The Turkish genocidal politics in Afrin

Zara Saleh
Zara Saleh

In January 1951 the United Nations Genocide Convention came into effect that defined genocide as not only as killing but ‘causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of a group’. Since the Turkish occupation of Afrin northwest Syria in 2018 and according to Geneva Convention, the Turkish forces and their jihadist proxies of so-called the Syrian National Army committed genocide and crimes against humanity.

Simultaneously with Erdogan’s rhetoric of violence and hatred against Kurds when he vowed to clean Afrin from “its rightful owners”, the Turkish army with the Syrian mercenaries launched a systematic ethnic cleansing and demographic change campaign in the Kurdish region of Afrin and against its Kurdish inhabitants. According to recent human rights group reports, the Kurdish population in Afrin has declined dramatically by more than 70%. As a result, indigenous Kurds of the region were forced to flee their homeland and they were replaced by Arab and Turkmen families. In the name of “protecting the Turkish national security”, Erdogan began the ‘security belt’ on its border with Syria and had invaded the Kurdish region of Afrin and other areas in north Syria by creating a 30km- deep occupation zone to shield the Turkish border according to their officials. Besides that, the Turkish army with the Syrian opposition jihadists is committing war crimes against the Kurdish inhabitants in Afrin which considers as genocidal politics according to Geneva Conventions. Moreover, there are daily reports of killing, rape, kidnapping sexual violence, and torture against the Kurds in occupied areas.

In comparison, the Kurds were always been subject to genocide campaigns by different occupied regimes such in Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria during different periods of time. For example, in Syria, a report by Muhammad Talab Al-Hilal the former chief of the Secret Services in Hasaka northeast Syria suggested that the “Kurdish danger” must be eliminated because the Kurds are a threat to Arabs. In 1974 the Ba’ath nationalism began the plan of Talab Hilal in Kurdish areas in the of “save Arabism in Jazira” with the creation of the genocide project of “Arab belt”.  around 4,000 Arab families from various tribes, whose own lands had been submerged, were settled (and armed) in forty-one of the “model” farms and villages in Jazira in north Syria’s border with Turkey.

Arguably, the Kurds again are victims of such genocidal policies committed by Syrian and Turkish regimes which aimed to render the Kurdish identity invisible in Syria. That is why the Assad regime still stays silent against the Turkish genocide in Kurdish areas of Afrin, Sere Kanye, and Til Abyad especially when the Kurdish inhabitants are the subject of such policies that conducting by Turkey. levant

by: Zara Saleh

Zara Saleh