To Freedom with Jin Jiyan Azadî
Bi Jin Jiyan Azadî’yê ber bi Azadîyê ve!
We would like to welcome you all.
In these times when the Jin, Jîyan, Azadî rebellion rising in the first quarter of the 21st century has given this century ‑which we define as the century of women‑ its color, we have gathered here today to share our campaign under the motto “Bi Jin Jîyan Azadî’yê ber bi Azadîyê ve” (“To freedom with Jin Jîyan Azadî”) with the public, all women and Kurdish women in particular. We are launching this campaign at a time that marks the centenary of the Lausanne treaty which alongside dividing and fragmenting the geography and values of Kurdistan, is the founding document of the Republic constructed as a male system. Last but not least, it has now been a quarter of a century since Turkey and international colonial powers have placed Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan in absolute isolation in the prison island of İmralı.
It is at such a historical juncture and with the responsibility that this entails and with unshakable faith in reclaiming our freedom that we, as the TJA salute all women.
The 21st century has set before us the responsibility of making it a century that will translate women’s struggle for freedom into established gain. Rojhilatê Kurdistanê is the geography which today is the site of this struggle that inspires all women around the world. Just like the Rojava Women’s Revolution … We stand witness to the Jin, Jiyan, Azadî social revolution that broke out in Rojhilat and spread into the other parts of Kurdistan and world over. Imbued with the spirit of this revolution that we are witnessing and with our strong and unshakeable faith in women’s struggle, we pledge to spread this revolution further and salute world women’s struggle for freedom!
The earthquakes with epicenter in Maraş that took place on February 6 and affected Kurdistan, Turkey and Syria have inflicted great pain and suffering on us all, which we continue feel in the deepest fashion. The male-dominant statist system that feeds on plunder and economic rent is the biggest responsible/cause of all our pain and losses. What turned this earthquake into devastation has been the wholesale attack of this statist system on ecological life for the sake of capital and economic rent. The same government that was a total failure in the face of the earthquake is now attempting to re-occupy the native lands of women, Kurds and Alevis, to change its demographic structure, to unpeople our geography and to surrender the children who lost their parents in the earthquake to the abuse of religious sects and gangs. However, as the TJA, we state once again on the occasion of this campaign that we have transformed into a claim to freedom that we did not and will not allow the male-dominant fascist system and its personification the AKP, MHP, HUDA-PAR government, to turn the earthquakes into slaughter and -cide(s) of all sorts!
These policies of destruction are, of course, not independent of the war being waged against women and peoples. Wars in many parts of the world, especially in Kurdistan and the Middle East give rise to all kinds of exploitation, assimilation, displacement, poverty, occupation and grave crimes against humanity. The use of chemical weapons targeting the Kurdish Freedom Struggle and the female character of this struggle in Rojava and Southern Kurdistan in particular, has further compounded the consequences of this war. In this sense, in the course of this campaign that upholds “resistance” against the war and the “freedom-value of such resistance”, we shout out that all democratic circles and the international community, and international institutions in particular, must stand with the struggle for freedom and against this war and occupation!
The very same war which is rooted in misogyny, is waged mostly against the Kurdish female body. The wisdom that targets the leading identities of the women’s revolution and Kurdish women who represent the ideology of this revolution is the genocidal, colonialist, fascist state itself which also is the primary reason for this war. Those who assassinated Nagihan Akarsel in Suleymaniye and Evin Goyî in Paris should know that women’s struggle for freedom will not end! For those who embrace freedom with the spirit of Jin, Jîyan, Azadî have always been the brightest torches on the path to social freedom. This campaign we started as the TJA with the strength we get from this torch will be instrumental in further strengthening Kurdish women’s unceasing struggle for freedom and women’s enlightenment. It is our call from here to Turkish women, Feminist organizations and women all over the world, whose legacy we have inherited: Let’s raise this struggle together!
The perpetrators of this war are plundering the Kurdistan geography with security policies every moment. These wars employing dirty methods cause immense ecological and social devastation. Fires started on grounds of security policies, deforestation policies and destruction policies carried out in the name of urban transformation, as in Dersim, Cudi, Lice and Bitlis, are another face of this war. In Akbelen, the living space of women and peoples, the same attacks are carried out on the grounds of capitalization. We are aware that all these ecological destruction policies are a “genocide” against all beings in the universe. For this reason, in the face of this genocide, we will surely manifest a stronger presence in our lands that are being occupied, burned down and tried to be unpeopled. In this sense, on the occasion of this campaign we started as TJA, we state once again that defending our nature and land is defending humanity, and we reiterate that ecology struggle is the most important part of women’s struggle.
On the other hand, men who perpetrate all types of violence, led by harassment, rape and murder, against women are protected by the state. Moreover, men are encouraged to commit crimes. And it doesn’t stop at that; their crimes are all but rewarded with remission regulations, amnesty practices, impunity policies and “unjust provocation” reductions in sentences. As women, we are being murdered every day. All our hard-won gains, with the Istanbul Convention coming in the first place, are being confiscated. There is a multidimensional, profound and systematic attack against women. We, as the TJA pledge that in the process of this campaign in which we will translate our struggle for freedom into gain, we will transform our mourning into rebellion and make all women murdered by men our motive for further struggle! On this basis, we believe that achieving the broadest women’s alliances based on “women’s social contract” against nation-state regimes’ policies of confiscation and attack targeting our gains, against sexist and fascist constitutions will advance and expand the struggle.
Similar attacks continue to increase against politicians and activists. Thousands of women are arrested, imprisoned and subjected to judicial violence in political operations every day. The misogynist fascist government is trying to intimidate Kurds, women, activists, journalists, laborers, politicians and different identity and faith groups with hostile policies. Meanwhile, they are trying to illegalize the TJA which derives its legitimacy from the women’s truth and resistance it bears, and to criminalize our women’s struggle. Fascist and sexist practices in prisons, ill prisoners in particular, loss of remissions, attacks on our cemeteries and funerals, torture inflicted on the bodies and memories of our dead are a continuation/extension of these hostile policies. The same policies are implemented against young Kurdish women by means of those in uniform; against society by means of the religionist-reactionary institutions of political Islam; against women’s institutions and the will of the people of Kurdistan by means of the state appointed trustees (replacing our mayors). Young women, who are the power generators of social resistance, are being tried to be intimidated. Pressing people to turn informers, the deliberate imposition of drugs and prostitution, and all types of children abuse, including rape, are another name for these special war policies. On the other hand, the ongoing search for truth, from Saturday Mothers to Peace Mothers, is facing all kinds of attacks. In this sense, we salute the quest for truth of the Peace Mothers who lost their lives in Gever as a result of these dirty policies, and of mother Emine Şenyaşar, who has become a symbol of resistance by standing tall against all attacks. Their struggle is our struggle! On the occasion of this campaign that we are initiating in the footsteps of Jin, Jîyan, Azadî, we as TJA state that we will stand up for our will, identity and achievements with greater strength in a manner that is worthy of the truth of Women’s Freedom. We call on all women to intensify freedom and resistance against these dirty and insidious policies, in all areas we are in, whether we are inside or outside the walls!
These special war policies that feed on female poverty, are carried out most extensively against female labor. The most remarkable way to eliminate the poverty generated by capitalism, which is built on the denial and exploitation of labor, and the displacement policies created by this poverty will be the liberation of women’s labor. Our most significant answer to the male-dominant system that imposes a slavish life on women, ignores women’s labor, exposes women to all kinds of labor exploitation and violence in the workplace will be the philosophy of Jin, Jiyan, Azadî, which cries out the password for a free life. Our campaign, representing this cry, will aim to advance women’s common organizational labor struggle!
Alongside all these attacks we are faced with a denial of our native language, culture, identity and values! Our societal existence is being annihilated through policies of cultural genocide like in Cizre, Sur and Cilo. The monist and rejectionist fascist state mind, built on a policy of destruction and denial, should be well aware that women’s demands for freedom, growing on the basis of Jin, Jiyan, Azadî, will defeat assimilation policies. Our language and culture are the foundation stone of our existence. In this sense, as a movement waging a struggle of existence, we in the TJA call on all segments of society, especially Kurdish women, to fight together to make our native language, culture and identity an inseparable part of all aspects of our life. Our campaign will be instrumental in expanding the struggle for all native languages, led by Kurdish, to be the language of education and to be recognized in the constitution!
No doubt; these manifold attacks against women and society as a whole are the consequences of the isolation regime implemented in İmralı. The deeper the isolation policies of over a quarter of a century against Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan get; the deeper political, societal, social, economic and ecological problems and primarily femicide grow. On this basis, as the TJA we state once again that the main addressee of all social problems, and the Kurdish problem in particular, is İmralı. We, of course, are aware that the isolation regime imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan targets the ideology and paradigm he developed. The intellectual, philosophical and political resistance developed by Mr. Öcalan on İmralı Island has given great impetus to the struggle for freedom and democracy of the people, youth and women in Turkey and the Middle East, especially in Kurdistan. For this very reason, it is only by standing against the İmralı isolation system that a real struggle for democracy and freedom can be waged. The biggest force that will do away with the Imrali isolation regime is women’s organized power growing on the Jin, Jiyan, Azadî basis. Because the only way to freedom is through organization. On the occasion of our campaign inspired by this organized power of women, we state once again that our principal goal is to break the isolation imposed on Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan and ensure his physical freedom. To further advance this goal, we call on women from Turkey and the world to add strength to our struggle!
On the occasion of the campaign we launched based on the resistance of Jîna Êmînî who, with a lock of her hair, has become the symbol of the Jin, Jiyan, Azadî rebellion in the 21st century, we are re-expressing that we have full faith in women’s struggle for freedom! In order to build up and invigorate this faith, we call on the women of Turkey, especially Kurdish women, feminist organizations, women activists and women all over the world to embrace our campaign, to strengthen it and to have social freedom grow ever larger against all attacks targeting women’s existence under the leadership of women. Let’s raise our voices altogether, everywhere, always Bi Jin Jiyan
Azadîyê, ber bi Azadîyê!
Tevgera Jinên Azad (TJA)