On the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of the YPJ, Commander Stêrk Kobanê said: "The women who defeated ISIS will also defeat the occupation forces."
On the occasion of the anniversary of the founding of the Women's Defense Units (YPJ) on April 4, 2013, Commander Stêrk Kobanê spoke to ANF on the history and present of the women's units.
"The YPJ is not just an armed force"
Stêrk Kobanê described the social importance of the YPJ as follows: "The YPJ has an enormous impact on Kurdish and Arab society in particular, but also on the entire Middle East and the world community. However, we cannot treat the YPJ only as a military force. In the philosophy of Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan], women do not only play a military role, they fight for a change in the patriarchal mentality that tries to destroy women, pushes them out of every aspect of life and turns them into commodities. The importance of April 4 [Abdullah Öcalan's birthday] as a date for the establishment of the YPJ is great. Our struggle to live up to this significance continues."
"YPJ is a force of retaliation"
Kobanê described the YPJ as a force of retaliation against the terror of the ISIS and similar groups. The stance of the Kurdish, Arab, Armenian and Syriac women had an important meaning in the fight against ISIS. The struggle for retribution for the women of Shengal, Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî is continuously expanding, she said, emphasizing, "Initially, the participation of women in the ranks of the YPJ was related to their nation and their people. There was a great danger for the people and for our country. Joining the YPJ was both a national reflex and a patriotic awakening for women."
The second point was the attack on the identity, history and existence of the Kurdish people. She added, "Joining the YPJ means taking on the mission of advocating for the attainment of all women's rights. Women in the YPJ can play a role in all dimensions in culture, art, life, military and politics."
"Through the ideas of Rêber Apo, the darkness was illuminated"
Kobanê continued: "The position that women have achieved in these years not only has an impact on them, but on Kurdish society as a whole. The Kurdish society, where women used to be considered sacred, had been pushed more and more into darkness by the patriarchal powers. Through the ideas and philosophy of Rêber Apo, the darkness that hung over the lives, bodies and thoughts of women was completely lifted. The departure to freedom together with Rêber Apo and the level of freedom achieved is getting stronger every day.
"The women who defeated ISIS will liberate Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî"
Kobanê concluded: "Just as the women fought and won against ISIS, they stood and fell alongside their companions from the YPG and created great examples of heroism and sacrifice. In the footsteps of Avesta Xabûr, Arîn Mîrkan, Dayika Eqîde and Îslan, many women are fighting for freedom. The women who defeated ISIS will continue their fight against all occupiers and especially against the Turkish state. Just as we took back our land from ISIS, we will intensify our struggle against the Turkish state's attacks and occupation. We will liberate Efrîn, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî. This is our promise to our leader and our martyrs.
In fact, the YPJ are inheritors of all the fighting women in the world. From Rosa Luxemburg to Clara Zetkin, Xanim, Zerife and Leyla Qasim, many women have played leadership roles. Our promise to them is to continue and strengthen this legacy even further."