Semalka vigil continues with resolve: "We will not step back"

The vigil launched near the Semalka Border Crossing by families demanding the bodies of their children killed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has entered its 105th day.

On the night of July 26, armed forces linked to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) ambushed and abducted three guerrillas under the command of a guerrilla commander named Server Serhat. There has been no news from Server Serhat and his companions so far. After that, the KDP forces ambushed a guerrilla group of 7 guerrillas who sought to pass from Qandil to the Behdinan area on the night of August 28-29. While 6 guerrillas from the group were martyred, the other one survived and managed to catch up the guerrilla forces days later.

The People’s Defence Forces (HPG) requested an official explanation from the KDP concerning the martyrdom of its guerrillas. KDP spokesperson Mahmud Muhammed made a confession by saying ‘What were the guerrillas doing there?’

After the statement of KDP Spokesperson Muhammed, the families of the guerrillas, Tolhildan Raman and Serdem Cudi from Rojava Kurdistan (north-western Syria), stepped into action to receive the bodies of their children. The families asked for help from the Rojavayê Kurdistan Institution of Martyrs' Families to be able to get the bodies of their children.

While the Institution of Martyrs' Families and the families of the martyred guerrillas made repeated statements demanding to get the dead bodies, the KDP has not given any response to the families yet. On October 5, 2021, the Council of Martyrs' Families called for the launch of a protest tent near the Semalka Border Crossing to demand the bodies of the martyred guerrillas. Shortly after the call, a tent was set up by the local people who included the families of the fallen guerrillas in question.

Dozens of delegations from north-eastern Syria's towns and districts such as Deir ez-Zor, Shaddadi, Hawl, Kerema, Raqqa, Tabqa, Ain Issa, Kobanê, Derbesiye, Amuda, Tirbespi, Qamishlo, Çıl Axa, Derik, Girkelege visited the activists of the families since the launch of the action. There were many Arab tribal sheikhs and leaders among the visitors.

Delegations and representatives from north-eastern Syria's non-governmental organizations and the Democratic Autonomous Administration, religious and faith organizations also visited and supported the activists.

Since the beginning of the protest, mothers of peace and martyrs have paid several visits to the tent and joined the vigil there. On October 11, 21 and November 4, Peace Mothers seeking to cross the Faysh Khabur Bridge and submit a letter to KDP officials, were blocked by the KDP local security units (Asayish).

A delegation of women from Shehba, Kobanê and Aleppo visited the activists today, welcomed by members of the Dêrik Council of Martyrs’ Families.

In a statement on behalf of Peace Mothers and women from Shehba and Aleppo, Şazya Îbrahîm reiterated the demand for the KDP to give the bodies to families. “These martyrs have paid great prices for the freedom and honor of the Kurdish people. We will continue our action until we get the bodies of martyrs and we will take no single step back.”

Felek Yûsif spoke afterwards in the name of women from Kobanê and the North-East Syrian women’s umbrella organization Kongra Star. Yûsif strongly criticized the KDP for closing the border crossings as does the Turkish state, and for digging trenches as the Turkish state does so around Rojava. “All these acts serve the interests of the Turkish state,” she underlined.

Şêxa Enter in the name of Girkê Lêgê Council of Martyrs’ Families and vowed to keep their action going until they achieve a result.