Ocalan, as seen in this photo, was one of the founding members of the Kurdistan
Workers Party, or the PKK, who fought against the Turkish government for local
autonomy for over 39 years.
a student of political science, Ocalan was heavily influenced by American
socialist thinker Murray Bookchin, and his ideas of communalism, autonomy at
the local level and radical democracy with a strong participatory dynamic.
was also a devoted advocate for women’s rights. In opposition to honour-based
religious and tribal views of women, Ocalan stated that “The level of
women’s freedom and equality determines the freedom and equality of all
sections of society”.
taking advantage of the chaos of the Syrian revolution, local administrations
of Rojava have allowed themselves to put into physical practice Ocalan’s philosophy
of womens rights, ethnic cohesion, self-administration and direct democracy.