Bakur

“Bakur” is Kurdish for “North”. It refers to the land in the North of Kurdistan (the land where Kurds live), in the eastern part of Turkey, particularly the southeast.

The Turkish state was founded in 1923, at the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and a system of Turkish cultural and language assimilation was installed, known as ‘Turkification’. Kurdish and other languages were forbidden. Names of rivers, mountains, villages, cities and other places were changed to Turkish, and naming children anything other than Turkish names was also forbidden, as was education, books, etc in such languages.

The Kurdish movement was founded in opposition to this forced assimilation, in favour of Kurdish and other minority cultural rights.

Make Rojava Green Again! Picture gallery – May 2018

May has been an intense month of work for our ecological project. We have planted some new trees for our nursery, and the other shoots and trees keep on growing. We are also expanding our garden by planting a wide variety of seeds – some from local farmers around the commune, and some from different ecological projects from around the world. Melons, watermelons, beans, eggplants, pumpkins, corn… We are learning how they grow in this environment, while hoping that the hot summer doesn’t kill everything. We are also developing a greywater system to recycle waste water for use in the garden, making our camp more sustainable.

How My Father’s Ideas Helped the Kurds Create a New Democracy

Many of the defining features of the political philosophy that Öcalan began to espouse in the 2000s are firmly rooted on my father’s idea of social ecology and its political practice: “libertarian municipalism” or “Communalism.”

Social Contract of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria

Here you can read the translation to English of the social contract published in the Vladimir Van Wildenburg blog. You can download the French translation, the German translation, the Spanish translation. Preamble We, peoples of Rojava-northern Syria, including Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs, Assyrians, Turkmen, Armenians, Chechens, Circassians, Muslims, Christians, Yezidis, and the different doctrines and sects, recognize that the nation-state has made Kurdistan,

The Internal System of the Communes in Rojava

At present, much policy debate is focusing on whether the U.S. should retain troops in the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern and eastern Syria, as President Trump has made clear his wishes for troops to be pulled out in the near or medium-term. If the U.S. is going to stay in

The Co-operative Contract of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria

A – Definition and Principles The co-operative is a social organisation that does not seek profit, but the fulfilment of the basic needs of society, based on collective work, sharing, solidarity and self-governance. The co-operatives are basic moral-political pillars of the restructuring of society on a democratic foundation. The co-operatives do not limit themselves to

Building Autonomy in Turkey and Kurdistan: an Interview with Revolutionary Anarchist Action

Below is the transcript of our interview with three members of the anarchist group Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF, or Revolutionary Anarchist Action) in Istanbul during May 2015. DAF are involved in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle, the Rojava revolution and against ISIS’ attack on Kobane, and have taken action against Turkish state repression and corporate

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.”