‘The Turkish government is experiencing its last winter’ – PART II

The Kurdish guerrillas prove that the capitalist system cannot kill humanity's yearning for freedom, says YJA Star commander Zozan Çewlik in the second part of her annual review.

 Zozan Çewlik, commander of the headquarters of the Free Women's Troops YJA Star, addresses the women's liberation struggle and the importance of the guerrillas in the second part of an interview with ANF on developments in 2021.

The campaign "Defending Free Women and Society against Feminicide" initiated by the KJK has been running for a year. How do you assess its progress and what role does the YJA Star play in it?

The campaign has been taken up and supported by women at the social, political and military levels. The YJA Star also participated in it with actions. Women must agree on common goals in the struggle and develop an organised will. When a society is to be stripped of its will and identity, when it is stunted, when its rights are raped and when human trafficking takes place, it is through the women of the respective community all over the world. For women, this is a great insult. Women are affected by the immense pressure of the patriarchal system of domination in their own households, on the streets, at work, at school and everywhere, they are subjected to physical and mental violence. Social decay is taking place on the backs of women and has become a fundamental problem worldwide. The murders of Gülistan Doku, Özgecan, Deniz Poyraz, Ipek Er and Pınar Gültekin in Turkey are the product of male-state violence.

Women protested massively against these murders....

Of course. Women's movements are developing and efforts are being made to bring such murders to light and to prevent them. A discussion is being initiated about them. Looking back at 2021, it can be said that the women's movements as a whole have undergone an important development. They put problems on the agenda and try to show a common attitude. Social problems are seen as a political issue and solutions are sought. Women are setting their own agenda and their social and political struggle is gaining influence. When women discuss their own problems, put them on the agenda and take organised action against the patriarchal system, they not only fight for their own rights but also initiate a mental change in society. The one-sided political will prevailing within the system, the centralised form of government, human relations and even intra-family relations are perceived as two-sided again. This has a crucial significance for overcoming the mindset in the patriarchal system. It is about a struggle for justice that increasingly involves freedom.

For these reasons, the struggle led by women influences current political developments. Due to the political culture based on male domination, this influence is not perceived or is underestimated in various ways. However, when we begin to look at political developments and social problems from a women's perspective, we see the changes and transformation that have come about through women's work and struggle.

Organisational weakness strengthens the system of domination

Organisational weakness strengthens the ruling system and organisational success weakens it and makes it unnecessary. Out of this fear, women's commitment, words and actions are belittled. In 2021, women's struggle has produced important developments in some places around the world. In other places, it has been weak, weakening both women and society. The world is now experiencing an imbalance. To redress this imbalance through the common women's struggle is one of our fundamental tasks.

Women's freedom struggle in Kurdistan

The women's freedom struggle in Kurdistan and also the women's guerrilla force have advanced important developments this year. Women have been active in all areas of our struggle and have expressed their militant identity with diverse activities, both with regard to the Kurdish question and the women's question. As YJA Star, we have included both dimensions on our agenda in a fundamental way and developed a corresponding activity. Through tactical richness and creativity, our dynamic and actionist character has increased. Guerrilla actions have been used to address women's problems in society and identify possible solutions to stop feminicide.

High aspirations for 2022

To fight against the political and military reality in the male domination system, which has taken a frightening dimension worldwide, with our hearts, our heads and our courage, and to develop the guerrilla struggle of free women with our own values is very important. In the Middle East and worldwide, the impact of the organised struggle of women's defence forces is increasing, they know themselves, they are becoming stronger and they are influencing developments. For the coming year, we need to fight for further developments and still resolve unresolved contradictions. With regard to our achievements, we are hopeful and alive at the turn of the year. In terms of solving unsolved problems, we are militant, persistent and determined. 2022 begins for us with high aspirations, we will continue to develop and have an even greater impact.

The Turkish state started this year with occupation attacks and big propaganda about crushing the PKK. Meanwhile, the AKP/MHP government is on the verge of dissolution. Dirty methods were used in the war against the guerrillas and even chemical weapons were used. To what extent has the guerrilla resistance contributed to the current state of the Turkish government?

The colonialist Turkish state has been saying that it will eliminate us every year since the PKK was founded on 27 November 1978. For 43 years, it has been making propaganda and calling its operations sandwich, steel or broom. It has called its recent occupation attacks “Tiger Claw” and “Lightning Strike”. Apparently, it has repeated its lies so often that this year it itself believed it could achieve drastic results within a short time. At the beginning of the winter, it was declared that this was the last winter for the PKK. However, with the great struggle of the Kurdistan Freedom Guerrilla, the last winter of the AKP/MHP government has begun. It wanted to crush the PKK and is now itself on the verge of dissolution.

A movement with self-confidence

A power that is afraid and sees no way out resorts to all methods to save itself. That is why chemical weapons have been used massively against the guerrillas this year. There is no method that fascism will not resort to when it is in distress and realises that it will be defeated. Waging war with chemical weapons and tons of shells against young people who are still in the spring of their lives is cowardly. These attacks are cruel and vile. We have appealed several times to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the international public to verify our information on the ground. We are a movement with confidence and we know what we are saying and why. Some statements have been made against the use of chemical weapons, both from our people and the international public. However, this is not enough. Those who remain silent about the actions in Kurdistan should be ashamed before humanity just like the perpetrators.

Prototype of the free human being

The resistance and the effective actions of the guerrillas have led to the disinhibition of the fascist government. We also expect even more uninhibited attacks, because we are aware of how much we have harassed them and put them in a hopeless situation. Against these attacks, the guerrillas can only resist. Guerrilla means resistance, successful resistance. In the rebellious mountains of Kurdistan, such a valuable attitude is shown that, in view of the individualism, egoism, materialism and dehumanisation prevailing in the 21st century, it is an honour for us to still live together with such people, to be friends with them and to fight in the same position.

The freedom guerrilla of Kurdistan is the concrete proof that the capitalist system cannot kill the longing of humanity for freedom and cannot take away the values of an ethical-political society. The human being strives for freedom and what is beautiful, good and right. Even if attempts are made to erode and destroy this being, the guerrilla remains the prototype of the free human being and builds a free life step by step.