EP Conference: Erdoğan, a war criminal, must be put on trial

A journalist from Egypt said that Turkish President Erdoğan is a war criminal and must be put on trial as such.

On the second day of the Rojava Conference at the European Parliament, attendees discuss the Turkish occupation attacks against North-East Syria, its background and consequences, as well as the human rights violations perpetrated in the region and its international legal dimension.

During the first session moderated by Majdolen Hasan from the Syrian Democratic Council, Nazire Gewriye from the Syriac Union Party spoke about “The Reality of the Turkish State’s Aggression in North and East Syria”.


Gewriye told about the project implemented in North-East Syria, defining it as a guarantor of human rights that gave hope to all peoples in the region, ensuring a real equality between Muslims, Yazidis and Christians.

She pointed out the leading role of women in the revolution, recalling that thousands of people, mainly youth, have sacrificed their lives in the fight against ISIS.

Remarking that Turkey exported terrorism, Gewriye said Turkey has always sought to hit the autonomous administration and considered the project in Rojava to be a threat to the Turkish state that is based on a nationalist doctrine.

Stressing that Turkey’s occupation attacks don’t discriminate between civilians and fighters, she continued; “The ongoing offensive constitutes a major threat. A very negative role is played by the ‘Syrian National Army’ as Turkey calls them. This is an operation of terror, not peace. Turkey helps resurrection of ISIS with the ultimate goal of establishing a safe zone for the terrorists.”


Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) founder and director Rami Abdulrahman spoke about the “State Legitimisation of Terrorism and Terrorist Groups – The Turkish-Backed “Syrian National Army”.

Abdulrahman firstly mentioned the “ignored Afrin issue”, saying the following; “The Turks have violated the international law with military operations. These violations did not only harm the civilians and their properties but also targeted the heritage and changed the identity of the region.”

Pointing ton ever-ending violations in the region, the SOHR director said; “The Syrian National Army has been used to commit crimes against Syrians. These violations are carried out under the leadership and on the orders of Erdoğan. In this way, a transformation is taking place, the goal of which is a demographic change.”

Speaking about the new occupation operation launched after the invasion of Afrin, he noted that the objective was to prevent the Kurds from claiming their own lands and to invade the entire region.

Abdulrahman said that there was a very long list of violations and called for action to stop these violations. He added that none of the European Union institutions voived the violations perpetrated in Afrin.


Researcher Jiyan Hüseyin from Serêkaniyê Canton Assembly made a presentation under the title “Systematic Crimes against Women in North and East Syria by the Turkish State and Their Jihadist Proxy Militias”. He noted that what has been done in Afrin is repeated in other areas today.

Stressing that the “safe zones” mentioned by the Turkish state were actually “occupied zones”, Hüseyin commented on the attacks on Serêkaniyê region. Hüseyin recalled that the Turkish invasion followed the attacks of ISIS and al-Nusra gangs on Serêkaniyê where -he added, a life with stability, safety and peace had prevailed for eight years after the liberation of the city.

Saying that the Turkish state, however, terrorized the region now in its so-called “Peace Spring” operation, Hüseyin shared figures of the crimes committed by the Turkish state in the city, forced displacement, looting, arrests, murders and students deprived of education. He stressed that “The Turkish state’s aim is to revive the ISIS.”


Hayat Naisse from the Syrian Democratic Council made evaluations on the Turkish occupation attacks against North-East Syria, its background and consequences.

Naisse, a Syrian Arab citizen and member of the Syrian Democratic Council, said the following; “Clearly, the Turkish military invasion has been a turning point in the country and the region. It threatens the autonomous administration experience. It is a threat for not only the Kurdish people but also all Syrian peoples. The Turkish state is obsessed with Kurdish hostility.”

Naisse continued; “The difference between Turkish military presence and the presence of other forces in the region, is the fact that the Turkish state aims for a permanent settlement in the region with the mindset of colonialist invasion. The goal of these operations is to destroy the Kurdish people’s autonomy in Syria and to annihilate the Syrian peoples’ experience in North and East Syria.”

Naisse noted that a nationalist and racist propaganda is spread in Turkey where utmost efforts are made to silence all the opposition.

Naisse emphasised that in a country caught between fires, the Autonomous Administration is the most progressive, egalitarian and inclusive model for not only Kurds but the whole region.


The last speech of the first session was held by Egyptian journalist Nashet Elheedy who handled the Turkish state’s aggressive interventions in the Arab World. Elheedy said he would not go into details as the truth was blatantly obvious, and asked “Why does Erdoğan act like this?”

Remarking that history is full of lessons, Elheedy stressed that the Turkish state pursued an expansionist policy with blood and massacres.

Recalling the Armenian genocide, the Egyptian journalist pointed out today’s efforts to carry out a racism-based ideology. He said that Erdoğan wanted to found a new Turkish Empire to the detriment of Kurds and Arabs.

Elheedy added; “We must speak loudly at the European Parliament. Who will stop these violations, who will say Erdoğan to stop?”

Remarking that the Turks were also victimized, he asked “Why do you vote for Erdoğan?”

Elheedy stressed that; “Erdoğan is a war criminal and must be put on trial as such. His hands are bloody.” He emphasised that international organisations were acting hypocritically and that the States based on their own interests.