Muslim: There is no rebellion against the Autonomous Administration - PART TWO

PYD co-chair Salih Muslim said that "there is no rebellion against the Autonomous Administration".

In the second part of this interview, Salih Muslim, co-chair of the Party of Democratic Unity (PYD), says that there is no rebellion against the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.

The first part of the interview can be read here

Some tribal leaders have made statements against the SDF. What can you say about that?

Tribes or clans are not political organizations. Tribes are based on blood ties. In this sense, tribes have no political position. They can never be a political party. The problem, however, is that tribal leaders often work for their own interests. They exploit tribesmen for their own interests. However, when these people wake up or become politicized, they stop listening.

Tribes are being politically abused

What we are trying to do in these regions is to build a moral and political society. We come into contact with the people in the tribes. We are trying to create awareness among them. We want them to at least have political representation. And this representation cannot be the tribal structures. If you look at the situation, there are three brothers on three different sides. One of the brothers is on the side of the Turkish state, one brother is on the side of the government in Damascus and one brother is on our side. In other words, they have no political stance or point of view. They act in a way that suits their individual personal interests.

Nawaf al-Bashir, for example, has changed sides several times. At first, he sided with the Syrian regime. He then fled to the Turkish state and joined its side. From there, he fled to Syria. Then he went to Iran. And now he is trying to mobilize the Shiites from there. It's a question of self-interest. It has become a business. In this sense, the tribes cannot be considered a political structure and there are forces that exploit them.

The Autonomous Administration takes care of the people

As for people, they live in a system. People are connected to the Autonomous Administration. Who do they ask when they need something? The Autonomous Administration, naturally. So a lot depends on the Autonomous Administration here. And that's how it should be anyway. People elect an Autonomous Administration in their village, in their district and in their region, and this administration takes care of the needs of the people. This system leads to self-government based on autonomy. In this sense, the people are far removed from the interests of the tribal leaders.

For example, members of the Okaidat tribe are active in the SDF today. The same applies to the Baqaras. Then someone stands up and says they don't accept that. But of course, people here won't tolerate something like that. This also applies to many other tribes in the region. Most of them participate in the SDF and the Military Council. For this reason, people stay as far away as possible from those who are controlled from outside and are involved in crimes and do not want to have anything to do with them.

There is no rebellion against the Autonomous Administration

There is an attempt to portray what is happening as an uprising against us, but there is no such thing. If people don't accept them, then they have no basis. The people there support the Autonomous Administration. They will not fall for this propaganda and they stand with us. For example, Hajj al-Bashir, Nawaf al-Bashir's cousin, is a very popular figure. He is respected by everyone and is on the side of the people. He did not allow Ankara and Damascus to drag him into this game. The situation is similar with the Hidil family from the Okaidat tribe. Among them there are many cousins and siblings who work with us. They are also part of the Deir ez-Zor Military Council. For this reason, these people will not listen to or approve of those who collaborate with foreign powers, or the Turkish state and who are involved in drug trafficking and many other crimes.

The Turkish state uses mercenaries

The Turkish state in particular is once again trying to portray the clashes as resistance by the Arab population against the SDF. But isn't a large part of the SDF made up of young Arabs?

The fascist Turkish state will try all sorts of tricks, but it will not succeed. They are the Arab sons and daughters who fought against the SDF in Serêkaniyê, Girê Spî and many other areas attacked by the Turkish state. They come from Deir ez-Zor and fought against the Turkish state here. Of course, among all peoples and tribes there are people who are ready to sell themselves.

Who are the members of Ahrar al-Sharqiya and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham? The vast majority of them are Arabs. Who are they murdering? They massacre their own people. The Turkish state is making them attack the Kurds. It lets them attack Manbij, Til Temir, Girê Spî. There are such people not only among the Arabs, but also among Kurds. Today there are people who have settled in Afrin for money. The Turkish state is taking advantage of this. This is not what we want in Deir ez-Zor. Those who attacked in Deir ez-Zor were nothing but mercenaries. The Turkish state sends them wherever it wants. It sends them to Azerbaijan, Libya and Armenia. What are you doing here? They go for the money. These mercenaries would go anywhere. Their only goal is money. The Turkish state is doing the same in Serekaniye and other occupied territories. Just as the Ottomans used to say that wherever they sent Janissaries they could do whatever they wanted for three days, today the Turkish state allows these mercenary groups to operate. The Turkish state cannot openly call them mercenaries. In order to legitimize them, it has to find a cover for them, and so the argument is the presence of the PKK and the Kurds. But that doesn't work in Deir ez-Zor. Because we have been living there together for eight years. We have a common system. We share our worries and problems and find solutions together.

The democratic system does not suit many forces

What is the attitude of the local people? How do they face the SDF offensive?

There is a democratic system here that we have created, and this system is developing within the framework of the project of the democratic nation. This project is based on the principle of brotherhood and coexistence between peoples. This project is nothing new: it has been fought for theoretically and intellectually for years. When the time came, we tried to make it happen. However, this does not suit many people and powers today.

There are certain things we can rely on: the organization of the people and the development of society within a ethical-political framework. Why did the international coalition want to work with us? Because we organized our people and were able to defend ourselves. In this case, the more we can organize ourselves, the stronger we become and the better we can implement our project. In other words, if you consider yourself a subject, someone will certainly make an effort to cooperate or ally with you. Just like the International Coalition does. It's a matter of self-interest. Their interest is to fight against terrorists. The coalition has benefited from this situation, and so have we.

Defense capability increases with organization

The more a society strengthens its own organization and the more politicized the people in that society are, the better it can defend itself. We want to strengthen and develop what has been achieved to a certain extent in Kurdish society. We would like to implement it in the same way in Arab society and in other societies. Of course, the desired result has not yet been achieved. There are still some aspects missing. If there are still some problems today, it is a sign that improvements are still needed in some areas. So it requires further effort and work.

Actually, it's a question of mind-set. The more we can evolve and change mind-sets, the stronger the outcome will be. For years, our society was ruled by the Baath system with a chauvinistic mentality. This chauvinistic attitude that believes in military solutions still exists. We will change that. We talk about democracy, about the dignity and honor of people, about living together and coexistence. For example, the changing position of women in society has changed the entire form of government.

Arab women are the strongest advocates of our system today

Today it is Arab women who are the strongest advocates for our system and join us, because they are the ones who are most oppressed in their own society. In this sense, the question of attitude requires perseverance, time and sincerity. I think we will be successful, as today's practice shows. Today, the people of Deir ez-Zor are no longer just concerned with self-interest, but with questions of principle. This shows that there are successes in changing the mind-set. But that's not enough.