FORUM ON THE KURDISH LIBERATION MOVEMENT
There were two speakers for the forum on the Kurdish Liberation Movement: Nilufer Koc and Meral Cicek. Nilufer Koc is the Co- Chairperson of the Kurdish National Congress (KNK) with main office in Brussels which serves somewhat as a parliament-in-exile. Meral Cicek is the Chairperson of Kurt Kadin Iliskiler Merkezi, the Kurdish Centre for Women’s Affairs in Erbil in the autonomous Kurdish Region in northern Iraq.
The main objective of the Kurdish liberation struggle is to establish self-administration in Kurdish areas claimed by Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Central to their struggle are self-administration, protection of the environment and women’s liberation. They espouse what they call democratic socialism in the 21st century.
The speakers stressed the centrality of the women question in their liberation struggle. Thus they have the unique practice of having cochairpersons, a man and a woman, in their mass organizations, administrative bodies, parliamentary parties, etc. They also have separate structure and command in their military organizations for men and women. This is to ensure the participation of women in all aspects of social life.
The speakers spoke on the movement’s current project of building a new form of social organization based on self-administration, protection of the environment and women’s liberation in the autonomous region of Rojava in Northern Syria which the Kurdish movement had liberated in the course of fighting ISIS. They pointed to the fact that in Rojava they have been able to bring together Kurds, Arabs, Christian Assyrians and Armenians, Chechens and Turkmen stressing the multi-ethnic character of the new social organization that they are building based on solidarity between peoples and rejecting any form of narrow nationalism.