I have a dear friend who was born and raised in Istanbul and has returned there recently to care for her elderly parents. As the US withdrawal from what was once the peaceful Syrian-Turkey border has plunged that area into chaos, my friend continues to work for the women caught in this untenable situation, raising funds to establish a women’s house with a library and serving as a networker among endangered women there.
What I didn’t know until recently was that the Turkish government, under Trump’s friend, the dictator Erdogan, has specifically targeted women. The women in Rojava, Northern Syria, wrote, “We have defended the women’s revolution with our sacrifices. We lead our struggle on behalf of all women in the world.” Turkey’s war, with US support, “targets the gains and rights of our struggle for women’s rights, freedom and justice—everywhere. With the international campaign Women Defend Rojava we unite against fascism, occupation and patriarchy.”
There follows a list of specific demands, which women everywhere are asked to sign: stop Turkey’s invasion of Syria; establish a no-fly zone; take all war crimes and war criminals to justice; stop weapon trade with Turkey; implement political and economic sanctions against Turkey…
How often over the centuries we have banded together all over the world to stop invasion, conquest and bloodshed.
Perhaps this time it will work.