RAQQA - Berfin Rakka takes place in the operation to liberate Raqqa with her step daughter. They describe their relationship as “comradeship”.
The ‘Great Battle’ launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to liberate Raqqa on June 6 has entered in its fifth month. SDF fighters have taken more than 80% of Raqqa under their control and they are approaching the final step by step. As violent clashes are going on around the Watani Hospital and the football field, which have a strategic importance in the city center, dozens of civilians are being rescued every day within the scope of the rescue operation.
While the situation in Raqqa is like that, the life stories of the fighters are just as important as this historic operation. One of these fighters is 25-year-old Berfin Rakka. When she was 14 years old, she was forced to marry a 35-year old man by her father. Berfin’s ‘marriage’ continued for six years. “Women give birth” mentality, a reflection of the mental structure created by the male dominant system, found Berfin guilty and sent her back to her family.
Berfin was subjected to violence and oppression by her family and she described what she had faced during that time as follows;
“I was forced to marry by my father without even realizing anything. I didn’t have right to say anything. I thought all difficulties I had faced ended when I returned to my family home after six years of torture. But I faced the social and family oppression that time. My only supporter was my brother. He was put in prison by Daesh for having disorderly life. Then my family forced me to marry for second time.”
‘We were like two comrades’
Berfin became friend with Berivan, daughter of her second husband. “Berivan became my reason to live again. After attacks of Daesh, we cooperated as comrades and joined the YPJ together,”
18-year-old Berivan said their life had been turned upside down after the attacks of Daesh and they had been forced to move from Raqqa to Til Semir city. Berivan had been held captive by Daesh and she decided to join the YPJ after being rescued by the YPJ in the operation to liberate Til Semir. “I was already thinking about joining the YPJ. I became friend with Berfin from day one. I never see her as second wife of my father. I knew that marriage was not her own decision and she suffered. For this reason, I wanted to tell my decision to her and to follow the same path with her. Returning to Raqqa where we were displaced from as a fighter and fighting here with Berfin shoulder by shoulder is an honorary happiness. There are no words to describe this happiness.”
‘Our goal is to build a bright future for children'
Berfin and Beritan have fought with the YPJ for more than a year and they said, “Daesh just brought darkness to Raqqa. The reason we are here today is to turn this darkness into light and to liberate Raqqa women. Our struggle is to build a bright future for children.”