Intellectuals, academics and writers speak out for Rojava

Numerous intellectuals, writers and human rights defenders spoke to the ANF underlining that the invasion of Rojava carried out by the Turkish state is a violation of international law and warned against the danger of genocide.

Numerous intellectuals, writers and human rights defenders spoke to the ANF underlining that the invasion of Rojava carried out by the Turkish state is a violation of international law and warned against the danger of genocide.

Intellectuals and other personalities said that the revolution of Rojava was the hope for the whole world, saying that everyone should defend the experience of Rojava against the occupation launched by the Turkish state in cooperation with reactionary forces.

Referring to the role of the US and western countries, the speakers called on progressive people to not leave the Kurds alone.

Here are some of the comments made to ANF.

Dr. med. Ahmet Djavit An, Cyprus

The Turkish invasion of North-East Syria (Rojava) is very similar to the invasion and occupation of my own country, Cyprus, in 1974. Since then, the northern part of our island is ethnically cleansed from the Greek Cypriots, the demographical structure is being changed and the Anatolian settlers were given citizenship of an illegal state, which was declared on the occupied territory. All of these are against the 1949 Geneva Convention and contrary to the many resolutions of the UN.

Since 9th October 2019, the same country Turkey, who has the second-largest army of the NATO, has been conducting a war of aggression against the people of Rojava, where mainly Kurdish, but also Assyrian, Christian, Yezidi and Arab population live. Turkey wants to cleanse this area ethnically and annex it to her neo-Ottoman Project by violating the international law. I am sure that the USA and the West are behind all these criminal and reactionary plans.

I would like to express my solidarity with Rojava, where a different society with multi-ethnic and multi-religious co-existence is being built in the last six years.

I strongly condemn the Turkish aggression and the war crimes committed by the Turkish army and its jihadist proxies.

I wish that peace and friendship among peoples will win in our region as soon as possible.

Prof. Andrej Grubacic, Professor & Chair Anthropology and Social Change Department, CIIS-San Francisco, USA

Why should we defend Rojava? Because democratic revolution in Rojava has inspired an egalitarian, ecological society based on liberation of women and all life. Democratic confederation is the only part of the Middle East that is actually democratic. I have been to the region, and taught at the University of Rojava. I have observed assembly meetings, education and curriculum committees, processes of transformative justice, and a system of directly democratic governance that is, in my view, unparalleled in the world. Rojava means, quite literarily, the place where the sun sets. i find this to be very appropriate. Either the sun of the nation-states or the sun of freedom of humanity is about to set in the Middle East. It is up to us to decide what kind of world do we want: the world of states, the world of Trump and Erdogan, or the world of democratic nation, the world of Rojava.

Abraham T. Zere, Executive Director, PEN Eritrea in Exile, lives in the USA

At times when far-rights and populist leaders are assuming incomparable power with their divisive rhetoric, voices of minorities increasingly get muzzled. Turkey, under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has unfortunately devolved into the highest epitome where a state aggression against critical thinking, free expression, and rights of the minorities could go the furthest. As Turkey is belligerently assaulting the basic rights of Rojava and Northeast Syria, it is the duty of anyone with true conscience to stand in solidarity with the people and continue to pressure the Turkish government to reconsider its position.

Nurit Peled-Elhanan, philologist, professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Sakharov Prize Laureate 2001, and a human rights activist, Israel

As a Jewish woman I have often thought what has the world learned from the Shoa.

And my sad conclusion is that the world has learned that you can eliminate minorities, exterminate nations, ethnic cleanse populations and no real harm will come to you.

Ever since the Germans have tried to exterminate the Jews, the Roma and other minority groups and ethnicities, this practice has not ceased. The slogan Never Again has been interpreted by the superpowers as "Never Again For us" and not as "Never Again for everybody." People who witnessed the atrocious photos and documents have not become more compassionate towards the minority groups either in their own countries or in the world in general.

The "enlightened" world that stood by and had let the Germans have their way has continued to stand by and let powerful nations eliminate the weaker ones for no other reason than their provenance, their religion or their ethnicity. Today we witness genocide, ethnic cleansing and torture in Kashmere, in the Congo, in Sudan, and in Palestine to name but a few unfortunate nations. The Kurds who have never ceased to suffer from all their neighbours and rulers, are being massacred by the Turks, for no other reason than their being Kurds. The democracy they have succeeded in establishing in Rojava is about to be shattered and no democratic government is coming to their aid. On the contrary – the greatest "Democracy" in the world has abandoned them for its own narrow and selfish interests that have nothing to do with the values they pride themselves about: freedom, equality, and the right to self determination. Watching the results of this abandon and the cruelty that has ensued towards the Kurds I can only quote the great Holocaust writer Ka-Tzetnik who said, Auschwitz was a general rehearsal to what the 20th (and the 21st) century has in store for us.

Attila Vajnai, Workers’ Party of Hungary 2006, Chairperson, Budapest, Hungary

Members of different leftist groups and movements of Hungary expressed their solidarity with Kurdish people during the protest against the visit of Erdogan in Budapest. We listened to speeches, but the main activity of participants was mass marching with flags and transparent. People were coming with their self-made tables. I was happy to march together with young and not so young activists. I remembered the well-known mind: Best words are actions.

Yes, solidarity of people like mountains, defending oppressed Kurdish people.

Solidarity can be stronger if we can share all information about life and fight of people of Rojava. Media in our countries are in silence, and only well-organized actions offer a possibility to realize the face of the war against people. We have to open the eyes of the people, but it is possible to organize educated and informed groups of activists. We have to organize lectures and forums for them, to have a possibility to meet people from the Kurdish community.

Members of Workers’ Party of Hungary 2006 will support all these solidarity actions.

Gal Kirn, Slovenian political theorist, TU Dresden, Deutschland

"Today the working people of the world and the planet itself are under a heavy assault of military authoritarian neoliberalism. The situation is very serious and contributes to the culture of fear and despair. But as always, even in the darkest hour of history, there was, is and will be resistance and uprisings, there will be also inspiration and hope. If something and someone, then today Rojava commune, community-in-resistance is one such vital experiment, political, social, ecological that is worth defending and expanding. Defending in front of neo-imperial and regional interests of major powers. Expanding - as any progressive idea - that can infect communities across space and time that will retrieve and take on the revolutionary resources. Rojava is a symbol of a well functioning democratic socialism, that empowers especially women, but also in general Kurdish and other people in the Northern region of Syria.

To someone growing up in Yugoslavia, Rojava and a longer struggle for Kurdish autonomy/confederalism/socialism, the brotherhood / sorority and direct link to the partisan liberation struggle immediately rings the bell: Yugoslav partisans of yesterday, Kurdish partisans today, many partisans everywhere. Let Rojava not become a site of another defeat of left, leftist melancholia so present in the last decades, but a site of victory of the oppressed. In solidarity"

Ian Angus, Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University, Canada

The invasion of Northern Syria by Turkish military has set back the Kurdish forces which have been an inspiration in the region due both to their internal democratic organization and gender equality as well as their capacity to effectively resist ISIS. The abandonment of the Kurdish democratic movement by the West in its hour of need is disgraceful. The Kurdish movement stands out as an important progressive force in the region and deserves the solidarity of progressive voices around the world.