[Marxism] Turkey's wall and the blockade of northern Syria

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 14 17:04:35 MDT 2017

Turkey has almost finished building a wall along its border with Syria, and has begun building walls on its borders with Iran and Iraq:


One goal of these walls is to cut off Kurds in Turkey from Kurds in neighbouring countries.  Presumably the government thinks this will make it easier to suppress Kurdish resistance in Turkey.

But the main purpose of the wall on the Syrian border is to enforce a blockade against the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS).  Turkey wants to crush this democratic experiment, the product of a movement that began amongst the Kurdish people but is spreading amongst other ethnic groups.

The DFNS is surrounded by hostile forces.  To the north is Turkey.  To the south is ISIS.  To the east is the Kurdistan Regional Government (Iraqi Kurdistan), which is also blockading the DFNS (albeit not quite as thoroughly as Turkey).

To the west of Kobani the Turkish army has entered Syrian territory and, with the help of some allied militia groups, is keeping the Afrin canton cut off from the rest of the DFNS.  Some of the rebels who withdrew from eastern Aleppo last year are being used in Turkey's war against the DFNS.

The Kurdistan Regional Government is allied to Turkey.  This may seem surprising, given that the Turkish government is violently hostile to any form of autonomy for its own Kurdish population.  The alliance is based on a combination of economics (the KRG sells oil to Turkey) and a shared hostility to the democratic revolution in northern Syria.

Below is a link to a report on the situation at the border between the KRG and the DFNS:


The blockade of the DFNS by Turkey and its allies can be compared to the US blockade of Cuba.  Unfortunately the DFNS does not have any equivalent of the Soviet Union, which traded with Cuba and provided economic and military aid in the early years of the revolution.

The DFNS receives military aid from the United States, because ISIS is a common enemy.  But the US is not a reliable ally for a revolutionary movement.  The spread of the revolution is the only guarantee of its survival.

Chris Slee

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