Body of Nagihan Akarsel sent to Konya

The body of the academic and journalist Nagihan Akarsel, who was recently murdered in Sulaymaniyah, was sent to Turkey, where she will be buried in Konya, the city of her birth.

The body of Nagihan Akarsel from Southern Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) was sent to Turkey. The funeral will take place in Konya, the city of her birth, according to relatives. Before the coffin was brought in a long convoy on its way to Central Anatolia, a ceremony was held in Sulaymaniyah. Many companions and friends came to say goodbye to the Kurdish revolutionary.

Nagihan Akarsel was a well-known figure in the Kurdish community and remained politically active for thirty years. She worked for a long time as a journalist and author and was in prison for years because of her involvement in Kurdish women's liberation. In Rojava, she promoted educational work in the field of Jineology - the science of women, and in Shengal (Sinjar), she conducted field research on the situation of women after the genocide and femicide committed by the "Islamic State" (ISIS). Most recently, she worked with women from Southern Kurdistan at the Jineology Research Centre. One of her ongoing projects was the establishment of a Kurdish women's library, and she also edited the "Jineology" magazine. On Tuesday, Akarsel was gunned down with eleven shots in front of her flat in Sulaymaniyah. It is assumed that it was a political assassination by the Turkish secret service.

"The bullets that hit Nagihan today could kill your loved ones tomorrow. If you think you are safe from such attacks in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, you are very wrong," said Necibe Qeredaxî at the funeral service. The women's rights activist is also involved in the Jineology Centre and is a long-time colleague and friend of Akarsel.

In a message from the Women's Committee of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), which was read out by Perwa Ali, the governments in Hewlêr (Erbil) and Baghdad were called upon to fully investigate the femicide of Nagihan Akarsel and to make the results of a specially appointed investigation team publicly available. "We also demand that in this case in particular we absolutely refrain from a policy of concessions to Turkey," the message emphasised.

The Kurdistan Women's Federation was represented by Seywan Rostem at Akarsel's funeral service. The politician stressed that aspirations for women's emancipation and liberation could not be suppressed by murder. "Such killings as those of Nagihan Akarsel lead to the revolutionary resistance of women for their rights and freedom becoming even stronger. Take one from us and we will all respond."

HDP deputy Hüseyin Kaçmaz, who travelled from his constituency, the northern Kurdish province of Şırnak, was also present. Kaçmaz noted that Nagihan Akarsel was not the first victim of a political assassination in Southern Kurdistan allegedly carried out by the Turkish intelligence service MIT. "She will probably not be the last one these forces have on their conscience either. The murder of this revolutionary was a terrorist attack. We call on the authorities in the KRI to name the perpetrators, punish them and prevent future assassinations."