Internationalist fighter Ivana Hoffman, fighting alongside the People’s/Women’s Defense Forces (YPG/YPJ) against Daesh/ISIS in Rojava, was killed in Til Temir yesterday evening.
Ivana Hoffman (code name Avaşîn Tekoşîn Güneş) was a communist fighter with the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP). According to the MLKP’s announcement, Ivana lost her life in a 3 a.m. clash in the early morning hours of March 7, on the eve of World Women’s Day.
The statement said that for Ivana, standing up for the Rojava revolution meant standing up for the future. It noted that she had taken up frontline positions in the bloody battle to defend Assyrian and Syriac villages from Daesh’s genocidal attacks.
“After the Rojava revolution, her greatest dream was to take part in the struggle in Turkey and Northern Kurdistan. She was a seeker of freedom, with dreams of revolution,” said the statement. “Avaşîn Têkoşîn Güneş, with her gleeful laugh, was our source of joy. In Tel Temir, we saw her off to her final rest and her immortality. Our pain is great. Our rage is as high as the mountains.”
The internationalist fighter was born in Germany on September 1, 1995. She joined the communist youth movement at a young age and worked actively in her city. For the last six months, she had been fighting actively in the war in Rojava, taking up positions in several locations in Rojava’s Cizîre Canton. According to the statement, Avaşîn had been engaged in intense combat in the foremost positions in the defense of Tel Temir against Daesh attacks, ongoing over the last two days.
“Our comrade Avaşîn was a lover of freedom, determined to call everything to account, an internationalist communist who felt the pain of all peoples in her heart,” said the statement. “Her life philosophy of opposing fascist dictatorship and colonization led her to fight, and to take the side of the Kurdish and Turkish people in their pain, their joy and their war. She sang Kurdish songs with love and spoke both Kurdish and Turkish.
“As an internationalist communist, she heard the call of revolution. She headed for Kurdistan and she saw the Kurdish people’s freedom as her own,” the statement said.
In a related story, we must mention that Nuran Ağırnaslı, mother of the slain MLKP fighter Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı, visited the city of Kobanê, for whose liberation her son gave his life. She planted a red flag on Miştenur Hill, where Suphi Nejat was martyred, as she had promised her son she would.
Suphi Nejat Ağırnaslı (whose code name Paramaz Kızılbaş honors Armenian and Alawite revolutionaries) was a member of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party who joined the YPG/YPJ defense of the city of Kobanê last year. The sociology MA student at Boğaziçi University was martyred in October in the Kobanê resistance. He was an outstanding internationalist, as was Ivana Hoffman.
Nuran said that she had long wanted to go to Kobanê to see the revolution there, but had not been able to go owing to health problems. “The first thing I saw was that the city was ruined, so much so that anyone can see it immediately,” she said. “Yes, there’s been great devastation in the city. But what’s more important than this is to see what people wanted and succeeded in achieving here. You can see the conviction in people’s faces. With conviction like this, I think anything can be solved.”
Nuran first joined a March 8 march led by Yekîtiya Star, the grassroots women’s organization in Rojava. She said that being among women, and especially YPJ fighters, was a moving experience for her. But more important to her was her visit Miştenur Hill, a site that has become the symbol of the Kobanê resistance. Suphi Nejat lost his life in the battle for the hill.
“They’re saying it’s not possible to retrieve his remains right now because Daesh planted explosives over the remains of the people they killed, and in the past people have been martyred trying to search for remains,” said Nuran. “But I did promise Nejat that we would plant a red flag on the hill for him.”
After planting the flag on the hill, Nuran, along with Suphi Nejat’s father, friends and comrades, remembered him by singing the revolutionary march “We Will Plant the Red Flag” and dedicated folk songs to him.
“I did what I promised him the way I wanted to,” said Nuran. “It’s a gratifying feeling, even if it stings. Unfortunately, beautiful things have a cost. We paid this cost all together, and heavily,” she said. She said, however, that what was present in Kobanê was a spirit of internationalist solidarity similar to that of the Spanish Civil War. She mentioned the young Australian who was recently martyred in the war. “They’ve left a beautiful heritage for humanity. In a culture that tends to forgetfulness, they’ve brought the culture of solidarity back to life,” she said.
Nuran said she has much to learn from the Kurdish women’s movement and the women’s revolution in Kobanê. “I see a women’s movement emerging from this place, where women are exchanged as brides, where men don’t shake women’s hands, where girls are forced to be married at a young age and aren’t educated, as a wonderful thing,” she said. “I’ve seen the extent of women’s role in the revolution, that glimmer in women’s eyes. Even if I don’t speak the same language as the YPJ women, there’s a closeness that comes from our hearts being one.”
Nuran also said that women in Turkey, where the rate of femicides has greatly increased in recent years, need to seriously advance their struggle. She greeted all women on March 8, International Working Women’s Day.