A drone strike carried out by Turkish military forces has killed three Kurdish women as part of an attack targeting Kurdish feminist activists. The attack hit the village of Helîncê in Kobanê on the evening of Tuesday 23rd June.
Reports suggest that three women including Kongra Star Fırat Region Coordination member Zehra Berkel were killed by the attack. The strike clearly targeted Kongra Star, a confederation of Women’s groups in the region. The organisation has played a key role in fighting for women’s rights in the area controlled by the democratic autonomous administration of Northern Syria.
Kongra Star have condemned the attack noting the similarity between Turkey and ISIS as both deliberately target politically active women. The Turkish regime and its military operations represent a clear threat to women in the region.
In a statement, Kongra Star Coordination member Remziye Mihemed argued that:
“Those who sow the seeds of women’s struggle in Northern Kurdistan, or in Rojava like Zehra were always the target of the Turkish state. They want to destroy the Kurdish people by destroying women.” She also condemned the silence of the international community.
Global Protests Against the Attack
The shocking brutality of the attacking and its targeting of Kurdish women in particular has provoked protests across the world condemning the Turkish regime and the international community’s silence.
In Germany, protests by Kurdish communities and others took place in several cities. Demonstrations took place in Düsseldorf, Hannover, Hildesheim and Hamburg. Protesters also gathered in the Austrian city of Duisburg.
Protests organised by the Swiss Kurdish Women’s Movement (YJK-S) and took place across Switzerland. With demonstrations in the cities of Bern, Basel, Geneva and Zurich. Meanwhile, similar actions also took place in the Swedish city of Stockholm. Activists in the Netherlands protested outside the Dutch parliament.
Protests are also set to take place in London today in response this attack and recent bombing of Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) by Turkish forces. In Italy protests in several cities will take place on the 27th in solidarity with both Kurdistan and Palestine.
Further afield, protesters in Sydney gathered in the Town Hall Square where they protested against the deadly attacks of the Turkish state. Protesters condemned the violence arguing that the state’s claims of fighting terrorism were an excuse to carry out ethnic cleansing against Kurds and Yazidis.
Kurdish organisations from across the various regions of Kurdistan have also called for protests against the attack. With protests set to occur in several Kurdish cities.
The UK’s Complicity
Arms dealers based in the UK have strong ties to the Turkish drone warfare campaign. For instance, the EDO MBM’s Brighton factory is linked to the production of Turkish drones, with the company producing key parts for Turkish drones. The UK government continues to allow the export of technology and parts that enable Turkey’s bloody war against the Kurds.
It is more important than ever that we stand in solidarity with those affected by this violence. If you want to know what you can do to support our Stop Arming Turkey campaign visit the campaign page here.