SOZ: The National Kurdish Youth Organization

17 November 2015

Recently, Kurdish organizations within Kurdish territories were dissolved, in order to join a new movement, SOZ. This organization came together because of the domestic, regional, and international circumstances that have prevented the Kurdish youth from having a role in any real change, and political processes.

The Kurdish youth organization hopes to build good relations with both the Syrian and Kurdish political parties, without being guided, or following a single ideology. Their only tenants are: “Those who lived days in prison, will defend the detained. Syria is diverse ethnically and religiously, we want to push Syria towards a democratic, multi-party, federal government, that doesn’t disenfranchise the youth..etc.”

The organizers of this initiative are mostly prominent youth including Shabal Ibrahim, Azad Atta, Abdulrahman Jawhar, Mondhir Askan, Yousef Tamr, as well as  other Kurdish revolutionaries.

The organization describes itself as a: “A Kurdish national organization with our only affiliation being their free democratic homeland of Syria. The goal is for the coexistence and guarantee of rights for all Syrians. To uphold the rights of women, and the rights of children, in a good environment, following the tragedies that have befallen Syrian society, especially children.”

The organisation's logo.
The organisation's logo.

The organization is not represented in the body of the Syrian opposition, despite the fact that young people, including the Kurdish Revolutionary Organization (SOZ), represent a large majority of the Kurdish population.

Many youth within this organization have been arrested and tortured by the regime, and by the PYD, including Shabal Ibrahim. He spent two years in a regime prison in Qamishlo. He was then transferred to the Air Force intelligence branch in Damascus before his release; he has since been named as “Prince of the Popular Movement.”

Azad Atta was also arrested by the PYD  and Yousef Tamr was arrested and tortured by the regime in Damascus. These youth represent a large number of others who have suffered the same way.

The SOZ organization seeks to “build a democratic system and guiding the youth into playing an active role in political and social life. SOZ is also working to defend civil society, and adopting procedures to strengthen the institution.”

The main principles of the organization:

  1. The Kurdish issue in Syria is the issue of land, the people, and their history.
  2. The organization will pursue peaceful methods of struggle, and the building of civil societies to help change the authoritarian regime in all forms, and its supporting infrastructure.
  3. Encourage Kurdish youth activism and work to unite the energy of the youth, and their involvement in the political field.

The organization’s objectives also include a pluralistic, democratic Syrian state, with a modern constitution that guarantees equal participation by all. As mentioned among the organization’s principles of “A Syria for all races, religions, and cultures,” the organization demands peaceful dialogue to solve the “Kurdish issue.” The organization also demands that the legitimate national aspirations, that is self-determination, of the Kurdish people be met, in order for coexistence to truly flourish.

The youth of SOZ continue to host peaceful demonstrations in Syria demanding the fall of the regime and the release of all detainees. Those who have sought asylum countries like Switzerland and Germany hold protests in solidarity as well.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad