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In memory and tribute to Nano, heval Çiya – anarchist, mountaineer, internationalist and comrade.
Nano, heval Çiya, is a comrade hard to explain with words. Those from us who knew him, shared our lives and struggle with him, we know that is difficult to honor him just with a text.
Heval Çiya, mountain, was more than a mountaineer, he loved mountains and the life that they host and create. The mountains were his house, his friends. That’s why maybe he was feeling so close to the Kurdish people’s struggle, that people whose only friends are said are the mountains. Heval Çiya was two times in Rojava. The first time in 2015 during two months as part of a civil project of construction of a hospital in Kobanê. The second time from autumn 2016 until spring 2017 fighting as internationalist member in the ranks of the YPG. During that time heval Çiya fought in the Al-Bab front and took part, together with other internationalist comrades, in the formation of the AIT – Anarchist International Tabur (battalion) inside the YPG. Because heval Çiya was also an anarchist. A kindness, big-hearted and socialist anarchist. An anarchist who was consistent with what this ideology is really meaning. He loved life, he loved all people and he loved the struggle for what is fair. Love is what he was transmitting always to his surrounding. Heval Çiya had a revolutionary personality not so easy to find in our times. He made us feel good, comfortable, and to want to spend more time together and chat with him. His behavior was like a critic that invited everybody to be better people and better revolutionaries. Because as he used to said to us, to be a revolutionary means to be a better person, and anarchism is nothing else than the human tendency to kindness. He repeated that, this is what he had seen in the comrades in the revolution in Kurdistan. The love and affection with which he used to talk about the hevals of Kurdistán is beyond words. His way to explain Rojava and Kurdistan was through the personality of the comrades there, of the hevals, and the values transmitted by them to the society. If you wanted to know what kind of revolution was happening in Rojava, he told you the life and personalities of the Şehîds (martyrs), their ethics and kindness. He took this as the best examples because he was having himself this values inside and he became an example himself for the rest of us.
Heval Çiya used to live in the mountains of Aragon’s Pyrenees. He was strongly aware of the revolutionary tradition of resistance of this place and he had a strong internationalist connection with the Basque people’s struggle and the anarchist and antifascist revolution of 1936 in Spain. These Pyrenees mountains sheltered also the resistance of antifascist and internationalist guerrilla fighters that in 1936 were carrying a better world in their hearts. Heval Çiya worked a lot to connect this revolutionary and internationalist tradition. He went around the Pyrenees researching the routes of the “Maquis” 1 , discovering caves and writing articles about this in mountain magazines in order to keep those memories which the fascism and the spanish democracy have always tried to wipe out. And he always climbed. Since he was back from Kurdistan, he was naming all those new climbing routes he opened with the names of martyrs of the struggle in Kurdistan. Now our Aragon Pyrenees are inhabited and well protected by the memory of dozens of Şehîds.
Nano, heval Çiya, it is still strange to walk around here and to think that you are not here anymore, you left us a big void in these mountains, in the struggle and in our hearts, a void difficult to fill up again. But you left me too more than ever with the certainty that internationalism and the revolutionary struggle is the only way, and to always walk this way it is going to be our best tribute.
I want to remember you with a poem you used to tell us when you talked about the Şehîd comrades of Kurdistan. “Every comrade has a piece of sun”, you were a sun for us, a sun who lighted our way and warmed us in the coldest situations. You will always light our night, this long night that we will tireless walk until the sun rises.
To all the şehîds and all the comrades who gave their lives in the struggle. We see us in the mountains heval.
“every comrade had a piece of sun/
in the soul/ the heart/ the memory/
every comrade had a piece of sun/
and that’s what I’m talking about
I am not talking about the mistakes that
led us to defeat/ for now/
I am not talking about the arrogance / the blindness /
the militaristic driven delirium/
I am talking that every comrade had a piece of sun
that lighted up his face/
gave heat in the night dread/
embellished him cheering up his eyes/
made him fly/ fly/ fly/
Did this pieces of sun went out now?/ now that the comrades died/
did their pieces of sun went out?/ don’t they continue lighting their soul/
memory/ heart/ heating up the heel/
the bones numb from the shadow?
Small sun that was going out like this/
you are still lighting this night/
when we are watching the night
towards the side where the sun rises”.
– Juan Gelman, Nota XIII (translated from the original in Spanish)
Viyan, December 2019