My friend Mehmet Aksoy, who has died aged 32, was a film-maker, journalist and prominent figure in the Kurdish community in the UK. He was killed in an Isis ambush while documenting the fight between Kurdish forces and Isis in Raqqa in northern Syria.

I met Mehmet in 2015 after he had given a rousing speech about an unbelievable place in northern Syria called Rojava (now known as the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria), where a self-governing, Kurdish-led democracy based on the principles of gender, race and class equality had been set up in 2012 with a special focus on women’s liberation. Such were Mehmet’s persuasive powers that I travelled to Rojava to have a look for myself. Everything he had said was true. Over the next two years I was also to discover his vast range of achievements in such a short life.

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