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Conference in Rojava represents ‘Turkey's failure to eradicate women from political life’

MORE than 300 women have gathered for a conference in northern Syria which they said “represents the failure of the Turkish plot” to eradicate women from political life.

Delegates and guests from cities including Aleppo and Damascus were joined by those from Iraqi Kurdistan and Europe for the 8th conference of Kongra Star: a confederation of women’s organisations founded in 2005 which follows the political line of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Participants expressed their pride in holding the conference in the city of Rumelian in the largely Kurdish enclave known as Rojava, in defiance of Turkish attacks on organised women.

“Holding the conference at this stage represents the failure of the Turkish occupation plots in the region, where women have been targeted in the first degree,” Afrin delegate Zainab Ali said.

She represents those who have been internally displaced since the 2018 Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation of the region, allied with a myriad of Islamist groups associated with Isis and al-Qaida.

Afrin is the site of war crimes including extrajudicial executions. In May a rape and torture camp was discovered where hundreds of mainly Yazidi women were being held by jihadists from the Hamza Brigade.

Despite the United Nations acknowledging the atrocities committed in the occupied region, no action has been taken and arms sales to Turkey by Britain and other imperialist countries have continued.

Ms Ali said that the conference had been organised “to increase the pace of struggle to end all policies that are hatched against women by the dominant global states, first and foremost the Turkish state, which targets the will of free women.

“A strong, organised fighter and a political woman is the first target of the Turkish state,” she said.

Earlier this year a Turkish drone strike killed three women from Kongra Star in the border town of Kobani.

Delegates also paid tribute to Hevrin Khalaf, the Future Syria Party leader who was tortured and executed by Turkish-allied jihadists a year ago.

Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-chair for the Euphrates region Yerivan Hasan spoke of the great sacrifices women have made on the path of struggle.

She also praised the role of Kongra Star for its role in organising women in north-eastern Syria with delegates representing Arabs, Kurds, Circassians and Armenians.

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