By DELIA BAGNI
BAGUIO CITY — Members of the Kurdish Women for Peace (KWP) group expressed their solidarity and support in the fight against national oppression with Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA), Philippine Task Force For Indigenous People (PTFIP), Cordillera Womens Education, Action and Research Center (CWEARC), Cordillera Youth Center and Innabuyog-Gabriela during the sharing of experiences on Indigenous Peoples struggle.
According to political refugees Anne and Kurdis of KWP, indigenous peoples of Kurdistan are politically unrecognized and are struggling for recognition and self determination because their Turkish government refuses to recognize the Kurdish people.
KWP was organized to raise issues against a patriarchal state, state repression and for the struggle for peace and democracy.
Anne said that Kurdistan being at the boarder of Iraq, Eastern Turkey, Syria and Iran, renders the Kurdish people unrecognized by the governments. She added that Kurdish identity is denied by the Turkey government.
She added that history shows that their people’s uprising begun in 1923, in 1938 leaders of the movement were hanged while people were massacred by the Turkish State troops.
The Turkish government prohibited people to give Kurdish names to their children and speak their language in their homes. Kurdish names were changed to Turkish names, children are beaten and thrown to jail if caught saying they are Kurdish.
Anne stated that people were ordered to forget their own language. The struggle for self-determination against national oppression and the patriarchal system started in 1976. She stressed that in the Kurdish region’s struggle women pay great a contribution because they lead the uprising.
She added that young women of Kurdistan were admired by the people in nearby areas who bravely leave their homes to fight for freedom and for their own identity.
Kurdistan is a geocultural region in Upper Mesopotamia wherein the Kurds are a majority with a 45 million population. They are a majority of Kurdish Muslims.
Jill Carino, Task Force for Indigenous People (TFIP) convenor added that Cordillera indigenous peoples are also fighting for their rights to self determination against national oppression and the commercialization of Cordilleran culture.
She said that human rights are violated because of the incursion of large development projects leading to the displacement of IP communities like the experiences of the communities within the proposed Chico dam project in Kalinga, San Roque dam, Ambuklao dam, Binga dam and several corporate mining operations.
She added that many of the movement leaders opposing these projects were killed, abducted, tortured, and until now their families are calling on the State to surface them. Citing Ama Daniel Ngaya-an, James Balao among others.
The Kurdish women were in the city of Baguio for 2 days and joined the activity for the International Human Rights day, December 10 at the Malcolm Square. They flew back to Kurdistan the day after. # nordis.net