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Democratic Autonomy in North Kurdistan: The Council Movement, Gender Liberation, and Ecology Paperback – November 17, 2013
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As the title suggests, it does spend a fair amount of pages detailing the plight of both women and the natural environment in the area, and how these are being addressed. As disclosed in interviews, "Kurdish society is patriarchal and dominated by Islam, but the Kurdish revolution is in great part a revolution of women... Turkey's rulers feel so disturbed by this development that in the mainstream media they often say we send women to the front ranks as shields." At last, the other side of the story.
As someone who is concerned with ecological issues primarily and human rights issues secondarily, I found ample discussion of ecological issues in the book. Recruitment of volunteers for ecology work is "the hardest thing of all... Nature has been so generous to us that we're too spoiled to do anything for nature in return." Yet clearly inroads are being made towards at least preparing people to think about the environmental costs posed by encroaching capitalism in a region rich with natural resources. As is often true, in this case folks already engaging in favorable ecological practices is a result of poverty (i.e., they don't have a choice); nevertheless, the concept of keeping it green is being introduced here at a critical juncture.
I didn't give the book 5 stars because alas, it provides more than just an account. You start to mistrust the authors to a degree when you read too many statements of shameless propaganda (e.g., that capitalism is "demoralizing" is a matter of opinion rather than a statement of fact). This doesn't come as a surprise given the authorship, but it's part of the deal, in case you were wondering. Ⓐ