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Rojava Education Co-Chair: Turkey is Bombing Our Schools

KCS conducted an exclusive interview with Semira Hac Eli, the co-chair of the Ministry of Education for the DAANES (Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) – commonly referred to as Rojava. In the interview, she discussed the impact of the latest bombardments by the Turkish state, which began in October, their ongoing targeting […]

Selahattin Demirtaş Puts the Turkish State on Trial

Is it possible to shame a state who proudly celebrates their lack of moral conscience? The answer is being sought currently, as on Tuesday, the Erdoğan regime in Turkey commenced their illegitimate show trial of Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP). To his credit, Demirtaş mounted a powerful defense in […]

Öcalan’s Solution for Our Crises: Restoring Social Ethics to Politics

The world is trapped in a vicious cycle of crisis. In other words, as Barry Gills and Hamed Hosseini claim, “we are living through a great implosion.” The environment is decaying, poverty is widening, inequality is growing, and war is spreading. The recent data from The Armed Conflict Survey indicates the growing number of armed […]

Enhancing Diverse Democracy: NE Syria’s New Social Contract

Authorities in the de facto autonomous region of North and East Syria (NES) this week made an announcement many years in the making. For several years now, representatives of the region known by the Kurdish metonym ‘Rojava’ have promised a new, updated version of the ‘Social Contract’ which codifies the principles through which the region […]

Seyvan Ebrahimi: 11 Years in Prison for Being Zahra Mohammadi’s Husband

Going after the family of your enemies is a sign of desperation. An action taken out of panic in response to the fears that the walls you have constructed around your reality are closing in. That is the state of modern-day Iran and the case of Seyvan Ebrahimi. On December 2nd, Seyvan Ebrahimi, a Kurdish […]

Panel: Rojava Under Siege, Analysis from the War Crime Scene

On November 20, 2023, The Kurdish Center for Studies (KCS) held a special panel on the impact of the Turkish bombardments around six weeks after they began. The panel was titled: ‘Rojava Under Siege: Analysis from the War Crime Scene’ and moderated by Co-Directors Dr. Hawzhin Azeez and Dr. Thoreau Redcrow. Both have spent extended […]

Traumatized by Turkish Airstrikes: Testimonies from Rojava

Children searching around for their father’s head. Cats running away from homes and refusing to return. Fires so bright they turn the night into day and resemble the surface of the sun. Terrified children who have gone mute out of fear. Fainting mothers who awake and do not recognize their children. Six young friends lying […]

Hunting Kurds: Erdoğan Continues Bombing Rojava

“The attacks specifically targeted the region’s vital infrastructure, including oil, water, and electricity, significantly impacting the daily lives of Rojava’s people. The Turkish government’s objective is the suppression of Kurdish identity. For decades, Turkey has waged a relentless campaign against the Kurdish cause, irrespective of location. These attacks on the Kurds in Syria have persisted […]

Targeting IDPs: Turkey’s Assault on Washokani Camp

On October 5, 2023, the former residents of Serê Kaniyê bore witness to the world’s impotence to protect internally displaced persons (IDPs). It seems that such safeguards, which are supposedly enshrined within international law, do not apply to attacks from Turkey – a NATO member with an apparent free pass to bomb whichever Kurdish civilians […]

Abducted in Rojhilat: Iran’s Kidnapping of Werîşe Muradî

“To disappear people is to deny their existence, their rights, and their dignity. Forced disappearances are an assault on the essence of our humanity.” — Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the UN In the heart of Rojhilat, the Eastern Kurdistan region of Iran, the sudden disappearance of Werîşe Muradî, a passionate advocate for the […]

SOS: Turkey is Destroying Rojava’s Civilian Infrastructure

Rojava, north and eastern Syria, a region already ravaged by years of conflict and instability brought on by ISIS, Assad regime attacks, and Turkish invasions plus occupations, has now been plunged into a deeper humanitarian crisis as Turkey’s Air Force sets out to systematically leave all civilian infrastructure in ruins. Water, gas, and electricity stations that […]

Turkey Rains Down Terror on the Kurdish Civilians of Rojava

“The ongoing wave of Turkish attacks on civil infrastructure in North and East Syria need to be understood as part of a wider plan by the Turkish state. Erdogan is following a fanatical ideology that seeks to expand the dream of a new Ottoman Empire in the Middle East.” — Exclusive YPJ statement to The […]

Turkish Drone Strikes: Acts of State Terrorism

Turkey is emerging as one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to using military drones, especially for targeted assassinations. This trend has had devastating impacts for the Kurds, especially for those in Rojava whose civil servants and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) officials remain key targets. Likewise, in Southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) […]

Jîna Aminî’s Anniversary: Kurds Remain Under Threat

Following the murder of Jîna Aminî on September 16, 2022, by the Iranian ‘Morality Police’ in Tehran, widespread demonstrations were held against the Islamic Republic of Iran’s (IRI) misogynistic and anti-woman policies throughout Eastern Kurdistan (Rojhilat) in northwest Iran, and around the world. These demonstrations later grew into a broad call for minority rights and […]

Contesting Kirkuk: Protest & Bloodshed

The city of Kirkuk (Kerkûk in Kurdish) holds a special place in the hearts and imaginations of many Kurds, which is why it is referred to as “The Kurdish Jerusalem” or “Our Jerusalem.” Moreover, because of its immense untapped oil wealth, the city has been viewed as the key puzzle piece to one day funding […]

The Struggle for Serê Kaniyê: Revival, Renewal, & Ruin

Introduction This report aims to shed light on three major socio-political chapters and phases in the city of Ras al-Ayn[2] (hereafter referred to by its Kurdish name of Serê Kaniyê) since the outset of the millennium up to the current day. Much attention has been paid to details of the barbaric acts perpetrated by the […]

Tea in a Warzone: Holidaying with the PKK

[names in this article have been changed to protect their identities] “Biji Kurdistan, Biji Kurdistan, Biji Kurdistan!” “şehîd namirin, şehîd namirin, şehîd namirin!” Somehow I had gotten sidetracked from my post-Uni holiday and found myself in the middle of a crowd of PKK members rushing an ambulance carrying their martyred friend back from the mountains. […]

The Treaty of Lausanne: The Crime of the Century

History is a terrifying place for the Kurds. It is a place fraught with geopolitical losses, displacement, subjugations, and horrific human rights violations. Undoubtedly, the Kurds have been the consistent losers in the historical and geopolitical events in the region in the past century. A series of treaties and events which occurred in early 20th […]

Recognizing the Struggles of Syrian Kurdish Journalists

Lack of International Recognition Hampers Reporting Effort In the autonomous Kurdish region of Syria, known as Rojava, a pressing dilemma has been brewing for the past decade. Over 500 Syrian Kurdish journalists, dedicated to reporting the truth amidst the chaos of the Syrian conflict, find themselves grappling with a significant obstacle – the lack of […]

ISIS, Foucault, and Evading the State

The progressive, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) this week announced its intention to begin trials of the estimated 2000 ‘third-country national’ male ISIS fighters it is currently holding in its detention centres, along with around 8000 Syrian and Iraqi combatants. The mooted trials are commonly represented as ‘unilateral’ – a loaded […]

Ismet Tastan: Pillar of the Australian Kurdish Community

Ismet Tastan is one of those rare Kurds whose tireless efforts for the Kurdish people deserves detailed attention and praise. I have known Ismet for well over a decade and can say with confidence that his selfless passion and unending love for the Kurdish cause served as one of my inspirations and my own political […]

Looking Back on LSE’s 2023 Kurdish Studies Conference

Back on April 24th and 25th of 2023, the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Middle East Centre held what became the largest Kurdish studies conference ever assembled. The inaugural event was held with the support of LSE’s Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity (AFSEE) program based at the International Inequalities Institute, the […]

No Devil Cuts His Own Claws: Sultanic Reflections

Erdoğan is not the requiem for Turkey, he is its reckoning. While it is tempting to agree with the wailing Western think tank literati and NGO industrial complex that authoritarian Erdoğan has finally killed off “Turkish democracy”, the unfortunate reality is that there was nothing left to kill. Since its foundation, the Turkish Republic has […]

Dreams within Defeats: The Kurdish Quest for Meaning

Many of us are familiar with the dictum, attributed to Antonio Gramsci, that socialists should be possessed by “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.” In its original context, a prison letter written to an anarchist comrade whom he accuses of simplistically claiming petty victories, the militant Italian intellectual goes on to opine how: […]

The Long March Beyond the Institutions

The Kurdish movement, along with its friends, supporters and fellow travelers, is experiencing a strange and novel sensation – the uncanny sense that a Presidential election might bring about political change worth the name. Albeit that Turkey’s torn socio-economic fabric will not be remade overnight, and the opportunism of opposition candidate Kemal Kiliçdaroğlu’s appeals to […]

Rojhilat’s Kolbers: Symbols of Economic Injustice

“The smuggling has its roots in the clumsiness of rulers who for hundreds of years have taken the thousand-mile Zagros range as the boundary between Arabia and Persia, but ignored how Kurds live on both sides.”  — Alex Perry, Outside Magazine Kolber is a Kurdish compound word composed of two words: “kol + ber,” which […]

Below and Beyond the State

We live in a technological age, in which computer chips are made out of rare minerals, and in which AI (Artificial Intelligence) is advancing at breakneck speed. State and transnational apparatuses of surveillance and marketing render the dream of decentralized workers’ control and people power perhaps hopelessly nostalgic, reminiscent of the aspirations of a bygone […]

Kurdish Thermopylae: Existential Hope in Hopeless Times

Not long ago, on the eve of battle against Turkey’s invading military, Kurdish fighters gathered around a smartphone, tarnished AK-47s slung back over their skinny shoulders. These men are not supposed to use phones, but they all have contraband Alcatels anyway, using them mostly to fill the long, dull interludes between combat by playing simulated […]

A Legacy of Autonomy & the Kurdish Freedom Movement

“Many different alternative movements around the world simply refused to stop imagining that another world is possible: Öcalan and the Kurdish freedom movement belong to this category.” — Havin Guneser Throughout human history there has been a clash between two societal paradigms. The dominant one is heteronomy – a condition in which society does not recognize […]

Erdoğan’s Earthquake: Corruption Created the Catastrophe

Following natural disasters, wars, and other catastrophes, it has become almost commonplace for Kurdish journalists and activists to condemn the way their homeland is written out of the headlines. Consecutive deadly earthquakes in southeast Turkey (Northern Kurdistan) and north Syria (Rojava) have brought a similar outcry. As the death toll climbed above 50,000, the Kurds’ […]