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Indeed, Kedis­tan mag­a­zine was cre­at­ed in ear­ly Octo­ber 2014. Its name intrigued some, angered oth­ers because of its vol­un­tary anal­o­gy with Kur­dis­tan, or both­ered oth­ers by its tone, one we nev­er wished to filled with jar­gon or too much seriousness.

Talk­ing about cur­rent news from a sec­tion of the Mid­dle-East blood­ied by wars does not force one to resem­ble a prison door. There are enough of those in the region, as our Kur­dish and Turk­ish friends know only too well.

Ha, and there’s some­thing else that’s divi­sive: our choice of “inclu­sive” writ­ing. We don’t over­do it, as our read­ers know, but our authors use it well, as a con­stant reminder of our com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing all fem­i­nist and LGBTIQ+ strug­gles.

Because, yes, Kedis­tan mag­a­zine is  one with those who speak up, per­ma­nent­ly or on occa­sion, or through arti­cles that hold our atten­tion that are not “objec­tive­ly neu­tral”. We have a point of view, or even sev­er­al, and we insist on express­ing them. Else­where, this is known as an “edi­to­r­i­al pol­i­cy” and is usu­al­ly not men­tioned as such in main­stream media. At Kedis­tan, yes! And in these brown-col­ored days, in France for exam­ple, you only need to look at media head­lines to real­ize the exent of the hypocrisy.

A few reminders…

Our analy­sis on Turkey is not done through a Kemal­ist view­point, for exam­ple, nor is it “Ori­en­tal­ist” with nos­tal­gic rem­i­nis­cences of impe­ri­al­ist neo-colo­nial­ism affect­ing the Middle-East.

Our sup­port for the Kur­dish move­ment also holds to a red line bor­der­ing demands for auton­o­my and nation­al­ism, and we rejoice over every advance in Roja­va, con­trary to the sit­u­a­tion in Ira­ki Kurdistan.

We nev­er pub­lish, and nev­er will, fac­tu­al infor­ma­tion sim­ply for its shock-val­ue in pro­vok­ing indig­na­tion. We have no aspi­ra­tions to be a Kur­dish or Turk­ish Paris Match meant to attract the passer­by, be it on the mag­a­zine or on social net­works. For us, what mat­ters, is that a read­er leaves an arti­cle with the feel­ing of hav­ing under­stood or learned some­thing, found an answer to a ques­tion, or sim­ply enjoyed read­ing, rather than leav­ing sim­ply “furi­ous” and indignant.

By strolling through the open­ing page of the web­site you can catch a glance of our inter­ests, includ­ing that of polit­i­cal ecol­o­gy.

Sev­en years ago, when Kedis­tan pub­lished its first arti­cle, there were few media inter­est­ed in Turkey oth­er than to raise the ques­tion “is it Euro­pean?” Although a num­ber of researchers and his­to­ri­ans worked at demon­strat­ing how the pre­sen­ta­tion of Turkey in west­ern media was fal­si­fied by the “nation­al nar­ra­tive” used for the past cen­tu­ry, in which “Turci­ty” express­es a tox­ic nation­al­ism, all Euro­pean media went on express­ing the notion that  in Turkey,  a “Tur­co Islam­ic” syn­the­sis had dethroned a “Sec­u­lar Repub­lic.” Again, each observ­er pulled these analy­ses toward debates occur­ing in their nation­al polit­i­cal are­nas. When the extreme right, through Erdoğan, is not busy blow­ing on the hatred of Mus­lims, racism and xeno­pho­bia. In this sense, Kedis­tan rep­re­sent­ed a nov­el­ty at the end of 2014 and in 2015.

In 2015, the Turk­ish regime uni­lat­er­al­ly broke off peace nego­ti­a­tions with the Kur­dish move­ment. This fol­lowed on the marked Kur­dish upsurge in the 2014 elec­tions, notably in the local elec­tions. The Syr­i­an North saw the first vic­to­ry of the Kur­dish forces, includ­ing great num­bers of women fight­ers, reg­is­tered against ISIS in Kobanê. Under the cir­cum­stances it was only to be expect­ed that Kur­dish auton­o­my should be brought forth and local­ly called for in Kur­dis­tan. For Kedis­tan, the year 2015 involved close rela­tion­ships that gave rise to links that are still active. Our strong rela­tion­ship with the Kur­dish artist and jour­nal­ist Zehra Doğan began that year. Lat­er trans­formed into friend­ship, fol­lowed by the cam­paign for her lib­er­a­tion, it remains an ongo­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion. In 2016, Kedis­tan pro­vid­ed logis­tics for a cam­paign in favor of author Aslı Erdoğan’s lib­er­a­tion and the refusal of her life sen­tence. We still main­tain close ties with her, now that the moths, always hun­gry for noto­ri­ety, have stopped using her as a lamp post. And her legal trou­bles are far from over, now that she is in exile.

In 2019,  Kedis­tan also offered logis­ti­cal aid for a new cam­paign in favor of Nûdem Durak, a Kur­dish singer impris­onned in 2015 and sen­tenced to 19 years in prison for her artis­tic com­mit­ment. Zehra Dogan was one of her prison com­pan­ions for a time in Mardin. The col­lec­tive, set up out­side our purview, at the ini­tia­tive of a num­ber of per­son­al­i­ties, con­tin­ues its action, dis­re­gard­ing the advice of some who con­sid­er that high­light­ing “names” in this way is a bad prac­tice which smacks of an “Ori­en­tal­ist”, “exter­nal” approach…

We have always felt use­ful on these three sup­port cam­paigns among oth­ers, not con­tent with denun­ci­a­tions but pro­vid­ing prac­ti­cal help to indi­vid­u­als, in direct sup­port with the fam­i­lies also, based on the prin­ci­ple that a pris­on­er whose name is con­stant­ly talked about acquires a kind of “pro­tec­tion” this way, a fact that has nev­er been denied. Oppor­tu­ni­ties to par­tic­i­pate in these actions are not lack­ing. See on our intro­duc­to­ry page.

This is how, over 7 years, the Kedis­tan net­work and its team changed and became diver­si­fied with­out its small core ele­ments ever renounc­ing its ini­tial commitments.

The Mid­dle-East, Syr­ia and Turkey in par­tic­u­lar and the so-called “migrant cri­sis” drew clos­er atten­tion from main­stream media to these wars, and sev­er­al oth­er ded­i­cat­ed web­sites were born between 2016 and 2019. Kedis­tan’s edi­to­r­i­al read­er­ship has thus sta­bi­lized at a most sat­is­fac­to­ry lev­el for us, although it now rep­re­sents two-thirds of what it was between 2014 and 2017, pass­ing from 2 mil­lion 200 thou­sand annu­al vis­i­tors to 750 000 in 2020.

The ten­den­cy in 2021 should indi­cate a bit less then 500 000 with a strong Eng­lish-speak­ing com­po­nent, along with a sta­ble read­er­ship in Turkey.

So, is cel­e­brat­ing 7 years with a dimin­ished read­er­ship tru­ly reasonable ?

We are aware of the fact French-lan­guage read­er­ship has strong­ly dimin­ished in favor of per­ma­nent zap­ping on social net­works and that in France itself, polit­i­cal inter­est is focal­ized on the domes­tic sit­u­a­tion, con­gru­ent in this with the grow­ing sov­er­eignism expressed by  the left. Yet, analy­ses of the Mid­dle-East­ern worlds, of its pos­i­tive expe­ri­ences such as that of Roja­va or the neg­a­tive evo­lu­tions in big­ot­ted Turk­ish nation­al­ism are always there to illus­trate where nation­al­is­tic polit­i­cal drift­ing leads. More then ever then, the A in Kedis­tan takes on its full mean­ing, even if this dis­pleased some  in these days of sor­did wran­glings in French electoralism.

On the advice of friends, we have vol­un­tar­i­ly slowed down the rhythm of our pub­li­ca­tions.  Even if we do not com­ment such and such an event on Kedis­tan, the world will go on spin­ning. And if there is few­er dai­ly “news”, this has not stopped the dai­ly aver­age time of read­er­ship by indi­vid­ual vis­i­tors to stand at about 6 min­utes these days. Less, but bet­ter, in the strug­gle against the per­ma­nent zap­ping around the momen­tary buzz.

We main­tain the “Kedis­tan tool” as well as its archives and we may mod­i­fy its pre­sen­ta­tion slight­ly, begin­ning in 2022. We are fierce­ly com­mit­ted to it remain­ing total­ly free of charge, its absence of adver­tis­ing links and the con­sult­ing com­fort of our read­ers, even if this has a finan­cial cost, cov­ered so far by con­tri­bu­tions and human ded­i­ca­tion (all are authors are volunteers).

A huge thank-you to all those who read us , for your trust, and to all our authors, per­ma­nent or guests, with whom we share these wish­es that Kedis­tan may cross yet anoth­er year.

And don’t for­get, sub­scrib­ing is free of charge, with noth­ing but a cur­rent email address, with no need to pro­vide pri­vate infor­ma­tion, and you will receive each week­end the detail of new arti­cles. Then, it’s up to you to sup­port us, by shar­ing links on your favorite networks.

With a big MIAOW, a can­dle, and extra kib­ble in the kit­ty bowl.


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Le petit mag­a­zine qui ne se laisse pas caress­er dans le sens du poil.