Yesterday, on the 8th of February, Kongra Star -the Kurdish women movement in Afrin- made a worldwide appeal to all women and feminists groups to show solidarity with Afrin’s resistance through actions and protests. Supporting Kongra Star’s call, women from Tirbesipiye-Cizire Canton, Rojava carried out this morning a just-female demonstration that has toured the city centre. Likewise, the European march that started today in Luxemburg and it’s expected to arrive to Strasbourg (France) in the next few days, expressed its support to this feminist solidarity campaign in their official statement. More than 200 people from 17 countries have joined the march.
“Along with racist, religious-fundamentalist and sexist oppression, Turkey strives to wipe out the traces of women's history, and the matricentric and egalitarian culture in our region" declares the statement, which was read this morning at the capital city of Afrin.
Turkish bombing over Ain Dara temple -that housed remnants of the matricentric culture in the area- has completely destroyed the historical site. The footsteps of a meter long, symbolizing the presence of Ishtar goddess into the holy place, as well as the relief of a winged lion with a woman's head, were a single representation of the important role that women played during the Neolithic revolution of the first settlements in the region. "By bombing and devastating this temple site the Turkish state strives to enforce its patriarchal and fascist order" adds the statement.
The Turkish army and its proxies from radical Islamist factions, as Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham -former Al-Qaeda branch in Syria-, consider women as targets and spoils of war. The violence against YPJ fighter, who was mutilated and her body released on video through the internet, shows the women-hatred and misogynistic mentality of these groups. In the same way as Daesh (Islamic State) forced women to cover themselves, always be accompanied by a male relative or promote women forced marriages -both adult women and girls-, the patriarchal mentality of Turkey’s allied Islamist factions proposes the same policy to be applied to women in the territories under their control.
Even the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, promoted war propaganda using a girl who would have no more than six years, his head and shoulders covered with a hijab, reciting an Islamist poem at the Parliament session on February 6th. The verses were those of the Turkish nationalist Ziya Gokalp, which read as follows:
"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers...". At the end of her intervention, the little girl strongly shouted "Allahu akbar".
According to sources of the Kongra Star, the YPJ forces and civilian female forces have gathered around ten thousand volunteers for the defence of Afrin. After six years of revolution, where stand up democratic autonomous structures for women, cooperatives and academies, where it has protected women against domestic violence, where it has promoted the labour insertion and economic independence, the women in the territory know that under the dominion of Turkey everything for what they fought would vanish. Therefore, thousands of women have decided that they prefer to die fighting rather than losing everything you have built with so much effort and sacrifice.
Some of them have already given their lives, as it has been the case of Avêsta Xabûr, who, following in the footsteps of Arîn Mîrkan, carried out an act of self-sacrifice to prevent the entry of Turkish tanks in the territory on 27 January. To honour the memory of the fighter in Afrin is has opened a cemetery with the name of the fighter and a Kobane College has also been renamed with her name.
All over the day a strong propaganda in the social media, under the hashtag "#WomenRiseUpForAfrin, has spread out the request of the Afrin women. "While the international institutions and state governments keep silent about the abuses of international law and war crimes, we believe that women’s international solidarity will be our strongest weapon in defeating fascism and patriarchy."