Our anarchist comrade and friend Şevger Ara Makhno arrived in Rojava on 20th January 2018 to take part in the revolution. Only the day before the army of the Turkish state and its jihadist proxies had begun the invasion of the autonomous region of Afrin, an area which had remained at peace throughout seven years of war and had become both a cradle for the Rojava revolution and a safe haven for hundred thousands of refugees from all over Syria.
While the AKP and its allies ever more violently pushed Turkey towards fascism and the military brutally smashed the insurrection in North Kurdistan, Rojava and especially Afrin became a beacon of hope and resistance for all those who defied Erdogan’s regime.
Comrade Şevger was from Turkey himself, he passionately wanted to join this resistance at the frontlines. He received basic military training
in the canton of Cizîre and on 19th February arrived in Afrin, where he immediately took part in the ongoing defence. As part of the
Anti-Fascist Forces in Afrin (AFFA), a unit of internationalist
revolutionaries within the YPG, he faced the invaders in the vicinity of Raco in the northwest of Afrin.
On the 4th March comrade Şevger had taken position on a hill outside the village of Berbêne ready to defend it against the advancing fascists. It was there that around 8AM he and two other YPG comrades were hit by an air-strike. All three of them lost their lives. In accordance with the wishes of his family his picture and legal identity will not be published, in order to protect the people close to him from repression.
We mourn the loss of our comrade and extend our condolences to all his friends, family and everyone who had the fortune to share their lives with this great and inspiring person. The people of Rojava and northern Syria and all those who are fighting for freedom and an end to oppression in the Middle East and beyond will never forget him. We know that he will live on that as long as his love and passion continue to thrive in our hearts.
Bi hev re heta hetayî – anarşîst û apocî!
If your heart is free the ground you stand on is liberated territory.
Şehîd Şevger’s anarchist comrades Rojava, 21st March 2018
There are also two poems dedicated to him that we want to share:
The light disappeared and I see nothing but darkness
the winter is over but I feel cold
I could almost hear the steps as you go
miss your words, your smile full of brightness
still cannot believe you left this world
On the rooftop – the same one where you sat
endless sky, wanning Luna, ocean of stars
deep, shiny, magical – I see your eyes
see you smiling, relaxed, coffee and a cigarette
it hurts, on this roof nor in Rojava – we never met
Şevger, the Nightwalker – it suits you indeed
running quietly through the night
hidden yet illuminating our path with you light
the sparks of friendship, solidarity, care and hevalty
for collective liberation always determined to fight
your heart has been free and the ground you stand on liberated territory
we won’t forget but defend it
Brother, beautiful child of mother Earth
you flew like water with fire in your heart
your flesh turned into soil again
feeling your spirit when wind strokes my hair
your soul became an element
Ara, one of many goddess names
for freedom, anarchy fighting with rage and love
we are all night walkers
rest in power
How many tears one can cry?
Those tears alone could move back the waters
of Tigris and Euphrate way back to its springs
and then up again to the foothills of Ararat
into how many bits a heart can be broken?
with shaking hands we will collect them
those shattered bits will become our teeth,
so we can still bite
if we have nothing else.
this warrior’s heart was burning with passion
its glow joined with the nevroz fires
for ever will lit the nights
so we can see the path to freedom
and walk it with our heads up.
that fire is heating up our hearts
with rage so hot that it could melt out of ones chest
Nightwalker, you’ll walk with us.
They can never kill you.
and while passion will melt their tanks
the tears – they will turn the desert green.
Also, Ara wished to have La Makhnovtchina played on his memorial, so if you will hold a moment for him, please listen to it as his last wish (he specifically asked for the French version not the Turkish one.)