The guerrillas fight on the path of Zîlan

On the forthcoming anniversary of her martyrdom, guerrillas remember Zilan, who blew herself up in a Turkish military parade in 1996 and thus opened up a new page in the struggle.

30 June 1996 is deeply engraved in the memory of both the guerrillas and the Turkish state, albeit under very different circumstances. The guerrilla fighter Zeynep Kınacı (Zîlan) blew herself up in a military parade in the province of Dersim in North Kurdistan on her own initiative after an assassination attempt by the Turkish state on the PKK leadership. The action, which wiped out an entire military unit, galvanised the women's movement in particular and represented an important act of initiative for the development of the women's guerrilla movement. The action caused panic among the Turkish military.

Guerrilla fighters Şerzan Cûdî and Dîcle Nurullah from the combat zones spoke to ANF about the significance of Zîlan’s action on its 28th anniversary.

Dîcle Nurullah, a guerrilla fighter in the ranks of the Free Women's Troops (YJA Star), said: "Comrade Zîlan was born in Malatya in 1972 and grew up in the Alevi faith and with Kurdish culture. She studied nursing. Although she worked in the system for a while, she did not detach herself from the culture of her society. She understood the reality of Kurdish women, the reality of the Kurdish people, the reality of society and the system. In 1994, she met the Apoists in Adana and took part in their activities. In 1995, she joined the ARGK in Dersim. Zîlan recognised and understood Apoism in a short time. In 1996, she proved her loyalty through her self-sacrificing action in Dersim. As YJA Star fighters, we follow the path of resistance drawn by Zîlan. Today there are thousands of Zîlans in the mountains of Kurdistan. As comrades of Zîlan, we are fighting against the enemy in Zap, Metîna, Xakurke and many other areas of Kurdistan. Whatever happens, we will keep comrade Zîlan alive in our struggle."

HPG (People's Defence Forces) guerrilla Şerzan Cûdî said: "Zîlan carried out a self-sacrificing action in response to the attacks on the Leader [Abdullah Öcalan] in 1996. At the time when conrade Zîlan carried out her action, there were fierce attacks on the Kurdish people and their leader. At such a difficult time, Zîlan took the leadership role and carried out her action. She was a new friend and had only been a fighter for a year. The fact that she understood Apoism in such a short time and was so connected to the Leader and the party made a great impression on the cadres and the people. With her action, she shook the whole world and brought the existence of the Kurdish people and the existence of Kurdish women into unbreakable awareness. She gave a strong message to the Kurdish women and the women of the world, it was the message of free life. It was the manifesto of the right life. Zîlan was the voice of all humanity. The source of her consciousness was Leader Öcalan’s philosophy of free life. In the letter she wrote before she went into action, comrade Zîlan said: 'I wish we had something to give other than our lives.’ This is actually a manifesto. We, too, walk the line of Zîlan, and we will always stay on that line."