EP conference on Yazidis: Turkish attacks on Shengal must stop

In the conference of Yazidi women in the European Parliament, it was stated that for a permanent solution in Shengal, the attacks of the Turkish state must be stopped and ISIS gangs and their collaborators must be prosecuted.

In the last session of the conference organised by the umbrella organisation of Yazidi Women's Councils (SMJÊ) in cooperation with the Centre of the Union of Yazidi Associations at the European Parliament, the focus was on reconstruction of Shengal and the recognition of its self-government.

In the session moderated by Shilan Badal Kheder, the first presentation was made by Suham Dexîl Reşo, spokesperson of the Diplomatic Committee of the TAJÊ (Yazidi Women’s Freedom Movement). She noted that the Yazidi people have been through 74 fermans throughout their history. Ferman is the term the Yazidis use to refer to the massacres and extermination operations in their history. While in Ottoman usage the term stands for a decree of the Sultan, in the Yazidi community the word took on the denotation of persecutions and pogroms. The genocide and femicide that began with the rout of the KDP peshmerga and the ISIS invasion of Shengal on 3 August was the 74th ferman in Yazidi history. Calling for more countries to recognise the Yazidi genocide, Suham Dexîl Reşo said, "The genocide perpetrated against Yazidis in 2014 was also a femicide.”

Suham Dexîl Reşo said, "The Yazidi community must be protected from new genocides. Germany has also recognised the genocide, but recognition is not enough. Yazidis should be protected. However, they are not."


Suham Dexîl Reşo stated that after the ISIS genocide in Shengal, the Turkish state started to attack the Yazidi town and not a year has passed without an attack since. "This reality should be seen when talking about the protection of the Yazidis. These attacks must be stopped in order to protect the Yazidis". Reşo called especially for Germany to stop arms sales to the Turkish state. Pointing to the agreement concluded between the Erbil and Baghdad governments against Shengal, Suham Dexîl Reşo underlined that the decisions taken regarding the Yazidis should be taken in consultation with the Yazidi people. She criticised the fact that the Erbil-Baghdad agreement does not recognise the will of the Shengal people, adding: "The Yazidi people want this agreement to be cancelled."

Suham Dexîl Reşo stated that it is not possible to develop a solution as long as the attacks of the Turkish state continue, underlining that another issue is reconstruction, "Today there is a model in Shengal, which embraces all the peoples in the region. After 74 fermans, it is the right of Yazidis to defend themselves and to be autonomous. This is a legitimate right. Self-defence is a right for the Yazidi people and all peoples."


Pointing out that the threat of genocide continues besides the attacks of the Turkish state, Suham Dexîl Reşo said that the genocidal onslaught in 2014 was a planned aggression and that ISIS continues to exist in Iraq, especially in the Anbar region close to Shengal.

Suham Dexîl Reşo remarked that the threat of genocide continues and added, "ISIS gangs and their collaborators should be prosecuted and held to account. The establishment of an international court to this end is important and necessary."

Reşo called for international steps to be taken for those who were kidnapped by ISIS and whose fate is still unknown, and for mechanisms to be established to find them.


Suham Dexîl Reşo also recalled Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan’s appeal for the protection of the Yazidi community and the intervention of freedom fighters to rescue the Yazidis from genocide when ISIS attacked. Reşo denounced the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan, who has not been heard from for nearly three years, and called for participation in the global campaign for the freedom of the Kurdish leader.


Scientist and journalist Dr. Rassmann gave information about the geographical location of Shengal in a presentation titled “Shengal - A so-called disputed region.”  Providing details about the region and its strategic importance on maps, Dr. Rassmann remarked that the Turkish state poses the biggest threat among the neighbouring countries. Rassmann pointed to Turkey's undisguised expansionist policies and said: "Turkey wants to take Mosul and Kirkuk. In addition, the Turkish state pursues a hostile policy against the Kurds."


Dr. Rassmann said that the Turkish state is constantly bombarding and intensively using drones and said, "In this way, civilian life is made difficult. Pointing out that the Turkish state also conducts intelligence activities in the region and threatens the people, Rassmann said: "The presence of drones is a terrorist activity. The people are terrorized.”

Defining the never-ending Turkish attacks as "extrajudicial executions" and "de facto execution", Dr. Rassmann emphasised that "They want to depopulate the region". Dr Rassmann concluded by emphasising that the solution lies in the recognition of the autonomy of Shengal.

The last speaker of the session, Dr Mechthild Exo, made a presentation titled “The democratic nation as a future model and solution for Shengal and the region”. Mechthild Exo said, "Autonomy is a peaceful future and a solution for the Shengal region."

Mechthild Exo shared information about the organisation and life in Shengal, saying "Shengal today is protected by the Yazidi youth, and women play a fundamental role in all institutions."

Mechthild Exo underlined that this is a very important process and drew attention to the attacks of the Turkish state, saying that although there is talk of 74 fermans against the Yazidis, the attacks against them continue.

Mechthild Exo also talked about the concept of democratic nation and said, "The nation state and related powers constitute a problem, especially in the Middle East. In the democratic nation model, there is no organisation as a state. Society takes its place in the organisation with its own free will. In Shengal, the democratic nation is no longer just being discussed, it is being implemented.”

Mechthild Exo said that the model in Shengal can be expanded and applied to other regions of Iraq as a solution, emphasising that the attacks of the Turkish state can be prevented in this way.