Armenian fighter: Don’t be a party to the Turkish aggression
Armenian fighter Tamara Sarkis appeals to the people worldwide and especially to the Armenian women to stand up against the occupation attacks of Turkey in Northern Syria and to stand on the side of the peoples of Syria.
Tamara Garabet Sarkis is a member of the first Armenian battalion in Syria. The 33-year-old is mother of eight children. In 2011 she joined the defence forces founded in Rojava. First she was with YXK, then with YPG/YPJ/SDF and now she is in the battalion "Şehid Nubar Ozanyan" which was founded in April 2019.
When Jabhat Al-Nusra and ISIS crossed the border and attacked Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) in 2012, Tamara took part in the active defense of the city as a YPG member. Within the ranks of the YPJ, she was continuously involved in the struggle against the ISIS. She has also taken part in the resistance against the occupation aggression launched by the Turkish state on Serêkaniyê on 9 October. She had to leave the front with an injured friend. Now she is helping the people who fled from Serêkaniyê due to the Turkish invasion. She appeals to the peoples of the world, especially Armenian women, to stand up against the Turkish attacks and for the peoples of Syria.
Involved in the revolution since 2011
Many of her ancestors died in the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, says Tamara Sarkis. The survivors hid among the Kurds and Arabs in Syria:
"Today we are looking for ourselves again as people and gather the remaining members of our family. The preparations for the Rojava Revolution took place in 2011. As an Armenian woman I took part in it. I am married and have eight children. My youngest daughter has never been with me. When she was born, the revolution began. I left my child with my family and took up arms to defend them and my people."
“We got to know ourselves and our rights”
Shortly after the beginning of the revolution, the Turkish state brought jihadist groups of the FSA ("Free Syrian Army") and the Al-Nusra front to Rojava and made them attack Serêkaniyê, Tamara tells: "At that time we had hardly any weapons. I took my family's arms. Turkey let the FSA cross the border in the north to attack us. We as Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs and Armenians defended ourselves together and fought back. At that time the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) did not exist yet, but we already knew the ideas of Abdullah Öcalan. At home we had his books, we read them. His ideas let us see ourselves as women. The thoughts in his books gave us strength. We lived in Syria and had no rights as women. Through Abdullah Öcalan we got to know ourselves and our rights. At that time, many women took up arms."
With the Armenian Battalion in the resistance
In 2013, Tamara joined the newly formed Women's Defense Units, YPJ, and fought against ISIS. After the military victory over the Islamist organization, the Armenian battalion "Şehid Nubar Ozanyan" was founded: "I was a member of the YPJ and SDF. When I told my friends from the YPJ that I wanted to help form an Armenian battalion and join it, they didn't stop me. On the contrary, they were very happy that we wanted to create our own defense force. In the battalion we also worked on Armenian culture and language. But then the enemy attacked in the same way he killed one and a half million Armenians in 1915. We took part in the defense of Serêkaniyê in the knowledge that a free life under the rule of an occupant and genocider State was not possible. The Turkish state has again attacked the Kurdish, Armenian, Arab and all other peoples. Our villages had to be evacuated, the population had to leave Serêkaniyê, but our resistance continues. We will defeat the dirty, immoral, inhumane and unscrupulous army that murders women, children and the elderly without restraint. Erdoğan attacks with chemical weapons. Why do the states worldwide keep silent about this? Why are the bodies of our children burned with chemical weapons?"
"In front of my eyes, the genocide comes back to life”
Tamara points out that the Turkish state claims that the attack is directed against terrorists: "Because we defend our country, our children and our lives, Turkey calls us terrorists, and the world does nothing about it. Don't be a party to this. Are we terrorists because we defend ourselves? Do we not have rights? Where are the human rights that are so much talked about in the world? Do we have no rights because we are on the right path and we are counting on fraternity?
I want to say something to people all over the world: For eight years people have fallen as martyrs in every inch of Rojava. We will continue to die but will not be destroyed. As Kurds, Arabs, Armenians and Syriacs, we want a democratic Syria. We do not want the Turks. I am Armenian and the attacks of the Turkish state brought the genocide of 1915 back to life before my eyes."
"The SDF are our defense forces"
Tamara Sarkis stresses that the SDF defend the entire society without making distinctions between population groups and religions: "I have hardly seen my children for eight years. Turkey has sent its gangs to murder us once again. I joined the military forces to defend myself, my children and humanity. I still do that today. I appeal to the peoples of the whole world, to the Armenians and Armenian women: Stand up and extend your hand to the people of Syria. Let us end the attacks and massacres of the Turkish State together."