Internationalist Lecwan: Camaraderie means walking through fire for each other

In a diary entry, internationalist guerrilla Lecwan Dogan recounts his life in the mountains of Kurdistan and an unforgettable memory that made him realise the importance of camaraderie.

The internationalist Lecwan Dogan is a member of the People's Defence Forces (HPG) in the mountains of Kurdistan. In a diary entry he tells of a day with the guerrillas and the camaraderie way of dealing with each other:

"It's that time again. It's been a long time since I've heard from you, so it's time to write down my thoughts again. A lot has happened in the days and weeks. I have changed my place and my job. I am very happy with the tasks and challenges in the new region.

I am moving forward

My language has improved a lot and the comrades are very warm, they listen and help a lot. I am making progress in every way, both physically and ideologically. In the meantime, I am virtually flying through the mountains. Most of the time I am travelling with my dear comrade Rûbar. We have been in the same region since we left Şervanen Nû [basic training for new fighters] and he himself, although an older cadre of the party, is also new to the mountains. Together with Heval [Comrade] Rûbar, but also with the other comrades, we explore the forests, valleys and mountains of Kurdistan a lot.

One of the most beautiful days

I love being in nature. With the friends here, I have also learned to love the beauty of Kurdistan's nature. A few days ago, me and comrades Delal and Viyan went out to explore nature and the surroundings. It was very nice, one of the most beautiful days in the mountains.

When I was walking through the mountains with Heval Delal and Heval Viyan, we came to a precipice at one point. We wanted to climb carefully along a small cliff. The precipice was about ten metres deep. Heval Viyan was not yet so used to running in the mountains and stayed a little behind. Heval Delal went ahead and reached out to me when I slipped a little. Ten seconds later, I slid down the slope and Heval Delal with me. We fell and fell, and I still remember my thought, "When are we going to get there?". Finally, we arrived at the bottom with a flurry of activity holding each other. The first thing I did, somewhat shocked, was to ask Heval Delal if all was well. It was a load off my mind when I saw everything was okay except for scratches and abrasions. The comrade and I laughed at each other when we saw we were fine. Everything still intact, head not broken.

This is exactly the bond

One of the truths of the PKK and in life in the mountains is Hevaltî [Camaraderie]. Hevaltî means to go through fire for each other and to defend the comrades and the aims of the party with great sacrifice. It means to selflessly dedicate one's life to the highest, to humanity, for peace, freedom and equality. In this example, Heval Delal also fell down in the end because she wanted to prevent me from falling. That was a very beautiful day, and it is also a beautiful memory which makes us grow together as comrades. Heval Viyan, who was a bit behind, had half a heart attack and was much more agitated than us who fell ten metres. Me and Heval Delal wanted to run straight on and Heval Viyan said we were crazy."