Der Spiegel: There is ethnic and cultural cleansing in Afrin

Prominent German news journal Der Spiegel published an article-analysis on Turkish state occupied Afrin. The journal pointed out that there is an ethnic and cultural cleansing going on in Afrin.

Afrin has been under Turkish state occupation for over a year, and the incidents in this Kurdish province is now widely reported in the German media. Prominent German news journal Der Spiegel’s online version published an article-analysis on what has been happening in Afrin for the last year.

Der Spiegel reporter Christoph Sydow wrote the article which said most of the Kurdish population in Afrin migrated after the Turkish state invaded the city.  The article stressed that the Kurds have not given up on their wish to return to their city and mentioned the analyses on Afrin former US Special Envoy to the International Coalition Against ISIS Brett McGurk wrote for the journal Foreign Affairs.

In an article titled “Hard truths in Syria” McGurk wrote that the attacks against Afrin do not stem from Turkey’s  concern for their security but a desire by Erdogan to extend territory. Der Spiegel continued to say, “McGurk’s statements show a high ranking US official confirming the picture Kurds and international human rights organizations have painted regarding Afrin for a long time.”


The article stated that the Turkish state doesn’t allow independent observers into Afrin and listed some facts about the ethnic and cultural cleansing mentioned by many groups in the last year.  The article said satellite images from Afrin show destruction in Alevi and Yazidi graves and that religious, ethnic and cultural cleansing has become part of daily life.

The article stated that the street names in Afrin have been Turkified and Kurdish has been removed from schools, where classes are now taught in Turkish. A radical understanding of Islam is forced upon the people of the region and women are under immense pressure. The article concluded with PYD Co-chair Ayse Heso’s comments on Afrin’s freedom.

The article said Hiso herself is one of the people who were forced to leave Afrin in March 2018 and added that the previous Afrin administration is working remotely from the refugee camps. Der Spiegel also wrote about the recent attacks against Turkish soldiers and gangs in Afrin and published Heso’s comments, “Our attacks are part of our resistance. Turkish units will be stuck in the quicksand of Afrin.”