Kobanê is Life, We Object for Life

Kobanê protest in Istanbul. The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection with Turkish CO Association. Photo: Maurice MontetKobanê protest in Istanbul. The European Bureau for Conscientious Objection with Turkish CO Association. Photo: Maurice MontetMerve Arkun

After the loss of countless people in a war waged by the Republic of Turkey against the Kurdish people, a process has started which they call the "solution process". They described this step as one taken to develop dialogue with the Kurdish movement. For years, the "solution process" that started in 2009 was expected to bring "peace" to this region. But the state didn't give up on its reflex to create peace with guns, tanks and bombs - just like in Roboski where 34 Kurdish villagers died in a bombing by the Turkish Armed Forces. Even though a so called "ceasefire" was declared, and some armed groups retreated to outside the border, in every part of this geographical region attacks against Kurdish people continued throughout the process. Funerals kept coming to homes; funerals of those that died - maybe not in battle grounds - but in the streets by soldier-police attacks.

Social Transformation and Rojava: ISIS' target

After the Syrian border practically changed by the end of internal war that had been going on for 4 years in the local region, with ISIS' conquer of Mosul (one of the larger cities in Iraq) the border with the Republic of Turkey changed too. ISIS' "unstoppable" progress has been the clearest sign of dominance which raises concerns in the region. In this case, "unstoppable" reflected on us as raped women, beheaded war slaves, slave markets, countless massacres and those who were forced out of their lands.

As ISIS' attack on the process of social transformation in Middle East region focused on Kobanê, the resistance grew in response. Kobanê has been more than just a city trying to keep standing against ISIS threat: it has become the hope of social revolution in the region. And right at this point, those who resist in Kobanê became those who resist for the new life that is being created.

Kobanê Behind "Politics of Peace"

Kobane resistance, which has been going on for 3 months now, is supported in many ways, by the social opposition and the voice of the resisters crossed the borders. Now a common voice and common struggle is raising against the increasing wars and massacres of the states.

The attacks against Rojava and Kobanê, while being the basis of "peace force" propaganda of Western states for months, also turned into the "dream of bringing peace across border" for the state of Turkey during that time. The government, with the bill that it passed in parliament in October, got ready to send its military force to the other side of border and put the border under war conditions. The gates of the Suruç border are closed to war refugees but open to support mobs with weapons; "peace-bringing soldiers" were directed at tens of thousands of Kobanê residents escaping from war; for the first time after 1990's Extraordinary Conditions(OHAL) applications, martial law was applied in these lands. Tens of people who were on the streets – the voice of those who try to survive in Kobanê, and supporting those who resist in border - were massacred by police attacks and shots from soldiers.

While the effects of war goes on both in "this" side of border and in Kobanê, while the losses increase day by day, the voice of those who oppose this war increases as well. People go to the Kobanê border from all four corners of the region try to create a safe line by becoming a human chain; but the state's army and state's police continue their attacks to break this solidarity. While the states, behind the borders they draw, get ready for new wars under the name of "security politics", new massacres behind the lies of "bringing peace"; some people refuse these politics, these drawn borders, these stages being readied for new massacres.

Consciences Stand With Kobanê

The conscientious objection movement in these lands has stood against war and with life for years. Those who object to shedding the blood of siblings, to dyng, to killing, have resisted for years. Even though the state has tried to daunt them with life within its military prisons, oppression and torture, conscientious objectors didn't give up and continued to defend life.

Conscientious objectors have repeated again with every new "cross-border operation", every preparation for war, every massacre committed by the state with its soldiers and army: This is why we object, and will keep on objecting. In the "Liberation Operation" against Iraq, countless bombardments towards Gaza, in every bomb thrown at Roboski, consciences objected to holding the weapons of state hands, and objected to becoming a part of the planned wars.

Now, in "that" side of border, while thousands of hearts resist the killer mobs, against the states that plan new massacres collaborating with killers; conscientious objectors in "this" side of border to raise their voice in support of resistance and raise the struggle for freedom. After Hakan Baksur was massacred by police in the middle of street, after Necmettin Çelik was massacred by rangers, after 8-year-old Remezan from Rojava was killed by a soldier's bullet in Qamişlo border; our consciences object...

Many people in many parts of the region who condemn the attacks on Kobanê are going out onto the streets: police-army violence and state oppression attempts to daunt them; the conscientious objectors in these lands, antimilitarists and those who oppose war refuse to believe in the state's lie that they will "bring peace" to the borders.

The conscience of the people object to ISIS, which is fabricated violence to massacre; object the ammunition supplies by the state that would set the stage for new massacres; object the doors that are closed against those who want to escape from war; the police-army attacks against those who resist for their life; the tyranny against those who were forced to leave their homes, villages, lands and migrate; enslavement of women in slave markets; massacre of children with raining bombs; the bill passed in parliament behind lies of "bringing peace"; all the massacres the stage of which are being staged.

Now, to add their voices to the voices of those who resist in Kobanê at the cost of their lives, a people who try to hang on to life by escaping from war, consciences object.

The voice raising from both here and Kobanê is the voice of peace and not war, and is the harbinger of a new borderless life.