Aldar Xelîl: Turkish invasion cannot continue
"This fragmentation is not for the benefit of the Syrian peoples. Let's recognize each other and everyone's rights. Let's create, protect and embrace a democratic-united Syria together."
Democratic Union Party (PYD) Co-presidency Council member Aldar Xelîl said that all political, organizational and military efforts should focus on ending the Turkish occupation in Syria.
Aldar Xelîl maintained that all people's components are tasked with re-establishing Syria and called for the mutual recognition of rights.
Xelîl was interviewed by ANF on the latest developments in the Syrian territories, ongoing Turkish invasion and the 9 October international conspiracy against Abdullah Öcalan.
21 years after the 9 October 1998 international conspiracy, the Turkish state attacked Serêkaniyê and Girê Spi on October 9, 2019. The same forces who had been involved in the 1998-1999 conspiracy were again at work and the Kurdish will was attacked. How should we evaluate the period from the conspiracy to the invasion attacks and their connections?
As it is known, when the international conspiracy against Abdullah Öcalan was launched in 1998, the Turkish state deployed its troops to the Syrian border. It also mobilized its naval forces. It seemed that international powers were also involved in this plan. They wanted to start a new process in the Middle East. Since then, a new process has been in place in the Middle East. This process led to the capture of Kurdish leader Öcalan in early 1999.
In a similar vein, a new process began in the Middle East in 2000. Nothing in the region remained as before. Its effects have continued until now. It has been a long process that has gone beyond the borders of a state or a national entity. When this process started, the Turkish state was one of the main actors actively involved in it. Since then, the Turkish state has always focused on two things:
* To disconnect Öcalan and the Freedom Movement from any change that may occur in the region.
* To take advantage of the new process, protect its interests and maintain its presence in the region through new methods.
Now this is already clear. As a result, many changes have taken place in the region. The Turkish state is not only attempting to invade North-East Syria or all northern Syria. Turkey had already invaded Jarablus, Azaz and al-Bab in the first place, and then deepened its intervention in Syria through 'Syrian opposition groups'. In fact, it even surrounded Damascus for a brief period. Turkish forces occupied Aleppo and several other cities in Syria. The only obstacle that stands before Turkey is the democratic and free movement in North-East Syria. Turkey also attacked Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî from there.
The Turkish state wanted to take more advantage of this process. For instance, it has intervened in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen. It intervened in Armenia and Azerbaijan and instigated a war between them. Most recently, it is invading South Kurdistan (Bashur). Turkey was already intervening in Shengal through some mercenary groups affiliated to it. Afterwards, its forces remained active around Shengal. Now, it wants to further its invasion in the mountains of Kurdistan, around the province of Duhok, and in other regions where the guerrillas are located.
Öcalan is in prison. The Freedom Movement is under attack. For this reason, it wants to occupy the north of Syria and the "north of Iraq" as they call it, which is South Kurdistan. Turkey wants to recapture all the territories and the regions that it had possessed during the Ottoman period through these conspiracies. They also want to perpetuate the occupation.
What is being done and what will be done to end the occupation in Syria, particularly in North-East Syria?
The occupation must come to an end in all parts of Syria. We are against any kind of invasion. We are against the occupation in other parts of Kurdistan, even an occupation in other countries. It is not possible to accept that a state occupies another country with its military force. The Turkish state is not only carrying out a military and political occupation, but also changing demographic structure in the regions it has occupied. It replaces the local people with others. It settles in mercenary groups in the region. It changes the identity and nature of the region. It adopts an invasion method that has never been seen in the history of humanity before.
Undoubtedly, everyone in Syria wants to maintain Syria's unity and sovereignty. They all want these people to live freely, and that is important. Everyone is against this invasion. This invasion is unacceptable. The forces (both defence and political-administrative forces) in North-East Syria and all the peoples of the region are against the occupation. It is not possible for them to accept this invasion and remain silent. All kinds of work and activities are being carried out against the occupation. Occupation forces will be removed from Afrin first, and then from Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tal Abyad), as well as Jarablus, Azaz and al-Bab. The Turkish state must leave all the territories it has occupied. All political, organizational and military work should be channelled into this direction in every respect.
What are the reasons the Damascus administration could not defy the Turkish occupation? When you compare the regime in 1998 and the current regime, what kind of changes have emerged?
The Syrian regime has been weak, especially during the Bashar Assad period. As a state, it is not self-reliant. It has been through great chaos. Its ability to adopt a course of action and to protect Syria's sovereignty is also very weak. This also stems from the internal situation of Syria. The fragmented and chaotic situation in the country shows that the regime is not able to maintain its former strength. It can no longer maintain its presence in Syria. This needs to change.
The regime should change the Syrian constitution. The regime needs to change its approach to all the constituents living in Syria. A democratic system should flourish. Since the regime has not introduced the necessary reforms, there has been a chaotic political atmosphere. Its economy has collapsed, it is politically ineffective and holds no prestige. It does not govern all of Syria with its administrative system. This causes the regime to remain weak in the face of external forces.
The Syrian regime cannot take a stand against the Turkish state. When it adopts an attitude, it comes under fire because of the situation in Idlib. Even Damascus, Ghouta, Aleppo, Homs face a blockade. The Turkish state does not just carry out invasions. It has also rendered the Syrian regime ineffective. When the Syrian regime wants to say something, the Turkish state does not even listen to it. The regime has grown so weak that it cannot take a stand against this occupation. Some statements were made on behalf of the Syrian government at international meetings such as in the United Nations. They asked the Turkish state to leave their territories, but they are not doing anything about it.
What about the Adana Agreement signed between the Syrian regime and the Turkish state on October 20, 1998?
The Adana Agreement allows the Turkish state to pursue and attack Kurdish revolutionaries whom it deems "terrorist". The Turkish state signed this agreement with the Syrian regime. The Turkish state keeps saying that “The Syrian regime is not legitimate. This regime should not stay. This state is not what it used to be”. When it comes to the Adana Agreement, Turkey says that “There is a regime and a state. We have a deal with them”. The Turkish state recognizes the regime only through the Adana Agreement. It does not recognize the regime in other matters. Erdogan's violations are already known. He has made himself influential within the Turkish state.
Turkey's intervention in Syria poses a problem for Turkey as well as for Syria. What would you like to say to the Turkish public and the groups in Syria on this issue?
I would like to address the Turkish public, particularly the relevant institutions in Turkey that promote human rights, freedom and democracy: Erdogan's intervention in Syria is not for Turkey's interest. It affects Turkey's economy and politics. It causes the people in the region to have an attitude against the Turkish state. The Turkish state should not think that Erdogan’s attempts to occupy all of these regions are for their benefit. The truth is the opposite. On the contrary, this puts Turkey into a more chaotic situation. Its negative consequences on Turkey will be evident in the coming years.
We say that Syria needs a democratic system also for the peoples of Syria. A new round of negotiation talks is needed. All people's components in Syria are tasked with re-establishing our Syria. Kurds, Assyrians and Syriacs should have rights, too. The Druze, the Sunnis and the Alawites should also enjoy their rights. All peoples living in Syria should enjoy their rights and live freely. If we do so, we can create a free and strong Syria. Otherwise, if we stick to the problems created by the regime, the unity of the peoples of Syria will be shattered. This fragmentation is not for the benefit of the Syrian peoples. Let's recognize each other and everyone's rights. Let's create, protect and embrace a democratic-united Syria together.