue reading “The SDF conquer 35% of Hajin , the last big Fortress of ISIS”

‘TheFreeOnline’ blog banned in Turkey with Dozens more pro Rojava and anti Fascist sites

Image result for turkey latuff erdogan
We have received copies from WordPress.com of Court Orders granted to Turkey to order them to  ban this blog thefreeonline in Turkey and for internet users ”originating on Turkey”and also around 50 more blogs for posts against fascism, racism and patriarchy by the ‘elected dictator’ Erdogan and in favour or Democratic Confederalism. ( see list below, includes Latuff Cartoons, Desert Peace, Uprooted Palestinians, etc).Image result for blogs banned in Turkey by wordpress

thefreeonline is a modest blog which promotes a utopian novel called The Free and posts relevant news, etc, in this case about the inspiring bottom up democratic revolution in Rojava, which has been brutally repressed in Turkey itself and now in Afrin with the Turkish invasion.2013121864316309734_20You can’t read thefreeonline anymore in Turkey (except with a Vpn or Tor) , or if you’re a person ”originating in Turkey” (we’re not sure how that works, but the order seems to aim at blogs translating or sharing news from exiled Turkish people and supporters..

The ban includes the suppression of much more frequented sites, see list below, and probably there are many more, and perhaps Google and other blog hosts have followed wordpress’s example of refusing to appeal the banning orders.

WordPress’s statement says  ”we must comply to keep WordPress.com accessible for everyone in Turkey. We will not be challenging this order in court”. In other words Erdogan is blackmailing again, threatening to ban all WordPress.com blogs from Turkey (as they did before) unless those critical of him are suppressed.


To help, complain or comment to wordpress.com they give this email>     Support <legal@wordpress.com>

We could fill pages with a list of documented  blackmail scams by Erdogan over the years, one of his most disgusting being extracting billions of euros in EU tax money in exchange for blocking refugee boats. This while exploiting the same  refugees as illegal semi slave labour and recruiting them as jihadi mercenaries to invade and ”ethnically cleanse” (a euphemism for genocide) Rojava and now parts of Northern Iraq. see.. Erdoğan threatens the world with exporting jihadist terrorists ..Image result for turkey latuff erdogan

Below is a list of posts on thefreeonline which were cited by The Turkish prosecutors as evidence that the site should be banned. see  list of more banned sites further below. Continue reading “‘TheFreeOnline’ blog banned in Turkey with Dozens more pro Rojava and anti Fascist sites”

Kobane Rebuilds: A Trip Through the Nth Syrian Revolution..VIDEO

Democratic Federation of Northern Syria – Communities across northern Syria have begun to rebuild following the cessation of six years’ worth of conflict that transformed once-thriving areas into bombed-out ghost cities.

Kurds Rebuild Kobane as ISIL Loses Foothold in Syria from Unicorn Riot on Vimeo.

British YPG volunteer Oliver Hall was 24 when he recently passed away from clearing buildings booby-trapped by Islamic State fighters

Battles between hardened fighters from the Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL) continue around Deir-ez-Zor as units of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) watch over ISIL’s recently-captured former capital city of Raqqa. Meanwhile, residents are taking steps to re-inhabit the Kobane Canton and other areas recently gained from the Islamic State

Unicorn Riot contributors visited the recovering cities of Kobane and Manbij in northeastern Syria as well as the grim frontline of armed conflict in Deir-ez-Zor, and obtained photographs from Raqqa. The following video presents various elements of life in Syria, such as displaced residents fleeing ISIL control, scoping out an ISIL holdout, clearing a booby-trapped building in Deir-ez-Zor, as well as rebuilding and creating new apartment blocks in Kobane.Bombed-out buildings litter the landscape of Kobane – November 2017

With over half of the country’s population displaced during the last few years and a majority of the infrastructure destroyed, estimates place at least a $300 billion price tag on rebuilding Syria. The human death toll in the Syrian conflict in the past six years, as of early November, was estimated at exceeding 340,000.New Building in Kobani Continue reading “Kobane Rebuilds: A Trip Through the Nth Syrian Revolution..VIDEO”

ROJAVA: A Utopia in the Heart of Syria’s Chaos

 
   from KDN  with thanksWhile battling the Islamic state, Kurds and other ethnic groups in Northern Syria are trying to install a political project. They call it the “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria”.

This project is at opposite to the religious project of part of the Syrian opposition, but also to the Arab nationalist project of the Syrian government. And it’s also opposed to an independent Kurdistan.”

We don’t want a Kurdistan for Kurds, but a democratic federation for everybody,” they say. From Qamishli to Kobane, from Membij to Raqqa, this story describes the difficult implementation of a new political experience in Syria, despite the obstacles of a the war and a suffocating embargo.

A written version of this report can be found in the September 2017 issue of Le Monde Diplomatique: “Une utopie au coeur du chaos Syrian” and “Experiment in self-rule in Rojava” in their English-language version (partly reproduced  here below). a film made by Chris Den Hond and Mireille Court Duration: 45 min. Filmed in July 2017



Below is the first part of the script  for the above video from the English version of Le Monde Diplomatique

Experiment in self-rule in Rojava

Autonomous enclave amid violence of Syrian conflict. Continue reading “ROJAVA: A Utopia in the Heart of Syria’s Chaos”

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