Fighter of truth: Deniz Fırat

“Let’s be the voices of women like Deniz. Let’s keep the legacy of Deniz alive,” said journalist Binevş Sarya, describing journalist Deniz Fırat, who was martyred in an attack of ISIS on Makhmour, as the fighter of truth.


News Center- Nine years have passed since Kurdish journalist Deniz Fırat (Leyla Yıldıztan) was martyred in an attack of ISIS on Makhmour on August 8, 2014 while covering the attack. Deniz Fırat, who reported the attacks of ISIS on Makhmour and Shengal (Sinjar), had a meaningful life despite her young age.

Having had a difficult life since her childhood, Deniz Fırat had to live like a refugee in her own country. Deniz Fırat, who was both a journalist and revolutionary, was born in 1984 in the Hangedik (Kurdish: Xecîxatun) village of Van’s Çaldıran district. The life of Deniz, who knew what war and migration meant at a young age, and her family is the story of the Kurdish people, who have faced genocidal attacks.

Three sisters, Binevş, Sarya and Deniz, who had the same path and ideology, died at different times. The determination and courage left behind by them continue to shed light on millions of women today.

NuJINHA spoke to Binevş Sarya, sister, comrade and colleague of journalist and revolutionary Deniz Fırat. “Deniz turned into a truth while seeking the truth,” she said.

‘There was a different world inside comrade Deniz’

“I would like to start my speech by commemorating Comrade Deniz on the 9th anniversary of her martyrdom, and Comrade Sarya on the 24th anniversary of her martyrdom, with respect and longing,” said Binevş Sarya. “They joined the fight for freedom in 1992 together. Comrade Sarya was martyred in Metina on August 8, 1999 while Comrade Deniz was martyred in Makhmour on August 8, 2014 while covering the attack of ISIS on Makhmour. It is difficult to describe Comrade Deniz. The harder it is to describe a rose garden, the harder it is to describe Deniz. Comrade Deniz was like a sea like her name (Deniz means sea in Turkish). A sea has a different world and there was a different world inside comrade Deniz. In her world, she gave meaning to all living creatures. Although we are siblings, we had no chance to grow up together. We saw each other after years. Comrade Deniz was like an oak tree; she had a strong root like an oak tree. Although you cut down an oak tree, it keeps growing. There is a part of Deniz in all my veins and this part will always exist. She was a person who left a mark wherever she went.”


Speaking about the attack of ISIS on the Makhmour refugee camp, Binevş Sarya said, “In 2014, ISIS tried to suck the Middle East dry with the support of NATO states. As our leader said, the Third World War started in 2013. This war was started by ISIS against the people of the Middle East in the name of ‘Islam’. ISIS first attacked Shengal (Sinjar). Despite the genocide against the Yazidi people, they never give up on their faith; they have preserved their existence and faith. The attack on the Yazidi community was also an attack against the Kurdish people. ISIS carried out a genocidal attack on Shengal on August 3 and then on the Makhmour refugee camp on August 7. As it is known, the people living in the Makhmour refugee camp are the people whose villages were burned down by the Turkish state in the 1990s. My family was also forcibly displaced from their village in the Kurdish region of Turkey to the Makhmour refugee camp. The attack of ISIS in 2014 on the refugee camp aimed to annihilate all people living in the camp. The people of the Makhmour refugee camp resisted ISIS with the support of the guerrillas of the YJA-STAR and HPG.”

‘The siege imposed by the KDP is the continuation of ISIS attacks’

For three years, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has imposed a siege on the Makhmour refugee camp. Commenting on the siege imposed by the KDP, Binevş Sarya said, “This siege is the continuation of ISIS attacks. The KDP tries to intimidate the people in different ways because it understands that it cannot occupy the camp by attacking it.”

Binevş Sarya added, “Comrade Deniz was in the camp when ISIS attacked the camp. She became the voice of the people living in the camp by covering the attacks of ISIS. After she was martyred, I got her mobile phone. I did not turn off her mobile phone. When the people called her, I answered. They thought I was Deniz because our voices were similar. I did not tell them that Deniz had been martyred because I did not want to cause another pain in them.”

‘Deniz was a person living the moment’

Talking about the personality of Deniz Fırat, Binevş Sarya said, “The book written by Sakine Cansız says, ‘My Whole Life Was a Struggle’. The whole life of Deniz was a struggle. Moment was important for her because she was a person living the moment in order not to say ‘I wish’. She sacrificed herself to be the voice of the people and freedom fighters. Comrade Deniz was not only a journalist but also a fighter. She played an important role in the fight against ISIS as both a journalist and fighter.”

Since Deniz Fırat was martyred, many women’s press outlets have been founded such as NuJINHA, women’s news agency in the Middle East, Jin TV and Deniz Fırat Press Academy.

A book about Deniz Fırat

Binevş Sarya has been writing a book about the life of Deniz Fırat. Speaking about the book, she said, “The idea of writing a book about Deniz was not my idea. It was the idea of Comrade Halil Dağ. Halil Dağ was not only a journalist but also a fighter. Comrade Halil spent time with comrades Binevş, Sarya and Deniz. The last time I saw comrade Halil in 2014, he told me that he would write the book; however, he was martyred. So I decided to write this book. Now the comrades of Deniz resist to report from the mountains. As her colleagues, we should be the voices of women, who are subjected to torture, violence and oppression. Let’s be the voices of women like Deniz. Let’s keep the legacy of Deniz alive.”