-1 World Taksim to Kobani: Turkish anarchists defy Syrian border
Turkish anarchists, who made headlines around the world during the
battle for Taksim Square, have decamped to the besieged Kurdish town of
Kobani to support the fight against the Islamic State.
While Turkish security forces look on from across the border as the www.channel4.com/news/isis continues its onslaught against Kobani, a group of Turkish activists have crossed the border to support the Kurds, writes Brian Whelan.
They call themselves Devrimci Anarsist Faaliyet
(Revolutionary Anarchist Action), and their members were on the
barricades last year when major protests erupted around www.channel4.com/news/search/?coreSiteName=news&amp;amp;freetext=taksim+square and Gezi park in Istanbul.
Speaking to Channel 4 News, the group
reveals it has visited Kobani on three occasions, bypassing Turkish
border guards and helping Kurdish refugees to escape into Turkey.
We were part of the resistance that started in Taksim and Gezi park. Turkish anarchist spokesperson
"The most important task was to help civilians from
Kobani to pass through the border. After that we supported immigrants
for transportation, setting up tents, organising the distribution of
materials sent in solidarity," one group member explained.
"We were part of the resistance that started in Taksim
Gezi park. We were part of the resistance against police violence,
against state terrorism and in the direct democracy experience
"After Taksim Square was occupied, we have actively
participated in resistance along the barricades and behind the
barricades. However we have to make this clear: we are not only in the
streets when the turmoil in society is high."Prison conversion
The links between Kurdish groups and anarchists were born from the proscribed PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) leader www.channel4.com/news/kurdish-turkey-abdullah-ocalan-ceasefi's prison conversion to the writings of Murray Bookchin, a New York anarchist academic.
In Kobani the PYD (Democratic Union Party) and its
armed wing, the YPG, are followers of Ocalan, and have attempted to
implement an autonomous form of Kurdish direct democracy. Turkish
radicals are hoping to learn from this experience.
"YPG is organising the fight at the highest level
against Isis as a self-defence force. So we are trying to support in
every way possible," the anarchist explained.
The border near Kobani has seen violent scenes as Turkish forces attempt to control the flow of refugees both into www.channel4.com/news/turkey and back to www.channel4.com/news/the-battle-for-syria.
In recent days the DAF have been supporting calls for
people to come onto the streets to protest against the Turkish
government's stance on Syria.
Police have used tear gas and water cannon this week as
unrest spread to six Turkish cities over Turkey's lack of action
One 25-year-old protester was killed in the eastern
province of Mus and there were other deaths reported in Diyarbakir,
Turkey's largest Kurdish city.Peace process threatened
The activists worry that the government is not taking
the ongoing and currently quite delicate peace process with the PKK
seriously. The fall of Kobani could severely harm and hope of peace
between Turkey and Kurdish groups.
"The Turkish state is watching with pleasure the Isis
bombing of YPG and its march. When the people of Rojava feel unsafe
and cross the border, the state interprets this as a decrease in
peoples confidence in YPG," the groups spokesperson claimed.
"Each position that the Kurdish people's movement loses
against Isis is interpreted by the state as a loss of the power across
"Our relationship with Kurdish individuals and society and the organisation of Kurdish people, has been mutual solidarity."
In the UK in recent days the Kurdish community has been
holding daily marches and attempting to blockade tube stations and
airports in a bid to draw attention to its cause.
Similar protests in a number of German cities have
ended in violent clashes, with radical Muslims using knives in an attack on a Kurdish protest in Hamburg.