Three-stage plan for the Turkification of North-East Syria
The Turkish state is pursuing a three-stage plan in northern and eastern Syria. First the Kurdish population is displaced, then the region is Arabized and finally Turkified.
The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (AKP) could not have put it more clearly during his visit to Lebanon: "Anyone who says of himself 'I am a Turk' or 'I am Turkmen' is granted Turkish citizenship. The AKP politician thus named one of the core principles of Turkey's Middle East policy. Not long ago, the "Muslim Brotherhood" was used as an argument for the Turkish state's interventionism in Syria. But this slogan changed into a policy of Turkishness when it was put into practice. The best example of this is the development of the Turkish strategy for Syria. In the occupied territories from Idlib to Afrin, Jarablus, Bab, Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) and Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain), the AKP/MHP regime is pursuing a massive policy of Turkification.
Steps of the Turkification process
Turkification is taking place step by step. For example, the names of territories are being Turkified, Turkish post offices are being set up, district governors and administrative staff are being appointed, the Turkish lira is being made compulsory and faculties affiliated to Turkish universities are being opened. Agents of Turkification are so-called "Turkmen" militias such as the Sultan Murad Brigade, the Sultan Süleyman Shah Brigade, the Sultan Mehmed Fatih Brigade, the Muntasir Billallah Brigade and the Samarkand Brigade.
A plan of MIT and the Ministry of the Interior
The establishment of a "Turkmen crescent" in northern Syria and the annexation of the region are not new projects. The Turkish secret service MIT and the Ministry of the Interior have been working on the implementation of such a plan since 2018. The first mainstay is the people who have fled to Turkey from various parts of Syria and are being kept away from the EU there. The second mainstay is the people who have migrated to Turkey from so-called "Turk states". The Turkish secret service and the migration office of the Turkish Ministry of the Interior are working closely together to settle the refugees from Syria in northern Syria.
Dekurdification of Rojava is the goal
For this reason, the Turkish migration authority declared refugees from many regions of Syria to be people from Northern Syria. For this reason, the identity cards for a temporary stay of people in the refugee camps in Turkey often state Dêrik, Qamişlo, Dirbesiyê, Amûdê, Serêkaniyê, Til Hemîs, Til Temir, Girê Spî and Kobanê as the place of origin, although the families come from completely different regions.
People are transported to Syria from "Turkic countries”
The second pillar of the plan is the settlement of people from so-called "Turkic countries". According to the plan, people from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkestan, Tajikistan from the Caucasus and Central Asia, such as Uighurs, are settled in Northern Syria.
Dekurdification is followed by the expulsion of the Arab population
Now the Turkish state is trying to reap the fruits of its policy of demographic change in northern Syria. The declaration of Çavuşoğlu to make everyone who calls himself "Turk or Turkmen" a Turkish citizen on the "order of our Republic’s President" shows which steps will follow. The Turkish state plans to both dekurdify and de-Arabicize Northeast Syria and wants to annex the region as in the past Iskenderun.
Similar policy in Iraq
Even if this policy in Iraq has not reached the same extent as in Syria, Turkey has been trying to implement a similar policy since the US invasion in 2003, especially in the Kirkuk and Mosul regions and in Southern Kurdistan. After the invasion, the Turkish state distributed money to people who registered as "Turkmen". Turkey argued that under Saddam, Turkmen have been Kurdified (!) and Arabized so Turkey advocated that the number of Turkmen should be as large as it was before. Because of the economic advantages, many Arabs and Kurds were registered as "Turkmen" during this period.
Erdoğan: "Will not leave"
Today, the same policy is to be implemented in Northern and Eastern Syria using weapons. The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has already announced that they will not withdraw from Syria.