Posted by PDKI on January 24, 2013
The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) celebrated the 67th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Kurdistan in Peshawa Hall in Hawler, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, on the January 21, 2013.
The Republic of Kurdistan was proclaimed on January 22, 1946. The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, which was established one year earlier, formed the first and only government during the short-lived republic.
Qazi Mohammad, the first leader of PDKI, was the republic’s President. Three years earlier, the founding members of the PDKI had established an organization called Komalay Ziyanaway Kurd (Society for Kurdish Resurrection). The PDKI was founded to replace Komalay Ziyanaway Kurd for the purpose of creating a modern, well-organized and popular political party with an explicit commitment to democracy, liberty, social justice and gender equality. These were the values upon which the Republic of Kurdistan was founded.
For the first time in modern history, the Kurdish people, like other nations in the Middle East, attained freedom, human dignity and a political framework to protect their national rights. Following the establishment of the Republic of Kurdistan, the Kurds achieved many political objectives in spite of unfavorable domestic and international conditions.
For example, Kurdish children and students received free education in Kurdish; a number of newspapers and magazines were published; Peshmerga Forces were formed for the purpose of safeguarding the security of the Kurdish people and to protect Kurdish national rights and interests; the Kurdish flag, an important symbol of the Kurdish nation, was flying on government buildings etc.
Equally noteworthy from a historical perspective, gender-segregated schools were abolished and Kurdish women in urban areas of Kurdistan actively took part in politics. In many respects, the Republic of Kurdistan, which only survived for 11 months, was unique in a region of the world that even to this date has not experienced genuine liberty, democracy, and gender equality.
In a speech at the event in Hawler on January 21, the current leader of the PDKI, Mustafa Hijri, underlined that “the republic has become part of our identity, not only in the east [of Kurdistan] but in all parts of Kurdistan.”
Hijri added, “The republic has thought us that we can only attain our rights by exercising our right to self-determination and through the establishment of a political framework that respects individual and national rights.”
“The Republic [of Kurdistan] signifies freedom, and this freedom is a source of social and political rights for the Kurds. In this sense, national rights and freedom are interlinked and part of the Kurdish people’s identity,” Hijri said in another part of his speech.
Celebrating the anniversary of the Republic of Kurdistan every year is not only a celebration of a crucial moment in modern Kurdish history, but also an affirmation of the Kurdish nation’s right to self-determination and a commitment to progressive political values in the face of policies of denial by the clerical regime in Tehran.
Click here to watch some pictures from the event.
Video from the event (audio in Kurdish)