By Bland Crad
Nowruz is a national holiday for the Kurds that falls on March 21, and is the first day of the Kurdish year according to the solar calendar. This holiday is ancient and holy to the Kurdish people, as it carries a national character as it symbolizes victory and freedom from the clutches of injustice. In the Kurdish myth, it is said that Azdhik, a despotic king, kills the youth, but the hero Kawa mourning erupts against him with a group of his comrades, entering his palace, and kills the unjust king, then carrying a torch with his hand over the palace to inform the people that he won, so the people rejoice in this news, and enter the pleasure To their hearts, to keep this flame and fire a symbol of defeating injustice, and a light that shines darkness for future generations throughout history. Therefore, the Kurds celebrate each year this occasion, and set fire to the night of March 20, after the hero Kawa Al-Haddad, and as an expression of the birth of a beautiful and bright new day on March 21. Nowruz celebrates the first day of spring, and nature appears in its most beautiful way, where trees are lush, green lawns, and flowers bloom to spread its fragrant all over. Young men, young women, and young men and adults go out to celebrate in the embrace of this picturesque nature. They wore their new clothes from the traditional Kurdish dress. They also brought with them the best foods and sweets they prepared for this occasion a few days ago. Families are distributed among the plains, forests, and on the foothills of the mountains, forming beautiful dance rings headed by a person waving the Kurdish flag to the tunes of music and Kurdish songs. In Europe, Nowruz is celebrated on different days of the month of March, and it is not required that it be on March 21, as it may not coincide with a day off, and so that some famous Kurdish artists can celebrate parties in as many European cities as possible.
The Kurds live in one geographical region distributed between Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia, and their number ranges between 40 and 45 million. The Kurds are among the largest ethnic groups in the Middle East, but without a separate state for them today. Who are the Kurds and those who descend? The people of Lulu, Kuti, Korti, Juti, Judi, Kasai, Subari, Khaldi, Mitanni, Huri and Nairi are the origin of the Kurds, and they have been inhabiting Kurdistan since the dawn of time. The Medes existed four thousand years ago, and established empires and multiple sultans such as Sumer, Ilam, Lulu, Cardonia, Suparto, Metan, Urartu, and Mani. The Greek historian Herodotus holds that the Medes are six main tribes: Bouza, Barretac, Strukhet, Arya, Budi, and Mugi. This historian called the Aryans these Kurdish medieval tribes. The Median Kurdish Empire, or the Mad Kingdom, is one of the great empires of ancient times that was founded around the year 708 BC, and was established on the territory of present-day Kurdistan, and played a fundamental role in the emergence of human civilization in the region that was known to the Greeks as Mazobutamia. The Median Empire entered into an alliance treaty with the Babylonians, and the Lydians, to stand up to the expansionist aspirations of the Assyrians. Indeed, after the victory of the Kurdish Medes against the Assyrians, harmony and peace prevailed among the peoples of the region. The Median Empire collapses after its ruler, Astyak, is killed by King Kourosh Achaemenid. After the fall of the Median Empire, the Kurush army headed to occupy Assyria and Babylon, and went to fight the hands. The Achaemenid army was subsequently defeated by Alexander the Macedonian army, thus the Kurdish kingdoms came under the influence of the Macedonian army, which appointed Kurdish rulers on the land of Media. Many areas of Kurdistan were then subject to Roman rule, then Byzantine, and then to Islamic rule in the seventh century AD.
The Kurds have remained since ancient times clinging to their land, and they were able to form many emirates governing themselves, so the Kurds did not melt despite Kurdistan’s subjection to the rule of many foreign powers and the flow of migrations to it.
In the modern era, the Kurdish problem began when the Battle of Jalderan occurred in 1514 CE between the Safavids and the Ottomans, which led to the distribution of Kurdistan’s lands between these two countries. Despite this, the Safavid and Ottoman states were unable to extend their full control over Kurdistan, because the Kurds were desperate to defend their land. In the twentieth century, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, France and Britain concluded the Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916, which included dividing the Ottoman legacy, including the territories of Kurdistan, and forming a new map of states without including the rights of the Kurds; this agreement increased the Kurdish wounds, and made it more difficult than the independence mission . As a result of the persistent demands by the Kurdish elites to establish the state of Kurdistan, the Allied countries are setting the parameters of the Kurdish state under the Treaty of Sevres in 1920. The implementation of this treaty will cease after three years, and a new treaty will be concluded in the name of Lausanne, in which the Turkish state was established with its current borders, and the establishment of the Kurdish state vanished. The stage of conflict begins between the Kurds and the Turkish state, where Kurdish movements have been met with repression and violence. The Turkish authorities attempted to deny the Kurdish presence, prevented the speaking of the Kurdish language, banned Kurdish names and uniforms, and followed the policy of Turks, and obliterating the Kurdish identity. When the PKK was founded in 1978, and its claim to the rights of the Kurds, Turkey destroyed nearly four thousand villages and displaced its people to the cities of western Turkey Kastanbul.
In Iraq, the situation of the Kurds is not in the best condition, and they were subjected to severe violence while demanding their national rights. In 1946, Mullah Mustafa Barzani founded the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and he led the 1958 revolution against the government of Iraq to obtain their legitimate rights. The Iraqi government has made a demographic change in the population by settling the Arabs in some Kurdish regions, especially in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, and forcibly displacing the Kurds to some other areas. In 1988, the Iraqi regime, led by President Saddam Hussein, launched the Anfal campaign, a genocide against the Kurds, in which 4,500 villages were destroyed, and more than 180,000 people were killed in a systematic process that was not without the use of chemical weapons. They forced women, forcibly took children out of their mothers ’arm, and forced them out of trucks into potholes. The only person who survived the 1988 massacre, Taymour Abdullah Ahmad, was telling a TV channel: “Suddenly, the soldiers started shooting at us, they shot near my head, my shoulder and my leg. The place was full of blood. I got two bullets in my back. I was waiting for my death.” He pretended Ahmad, 12 years old, is dead. After the soldiers left the site, Ahmed came out from among the dead bodies to testify to one of the bloodiest massacres in our modern era. In 2003, the autonomy of the Kurds in northern Iraq was transformed into a federal Kurdish region under the Iraqi constitution. In 2014, ISIS forces attacked the Sinjar region in the Kurdistan region, and committed genocide against its Yazidis. The organization has killed about 5,000 Yazidi men, kidnapped 7,000 women, most of whom have been raped, and displaced more than 300,000 people from their places. Peshmerga forces, after supplying them with weapons from western countries, and with the help of coalition aircraft, defeated ISIS, and restored all the lands that the organization controlled.
In Iran, successive regimes also did not recognize the rights of the Kurdish people but rather pursued a policy of repression and violence, displacing approximately 3 million Kurds to the cities of Khorasan, Tehran, and other Iranian cities, throwing thousands of Kurdish citizens into prison, and executing hundreds of them as a result of their claim to their national rights, Belonging to Kurdish political parties. The Kurdish revolutions in Iran did not stop for independence. Perhaps one of the most famous historical battles that the Kurds led against Iranian forces is the Battle of Damdum, which took place in 1609 CE. The uprisings did not stop in the twentieth century, and the armed struggle continued until the Republic of Kurdistan (Mahabad) was declared in 1946, but it only lasted ten months, and it was eliminated and its founder, Judge Muhammad, was executed along with some of his companions. In the 1980s, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards attacked Kurdish areas, massacres, executions, and arrests, and destroyed more than 270 villages.
In Syria, the Kurds have been subjected to persecution and arrest by successive regimes, the policy of Arabization, the prevention of speaking in their mother tongue, the stripping of more than 300,000 of Syrian nationality, and the application of the policy of the Arab belt to confiscate Kurdish lands and distribute them to Arabs recruited from other regions. After the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, the Kurdish forces took control of their areas, and they managed to form, under the administration of the Democratic Union Party and its allies in 2014, self-administrations in the cities of Afrin, Kobani, and Qamishli without any intention of independence from the Syrian state. The Syrian Democratic Forces subsequently managed, in cooperation with the international coalition, to eliminate ISIS and topple the capital of its alleged caliphate, the city of Raqqa in 2017. Combat Kurdish women became famous throughout the world, and were distinguished for their courage and skill in fighting. He managed to sow terror in the hearts of ISIS fighters who feared the greatest fear of being killed by women because, according to their claim, they would not enter Paradise in this case. This means that the Kurds are men and women who, on behalf of the entire world, fought a war against the most terrorist organizations in both Syria and Iraq, through which they presented thousands of martyrs, so that the region and the world would enjoy peace and security. The development of the situation of the Kurds in Syria fell short of the Turkish state, and it invaded the city of Afrin in 2018, accompanied by some factions of the Free Army, on the pretext of protecting its national security. The Afrin region came under a violent attack in which Turkey used warplanes and heavy weapons, displacing at least 250,000 Kurds, killing civilians including children, women, and elderly people, and killing the lives of thousands of fighters. Turkey allowed the armed groups operating under its leadership to practice an organized violence policy against the remaining Kurds and to tighten the noose on them to push them to emigrate as well, and this policy was represented in killings, looting, beating and torture, kidnapping and paying money, and these actions and threats are still continuing. Turkey has made a demographic change for the people of the city of Afrin by displacing the Kurds, and the settlement of Turkmen, and Arabs in their stead. It also changed the names of public squares, schools, streets, and villages to Turkish and Arabic names, and prevented the Kurds from celebrating Nowruz National Day. Rather, it burned forests, cut thousands of olive trees belonging to the Kurds in the process of ethnic cleansing, and obliterated the Kurdish identity in this city. Turkey was not satisfied with that, and it went through another operation in 2019 and invaded the cities of Sri Canet and Kari Siby and adopted the same policy in Afrin, which led to the displacement of at least 150 thousand people from these two cities. Turkey is taking advantage of the international community, and putting pressure on the active states for some of its cards to pass its public and secret projects aimed at eliminating the entire Kurdish presence.
The Kurdish people will continue their struggle, and their struggle against the occupying regimes of their land, and the brutal genocide will not deter him from proceeding to claim their legitimate rights, and the Kurdish revolution will not stop unless the Kurdish state achieves the same as the rest of the countries. What confirms this is the brief history that we mentioned, which is the struggle that continues to this day. Therefore, and in implementation of the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, it is the duty of the active states today to correct the unfair Sykes-Picot agreement and redraw the map of the Middle East again, including free and independent Kurdistan, which promotes peace and justice.
All Nowruz and you are free.
Advocaat : Husen Krad
By Bland Crad