Bakur Delegation 2024: Politics is life here: not subculture

A group of internationalist comrades are currently in Bakur (north Kurdistan/southern Turkey) at the invitation of the Kurdish leftist DEM Party. Two delegations—Jin and general—will be attending Newroz celebrations, meeting with representatives of political structures and observing the upcoming municipal elections.

The entrance to Amed by the Kamishlo boulevard made us think instantly about the importance of the place where we are. The capital of Kurdistan, we heard a few times in just a few hours of our arrival. However, people try to not say that word very loud while you walk by the streets. There’s seems to be a very fine line separating where, when and what to say, and everyone seems to walk that line very well. A Kurdish friend in Istanbul told us: In Turkey you are political and have trouble or you choose to survive. He chose to survive in a city where the ultranationalist display really is wild. You can be left wing or right wing in Turkey but when is about us, nobody cares here, he said.

But in Amed people care. And you can see that in those very colourful streets where the DEM Party flags blind the very boring and more conventional political propaganda that other parties use for their identity. On our first day a 16 year old told us you can’t be apolitical here. Politics is life and not subculture here, and that definitely makes a difference that you can feel.

Candidates go around the city and people receive them with joy and clapping with enthusiasm. We asked our host what are the risks of standing as a candidate. Whether he was worried. He replied that it is a risk just being Kurdish.

As we are typing this, we are blasting out Kurdish music from the car.

Amed, 20.03.2024

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