Arabization, Islamization and Kurdish ban in occupied Afrin

German Society for Threatened Peoples reported Arabization, Islamization and language bans in the northern Syrian Kurdish region of Afrin.

German Society for Threatened Peoples (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, GfbV) published a press release about the alarming atrocities committed by the occupant Turkish army and allied mercenaries in Afrin.

"While Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin talked about the conflict in Syria in Helsinki, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had his henchmen murder, expel and expropriate people in occupied Afrin. All Kurdish scripts and signs have been removed and even Kurdish lessons at the schools will not be resumed after the holiday", reported the GfbV Middle East expert Kamal Sido, who comes from Afrin himself, in Göttingen on Tuesday.

According to GfbV data, between 1 and 15 July, Kurdish activists documented around 120 abductions, 7 murders, 10 robberies and 27 raids during which the property of local people were destroyed. In addition, four fields were set on fire.

"That's just the tip of the iceberg," said Sido. "Since the occupation of the Kurdish region on March 18, the Turkish military has abducted at least 3,000 Kurds. There are estimates that as many as 7,000 Kurds have disappeared. For fear of further attacks many affected families want to remain unrecognized. Again and again, Turkish soldiers and Islamists are seizing cellphones from civilians to find out who reports about their attacks."

Fears of the Kurds losing their property to Arab-Sunni settlers from other parts of the country are also justified. "Last week, the "legal department" of the "local council" set up by the Turkish occupying forces, ordered all residents to submit their purchase contracts. These will be reviewed to complete the allegedly necessary legal procedures for real estate," said Sido. The approximately 250,000 Kurds who fled Afrin due to Turkish aggression have no right to assert their claims.

The Turkish military has already brought tens of thousands of Arab radical Islamists into the Kurdish region. Many of these new settlers are armed and members of various Islamist groups. They support the Turkish occupation army and kill, torture and rob the Kurdish civilians remaining in Afrin. In the once very liberal and open region, the Islamic Sharia law has been introduced practically. Women without headscarves no longer dare to take to the streets. The cityscape is determined by men with long beards and women wearing Islamic niqab clothing. Through this Islamization, a Yazidi or Alevi life in Afrin is no longer possible. The approximately 1,000 people from the small Christian community have disappeared.