Call to the democratic public, to women’s organizations, to human rights groups and to women activists
Since October 4, 2023, the Turkish state has been intensifying its offensive on the people of North and East Syria in violation of international law. The Turkish state is using a PKK attack in Ankara on October 1 as an excuse to legitimize its ongoing human rights violations against the Kurdish people and its claim to occupy the autonomous region in North and East Syria.
In this context, the Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan declared war on the people of Rojava and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria in his official speech on Wednesday. He threatened comprehensive attacks, especially on infra and supply structures. It is incredibly painful for the people of North and East Syria to suffer such repeated attacks on their power supplies, water supplies, and hospitals.
With the aim of spreading fear and destabilizing the region, the Turkish state immediately followed through with the threat by carrying out intensive airstrikes with over forty targets throughout the region in North and East Syria. The attacks targeted populated places such as vehicles in major cities, public parks and the area around the Washokanî refugee camp, which is occupied mainly by refugees from Serê Kaniyê, a city occupied by the Turkish state in October 2019. The majority of the attacks however were directed at essential resources such as factories, oil facilities, and electricity and water supplies. The attacks on essential supplies have had a terrible impact on people’s living conditions.
In this way, the attacks are part of the Turkish state’s strategy to punish the Kurdish people for choosing the path of self-governance and autonomy. They are also continuing their policy of extermination and depopulation in the region. Although the Turkish state portrays itself in the international community as the state that shelters the highest number of refugees, it deliberately creates the causes of migration through such attacks. As Kongra-Star, the women’s movement active in the region, we strongly condemn the current threat of war and the attacks that have followed it.
Eleven years ago, we started a women’s revolution here in North and East Syria. We built up self-administrated women’s organizations and councils and achieved an awareness among the people that a society in which women are not free is no longer conceivable. We have fought every day anew to build a democratic, ecological system based on the freedom of women and we have defended these hard-won achievements and values with heavy sacrifices in fighting against ISIS.
The current declaration of war and attacks by the Turkish state against the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and its infrastructure is first and foremost an attack on the achievements of the women’s revolution. They aim to suppress the powerful aspirations of women in the region for their freedom and for a democratic social system throughout Syria. The attacks are a continuation and escalation of Turkey’s drone war, which has been going on for months, with targeted attacks on women leaders and women’s structures.
We women in North and East Syria know the importance of the women’s revolution and its achievements, and we will not give up. The women’s revolution not only opens an alternative path for Kurdish women and Kurdish society but inspires women of all communities in the region. It gives hope and encourages all women to struggle for freedom and peace in the Middle East and worldwide to resist a patriarchal system of domination based on war, exploitation and oppression – we have to defend this hope together!
As the Kongra-Star women’s movement, therefore, we call upon the democratic public, women’s organizations, human rights groups and especially women’s rights activists worldwide:
- to stand in solidarity with the Women’s Revolution and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria,
- to publicly campaign for the brutal attacks to be stopped,
- to demand accountability for the war crimes committed by Turkey, and
- to support our demand for a no-fly zone over North and East Syria to prevent future waves of attacks.
Women’s Movement Kongra Star
06 October 2023