Cizre-Kobanî Line

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Six people died in Cizre in the last twenty days, among whom four were kids. And this incident hasn’t been the first one. Cizre boils over every now and then, if, of course, we don’t count the state violence and stoning of the police that have become daily and ordinary state of affairs. The so-called situation of everyone talking all at once, or mutual accusations, or the tedious discourse of “provocation, dark forces, Gülen supporters, foreign who-knows-what” have simply gotten old and unconvincing. In order to get closer to a realistic grasp of the situation, it is enough to take into account the senior officers’ various statements and accusations, their lies about the death and conflicts as well as their relationship with Hezbollah and the changing ways in which they’re positioning the latter. What the Kurdish politicians who are negotiating with the state-government indirectly sayabout the situation is being said directly by the KCK, and out loud by the revolutionaries on the street. And if one listens to all that, the state of affairs become crystal clear.

The actual intention

Once one gets what’s really at stake, the rest comes on its own. The state sat at the negotiation table simply because it couldn’t eradicate the Kurdish national movements and the Kurds’ demand for freedom with a bloody war that had lasted for thirty years with ups and downs, in which all cruelty was said to be just and necessary. Following the first round that resulted in an armistice started a period of wavy, semi-covert negotiations. The government’s attitude in the process is so “minimalist” and disingenuous that no one can tell for sure whether an actual step has been taken towards a resolution or not within the last two years. Moreover, this “armistice” is accompanied with de facto conflicts, each involving deaths, even if the intensity of the conflicts is lower compared to that of the past ones. In other words, the Turkish state is now killing by inches! Besides, we’re not talking about random conflicts here. What’s happening is a tactical war with a strategic purpose. The State knows that it can’t liquidate the Kurdish people, at least the forces among them who represent the demanding group and who carried the struggle up to its actual state today, in the short-run. So, it tries to weaken and subdue them and make them kneel down instead. The idea is to “get its way for dirt cheap” with the least amount of effort. The purpose of the state-government wing is three-fold: to impose its own resolution based upon the limits of individual rights, to not trespass the line of class interests and their Islamist-nationalist dispositions, and to play with the inevitable social, political and class divisions and differences among the Kurdish national movement and politics by getting “their own local and foreign Kurds” and the regional bourgeoisie involved. Then again, we’re moving towards the general elections. What lies behind the state’s efforts to escalate the violence in a controlled way is to show-off their nationalist loyalties as well as to influence the general image of HDP (People’s Democratic Party) within the entire country negatively, and to impute the Gülen supporters for all the wrong-doings. That is because whatever happens with HDP, regardless of whether they gain or lose, naturally concerns the “Chief.” The Kurdish national movement is aware of all this and it responds to this tactical war with is own tacticsand towards their mid- and long-term goals by reciprocating state violence with its own, or at least by using violence on tactical or symbolic levels.

What does Cizre-Kobanî have to do with it?

Cizre, with its “bloody incidents” that flame up at times, obviously has a strategic importance in this tactical war given its place within the Kurdish national movement and at the intersection of the North, South and West Kurdistan. It’s for a reason that its name is uttered – with pride or worry- in relation to Rojava or Kobanî (There is also a canton named Jazira that borders the Turkish Republic)! This relation is not solely about the place of Cizre and of the Kurdish lands on the other side of the border in the hearts of Kurdish people orits political-military importance. Nor is it about the impact of the Rojava revolution and the jump that the Kobanî resistance brought about in Kurdish national consciousness. This relation carries another place in the book of worries and calculations of our bourgeois state. It is impossible for the Turkish state to swallow a Kurdistan on the south of the borders, especially right after it had barely gotten used to an almost independent and “we’re-friends-for-the-time-being” Kurdistan on the southeastern borders. The good old Turkish state doesn’t buy “democratic autonomy, cantonal administration” so on and so forth; any Kurdistan is still Kurdistan at the end of the day. That’s why they keep saying that they wouldn’t allow the Kurdish political existence in “northern Syria” even if it were just autonomous. “It’s about to fall!” kind of statements made by the state with such delight during the days when Kobanî was under the threat of being seized by ISIS – for which the Turkish state first said “it has nothing to do with us,” but then understood what it got to do with them on October 6-8 – result from this enmity. And “Today they’re dancing,” or “who will repair all those places you bombed” kinds of present time statements implying the torn down Kobanîare products of the same enmity as well. The government-state really wished that the ISIS would first take over Kobanî and then, with God’s will (!), all the remaining Rojava cantons, but neither happened.

The Resolution Process and Revolution…

What’s going on in the Kobanî-Cizre line puts the “Resolution Process” in a conundrum: Would the Kurdish movement accept a resolution without “status?” Would the Turkish Republic consent to a resolution with “status?” In this convoluted resolution process, what will be the lifespan and consequences of a “dual power” that have already began to sprout? How long can the de facto “autonomy” last before it turns into an open conflict? These are just some of many questions that remain…

About revolutionary Kobanî… To say the very least, ISIS is thrown out of the city. This is the victory of Kurdish people’s broad mobilization and struggle before anything else. However, the war is not over; and considering the uncertain conditions in Syria and in the region, one can argue that this is just the beginning. The Rojava experience as political revolution demonstrates both the revolutionary aspects and the limits of the “democratic autonomy” project. A social revolution that puts an end to the current relationships of production and exploitation and that is supported by the workers of the region is the only way to go beyond these limits. Kurdistan revolution would serve as a great accomplishment for the revolution in the Middle East as long as it is not surrendered to the bourgeoisie in name of “democratic republic” or “local” democracies with no clear class character. And even then, this revolution would just be the beginning. What will designate the end result for the region is nothing but class struggle. The regional bourgeoisie and their states know this already; may our turn come next…

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