Although Kurdish politics in Turkey is dominated by a national liberation movement, the movement does not explicitly appeal to nationalism and takes a radically critical stance towards the nation state (Miley 2020; Sunca 2020). The movement envisages the coexistence of several political communities at local, municipal, provincial, regional, national and transnational levels (Akkaya and Jongerden 2013; De Jong 2015; Jongerden 2017). It has developed a model of government called Democratic Confederalism, that seeks a multilayered system of political communities based on residence and cosmopolitan membership (Akkaya 2020; Baris 2020; Colasanti et al. 2018; Hunt 2019). The model promotes a system of plural political communities in which sovereignty prevails Not It is understood that this is the exclusive prerogative of the central authorities of the state, but rather a collection of functions that can best be exercised at different levels of society depending on the nature of the decisions to be made and the nature of their decisions, depending on the most appropriate implementation (International Conference of Experts Report 1998: 17, quoted in Bayir 2013: 9).
The most important aspect of the project is that it positions itself against the territorial sovereignty of the nation-state (form), political participation through representative democracy (the political system) and exclusive citizenship based on affinity (membership). In the Kurdish model form is a coexistence of scattered autonomous political units such as municipalities, villages, neighborhoods, districts, cities, associations and confederations; while confederations ideally stretch across the borders of nation states.
According to the model, local assemblies delegate political power through delegates who are sent to city councils and regional assemblies (Akkaya and Jongerden 2015; Jongerden 2019; Rojava Information Center 2019; Tax 2016). In other words, citizens exercise their political power directly and only delegate representatives when the matter is not entirely the responsibility of the local political community. Political power thus contradicts the way in which it works in parliamentary democracy: it flows from the bottom up and not the other way around. In this political systemThere is no central national parliament with the privilege of exercising sovereignty. The political system in this model combines institutions of direct and semi-direct democracy with political parties, thematic councils such as women, environment and youth councils, and civil society organizations. After all, membership is based on residence, not on cultural or national identity. What we are witnessing here is the birth of a different political community than the nation state, which is being delivered by a national liberation movement.
Political communities in North and West Kurdistan
“Our goal,” said the chairman of the council, “is to face the problems in our lives, in our neighborhood, and to solve them ourselves, without being dependent on the state or needing it.” Others add that “the state is a hump on the back of the people” and “we are trying to live without the state” (Council members from the city of Diyarbakir in Northern Kurdistan, quoted in Akkaya and Jongerden 2013: 196).
The above quote succinctly expresses the prevailing view of politics in the Kurdish movement. The type of political community that emerges from this quote is determined by the Aristotelian personal political community: the autonomous community, a personal community of 100 to 300 households (depending on the size of the autonomous settlement), is the basis of the Kurdish model (Biehl 2014; Rojava Information Center 2019; Tax 2016). In addition, the Kurdish model envisions and experiments direct democracy through assemblies and councils at all decision-making levels, including communities, neighborhoods, towns, districts and cities. Direct democratic political participation is associated with Athenian democracy (although this is incorrect according to John Keane (2009)). Accordingly, numerous references to ancient Athenian democracy can be found in the movement’s documents (Rojava Administration 2014) as well as in the literature on the Kurdish model and in the writings of the architect of the model, Abdullah Öcalan (Akkaya and Jongerden 2013,). 2015; De Jong 2015; Leezenberg 2016; Sary 2016; TATORT Kurdistan 2011, 2014; Yegen 2016).
Murray Bookchin, the political theorist who is considered to be the source of inspiration for the Kurdish model, is known for his vision of a political community based on the model of Athenian democracy (Bookchin 2015). The model is based on the complete political autonomy of residential communities such as villages, districts, cities and towns. It is believed that these communities own from nature, the right to self-government and self-defense. This makes them political communities in and of themselves. The model also expressly rejects the establishment of a Kurdish nation state (Öcalan 2011).
Why should a national liberation movement dismiss the nation-state as a whole and envision a different political community than the nation? What historical dynamics and what theoretical principles motivate the Kurdish liberation movement to develop a model of the political community based on the citizenship of residential areas, the direct / semi-direct exercise of political power and a fragmented sovereignty of several horizontal political units?
The Kurdish model distracts from statehood because its architect Abdullah Öcalan made his life’s work to develop an alternative to statistical Turkish nationalism (Baris 2020). Kurdish national liberation movements in northern and western Kurdistan (Turkish and Syrian), inspired by the architect and his model, have endeavored to “liberate” Kurdistan and Kurds with an ideology that rejects statehood and nationalism (Akkaya 2020; Matin 2019; Öcalan 2020).
The Kurdish model has atomic communities at the center of its moral and political philosophy and envisages a social order without cultural hierarchies in the form of nations, ethnic groups, nationalities, etc. Statistical Turkish nationalism, on the other hand, places the state at the center of moral and political philosophy and imposes a hierarchical order on the cultural categories based on it statistical Outlook. Turkish statistical nationalism suggests that the nation has the prerogative to dominate other groups because it “has its own state” (Mohammadpour and Soleimani 2019; Özdoğan 2010; Yesiltas 2014). Supporters of this logic conclude from this assumption that other groups are not equal to nations in terms of dignity and rights because they “lack” their own state (Bacik 2016; Baris 2020; Gökay and Aybak 2016). The fact that there is no Kurdish state, for example, is seen as proof that they don’t deserve one. If they did, they would have found one at some point in history. This is certainly not historically true, as there are states and state-like entities that have been established by Kurds throughout history (Özoğlu 2004), but that is not the point. The point is that the Turkish political elite seems to have convinced itself that this is the case in order to uphold and legitimize that Status quo This is based on the dominance and superiority of Turkish identity and denies the Kurds the cultural rights and territorial autonomy that they have been demanding since the establishment of the Turkish Republic (Gökay and Aybak 2016; Xypolia 2016).
For example Birgül Ayman Güler, a member of the main opposition People’s Republican Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi-CHP), also professor of political science at one of the most prestigious universities in Turkey, Ankara University, stated: “You cannot convince me that the Turkish nation (Türk Ulusu) and the Kurdish nationality (Kürt milliyeti) are the same'. The declaration implied that “Kurdish citizenship” as a political category is subordinate to the overarching category. i.e. the Turkish nation. This interpretation relies heavily on the formal / legal narrative (also the mainstream narrative) which suggests that the “Turkish nation” is the only political community in Turkey and includes everything. Furthermore, according to Article 66 of the current constitution, membership in this single political community is based on Turkishness: “Anyone who is bound to the Turkish state by the binding of citizenship is a Turk”. As a result, there is no room for any other group to become the basis of political rights and privileges or to claim political freedom.
According to this common view of Turkish politicians, the prerequisite for being a nation is a state of its own. It follows that the Kurds do not have a state of their own and cannot be seen as equal to the Turkish nation. In contrast to this narrative, the prevailing opinion of the Kurdish political elite and intelligentsia suggests that there are two separate nations in Turkey, the Turkish and the Kurdish, and that they founded the state in alliance and partnership. So they are of the same rank and should have the same political and legal status. They demand that the Kurdish nation is constitutionally recognized as an equal partner in Turkey.
In another case, the former Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc stated that Kurdish was “not the language of a civilization” (Derince 2013) and could therefore not be regarded as equivalent to the Turkish language. It therefore makes no sense to demand the same protection and / or the same support that the Turkish language has for the Kurdish language. Kurdish is also seen as a language that has not produced enough literature to be ranked on an equal footing with Turkish. The main reason for this was the restrictions imposed by the political establishment in Kurdish in Turkey on education, publication and broadcasting over the past nine decades (Cemiloglu 2009; Coşkun, Derince and Uçarlar 2011; Derince 2013; Zeydanlıoğlu 2012)).
On the basis of the above statements, it is natural for Turkish politicians, scientists and statesmen to come to the conclusion that the Kurds as a community should not be viewed as a nation and are therefore not mature enough to govern themselves. That a typical colonial way of thinking of the 19th century is at work here would not be a far-fetched deduction. This mindset is ubiquitous in Turkey because of a particular nationalism: statistical nationalism.
This kind of nationalism holds the sanctity of the Turkish state above all else and takes it for granted to do everything possible to preserve the “integrity of the state with its nation”. Constitutional provisions such as “national and territorial unity”, “indivisibility of the state with its nation”, “the supreme leader Ataturk and his nationalism ”and the widespread, often uttered motto one language, one flag, one nation, one state mainly aim to keep the state as it is.
Statistical nationalism So in Turkey is Reason d’état in perfect completion. Federalism, confederalism, territorial autonomy for minorities, transfer of power to local administrations, recognition of a second official language, education in the mother tongue, etc., the kind of political arrangements that any society needs to maintain a diverse society and a peaceful social order. are therefore not discussed in mainstream politics in Turkey. According to Benhabib, the priority is “to strengthen the state through attempts to amalgamate all the characteristics of sovereignty in the public hand, which is due to increasing militarization, disregard for international law and human rights, regressive and hostile relations with neighbors” (2007): 28).
The Kurdish political movement has developed its model of the political community as an alternative to the nation state in general (Öcalan 2011). But your model is also in stark contrast to that statistical Turkish nationalism special.
In the face of this uniform, monistic imposition of national identity and this strictly statistical nationalism, the dominant Kurdish political movement in Turkey is proposing a policy that focuses on building autonomous and partially sovereign political communities that are inspired by Athenian democracy in making political decisions. This leads to the creation of pluralistic and inclusive political communities in cities of Kurdistan by transferring the power to make binding decisions from national political institutions to citizens’ assemblies. This is a radical alternative to the current parliamentary and representative procedural political decisions that concentrate political power in parliament in the nation’s capital. As many have emphasized, representative institutions can hardly be viewed as sufficiently democratic (Benhabib 2007; Hardt and Negri 2004; Näsström 2015).
Representative political institutions are much less democratic in Turkey than in a typical liberal democracy because bureaucrats have much more political power than elected officials. Governors of cities in Turkey are able to overturn or overturn any decision made by municipalities and mayors’ assemblies. After a year and a half since the last local elections, only six out of sixty-five elected Kurdish mayors are still in office: the rest will be imprisoned or removed (Duvar 2020). Thus, the project developed by the Kurdish political movement reflects their frustration with the draconian central government, which feeds on representative national political processes and institutions.
The Kurdish model, on the other hand, is based on self-management based on residential sovereignty and autonomy, a formulation that is similar to that of Waldron Principle of proximity (2011: 8). The key component here is Autonomy, ie the recognition that there are multiple and different needs, values and concerns, that these needs, values and concerns can only be properly recognized if the localization directs the focus of social relationships, and that they can only be adequately supported and cared for location-based mechanisms of self-administration ”(Küçük and Özselçuk 2016: 190).
Democratic Confederalism, again refers to the roof superstructure, the loose and transnational confederation of these Aristotelian personal communities, cities and towns in order to transcend and transform the current hegemonic superstructure, i.e. the nation state, into more democratic political regimes where several nations and political communities can coexist. The project is mainly inspired by Communalism in its approach to the political community. The concept of communalism developed by Bookchin (2015) promotes a small-scale, community-oriented socio-political organization of society based on the old-fashioned model. Accordingly, the movement has founded hundreds of communities in Turkish and Syrian Kurdistan over the past decade without asking for support or permission from centralized institutions and opposing them (Küçük and Özselçuk 2016).
The ultimate goal of the project is the construction of self-sufficient socio-political spatial units (Bezwan 2018; TATORT Kurdistan 2011, 2014). These spatial units are intended to exercise a form of political autonomy that is not necessarily granted by the central states. She proposes a less rigid regime of border control to allow the free movement of people and goods. It builds political institutions and organizes decision-making processes that ensure a more direct exercise of political will (Akkaya and Jongerden 2012; Hassaniyan 2019). The aim is to establish an egalitarian society with gender equality, environmental protection and ecologically friendly economic activity that prioritizes the needs and decisions of communities and communities at the grassroots level (Knapp, Flach and Ayboğa 2016; Knapp and Jongerden 2014). In this sense, neither a religious nor an ethnic or national identity can be the basis of such a project. The participation of women in all decision-making and executive bodies, women’s councils and separate female armed forces is intended to eliminate male dominance. The recognition of autonomy and self-defense for cultural minorities in Kurdistan is intended to prevent cultural hierarchies and nationalist rule. Ecology councils and communities are founded to develop an alternative economic and environmental culture and an alternative activism, an egalitarian policy in the economic production and (re-) distribution of wealth.
Politically, while the Turkish political establishment of the ideology of nationalism and the concept of national self-determinationbecause international law only allows sovereign states or colonized peoples to lay claim to the principle of self-determination. The Kurdish political movement invokes a framework that, in Benhabib’s words, can be summarized as “republican federalism”.
[T]The constitutionally structured merging of the markers of sovereignty in a series of interlocking institutions, each of which is responsible and accountable. As must be the case with any structuring of sovereignty, there is a moment of finality in the sense of a decision conclusion, but not a moment of ultimacy in the sense of a question, challenge and accountability (2007: 30–31). .
The Kurdish political movement, however, takes up this framework with a slight twist of structure and formulates it as Confederalismbut not federalism. The Kurdish political movement firmly embeds its project of democratic confederalism in the current normative reports on cosmopolitan citizenship and direct democratic decision-making.
To reiterate, the key components of democratic confederalism are:
First, it suggests that members / citizens shouldn’t be represents from a political class through national institutions, but they should be Attendees in political decision-making processes through local councils and assemblies. This is supposed to replace Obligation With solidarity; since the bond that holds the community together is not vertical loyalty to a distant central authority, but a horizontal commitment to fellow citizens (literally residents of a city).
Second, all residents, not just those belonging to a particular ethnic, national, or religious category, are called upon to govern themselves. In the words of a Kobanê citizen who greeted visitors with the words “Welcome! This city is yours! It belongs to humanity ”(Taussig 2015: 2): The city belongs to everyone.
Third, the claimed authority is limited to the self-government of the city, town, village and the control of their natural resources. The sovereignty is thus fragmented and dispersed through a large number of autonomous political communities.
Fourth, women participate on an equal footing with men in every official position, and a gender quota is established for committees, councils and assemblies, etc., to ensure gender equality. There are mixed and women-only armed forces. TV and radio stations and magazines for women only; and a whole scientific discipline, Jineolojî (English: Women Science; derived from the word jin, which means women in Kurdish, and –lojî, the equivalent of the suffix -logy) as a field of study for women in Kurdistan.
Fifth, cultural minorities participate in every decision about their communities. have the right to self-defense, education in their languages and cultural preservation – if traditional practices do not harm individual human rights.
Given the dominance of theocratic, nationalist, monarchical, and imperial visions and models of the political community that have condemned politics to an oscillation between authoritarian, semi-authoritarian, and autocratic regimes, the Kurdish model of political community looks promising. This basic democratic model of autonomy is being removed because of the threats posed by the Turkish and Syrian governments. Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian and Yazidi communities in northern and western Kurdistan seem to be receptive to the model of democratic confederalism (Allsopp and Wilgenburg 2019; Burç 2020; Holmes 2020; Matin 2019). They must be supported by the international community in their endeavors to establish and maintain the form of self-government they desire. The Kurdish model promises, if not without flaws, a secular, democratic, pluralistic, egalitarian and environmentally conscious model of self-government for everyone. It is a historic opportunity not to be missed if peace, harmony and coexistence are to be established and maintained in Kurdistan. It is time for the international community to act and intervene on behalf of the communities of Northern and Western Kurdistan to prevent the collapse of one of the most progressive and democratic political experiments in Syria-Kurdistan. and end their persecution at the hands of a religious extremist and ultra-nationalist regime in Turkey.
This autonomy also takes a cultural turn when religious communities such as Armenians and Assyrians are also recognized as autonomous in Syrian Kurdistan, where they form minorities within cities and communities.
 Birgul Ayman Guler’s statement is now open Hurriyetdailynews, 01/25/2013.
 Mustafa Kemal, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. He received the surname Ataturk (Father of the Turks) 1934 by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
 The first draft of the Charter of the Rojava Cantons, drafted by the ally of the Kurdish movement in Syria, referred directly to Athenian democracy, but did not appear in the later text. This is due to the fact that Murray Bookchin was the main inspiration for the project of democratic confederalism, which based its political philosophy on the Athenian model of democracy rather than the Roman model of republicanism.
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