Necah Gulo: We will avenge our children and prosecute their murderers

For Necah Gulo from Qamişlo, Nov. 27 is a holiday despite everything. Her husband Mustafa died in the Kurdish liberation struggle and her son Mazlum was killed by a Turkish killer drone almost three weeks ago.

The PKK was founded in Northern Kurdistan on November 27, 1978. Rojava also played an important role in the movement's early years. ANF asked contemporary witnesses from what is now the autonomous region of northeastern Syria how they came to know the liberation movement and what they experienced back then.

Necah Gulo from Qamişlo told: "Before I knew the PKK, I knew nothing about the Kurds. Even then, there were many Kurdish parties, but only men played a role in all of them. One day, friends came to Apê Yusif Gulo's house and said that they were working for the Kurdish cause and Kurdistan. I was not particularly interested. I thought that, like the other parties, they only appealed to men.

When the friends came to our house, I always took care of the household because I was the daughter-in-law of the family. The friends called me and wanted me to join in the conversation. We talked about Kurdish issues. The friends were known as Apoists at that time. We were close to the Barzanî family at that time, but what these people worked for or what they wanted, I didn't know."

Necah Gulo's son Mazlum was killed by a Turkish killer drone on Nov. 9, 2021, along with his grandfather Yusif and cousin Mihemed Gulo in the Hilêliyê neighborhood of Qamişlo. Mazlum was born in 1984 and his father gave him the name of Mazlum Doğan, one of the great revolutionaries in the prison resistance in Amed (Diyarbakır).

Her husband Mustafa joined the PKK after a stint in prison. Necah said: "One night I woke up. Mustafa was already awake. I asked him why he wasn't sleeping at that hour. He said: 'I want to join the Apoists.' I was a young woman then, and our children were still small. When I asked him what was to become of us, he said: 'You are my uncle's daughter. Stay where you feel comfortable.'

The second time we talked, he had already given his word to the party and was leaving to join. Comrade Mustafa was the first from our family to join. He left home and went to Mahsum Korkmaz Academy. After he went to the liberation struggle, we learned about Kurdish history. We learned what the Kurds have to do for their country. The first to join the struggle from Hilêliyê and all of Qamişlo were Comrade Mustafa and Comrade Salih. They were neighbors.

Before Mustafa left, he tried to convince me to participate in the work as well. I said that this was not possible because of society's concept of honor. He then talked to his father about it. I then started working with Comrade Rihan and Sakine Cansiz. Comrade Mustafa brought me the book 'Resistance is Life' by Mazlum Doğan when he returned from his training. This book made a great impression on me. I was not only active in the work, but also learned Kurdish. When we made home visits, I experienced very difficult situations. Questions were asked and I didn't know what to answer. Later, I remembered those times when I talked to women. The work in the society expanded and more and more people knew us. We worked with great morale." 

Necah also got to know Abdullah Öcalan: "When I met Rêber Apo (Abdullah Öcalan], I was born again. As Kurdish women and mothers, we learned about our country and we realized what we have to do for our country. We learned what the PKK means and how we can become free through Rêber Apo, through his thoughts and his philosophy. During this time, I gave him my word. After Comrade Mustafa died in the struggle, I renewed my promise and said that I would continue his struggle and educate my children with Rêber Apo's philosophy. Our struggle is about all parts of Kurdistan and all oppressed peoples.

At that time, patriotic families who wanted to see Rêber Apo were taken to Lebanon. I set out with my three children, Rêzan, Rêber and Mazlum. It was a very long way on which there were regime forces. The trills and slogans of the mothers accompanied us all the way to Damascus. Over 15,000 people had set out to see Rêber Apo. We were sitting there and suddenly he stepped out from between the rocks. My heart beat very fast with happiness and excitement. He came and told us to come with him. He said: You have come from a great distance to see me. And I have come to see you even though it is dangerous.' He told us about the revolution and the work of women. We stayed there for seven days. Every sentence of Rêber Apo gave us strength.

The next time I went to Damascus to see him was in 1997. For me, that was vital. Everything we learned from him we put into practice in our work. In difficult times, we said: Berxwedan jiyan e [resistance is life]."

Necah Gulo wants to continue fighting 43 years after the PKK was founded. November 27 is a holiday for her, on which she congratulates Abdullah Öcalan, the guerrillas, the resisting prisoners, the families of the martyrs and the entire Kurdish people. She said: "In the new year, we will fight even more for the physical freedom of Rêber Apo. We will expand the struggle in all four parts of Kurdistan and retaliate against the murderers of our children. We will repel the occupation attacks of the Turkish state."