One week ago, we published the Women’s Declaration Stop Turkey‘s Occupation War against North and East Syria – immediately! with the signatures of 30 women’s organisations, movements, federations and alliances as well 58 individuals such as women writers, artists, academics, politicians, activists and representatives of different social movements from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, North and South America. Hereby, we wanted to unite women’s voices and actions worldwide against the war and to urge the UNSC and the international community to take immediate measures to stop Turkey’s aggression.
During this time, on 17 October 2019, Trump and Erdogan agreed a so-called “ceasefire”, which was developed as an occupation plan according to Turkey’s expansion and ethnic cleansing project. And in practice it has meant that Turkey’s war crimes have not stopped. Towns and villages – especially in the area between Serekaniye, Til Temir and Kobane – continue to be bombed, besieged and plundered by the Turkish army and its allied ISIS/El Nusra killer groups. In total more than 200 civilians were killed, hundreds were wounded and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. The burns and injuries of some of the wounded indicate without much doubt that the Turkish army also used banned chemical agents like white phosphor in its attacks.
But all these crimes could not break the resistance of the women and the solidarity among the people in Rojava. While we have been confronted with the intensifying attacks, airstrikes and cruel massacres of the Turkish army and its proxy forces, the solidarity of women across the borders that divide Kurdistan and the actions of women from all continents to defend Rojava has added strength to our resistance. Until today 1,815 women’s organisations, collectives, networks, trade unions, politicians, film-makers, actresses, journalists, feminists, peace activists, women and human right defenders have signed the declaration.
Furthermore women from many countries shared video messages, solidarity declarations and actions with us. We saw the pictures of marches and manifestations from all continents lead with the banner “Women Defend Rojava” and we listened to the resistance songs composed for the YPJ fighters on the frontlines. All of these messages have a big meaning for us. They make us see that we are united in our struggles and hearts: Women in all 4 parts of Kurdistan, from Turkey, Iran and Iraq joint the resistance to defend Rojava. Women in Afghanistan and Pakistan who are targeted by the same killer gangs and warlords as we are, went out on the streets to declare their solidarity with the women’s and people’s struggle in Rojava. Women from Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Palestine and Morocco and North Africa region manifested their support for the resistance in Rojava. Women in many Latin American countries who are fighting against new dictatorships and coups in their countries
organised protests against Turkey’s occupation war. Women in countries like Germany, UK and Italy have blockaded companies of the weapon industry that is arming the Turkish occupation forces. Women from east European countries like in Poland and the Balkan region who are fighting against marginalisation of women’s rights have shared their greetings for the women’s revolution in Rojava with us. Women from Catalonia and the Basque Country who are struggling against repression and for self-determination have been spreading the call to defend Rojava on mass demonstrations. Women from the USA and Australia have condemned the complicity of the US-government in Turkey’s war on North and East Syria. Women from South Africa, Congo, Senegal, Kenya, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines who are fighting against sexual violence and exploitation have sent us their greetings of sisterhood and solidarity. There are many more examples that we would like to mention.
Today, the 5 days of “ceasefire” that were announced but never implemented by Trump and Erdogan are over. We do not know what to expect next. But as far as we can see, Turkey and its allied ISIS groups are preparing for a further escalation of the war and new war crimes. Therefore, we also have to amplify our engagement and pressure to shatter these occupation and genocide plans. Due to this situation we request all people to highlight the following demands of our declaration and urge all governments, the UNSC and all relevant bodies of the international community to take effective and immediate action to:
Establish a no-fly zone over North and East Syria as first and urgent step towards protection of the population!
Stop Turkey‘s invasion and occupation in North and Eastern Syria – immediately!
Prevent further war crimes and ethnic cleansing by Turkish army forces, ISIS, El Nusra and other jihadist terror groups!
Women Defend Rojava Campaign Committee