The "minds" behind The Rojava Report website are a group of students from different backgrounds. ANF interviewed them on why they felt more information on Rojava and more in general on the Kurdish issue is needed and how they tried to answer to this need by creating their own site.
How did the idea of a blog on Rojava come about ?
All of us who were involved in setting up the Rojava Report understood that there was a huge lack of information regarding what was happening in the region. When the media in the US spoke about the Kurds in Syria - and this itself was rare - it was always along the lines of ethnic or sectarian violence, or to give another example of the "intractability" of the conflict. It was always in terms of an “Arab-Kurdish” conflict, as a corollary or side-show to the “Alawite/Christian-Sunni” conflict that has been the dominant narrative in the mainstream media. In general we felt that those advancing the revolution in Rojava needed a platform from which their voices could be heard, and on which they could stake out their own vision for the future of their country and the Middle East more generally, without the reductionist narratives there are so common among out the major news outlets here. It was meant to be a more unfiltered, more direct source of news about what was happening in Rojava.
How is the Kurdish issue in general perceived in the States ?
Of course that depends on who you talk to. However even among people who consider themselves informed about events in the Middle East, and are sympathetic to a degree to Kurdish demands for national rights, there is a huge dearth of understanding about the complexities of Kurdish politics in the region and Kurdish aspirations for a new Middle East. In regards to Rojava in particular there is still an assumption that Kurds are - or at least the PYD is (if they can make the distinction) - “close to the regime” or at the very least unwilling to do much about it. This unfortunately was the dominant narrative until the beginning of the revolution last summer - I mean if you read anything in the Washington Post or the New York Times through the Spring of 2012 that is what you find (and forget the television channels because they never had time for the Kurds). Just google “Kurds on the sidelines” and see how many articles come up! Then the narrative began to shift slightly after the revolution and it became something along the lines of “Kurds are dividing the opposition.” I mean can you imagine? It was as if they could not make anyone happy, or at least not in a way that respected the principles of their movement. But that is just the point because that is all lost, and even now the YPG is treated as simply one more sectarian militia, while the entire content of their revolution and their politically ideology is buried under a simplistic discourse of “Kurdish nationalism” and “sectarian strife.”
Peace and Demecracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirta? held a press conference in the party's Amed office to speak about the so-called "democratisation package", the democratic solution process and the rumors in the Turkish press about his possible resignation.
Demirta? said that by announcing the "democratisation package", the Prime Minister has confirmed that there is no solution and dialogue process in his agenda. The package has nothing to do with the process and the government has basically ended the process in search of a democratic and peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.
BDP co-chair underlined that "It is a coward act for the government not to stand behind the process it initiated", reminding that Erdo?an strongly rejected those saying the package was associated with the negotiation process.