Zilan, Kurdish women's symbol of resistance
Zeynep Kınacı (Zilan), who sacrificed her life in Dersim on June 30, 1996, was born in Malatya province in 1972. Her family was originally from the village of Elmalı in Malatya and the tribe Mamureki.
Zeynep Kınacı (Zilan), who sacrificed her life in Dersim on 30 June 1996, was born in Malatya province in 1972. Her family was originally from the village of Elmalı in Malatya and the tribe Mamureki.
After attending primary, secondary and high school, Zilan continued her university education at the Department of Psychological Counseling and Guidance at İnönü University in the province of Malatya.
She worked as an x-ray technician at Malatya State Hospital before joining the Kurdish Freedom Movement. She was from a middle-class family affected by feudalism and with reflections of a small bourgeois Kemalist structure.
Dedication and determination
Zeynep Kınacı (Zilan) led a kind of free life in the family environment. She became acquainted with leftist ideas and Kurdishness during her high school times. Her interest grew more during her university years. She later grew closer to the PKK movement.
In 1994, she started running front activities in Adana and spent a year on related work. Regarding this process, she said: "I didn't go through a serious process of training. I actually failed to make further advances and to succeed due to the absence of sufficient support after the arrest of executive members, causes making the individual more civilian and less effective, and reasons hindering a transformation of my personality."
In 1995, she joined the guerrilla ranks in the province of Dersim. Within her time in the ranks of the Kurdish freedom movement, she got to know all the aspects of her personality. She grew stronger in respect of dedication and determination. In 1996, she showed a militant stance in the face of the war concept formed against the national liberation movement.
'I want to be the Kurdish women's symbol of resistance'
Zilan, who carried out a suicide attack against Turkish soldiers participating in a flag raising ceremony in Dersim city center on 30 June 1996, used to say: "I want to be the Kurdish women's symbol of resistance", and became a new manifesto of life for Kurdish women and Kurdish history.
The action by Zilan, who detonates the explosive on her body after diving into the crowd of soldiers, leaves 5 soldiers dead and 35 others wounded, most of them seriously. This action was a turning point for the Kurdish Freedom Movement and leaves a lasting and deep impression on both the Kurdish people and guerrillas.