Afrin: Symbol of Kurdish Bravery and Resistance

By Dr. Rashid Karadaghi:

Seldom in history has there been such deep, uninterrupted, irrational, relentless, extreme, and somewhat inexplicable hatred by a state against an ethnic group that constitutes a significant portion of its population as well as that of its neighboring states. Such is the case of Turkey and its Kurdish citizens, who are at least one-fourth of its population. This hatred extends also to Kurds in the three neighboring countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria) and wherever else they may be —- even in as far away as Argentina. Turkey views every Kurd, no matter where they are, as a threat to its security and survival, hence, an enemy.

One explanation for this hatred may be because Turkey has not been able to either make the Kurds give up their ethnicity and their identity and become Turks, or to exterminate them from the face of the earth —- the way it dealt with the Armenians as it annihilated over a million of them during the First World War in what is known as the Armenian genocide.

Turkey’s Kurdish complex, therefore, was perhaps born out of its inability to either subdue and Turkify the Kurds or wipe them out as it did the other non-Turkic ethnic groups. If history is any guide, Turkey is wasting its time trying to accomplish something that is simply beyond its reach —- or anybody else’s for that matter.

Given Turkey’s irrational hatred for, and fear of, Kurds everywhere, it is not difficult to understand why it has done everything in its power from the beginning of the Syrian civil war seven years ago to prevent the Kurds of Rojava (Syrian-occupied Kurdistan) from getting any of their legitimate rights despite their crucial role in fighting and defeating the ISIS terrorists. Thus, Turkey’s invasion of Afrin, which started four weeks ago, is part and parcel of its plan to prevent the Kurds of Rojava from making any headway in their struggle to get their national, God-given, overdue rights in Syria.

Surprisingly, Turkey has been able to sell NATO and the rest of the world the big lie that the Kurds of Rojava pose a threat to its security. In falling for the lie, NATO is also guilty, by association, of the crimes Turkey has been perpetrating, and continues to perpetrate, on a large-scale today, against the Kurds of Rojava. To save its reputation, if nothing else, the civilized world must stop the bully from committing further aggression.

The Kurds of Rojava have had no time or inclination to threaten anybody’s security, including that of Turkey, nor do they have any intention of doing so in the future. They have, instead, been busy in the last few years, in alliance with other Syrian democratic forces, fighting off ISIS and establishing some sort of self-rule for the Cantons, or Regions, inhabited mostly by Kurds.

It is unimaginable that these Cantons would want to pick a fight with their neighbor instead of having friendly relations. They are not led by a bunch of fanatics but by reasonable, democratically-oriented-and-elected people. Based on many reports by Western observers and analysts, these Cantons are run by men and women in tune with Western democratic principles rather than fanatical ideas. Thus, Turkey’s claims that the Kurds of Rojava pose a threat to its security are baseless and nothing more than a pretext by the bully to stifle any and all Kurdish aspirations for freedom from oppression.

The most remarkable aspect of these Cantons is the unprecedented, prominent role of women in the governing councils and all the machinery of running the affairs of the community. The women of Rojava have proven themselves on the battlefield as well as the running of the government. The heroism of the Kurdish women against the brutal ISIS terrorists makes not only Kurds but people around the world proud of them because they were fighting not only on their own behalf but on behalf of people everywhere.

The air and ground invasion of Afrin by Turkey, dubbed cynically and ironically “olive branch” as an insult to this eternal symbol of peace, is in its fourth week now causing many civilian and non-civilian casualties. The people of Afrin, led by the YPG women and men fighters, are putting up a brave resistance against the Turkish invaders and their Syrian terrorist allies. The Kurdish women freedom-fighters have a big role in defending their city and their people against the invaders just as they did in defeating ISIS. The Kurdish people everywhere are proud of their brave women and men fighters in Afrin and elsewhere in Rojava and hope they will teach the invaders a lesson they will never forget by making Afrin their graveyard just as they did to the ISIS terrorists in Kobane.

Dr Rashid Karadaghi is the author of The Azadi English-Kurdish Dictionary, the most comprehensive English-Kurdish dictionary ever published. A retired teacher and translator living in the USA, he writes many articles on the Kurdish issue.

One Response to Afrin: Symbol of Kurdish Bravery and Resistance
  1. Leila
    February 19, 2018 | 06:08

    Unfortunately, this hatred toward Kurds hasn’t been a new issue. All through history, they have been supressed and marginalized by the central governments in different ways and international institutes has paid no attention to all the brutality and inhumanity that those regimes conduct and impose on them. Hopefully, the majority of Kurds are not tolerating this barbarism. The people of Kobani and Afrin are among the latest.

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