Pressure on Maxmur comes from Turkey and KDP, says Çömlek

Sait Çömlek, a member of the Martyr Rustem Cûdî Camp (Maxmur) Foreign Relations Committee, said that as a result of the pressures of the KDP and the Turkish state, Iraq put great pressure on the people of Maxmur.

Sait Çömlek, a member of the Martyr Rustem Cûdî Camp (Maxmur) Foreign Relations Committee spoke to ANF about the threat posed by ISIS to Maxmur, the pressures of Iraq and the latest situation in the camp. He said that Maxmur Refugee Camp has been living under pressure, embargo and restrictions for years, and added: "It is not right to criminalize the camp. We do not accept this. We know that Turkey and the KDP want this. We are ready for any legal action. It is illegal to put up wires and walls. We will always take a stand against this."

Referring to the latest situation in Maxmur, Çömlek said that the camp has been subjected to pressure, embargo and restrictions for years. He said that they have constantly faced two major obstacles since the day they became refugees. "One of these obstacles is the Turkish state and the other is the KDP. We have been subjected to attacks by these two forces for years. In addition to these pressures, Turkish air strikes have been carried out continuously. We have been facing the KDP's embargo for 3 years. This embargo affects the lives of our people politically, economically and socially. We are worried that new attacks against our camp will take place."

Emphasizing that after the siege and blockade in the Kurdistan region, efforts have been made to open new roads and channels in order to meet the economic and living needs of the citizens, Çömlek said: "For the last 2 years, all our aim has been to find new ways to meet the needs of our people. This has been successful to some extent. We could find some job opportunities in Mosul, Baghdad and Basra. Because the Kirkuk line was blocked to the workers and people. The people could not go to Sulaymaniyah. For this, we went to Mosul, Baghdad, Basra and other parts of Iraq. Sometimes there were obstacles on these roads for us. We have no roads."

ISIS is always a threat

Drawing attention to the threat posed by ISIS mercenaries to Maxmur and its surroundings, Çömlek continued: "The threat of ISIS in the region has decreased from time to time, but it has never ended. This raises suspicion. Why is it sometimes increasing, sometimes decreasing? They are making an effort to clear the way for ISIS. That's why the ISIS threat is always there. Most of the ISIS movements take place in areas dominated by the KDP. The people of the region are aware of this. The Iraqi authorities in the region warn us about the ISIS movement and say that we must defend ourselves.

We are under the protection of Iraq. Iraq can protect us. We don't know how to protect ourselves. The ISIS threat has increased in recent days. Civilians and shepherds are kidnapped. Especially on main roads. We always feel the ISIS threat to us. We are the target of ISIS. Ever since the Kurdish Freedom Movement defeated ISIS in Rojava, ISIS has targeted us. They attacked the camp twice. Thanks to the attention and resistance of the people, they were defeated."

Pointing out that the KDP and Turkey are provoking Iraq against the Maxmur people, Çömlek said: "Attacks against the Freedom Movement are also being carried out against us. Although we are under the sovereignty of Iraq and under the protection of the United Nations, Turkey attacked the camp and continues to attack it. The talks between Iraqi officials, MIT and Turkey have affected Iraq significantly. Iraq is not a whole, it has different forces. Turkey is provoking them against us by influencing them in some way. We were told that the camp would be surrounded by wires.

We have been living in difficult conditions for years, but we have never accepted things in silence. There are things we will accept and things we will not. We had a meeting with the UN officials in Mosul so that they could understand us. We talked about the issue of closing the camp with wire fences. They said that they were not aware of such a thing and that we had the right not to accept this situation. They said that they, as the UN, were not involved in such an issue. They stressed that this is not an acceptable situation."

We support the people of Shengal

Saying that a wall was built in Shengal upon the request of the KDP and the Turkish state, Maxmur Foreign Relations Committee member Sait Çömlek continued: "We do not accept the wall built around Shengal and we stand by the people of Shengal. Sieges, embargoes and blockades are shameful. There is no reason to build a wall or wire around Maxmur. We did no harm to the region. What has been done for this is not correct. The first time we saw that the camp was surrounded by fences, we stood up. It is not right to criminalize Martyr Rüstem Cudi Camp. We do not accept this. We know that this was done accepting the demand and pressure of Turkey and the KDP. We are ready for any legal action. Building wire and walls is illegal. We will always take a stand against it."