‘We will present a free and autonomous Shengal to our martyrs and our people’
“As the Yazidi people, we will continue our struggle in the spirit of August 15 until we achieve victory and freedom. We will present a free and autonomous Shengal to our martyrs and our people,” said the Autonomous Assembly of Shengal.
The Democratic Autonomous Assembly of Shengal (Sinjar) released a written statement marking the 38th anniversary of 15 August 1984 when a guerrilla force led by commander Mahsum Korkmaz - also known by his nom de Guerre Egîd ("the Brave") - carried out the first attack against the Turkish occupying forces in Eruh district of Siirt province in northern Kurdistan.
“On the 38th anniversary of the 15 August Initiative, we congratulate Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, the Kurdish people, the military and revolutionary forces and the peoples of Kurdistan,” said the statement by the Democratic Autonomous Assembly of Shengal, which further included the following:
“The August 15th Initiative was a response to the occupiers and oppressors. The invading Turkish state, suffering from serious blows in those days, wanted to turn the month of August from the festival of a renaissance into a day of mourning for peoples who demanded freedom.
We, the Yazidi people, suffered many attacks and massacres in the month of August. The invading Turkish state took part in all these attacks. On August 14, 2007, people in Tilizêr and Siba Şêx Xidir were attacked. Back then, those places were controlled by the KDP. Even though the KDP had obtained information about the attack, it did not do anything, causing more than a thousand deaths. Although there was no serious investigation launched into the attack, a group from Turkey claimed responsibility for it. With this attack, Turkey revealed its grudge against the Yazidis.
ISIS could not annihilate us during the genocide that took place on August 3, 2014 thanks to Egid's disciples. While the freedom guerrillas rushed to save us in the spirit of the August 15th Initiative, the Turkish state continued its attacks. Our people prevented the massacre and organized themselves.
As the Turkish state and its collaborators were worried about the organization of the Yazidi people in Shengal, Turkey targeted prominent members of our community to darken the month of August.
On August 15, 2014, a massacre took place in the village of Kocho. Thousands of Kocho residents were murdered or taken captive and sold in slave markets. On August 15, 2018, Mam Zeki Shengali was targeted. On August 16 and 17, 2021, commander Seid Hesen and the Sikêniyê hospital were targeted. Through these attacks, Turkey attempted to keep the people apart from the autonomous administration.
As the Autonomous Administration of Shengal, we commemorate the martyrs of August with respect and gratitude. Just as a new step was taken against fascism on August 15, 1984, we, as the Yazidi people, should respond to the enemy by introducing new steps.
Plots of genocide against our people are underway, just not with ISIS methods. Our people should be aware of dangers and should not abandon their lands. Our people have been tormented in the camps in South Kurdistan for the last 8 years. Their tents are burned, they are oppressed. Dozens have been killed. The Kurdistan Regional Administration did not fulfil its responsibility. Our people should not accept this situation.
What was the fault of a 6-year-old child like Axin who escaped with his family from the atrocities of the terror groups? The solution to prevent similar atrocities from happening again is to return to our lands. We offer our condolences to the families of the martyrs and the Şêx Mirza family for the murder of little Axin and his father, Faruq Mirza.
The August 15th Initiative will flourish among us. As the Yazidi people, we will continue our struggle in the spirit of August 15 until we achieve victory and freedom. We will present a free and autonomous Shengal to our martyrs and our people.”