PKK

Flickr/KurdishStruggle/Creative Commons

The Kurds have played a key role in the Syrian war. With U.S. military aid, a Kurdish militia called the YPG has done a large share of the ground fighting that has led to the near-defeat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Still it’s not clear that these military gains have brought the Kurds any closer to their dream of a Kurdish nation.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at the prospects and aspirations of the Kurds after the defeat of ISIS, and what may become of thousands of captured ISIS fighters.


Gulistan, Land of Roses

Many groups around the world are involved in the battle against the Islamic State.

But one group stands out: that’s a group of women guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, who are battling the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.

Their story is the subject of a new documentary called “Gulistan, Land of Roses,” by the Kurdish-Canadian filmmaker Zayne Akyol. The film won the Doc Alliance Selection Award at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and screened at the 2017 True/False Film Festival in Missouri.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, guest host Joshua Kranzberg speaks with Akyol about the making of the film in Iraqi Kurdistan and the challenges faced by women soldiers in the Middle East.


AP

  Turkish voters will go to the polls Nov. 1 amid a spasm of political violence and renewed conflict with Kurdish guerrillas. The vote also comes just weeks after the most deadly terrorist attack in Turkish history and as the army is struggling to keep the civil war in Syria from spilling over into Turkey.

Despite a government crackdown on independent media President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling AKP party may struggle to win a parliamentary majority. On this week's edition of Global Journalist, we discuss Turkey's election and whether the country, once a democratic model in the Middle East, is sliding towards authoritarianism.

Bram Janssen / AP

With more than 30 million people spread across Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, they are a minority everywhere they live.

Now Kurdish groups are battling both the Islamic State  and forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad as well as Turkey, a key U.S. ally. 

On this edition of Global Journalist: a deeper look at the role of the Kurds in the swirling conflicts of the Middle East.