Yûsif: The Rojava Revolution marks the Middle East renaissance
"ISIS, this enemy of humanity was defeated by the common struggle of all humanity. The revolution has greatly influenced humanity in terms of ideas, politics and culture."
On the occasion of the 8th anniversary of the 19 July Rojava Revolution, PYD Co-Presidency Council member Foza Yûsif talked to ANF regarding the emergence and shaping of the revolutionary process and the developments in Northern and Eastern Syria.
Stating that the revolution has reached its aim in Northern and Eastern Syria, Yûsif said: "The steps taken during the Tunisia-led Arab spring together with the people reaction against the governments spread to many Middle Eastern countries.”
Yûsif added: “Syria is also part of this reality. The communities living in Syria had problems related to democratization and justice. Syria needed radical change and transformation. In Syria, the nation-state was overwhelmed by serious. Centuries of problems had accumulated here and the problems in the Middle East have deepened because of the century-old nation-state model. Thus it became the main problem. As a correct and honest leadership could not be established to lead the Syrian revolution, it became a revolution against the Syrian people. But there was a difference in Northern and Eastern Syria, which was the Democratic Autonomy which focused of women's freedom and a project envisaging that all communities could live in peace. The revolution has developed here because it is based on self-governance."
We publish here the first part of the interview with Foza Yûsif.
The first spark was the action of an unemployed teenager in Tunisia. We arrived to the present day with the Rojava Revolution which began in 2012. Was this revolution an expected development?
There are many problems in the Middle East. It is very difficult to make the necessary changes and transformations unless we adopt the ways and methods of the revolution. With the beginning of the 21st century, the society has reached a level that cannot tolerate these problems. A radical change and transformation was needed. Against this situation, riots and protests took place many times. But the set goal was not achieved.
Undoubtedly, the revolution and uprisings started in Dera in Syria. But these riots were not limited to just one place and spread all over Syria. International powers began to be involved in these riots. We can say that these riots did not serve the interests of the people, on the contrary, they served the interests of external powers and other states. Because the Syrian Revolution had a serious leadership problem. However, there was something different in Rojava Kurdistan.
The first sherildan in the city of Qamıshlo was in 2004 and it revealed a more political and organizational consciousness in Rojava Kurdistan. Yet the most important feature was the project for a solution and the need for change-transformation. These were very clear. In addition, the presence of different communities in North and East Syria, the Democratic nation project led by the Kurds, was taken as the road map for change and transformation.
The lack of a democratic project in Syria caused the people uprisings to go off track. Actually at some point it even turned against the Syrian people. I regret it, but the aim of the popular uprisings that first started in Ghuta and Dera was based on justice, equality and freedom. But the crippled strategy prevented the necessary changes and transformations. The democratic nation project is a revolutionary project. And the solution it proposes is key to all problems. Because it guarantees the rights of all communities. It also bases itself on a democratic system. This ensures a strong development in the society.
It would not be wrong to say that the revolution that started in South Syria achieved its aim in North and East Syria. The current situation was well viewed and analyzed, and a correct policy was carried out accordingly. Northern and Eastern Syria has become the centre of all Democratic forces in Syria. It also provided a safe port for hundreds of thousands of migrants, as this is an area where many communities live. And they were all defended here. We can define the 19 July Revolution as a new milestone for all communities and women, starting with the defense of the rights of the Kurdish people.
The 19 July Revolution is a new milestone for peoples and women. It would not be wrong to define it in this way. This was not something that was not thought before. As we said, in 2004 the Kurdish people expressed their demands. However, they were suppressed by the Syrian Baath regime because they were not reclaimed in other parts of Syria. But the people were ready for this kind of revolution and change and transformation.
In which way the Rojava Revolution has opened a new path in the region since 2012 and how has it affected the Middle East?
As we mentioned before, there were serious problems in the Middle East. In addition to the mind and ethical revolution, a deep change was necessary in the political system. The leading problems were related to women and family, as well as to the problems of all the peoples of the Middle East, starting with the need of democratization of the society. The difference of the 19 July revolution is that it has established itself on the principles of democracy. It has been able to create an alternative rather than just criticize the existing system. It has created a new one instead.
We can say that this revolution has had more impact on a few issues. First of all, the peoples of all segments carried out a common struggle within a democratic nation perspective. This thesis and perspective emerged as an alternative for all peoples. In other words, the solution required for the Middle East problem is national unity. There is no solution if we stand alone and an alternative model is required, which is the democratic nation model. The nation-state model views democracy as the unification of all colours, nations and languages. This perception changed dramatically with 19 July. With the democratic autonomous system, the people had the opportunity to develop their own life based on their own self-determination and decision-making self-government. Based on these principles, this model has become a solid solution and an alternative.
Again, since the real source of many problems in the Middle East stem from women and family problems, we considered this as an issue that should be emphasized. Therefore, just as the revolution of the society and the peoples, the 19 July Revolution is actually a women's revolution. This has had a great impact on the whole world. Because all the other problems cannot be solved until the women and family problems are solved. Of course, the war against ISIS had also a great effect. Kurdish girls and sons fought relentlessly against ISIS terror. This war was led by the Kurds who together with Arab, Syriac, Armenian, and Assyrian peoples defeated ISIS. This was the common historical success of all the peoples of the region. Again, they saved not only their own regions but all humanity from the terror of ISIS. We can say that this struggle carried out by freedom fighters has marked the 21st century.
The real heroes of the 21st century were actually young people from North and East Syria, that is, young people with the YPG and YPJ, and nobody can deny it. The threats to all humanity ended here with the unity of the peoples. This is one of the great values created by the 19 July Revolution. That resistance has actually become a centre for the communitarian society. The values it produced became a hope of freedom for all women and it was a good news that we could create a new life and alternative for all humanity.
As we have seen, we have had many international martyrs, and on this occasion we remember them with respect Helin, Legerin and other martyrs who have come to this land and have fought and shed their blood. Of course, as a result of the 19 July Revolution, these young people returned to this land. Rojava actually became the resistance centre of humanity. The cities of Kobanê, Afrin, Raqqa, Dêir Ez-zor have become the centre of humanity's resistance to oppression.
In fact, this was the common success of all humanity. ISIS, this enemy of humanity was defeated by the common struggle of all humanity. The revolution has greatly influenced humanity in terms of ideas, politics and culture. Culturally, it has influenced the thought of all humanity in terms of cinema, novels and literature. Just as the French Revolution is a renaissance for Europe, I can say that the Rojava Kurdistan Revolution is the renaissance of the Middle East. Because it prompted a social change not only in Syria but also in the whole world.