Van (Turkish: Van; Armenian: Վան; Kurdish: Wan; Ottoman Turkish: فان; Medieval Greek: Εύα, Eua) is a city in North Kurdistan / southeastern Turkey, on the eastern shore of Lake Van. The city has a long history. It has been a large city since the first millennium BC, initially as the capital of the kingdom of Urartu in the 9th century BC and later as the center of the Armenian kingdom of Vaspurakan. Today, Van has a Kurdish majority and a sizeable Turkish minority.
In 2010 the official population figure for Van was 367,419, but many estimates put it much higher with a 1996 estimate stating 500,000 and former Mayor Burhan Yengun is quoted as saying it may be as high as 600,000.
Van is also a university city. It is famous for its incredible breakfasts, and for curious white cats with one green and one blue eye.
Environmental degradation continues to plague Turkey in 2023, as forests are sacrificed for mining ventures, water resources are exploited, and major destruction is wrought in Kurdish regions.
In the summer of 2023, Mount Cudi is once again the site of significant wildfires, marking a recurring environmental challenge that has profound implications for the region which is an important part of the Kurdish geography. This event brings to the forefront an interview with Zozan Pehlivan, an environmental historian of the modern Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, and Ottoman Kurdistan, conducted in 2020, now translated into English by MedyaNews, that explores the intricate connections between ecology, economy, and history in Turkey, Kurdistan and beyond.
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.
TJA started preparations to create women's cooperatives in Van.
Raise in Special Consumption Tax (ÖTV) affects the secondhand car market negatively in Turkey. Van Car Dealers’ Cooperative chairperson İsmet İnan stated that the capital of car dealers shopkeepers reduced by half and added they did not predict a drop in prices.
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.