PYD co-chairs Asya Abdullah & Saleh Moslem / Twitter
The 8th Congress of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Europe began in Belgian capital Brussels yesterday. The congress, which will last two days, is being attended by 700 delegates, 135 of whom are women, from across Europe, Scandinavia, Greece and Bulgaria.
PYD co-chairs Asya Abdullah and Saleh Moslem, PYD European Representative Zuhat Kobanê, TEV-DEM's Aldar Xalil, Kurdistan People's Assembly (Kongra Gel) co-chair Remzi Kartal, Greek Party Syriza's Antonios Markopoulos, HDP's Kemal Aktaş, Party Demokrati Kurdistan's Ali Herori, the European Kurdish Women's Movement's (TJK-E) Dilşah Osman, Sinn Fein's Emma Clancy as well as representatives from many other parties and institutions are also attending the congress.
The congress began with a minute's silence in memory of internationalist fighters who fell fighting in Kurdistan.
The opening speech of the congress was made PYD European Representative Zuhat Kobanê, who saluted the attendees and said their presence showed that they were marching together in their struggle.
PYD co-chairs Asya Abdullah and Saleh Moslem spoke later, in Kurdish and English, and said the following in their joint message:
"The PYD has made remarkable progress since its establishment. The 12 March 2004 resistance showed that the PYD could be a leading party in Rojava. The administrators and members of our party enhanced the resistance in the jails of the Ba'ath regime without hesitation, and brought the struggle to this point. This success has been proved by the revolution in Rojava and Syria. The PYD is not an ordinary nor authoritarian but a democratic, libertarian and social party in the Middle East. It struggles based on ecology, society and women's freedom against reactionary movements."
The PYD co-chairs stated that their party aimed to resolve the Kurdish question in Rojava and the Middle East: "The PYD has a democratic paradigm, which was created by Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan and is based on the freedom of women and all peoples. Until now we have fought against mindsets that have anti-democratic foundations and dissolve society in the name of religion. We will continue struggling to form a democratic society, the achievement of which means the success of all cultures and societies. An unrelenting resistance was waged in Rojava against ISIS fascism and other groups, and this battle was led by the YPG and YPJ. Let's give an international joint struggle against this fascism.
In Rojava, we want a federal and democratic system in which all identities and cultures can live freely. The experience of Rojava and Northern Syria could set an example for the whole of Syria. Everyone should know that the Middle East and Syrian crisis cannot be resolved unless the Kurdish question is resolved."
The PYD co-chairs also emphasised the importance of women's struggle, stressing that the Rojava revolution is the revolution of all women, and all its gains must be protected. "Women are the guarantee in the Kurdish people's creation of a libertarian and democratic system."
Speaking later, Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) co-chair Aldar Xelil said, "We do not want the division of Syria. On the contrary, we want a democratic and libertarian system. This is what we are fighting for. We can lead a common and free life only through this strategy."
The Parents of British YPG fighter Dean Howell Evans (Givara Rojava), who was killed in Manbij, said they were proud of their son, adding: "Our son was a revolutionary. He was martyred in Rojava for humanity. He saw the Rojavan people as his own family, and loved them. He is a part of the YPG world."
The congress continues today
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