HPG pays tribute to guerrilla Berjîn Canda

Guerrilla Berjîn Canda was swept away by floodwaters in Xakurke and drowned. The HPG expressed its condolences to the relatives of the former anti-ISIS fighter and the Kurdish people.

Guerrilla Berjîn Canda was swept away by floodwaters in South Kurdistan and drowned. As the People's Defense Forces (HPG) announced on Friday, the fatal accident occurred in the Xakurke region. After flooding as a result of heavy rain, the guerrilla was caught in the floodwaters of the Lolan waters, which had overflowed their banks. “Berjîn Canda was a representative of the identity of the free woman in every area of resistance,” said the HPG. “We write her name in golden letters.” The organization expressed its condolences to the bereaved family and the Kurdish people.

The HPG provided the following information about the identity of the martyr:

 Codename: Berjin Canda

 First and last name: Zelal Yılmaz

 Place of birth: Erzurum

 Parents' names: Gülten – Bahattin

 Date and place of death: April 7, 2024, Xakurke

Berjîn Canda was born in Hınıs (Xinûs) in the south of Erzurum (Erzirom) province as the daughter of a family close to the Kurdish liberation struggle. Confronted with the reality of war as a child, she was aware of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) from an early age. She had her first direct experiences with state oppression at school. She saw the Turkish education system in Kurdistan as a “center of assimilation” and refused to give up her identity. The arrest and torture of her father, Bahattin, had a formative influence on her future development. The HPG wrote: "Hevala Berjîn recognized the genocidal character of the Turkish state with all its features and, as a responsible young woman, looked for ways to fight against this hostile reality. In doing so, she also declared war on male dominance. The patriarchy, which oppresses women and grants them only a subordinate role, would never have accepted them."

The murder of the Kurdish revolutionaries Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez in 2013 by a Turkish Secret Service assassin in the middle of Paris was the decisive reason for Berjîn Canda to take her commitment to liberation in Kurdistan to another level. In 2015, she went into armed struggle, initially to Rojava. According to HPG information, Berjîn Canda took part in the offensives against ISIS with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Hesekê and Şedadê, among other places.

The HPG wrote: “Despite having little military capability, she insisted on taking part in the defense of Rojava. She fought on the front line and avenged our people, especially their women, who had become the target of crimes committed by the brutal ISIS gangs. Hevala Berjin was brave. She acquired defensive qualities and tactical skills. Her friends could always trust her one hundred percent.”

After ISIS territorial rule in Northern and Eastern Syria was dismantled, Berjîn Canda went to the Medya Defense Areas at her own request. She wanted to go to the free mountains of Kurdistan, which she had longed for for a long time. She came to Xakurke and became part of the Associations of Free Women (YJA Star). With the ideal of bringing the ideas of Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] to life, she worked everywhere with selflessness, dedication and enthusiasm, including when digging our tunnels. “Through her consistent militancy, her clear stance on the line of women's liberation and a deep connection to her friends, she won a permanent place in the hearts of all her comrades. As her companions, we promise that we will make the memory of Berjîn Canda a torch for ourselves and make her dreams come true,” said the HPG.