QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan 24) - Kurds in Syria’s predominantly Kurdish northern areas (Rojava) on Friday and Saturday held ceremonies in support of the upcoming referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region.
The Kurdistan 24 team in Rojava covered the ceremonies in several towns and cities of the region.
In Qamishlo city, Syria's Kurdish National Council (ENKS) sponsored some of the ceremonies.
Organizers of the rallies said a number of singers and folklore bands participated in the events.
Those who came out to celebrate and the festival organizers confirmed that independence for the Kurdistan Region would have a positive effect on the other parts of Greater Kurdistan, which includes Turkey, Syria, and Iran.
The organizers said it was their duty to support any national project.
In their view, independence for the Kurdistan Region bodes well for hopes of self-governance in the other parts of Greater Kurdistan.
“It's a blessed step that one part of the Greater Kurdistan gains independence. This would be an encouraging move for Syrian Kurdistan as well,” said one of the ceremony organizers in Qamishlo city.
The ENKS members who participated in the festivals emphasized the importance and need for an independent Kurdistan for Kurds in the neighboring countries, including Syria, Turkey, and Iran.
“Kurdish independence would be an achievement not only for Iraqi Kurdistan but also for the three other parts of Greater Kurdistan,” Mahmoud Malla, deputy head of ENKS, told Kurdistan 24 in Qamishlo.
“It's time for Kurds to put an end to the injustice and tyranny they have suffered through for so long,” he said.
“Long live Kurdistan! Long live the Independent State of Kurdistan,” he chanted.
Those celebrating the events further called on the Kurdish parties to leave their disagreements aside and join forces.
“We urge all Kurdish people to unite and support independence, because this is a day for Greater Kurdistan, not for an individual party,” said one of the organizers.
The Kurds have been seeking an independent state since the end of World War I, after colonial powers divided the Middle East and split Kurdish-populated territory between modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.
(Additional reporting by Dilovan Chato and Farhad Ehme from Qamishlo)
Editing by G.H. Renaud