Amed / Diyarbakır / Tigranakert

Diyarbakır (Syriac: ܐܡܝܕܐ‎, translit. Amida, Kurdish: AmedArmenian: Տիգրանակերտ, Tigranakert) is one of the largest cities in North Kurdistan / southeastern Turkey / Western Armenia. It is considered the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan, and has been a focal point for conflict between the Turkish State and the PKK.

The region has been inhabited by humans since the Stone Age, and has formed part of many empires.

Historically, Diyarbakır produced wheat and sesame. They would preserve the wheat in warehouses, with coverings of straw and twigs from licorice trees. This system would allow the wheat to be preserved for up to ten years. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Diyarbakır exported raisins, almonds, and apricots to Europe. Angora goats were raised, and wool and mohair was exported from Diyarbakır. Merchants would also come from Egypt, Istanbul, and Syria, to purchase goats and sheep. Honey was also produced, but not so much exported, but used by locals. Sericulture was observed in the area, too.

Prior to World War I, Diyarbakır had an active copper industry, with six mines. Three were active, with two being owned by locals and the third being owned by the government. Tenorite was the primary type of copper mined. It was mined by hand by Kurds. A large portion of the ore was exported to England. The region also produced iron, gypsum, coal, chalk, lime, jet, and quartz, but primarily for local use.

Situated on the banks of the Tigris River, Amed has a population of about 930,000. The city is about 76% Kurdish speaking.

 

 

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

Kurdistan is not a poor country; it is a country that is being made poor. The lack of Coca Cola does not make us poor. Capitalist modernity, as Ocalan defines it, makes us poor. It wants to belittle people’s own production and to impose on the society capitalist mass production. That’s why the co-operatives and the communes that we have been establishing made the state feel uncomfortable. Because this represents a logic of rupture from mass production and a move towards the use of our own resources. The state was losing its market in Kurdistan.

The theory and practice of the Kurdish Women’s Movement: an interview in Diyarbakir

We took the rare opportunity to talk to an editor of the Jineoloji Journal in Diyarbakir about theoretical and practical activities of the Kurdish women’s movement in Turkey. The journal is one of the few remaining initiatives by the Kurdish movement that have not been shut down in the wake of the 2015-2016 military offensive by the Turkish state on predominantly Kurdish cities or otherwise repressed since the 2016 failed coup attempt. The latter was followed by massive repressions and the imposition of Ankara-appointed trustees in charge of Kurdish-majority municipalities (kayyum).

Thoughts on Rojava: an interview with Janet Biehl

Do I think this system in Rojava is purely as Bookchin envisioned it? Not purely, but perhaps that may lie beyond the abilities of real human beings. But the people are wrestling with problems of implementation that Bookchin, as a theorist, never foresaw, and I think that even the mistakes that people in Rojava might make are relevant to the future importance of these ideas.

Bookchin, Öcalan, and the Dialectics of Democracy

When Bookchin died in July 2006, the PKK assembly saluted “one of the greatest social scientists of the 20th century.” He “introduced us to the thought of social ecology” and “helped to develop socialist theory in order for it to advance on a firmer basis.” He showed how to make a new democratic system into a reality. “He has proposed the concept of confederalism,” a model which we believe is creative and realizable.” The assembly continued: Bookchin’s “thesis on the state, power, and hierarchy will be implemented and realized through our struggle . . . We will put this promise into practice this as the first society that establishes a tangible democratic confederalism.”

The New PKK: unleashing a social revolution in Kurdistan

For Öcalan, democratic confederalism means a “democratic, ecological, gender-liberated society,” or simply “democracy without the state.” He explicitly contrasts “capitalist modernity” with “democratic modernity,” wherein the formers’ “three basic elements: capitalism, the nation-state, and industrialism” are replaced with a “democratic nation, communal economy, and ecological industry.” This entails “three projects: one for the democratic republic, one for democratic-confederalism and one for democratic autonomy.”