Mother of two martyrs: Erdoğan cannot destroy the Kurds

Emira Xidir from Serêkaniyê has lost two children in the fight against Turkish genocidal war. "I am proud of them. We are Kurds. Erdoğan should not believe that he can destroy the Kurds," she says.

Emira Xidir is a woman from Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain). Due to the invasion of Turkey, which began on 9 October, she had to flee with her children and moved to Qamishlo. This is not the first time that the family has been displaced from Serêkaniyê. In November 2012 the Turkish state had al-Nusra attack the city. Back then the family left the region, but returned after one month. Despite the constant threat from Erdoğan and his mercenaries, Emira Xidir raised her children on their own land and taught them to love life and people. Her daughter joined the guerrilla in 2013 and died in Gabar in 2018. Her twenty-year-old son Abdullah Heme (Öcalan) died in Serêkaniyê on 13 October 2019. Emira tells with great pride about her son: "He was regiment commander and fell while trying to save his friends. Our children were burned with chemical weapons."

When the occupiers invaded the land for the first time

Emira Xidir recalls the year 2012, when Turkish-backed mercenaries invaded Serêkaniyê for the first time: "The Al-Nusra crossed the Turkish border. Initially there were clashes between the Syrian regime and the mercenaries. The Syrian air force bombed the areas where the gangs had invaded, i.e. where our houses were located. At that time Erdoğan opened the border. He had the jihadists attack our land and at the same time called for us to go to Turkey. We had no choice and went to Northern Kurdistan. We had no other choice. My son Öcalan was still small at that time. We only lasted one month there and then returned to Serêkaniyê. On our return we had to realize that the mercenaries had occupied our house. Only a short time later the YPG came and expelled the gangs from our area. So we could all stay, Kurds, Arabs and Armenians."

Suddenly Turkish planes came and dropped bombs

Emira Xidir and her family stayed in Serêkaniye until 9 October. "We had no intention of leaving our house and our city, not least because we did not want to abandon the fighters. They are our children, we wanted to support them. But on October 9th the planes suddenly came and dropped bombs. There were small children with us, so we left the house and moved a bit away from the attacked area".

The last encounter with her son

Emira Xidir talks about her last encounter with her son Öcalan: "After the air raids we moved a little away from the border. I didn't leave Serêkaniyê because I wanted to stay near my son. It was the fourth day of the war. I called my son and told him that I missed him and wanted to see him. He replied that this was not possible because he had to stay with his unit. I told him that one minute would be enough for me. Then he came with his gun, dusty from head to toe, and hugged me. He stayed half an hour, then an explosion was heard. He was regiment commander and understood that his unit had been bombed. He got up, kissed me and left. Two to three hours later he was hit in an air raid trying to save his wounded friends. The plane dropped chemicals. We saw it with our own eyes, fire fell from above and burned everything, buildings, people. Not only combat units were attacked, also civilians were hit. In the morning the dead body of my son was brought to me. ‘Öcalan fell', they said. I said that I am proud of my son, but it hurts so much".

Öcalan's childhood dream

Emira’s son Öcalan was born one day after Abdullah Öcalan was abducted to Turkey. "That's why we called him Öcalan. We had him registered as Abdullah, but we always called him Öcalan. He wanted to join the YPG twice, but because he was still too young, he was brought back. Only the third time he could stay. He was old enough now and became a fighter. My son was very attached to his friends and his country. He loved nature, animals, people and his country. Therefore he wanted to be a fighter of the Kurdish people. He fought against the ISIS in Deir ez-Zor. He was sincere and diligent, a strong fighter. His way was the right one. This is also true for the others, they fought to the death. I am proud of them all".

“Erdoğan cannot destroy us”

Emira’s daughter Madura joined the guerrilla from Serêkaniyê in 2013 and died in an air raid on Gabar in 2018. "My daughter also fell a martyr. I went there and visited her grave. I am also proud of her. Erdoğan drove us out of our homes and murdered our children. There are still bodies under the rubble. I appeal to the Kurds: Wherever they are, they should support each other and not let each other down. Everyone must stand by the fact that they are Kurds. Erdoğan should not be able to claim to have destroyed the Kurds. There is not only one Öcalan, there are thousands. Erdoğan should not forget that. He can't destroy us."