Letter from Sehîd Zîlan to the Woman Freedom Fighters of Kurdistan

This letter from Şehîd Zîlan is the one she wrote to the Woman Freedom Fighters of Kurdistan.

Our National Liberation Struggle, led by President APO and the PKK, sees the backwardness of Kurdish society and strives to solve it's problems radically. The diminishment of women began with the emergence of class societies. With the formation of primitive capital accumulation and the concentration of this accumulation in the hands of the male gender, the class societies were formed. The active role of women in life originated from production activity in the primitive communal period, and thus the loss of womens freedom began. With the transformation from the slave society to feudal, then to capitalistic and imperialistic societies, the colonization of womens gender has persisted by changing shape and becoming even more disguised. The scientific socialist theory, which means eliminating the contradictions between the classes that confine humanity in every field and creating equal and free life opportunities, also supports the idea that women should be provided with humane life opportunities.

However, although the realization of socialism tried to shape women in this way, efforts to liberate women were limited due to adherence to the scientific principles of socialism, the fact that women's freedom was not handled on an independent basis, but together with all human problems. When we look specifically at Kurdistan, we can see that the loss of women, both in terms of sexual exploitation, and exploitation in every other way have caused the Kurdish women to experience the women problem more deeply. Before our National Liberation Struggle began, it was not possible to talk about the existence and will of women in Kurdistan. The woman was nothing. As the Turkish poet Nazım Hikmet put it, "her place at the table comes after the ox." Efforts to liberate Kurdish women, who are in such a bad position, require an effort and approach equal to the size of the problem. It is not possible to talk about the liberation of Kurdish women, who constitute more than half of the Kurdish population, without solving the women problem.

Our Party Leadership, as in the approach to all problems, has made very deep analysis on the women's issue and led the way in solving this problem. The level we have reached today represents very advanced progress in terms of the development and freedom of women. However, women's loss of freedom is so serious that it almost begins with the history of humanity. At this point, women's liberation and ability to stand on their own feet is not something that can be accomplished in a flash. It requires a long process. The steps that the party makes are on this basis. Efforts to liberate women are very sacred, very instructive.

In this respect, it is the woman herself who should be most loyal to our Party Leadership, who should fight, die and give the most effort. And women have responded on this basis and started to take the steps of liberation by rushing into the ranks.

However, our terrible backwardness as women has kept us far away from achieving a development that corresponds to the efforts of our Party Leader in this direction. In the current situation, we are far from fulfilling our neccesary duties equivalent to the general course of our war. Freedom requires fighting. To be able to fight well, we need to be organized well. If we can realize a strong organization, then we can talk about our strong will. It is a proven reality that women's freedom requires war. Now, our goals are clear. We need to give great effort by turning our positive features such as patriotism, devotion, determination and courage, which are unique to Kurdish women, towards the revolution.

We have thousands of female martyrs who worked for freedom, made progress and shed their blood for this cause. Berivan, Rahime, Besê, Ronahi, Zekiye, Mizgin, with their lives and martyrdoms which culminated in our National Liberation Struggle, pioneered important processes both in our national liberation struggle and in women's freedom. These comrades give great morale and encouragement to all women freedom fighters, especially to me. We must fulfill our duties of this time, play our role in the national liberation struggle, and take the practical steps of liberation by combining our great anger at the backwardness of Kurdistan society, and especially against women's slavery, with thought, ideology and politics.

On this basis, my personal decision to become a "sacrifising guerrilla" is not only a personel decision but is also to be worthy of the efforts of Reber APO and our Party the PKK, in general. It is for all exploited humanity, particularly to respond to the demands of the Kurdish people and Kurdish women for freedom. I took this decision to become a representative for them. This decision gives me great morale and courage. It gives me indescribable beautiful feelings.

It is a very honorable feeling to walk in the footsteps of our women's freedom martyrs and great resistance fighters and to protect their heritage correctly.

I consider myself lucky to be the one to carry out this honorable mission.

I greet all our female fighters, who give so much effort and sacrifice, who endure all kinds of trouble and difficulties, and who are fighting for freedom in the mountains of Kurdistan, who are responding to our party PKK and especially to the efforts of Reber APO by getting more organized and becoming stronger. I greet you with the belief that you will respond with meaning and will create a free future with your own hands.

Long live our Freedom War Led by Reber APO!

Long live the great Kurdish woman who fought and became free under the leadership of the PKK!

Down with the Fascist Turkish State!...