Questions and answers about the ‘Federation of Northern Syria’
ISTANBUL – What needs to be understood from the ‘Democratic Federation of Northern Syria’? Why is it named ‘Federation of Northern Syria’ but not Rojava? Federation’s Executive Council Co-chair Foza Yuzuf answered those and many other questions.
The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria consists of Raqqa, Manbij autonomous regions and Cizre, Afrin, Kobani regions with each consisting of two Cantons.
After the communal elections on 22th of September, peoples’ congress will replace the Constituent Assembly.
But, what needs to be understood from Democratic Federation of Northern Syria? Why is it called the ‘Federation of Northern Syria’ but not Rojava?
Federation’s Executive Council Co-chair Foza Yuzuf answered those and many other questions.
When asked about how the Cantons and regions are determined, Yusuf underlined the importance of peoples with differences governing themselves:
At first, the way administration worked based on Cantons. At the time Girê Spî, Hesekê, Shedade ve some parts of Shahba weren’t liberated. With the liberation of these cities, a need for a federation which will solve the Nortern Federation peoples’ administration problem has arisen. Regions are organized based on the need. Every people, belief and diversity governing themselves, creating solutions to their own needs and preventing the centralization is the purpose.
Why is it named the Federation of Northern Syria but not Rojava?
Moreover, Co-chair Yusuf explained the reasons behind the decision to name it ‘the Federation of Northern Syria’ and why it is a federation instead of an autonomy or a democratic autonomy.
This project is based on the nation paradigm. Therefore, the region must have the name and the form of governing which will apply to every people. If this was a region with only Kurdish people living in, Rojava would be the most fitting name.
Federation is the most powerful form of the democratic autonomy in our opinion. Regions can join the administration in a stronger way in a federation because they do have their own councils and administration.
Yusuf highlights the nation-state structuring as the major problem of Syria. She says it needs to be replaced by a democratic structuring:
We see the Federal Syria as the solution and we certainly know that the diversity can be preserved this way. Otherwise conflicts will continue. The model we are bringing into being is for the all of Syria.
What about the electoral areas? What kind of a connection will these regions have with Syria or any other region? Yusuf answers to these questions by emphasizing the importance of having better relations with other regions:
First of all I need to say that the democratic federalism is Syria’s internal project. We are seeking the solution not in the fragmentation of Syria but in the unity of it. We believe a fragmented structure will stay under the possession of the region and states with no interest in finding solutions. In the current situation we are disconnected with other regions. In every region there is a ruling force. Relations between regions must be improved and negotiations must be conducted around one system. A constitution protecting every people, belief and diversity must be prepared. This constitution must define the relations between regions and bring the Federal Syria administration forth.
Where do Kurds fit in the system?
Yusuf states ‘they are not establishing a state’ and says ’Federation does not mean fragmentation but voluntary unity and agreement.’ Furthermore she explains that ‘they are trying to democratize the nation-state which caused many troubles for the every people living Syria.’ and talks about the role of the Kurdish people in the system:
Kurds are the constituent element of this system. They do have the right to have a place in the administration, to have education in their native tongue and be accepted with their Kurdish identity.
This system embraces every people and belief. Rights of every people, belief and diversity are defined in the social contract.
The role of the Syrian Democratic Forces
Yusuf, also talked about the future of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which currently battles against ISIS in Raqqa:
SDF is the defensive force of the peoples in Syria. SDF is defined as the defensive force of the Federation of North Syria in our social contract.