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It is also in stark contrast with the way women are treated in Saudi Arabia or Iran.We are therefore fascinated by these women not only because of their courage, but also because they defy our often mistaken idea of the subdued Middle Eastern women who need to be saved.Viyan, whose story is one of the main focuses of the report, says she joined the guerilla fighters at 18 without informing her family because it was a way to get out of her upcoming marriage.
For all those years of struggle, Öcalan has been the PKK’s ideological and organizational leader.
In 1999, Öcalan was captured in Kenya after he had been forced out of Syria, where he’d lived for twenty years.
Kurds have routinely been arrested and tortured for any expression of their cultural identity or opposition to Turkey’s one-flag, one-people, one-nation ideology, which originated in the early twentieth century, found full expression in Kemalism, and has endured under the authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Islamist party.
Like other national liberation movements of the 1970s, the PKK was originally founded to win an independent Kurdish state.
The spasmodic, pogrom-like violence to which these “new” nation states have subjected Kurds has included chemical gassings, bombings, forced relocations, ecological devastation, and the razing of entire villages.
In the decades since 1984, when the PKK initiated an armed struggle, some 40,000 people have been killed, most of whom have been Kurds.
It could be argued that in the complicated war against ISIS, Kurdish movements, such as the Kurdistan Worker Party (PKK), have an interest in promoting the image of the brave female warrior.
By showing that women are part of military units, they promote a narrative of gender equality and emancipation, and in doing so, set themselves apart from extremist groups such as the Islamic State, renowned for its brutal treatment of women.
Promoting a narrative of gender equality could very much be part of an attempt to move from “terrorists” to liberating forces capable of freeing This is not to say that Kurds necessarily “parade” their female fighters in front of foreign correspondents, but the conflict in Syria has long taught us that the war is also taking place in the media (as the hashtag “I am a Kurd and I am their enemy.
But the most important thing is for the world to know that ISIS isn’t just the Kurds’ enemy; it’s the world’s enemy.” More tellingly, a Kurdish fighter named Rehana – the “angel of Kobane” who allegedly killed more than 100 ISIS fighters – became something of a poster figure for the Kurds’ fight against ISIS thanks to a The pro-active role of Kurdish women is often put in contrast to ISIS’ treatment of women who live under its rule, described in the extremist group’s manifesto on women.