“Turkey’s acts seek to obliterate the heritage of the region”
Call upon human rights and humanitarian organizations, such as UNESCO, to take mechanisms to protect antiquities and archaeological sites under the control of the Turkish occupation.
The co-president of the Girê Spi Canton Council, Hevin Ismail, spoke to Hawar News Agency (ANHA) on the Turkish occupation army recently bulldozing the most important archaeological hill in Girê Spi (Tal Abyad) in preparation for its looting.
Hevin condemned "the criminal act aimed at obliterating the civilizational and cultural heritage of the region, which is a continuation of Turkey's criminal policies in Girê Spi after the forcible displacement of its people with the occupation of the city and its villages."
"Turkish occupation's practices aim to obliterate indigenous peoples' civilization"
Ismail pointed out that the Turkish occupation aims through these practices to obliterate the civilizations of the indigenous peoples that have inhabited the region for thousands of years, through looting sites and artifacts, and deliberate sabotage in a way that violates the laws of the International Organization for the Protection of Human Heritage (UNESCO).
The Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries recently dredged the most important archaeological hill in Girê Spi, which is the hill known as Tal Sahlan, located near the village of Khirbet al-Raz in the canton. According to the archaeological missions that visited the area it dates back to the third millennium BC.
"This policy is a continuation of ISIS practices during their control of the region"
Hevin Ismail explained that this policy is a continuation of what ISIS mercenaries did during their control of the region, as the artifacts crossed the Turkish borders with ISIS facilitation, and they were sold through Turkish intermediaries later, in a public and scandalous manner.
In the conclusion of her speech, Ismail appealed to human rights and humanitarian organizations, such as UNESCO, to intervene to prevent these practices, and to take mechanisms to protect antiquities and archaeological sites under the control of the Turkish occupation.
It should be noted that the archaeological site of Tal Sahlan is not the only site that has been bulldozed and looted, as there are several sites in Girê Spî area, which have also been subjected to the same practices, including the ancient city of al-Far and al-Sabi al-Abyad, in addition to the seizure of the site of Tel Kafifa as a military point.
The Turkish occupation army has looted the archaeological sites in all the occupied areas of Afrin, Serêkaniyê, Girê Spî and transfer antiquities it found in the region to Turkey. In the Afrin region alone, at least 75 archaeological sites have been looted by the occupation forces.
Turkish State wants to destroy Kurdish cultural heritage
The violations of the Turkish army and its mercenary gangs did not only target innocent civilians and their properties in occupied territories but also the historical and cultural sites. The aim is to eliminate the cultural heritage of Afrin as well as its peoples.
The targeting and destruction of historical and cultural sites is strictly prohibited by a series of international conventions.
The bombing of archaeological sites and mosques in Afrin is part of the systematic and direct attack by the Turkish army, which can be considered as acts of terrorism according to the rules of international law and UN Security Council resolutions, denounced the Afrin Autonomous Authority on various occasions.
The Turkish army destroyed large parts of Ain Dara temple, which dates back thousands of years (12,000 years according to some experts). Similarly, the Turkish army targeted Salah Al Din Mosque and the cemetery of Jindires.
The grave of the legendary well-known Kurdish writer and thinker Nuri Dêrsimî, which was housed in the pilgrimage place in Afrin, was also destroyed.