Northern Syria cannot be called ‘Rojava’ just as Syria is not Arab, says KCK co-leader

KCK co-leader Cemil Bayik (Photo: Holly Pickett/ The Telegraph)

Speaking to Al-Monitor, Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) Co-leader Cemil Bayik said that just as the Kurds object to the ethnic description in the name of the Syrian Arab Republic, the autonomous Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) cannot be labelled “Rojava” due to its Kurdish connotation.

While Rojava is part of the federation, it is made up of Arabs, Syriacs, Circassians, Turkmen, Christians, Muslims, Yazidis and others.

“There are also many Arab cities within the DFNS. For instance, there is Shaddadah, Hol and other cities and districts. From this aspect, adding Rojava to DFNS caused wrong impressions. The removal of Rojava from there does not mean denial and removal of the existence of Rojava because DFNS includes Rojava too,” Bayik explained.

He stressed that the approach of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is part of the umbrella organisation KCK, together with the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) as well as other groups and parties, is not nationalist in character but confederal.

“If DFNS becomes a political entity based on the vision of Abdullah Ocalan, then it will be organised as a democratic society where women, men and all communities live and organise their lives in a coexisting society.”

The KCK co-leader downplayed claims that the Kurdish dominated region in Norther Syria would become an energy line to the Mediterranean Sea and that this would be the main reason behind the staunch opposition to the federation by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“Kurds have no aim in taking control of any energy corridors. While the Kurds want a fair distribution of the energy revenues, they are ultimately seeking a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue,” he said stressing that while energy could be a main factor, the Turkish government first and foremost opposes the rights of the Kurds.

Bayik also said that a solution to the Kurdish question would be impossible if the Syrian government maintained the approach of the previous Baath regime.

“However, if the regime undergoes democratic changes and adopts a democratic platform for the future of Syria, then we can argue there is a change. If it happens, then a possibility of reaching a solution will emerge,” the KCK co-leader said.

Bayik also said that a “no” in the referendum would “halt the hegemonic trend, benefit Turkey’s democratisation and could create new opportunities for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish .”