A previous march from Derik to a Yezidi refugee camp in January 2018
Members of the Internationalist Commune are marching from Rojava to Bașur (South Kurdistan) alongside the Kurdish Youth Union, protesting Turkey’s violent invasion of the Qandil mountains and the craven complicity of Masoud Barzani and the puppet state of Iraqi Kurdistan.
We will leave the city of Derik on 21 June and head for the border, marching alongside our hevals in the Yekitina Ciwanen Rojava (YCR) movement.
Qandil is home to both Kurdish revolutionaries and civilian villagers. Youth from across South Kurdistan have already arrived to form what they call a “human shield”, as Turkey claims to have killed scores of people in bombing raids over the weekend.
Yet Turkey’s lapdog in South Kurdistan, Masoud Barzani, has tried to place the blame for this slaughter on the very Kurdish militants the Turkish jets are targeting.
Barzani said he would never “allow” the Kurdistan region to “be used to attack, to cause violence against our neighbours… this policy as a principle stands the same for Turkey, Iran and Syria.”
When defending his “neighbours,” he said nothing about the slaughter of his Kurdish kin in Qandil. He said nothing about murderous Turkish violence and repression against the HDP, leftists and democrats in the run-up to the June 24 election. He was silent on both the coming Turkish onslaught in Manbij and the ongoing butchery in Afrin.
Like the assault on Qandil, Erdoğan’s American-sponsored takeover of Manbij comes just in time for Turkey’s violently rigged elections. Manbij was liberated from Daesh with the blood of hundreds of fighters from the YPG, YPJ, Manbij Military Council and the Syrian Defence Forces. All the while, Turkey did nothing but sponsor jihadi gangs and aid and abet Daesh.
Now, thanks to a gift from their NATO cronies in the White House, they are sweeping into the city. The Kurdish and other local people of Afrin, Manbij and Qandil are bombed, tortured, occupied and subjected to sharia law in order to appease a Turkish electorate baying for blood and the ceaseless expansion of the fascist Turkish state.
Barzani has chosen to lick the Turkish boots that trample his Kurdish brothers and kin. In contrast the youth of Rojava YCR and the internationalist commune are marching in solidarity with hundreds of Kurdish youth, who have been celebrating Eid with local villagers as they stand in the Qandil mountains in defiance of Turkish aggression.
“The Kurdish and other local people of Afrin, Manbij and Qandil are bombed, tortured, occupied and subjected to sharia law in order to appease a Turkish electorate baying for blood and the ceaseless expansion of the fascist Turkish state.”
Other internationalists have already arrived in Bașur from Europe, joining the civil protest as it sweeps up into the mountains. Speaking in South Kurdistan, French internationalist Lisa Icha told ANF:
“Qandil is subjected to savage attacks. The Turkish state wants to deprive the Kurds of all their lands and country. Anybody that sides with freedom should oppose and take action against this occupation. I invite everyone to Kurdistan against occupation.”
We do not know if we will reach Bașur. Previous youth marches from Rojava to the border have ended in violent repression. A member of the free Êzidî Women’s Movement (TAJÊ) assembly, Nazê Naif Qaval, last year fell șehid during a march for Shengal approaching the border from either side. She was shot dead by Barzani’s Peshmerga as they sprayed bullets into the peaceful crowd.
We do not know if we will reach Bașur. But we know that we have to try. Whether in Bașur or Afrin, the Kurdish people must not be used as cannon fodder for Erdoğan’s electoral machinations – themselves nothing but a vehicle for NATO supremacy in the region.
We march against Turkey’s genocidal war on the Kurds, against NATO’s shameless manipulation of sectarian hatred to ensure the expansion of state capitalism, against the cronyism of Barzani and his ilk.
We march for the freedom of Kurds in Rojava, in Bașur, in Bakur and Rojhilat, for șehid Nazê Naif Qaval and the other martyrs who have fallen to protect our revolution, and for those on the frontline defending this land today.