Prolific Efrîn and its culture of resistance


efrin-demoEfrîn’s territory (Cebel-î Ekrad – Kurdish Mountains) adjoining Southern Hatay, is at the same time known as the most relevant area where Kurds are living. Together with its districts Cindirê, Bilbil, Rajo, Mabeta, Shera, Shêrawa and Shiyê, it is one of the most vital centres of the Kurds. It comprises of seven towns and 360 villages. Its population amounts approximatly 400 thousand people. Olive trees are its trade mark. But Efrîn is also renowned for its agricultural and textile industry and animal husbandry. But its economy relies largely on olive oil, fruit and cereal production. In the course of its old history Efrîn was home to some big clans, like the clan of Biyan (Biyî) in Bilbil and its Raco district, the clan of Hastiyan in the Mount Hastiyan (Mabeta) and the clan of Cumiyan in the Cindirese district…

Kurmanj Mountains (Ciyayen Kurmênc) are located to Syria’s south-west and the Lêçe Plain stretches over an estimated area of 10 to 20 kilometres. The Kurmanj Mountains are embracing all the towns of Efrîn. According to the 2011 census conducted by the Syrian regime, Efrîn’s population was counted to be 417,254.

Another popular figure is the tomb of Sheikh Berekat, a sacred place for the Êzidî community, where masses pilgrimage each year.

Efrîn is well-known for its abundance of nature, culture and art. Its traditional dances have quite advanced, and its cultural affluence likens those in Northern Kurdistan’s cities of Maraş and Elbistan. The influence of the old clan society which was predominant among the Kurds for a long time, led especially in Efrîn to the maintainance of traditional Kurdish dresses and garments.

The city Efrîn has always been flourishing with bards, poets and litterateurs, who all have played an important role in preserving the Kurdish culture and resisted the state’s assimilation policies. The graves of famous Bavê Salih, Cemîl Horû, Elî Tico and Nûrî Dersimî, who resettled in Aleppo following the brutal crackdown of the Dersim resistance by the Turkish state, are all located in Efrîn.

In Efrîn, Azaz and the surrounding areas of Idlib communities of the Êzidîs, Turkmens, Arabs and Alawites are living side by side. In those towns there are also many Kurdish villages.


Efrîn’s inhabitants are resisting against threats of invasion from all sides for six years by now.

Because of the civil war and after the founding of gangs affiliated with the so called “Free Syrian Army”, attacks on Efrîn never ceased. The Turkish state was constantly planning how to attack Efrîn and Shehba region. From 2012 onwards the aggressions against Cindirês, Aleppo and Sheik Maqsoud are going on day in day out. Those who stood against those attacks on the one side and against the forces of the Syrian regime on the other side, were the Kurdish people. The historic resistance of the Kurds delivered an adequate reply to those heavy attacks. Efrîn’s inhabitants have remained on their spot, not abandoning their homes and land, and never submitted to any incoming pressure. In cities like Jarablus, al-Bab, Azaz, Idlib and Aleppo massive migrations took place regularly, and their population that was forced to flee their homes have betaken themselves to Efrîn.

ISIS gangs and the gangs fed under the roof of the Turkey under the name of “Euphrates Shield” have massacred hundreds of people in their countless barbaric attacks.

The refugee camps built for the fleeing civilians in Shehba region were aided by the Democratic Autonomy Administration and have not seen any kind of help whatsoever from international states and organisations. Efrîn is holding its ground amidst a typhoon of war and chaos and is, despite all, known as a safe haven.

The conditions and circumstances the refugees who have fled from ISIS and Turkey’s gangs are living in are severe. There are currently living 200 thousand displaced refugees in the refugee camps in Shehba and Rubar. In Aleppo, al-Bab and every war torn place in Syria, people have been forced to flee.


In 1998 after Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan’s leave from Syria, for the Kurds a new era of resistance opened its doors. On the part of the Rojava Revolution and the democratization of whole Syria, the process of freedom and resistance of the Kurdish people was moving on tirelessly. In 2004 uprising erupted against the Assad regime in the cities of Efrîn, Kobanê, Cizîre and Aleppo as a result of the chauvinistic Syrian regime’s policies of depriving the Kurdish people of all their basic rights. The regime executed its aggressive and oppressive policy everywhere.

Right after the Syrian Revolution, also dubbed the “Arab Spring” and the 19 July revolution, the struggle with which the Kurds proved themselves in Rojava and Northern Syria has become a beacon of hope for all the peoples desiring freedom. Consequently, cantons was declared.

After the declaration of the Cizîre and Kobanê cantons, democratic autonomy was declared in Efrîn on the 29th of January 2014. The foundations towards the self government of people were laid.

The communes, councils, the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM), Kongre Star and the co-presidency system established with the majority of Êzidîs, Arabs, Turkmens, Alawites and Kurds living in Efrîn canton set an example for the rebuilding of Syria based on a federal model.

The communes, councils, the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM), Kongre Star and the co-presidency system established with the majority of Êzidîs, Arabs, Turkmens, Alawites and Kurds living in Efrîn canton set an example for the rebuilding of Syria based on a federal model.

Kurds in Efrîn have created an allover organization process by developing a self- defence system based on their own force, which includes YPG/YPJ forces, Civil Defence Forces (HPC), Anti-Terror Units (HAT) and asayish (public security) forces.

In Shehba, Revolutionary Forces of Jabhat al-Akrad, Jaysh al-Thuwar and women’s units are the military force defending the region. These military forces that are made up of the people of Efrîn, are further improving the system of self-defense against all attacks every day. From communal organisation to popular self-defense, the process of construction continues. In Efrîn canton and many other areas, great importance is attached to the academies, institutions, cooperatives and educational sessions where social works and services are carried out, again under the lead of women.


Source: Firat News Agency

The post Prolific Efrîn and its culture of resistance appeared first on Kurdish Info.

source: Kurdish Info

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