Urfa, officially known as Şanlıurfa (pronounced [ʃanˈlɯuɾfa]; Kurdish: Riha) ; Ուռհա Uṙha in Armenian, and known in ancient times as Edessa, is a city in North Kurdistan / southeastern Turkey, and the capital of Şanlıurfa Province.
Urfa was conquered repeatedly throughout history, and has been part of a great many civilisations. It’s wider region includes excavation sites of some of the very first settlements in human history.
With 561,465 inhabitants, Urfa is a diverse city with Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Arab residents.
Ecology is one of the three pillars of the paradigm of Democratic Confederalism, the political-theoretical concept of the Kurdish Freedom Movement. Besides democracy and gender liberation, ecology has been mentioned explicitly as a dimension in this concept since 2005. However to date, ecology is less discussed and practiced than the two other pillars.
Human rights defender, Hassan Mustafa asserted that friendly countries, the signatories of the Helsinki agreement, and the guarantors of the 1987 agreement, should force the Turkish state to change its policy towards the region. "we are going to resort to the international courts if Turkey continues to reduce the water level of the Euphrates River," he added.
In their search for an alternative, solidarity form of economy, the Kurdish freedom movement has organized a series of events, workshops, podium discussions and bigger conferences under the motto, "Let's communalize our land, our water and our energy, let's build a democratic, free life!"
This article aims to analyse the economic dimension of Democratic Autonomy, whose creation is projected to take place alongside politics, self-defence, diplomacy, culture, ecology and collective emancipation, and relates to the reader the arguments and experiences within the economic field.
Opposed to the economy controlled by the state and corporations, the number of cooperatives where relations of production and consumption are formed without intermediaries is on the rise. Recently, these cooperatives have begun to emerge in Kurdistan, as a reflection of the operation of an economy independent from the state and corporations. Below we share the interview we carried out with one of these co-operatives, the Medya Consumers’ Cooperative (Medya Tüketim Kooperatifi), at their market in Wan.