A number of events are taking place across Scotland to celebrate the struggle of the Kurdish people for self determination
EVENTS across Scotland will celebrate the Kurdish struggle for self-determination in the run-up to international Kobane day on 1 November.
Talks and film showings will explore aspects of the Kurdish movement taking place in nominal parts of Turkey, Syria and Iraq for independence and social progress.
Events will open at Strathclyde University on the evening of 25 October with a talk from 6pm from Havin Guneser, an engineer, journalist and women’s rights activist who has translated many of the works of the leading intellectual and political figure of the Kurdish social movement, Abdullah Ocalan.
Roza Salih, a Kurd from Iraq and co-founder of Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan (SSK), told CommonSpace that amid the chaos of war and civil war in the Middle East, the Kurdish struggle represented a viable alternative based on “democracy and peace”.
She said: “At a time like this everyone is talking about Syria, and most of the coverage is extremely negative, you don’t hear about Kurdish movement.
“It’s in the Middle East – and it is important to acknowledge the geography of the situation – trying to create a new world.
“There is a positive force in the chaos of the region, trying to bring about democracy and peace in the whole region: a leftwing and feminist movement against misogyny, racism and capitalism.”
Guneser, who was denied a visa to travel to the UK, will address a second meeting at Dundee University on Thursday 26 October at 6pm.
The revolution in Kurdish parts of Eastern Syria, or Rojava in Kurdish, broke out in the aftermath of the Syrian revolution of 2011, and the subsequent civil war and social collapse.
The movement, which advocates gender equality democracy and social justice has had to fight for survival in the face of multiple threats from Daesh (so called Islamic State) to the Turkish government, which has fought decades of war against the Kurdish community.
Salih said: “Daesh want to change the mentality of the people, particularly the women, to force them to see the world their way.
“This new Kurdish movement has taken control of the society they want to live in.
“It should be celebrated and supported by more people than it is.”
On 1 November SSK will host a film showing on the revolution in Rojava. The day is being celebrated world-wide as international Kobane day, named after a Kurdish town which has seen intense fighting between Kurds and Daesh.