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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 […]

Salih Muslim: If Turkey Keeps Attacking, SDF will Return to Border

On December 27th, 2023, The Kurdish Center for Studies (KCS) organized a discussion about the continued attacks of the Turkish state against Rojava. The program was conducted by KCS official Nawaf Khalil, and featured the co-chairman of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Salih Muslim, who evaluated the repeated Turkish assaults on civilian infrastructure and the reason […]

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 […]

Jin Jiyan Azadi: Kurdish Women Resisting in the 4 Parts of Kurdistan

The death of the Kurdish woman Jina Amini in September 2022 sparked an inferno of protests throughout Iran, under the banner of “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi.” This Kurdish language slogan, which translates to “Women, Life, Freedom,” soon showed up on banners carried throughout the cities of Eastern Kurdistan (northwest Iran), and quickly became the official slogan […]

Roundtable: On Rushdi Anwar’s Kurdistan Art Exhibit

At the Table with Rushdi Anwar Rushdi Anwar (b.1971-) is a Kurdish artist from Halabja, Kurdistan whose upcoming exhibition, in collaboration with Artes Mundi and the British Council, will be presented at the National Museum Cardiff, UK. A round table was held by Artes Mundi with Dr. Omar Kholeif, Professor Shahram Khosravi, and Dr. Hawzhin […]

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 […]

Could the War on Gaza Pull Rojava into a Regional Conflict?

There are certain inflection points in history around which decades are defined, and October 7th was one of them. The Hamas incursion into Israel, and the subsequent Israel bombing and ground invasion of Gaza, have escalated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to an intensity unseen since 1948. Events of such historic importance are seldom contained to their […]

YPJ: On Societal Transformation & Revolutionary Progress

The following is an exclusive KCS interview with Berivan Amuda, from the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units) Information and Documentation Office, which was conducted on December 8th, 2023. The YPJ was established in 2012 and emerged from the bloody outcome of the Syrian Civil War. Since then, the YPJ has gained global renown as a women’s […]

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 […]

Everything Felt Possible: Remembering Leila Mustafa

What does it mean to repair a destroyed city? Is it merely the construction of buildings or the restoration of collective hope? Leila Mustafa, former co-chair of the Autonomous Administration-affiliated Raqqa Civil Council, passed away from medical complications on November 23rd this year. For six years, Mustafa had worked tirelessly to rebuild from the ashes […]

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 […]

The Mythical Symbolism of Birds Among the Kurds

Birds have long held significant symbolic value in numerous mythologies and cultures throughout history, embodying multifaceted roles that represent a diverse array of themes. These include freedom, spirituality, guidance, protection, transformation, wisdom, creation, and fertility. While the significance of birds varies across different cultures, their symbolic importance remains a prominent and enduring feature within the […]

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 […]

Îlham Ehmed: Turkish Attacks Divide Syria & Inspire ISIS

This interview was originally conducted in Kurdish on October 23rd, 2023 and can be found here (including the original video). “It is possible that the Turkish state will continue these attacks and attempt to displace the local population. We have seen historical examples of this, even in recent history, such as the forced displacement of people […]

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 […]

AANES: Turkish Attacks Intend to Eliminate Our People & Region

“These Turkish air strikes against us are war crimes according to all international laws and regulations. There is no pretext that allows for the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure. But it seems like the Turkish regime does not care and is not abiding by these legal rules. And they have announced publicly that they will […]

Serê Kaniyê: Four Years of Ankara’s Terrorizing Occupation

Wherever Turkey occupies in the AANES region of north and eastern Syria (Rojava), allied jihadists, criminal gangs, and ruthless mercenaries soon follow; and wherever these occupying hoards go, so does indiscriminate and extrajudicial killings, murders, mutilations, lootings, gender based violence, occupation of homes, and destruction of farmlands, orchards, and livestock. In essence, wherever Turkey and […]

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 […]

Turkey’s Unofficial Military: Mercenaries & Jihadists

“To plunder, butcher, steal, these things they misname empire: they make a desolation and they call it peace.” — Tacitus, Roman historian (56-120 AD) Turkey’s growing geopolitical influence has contributed to the further destabilization of regional balances, deepening of conflicts, and promotion of extremism. In the Neo-Ottoman quest to increase their reach, Turkey has established […]

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) […]

Analyzing Chro Zand’s ‘Memoir of a Kurdish Hero’s Daughter’

“Facts need testimony to be remembered and trustworthy witnesses to be established in order to find a secure dwelling place in the domain of human affairs. From this, it follows that no factual statement can ever be beyond doubt.” — Hannah Arendt The landscape of memoirs documenting Kurdish struggles, wars, and trauma remains sparsely populated […]

Reflecting on Jîna’s Legacy: One Year After Her Murder

A year has passed since the 22 year old Kurdish woman, Jîna Amini was brutally murdered at the hands of the Iranian morality police for incorrectly wearing her hijab. The Iranian regime and the coroner unequivocally rejected accusations that she died from blows to her head and limbs. Following her shocking death, mass protests erupted […]

The Global Impact of Jin, Jiyan, Azadî

As we approach the first anniversary of the “Jin, Jiyan, Azadî” (Woman, Life, Freedom) revolutionary movement in Eastern Kurdistan (Rojhilat) and Iran, it is beneficial to investigate its global impact. I have examined the implication of this movement in global terms at two levels: its impact on state-centric politics and its impact on grassroots feminist […]

To Remember is to Resist: The Jiyan Archives & Raz Xaidan

“Resistance. Archiving, documenting, remembering, and referencing is an integral part of our continuing fight merely to exist as Kurds. To preserve is to accept, and in the absence of our own national archive, what we are doing at Jiyan is minuscule in comparison to what could be achieved if we as a collective society placed as much […]

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 […]