Evîn Cuma: Erdoğan wants to permanently change the demography of the region

Pointing out that Erdoğan wants to permanently change the demography of the region by sending some of the refugees to the Kurdish lands he occupied, Evîn Cuma said, "This is against international laws and will deepen the war in the region."

Evîn Cuma, director of the Cizîre Human Rights Association, spoke to ANF about Turkish president Erdoğan's latest statement. He said that they are " preparing a project that will ensure the return of one million Syrians."

Pointing out that Erdoğan's statements are contrary to international human rights laws, Evîn Cuma said: "According to international human rights laws, when you send refugees to their own countries, you have to send them to their cities and homes. The war in Syria is not over. It is against international law to send people who have already escaped war back to the war zone. Erdoğan, on the other hand, wants to send these people to the areas he occupied in Syria. These lands and the places where they will be located do not belong to these people; they belong to the people of the region that Erdoğan forced to emigrate. You bring someone and put them in the place of others. This is not favouring the natural return of refugees. It is a crime.”

They want people to fight among themselves

Stating that the AKP-MHP government are trying to send refugees to the occupied areas in Syria by applying pressure, Evîn Cuma said: “We read about the pressure Syrians are under in Turkey in the media. In fact, Turkey are trying to forcefully send the people they want to send back to Syria. Racist attacks are being developed against Syrians, and they are encouraged by the state itself. Therefore, Erdoğan's project is both illegal and unethical. If you bring a people or a community and place it in the place of another community, you will create clashes between the peoples. Because what you bring is not the people of this region. The real owners of the occupied areas are the people who have fled from that region due to the occupation, the majority of whom are Kurds. In this way, they aim to create conflict between Kurds and Arabs."

Changing demography

Evîn Cuma stated that one of the main purposes of bringing Syrian refugees to Turkey and relocating them to areas such as Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spi, which are occupied by the Turkish state, is to promote a demographic change.

Cuma said: “The Arab Belt was already implemented in these regions during the regime period. Many lands belonging to the Kurds, Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, were given to the Arabs brought from other regions, and with this practice, a demographic change took place.

The Turkish state has already carried out a demographic change in the regions it occupied in Syria, especially in Afrin. Now he's talking about bringing in one million people. Bringing them and placing them in regions such as Afrin, Girê Spî, Serêkaniyê and Ezaz will further reinforce this demographic change.”

Turkey wants newcomers to settle permanently in occupied areas

Stating that the Turkish state is building houses in the areas occupied in Syria, especially in Afrin, Evîn Cuma said: “In other words, it no longer brings the settlers that it carries from outside and places them in tent camps. Tent camps show that those who settle here will one day return to their own regions, that they are temporary there.

But the Turkish state is building houses with the help and money of so many so-called aid organizations, especially from Qatar and Kuwait. Turkey wants to settle the people it will carry there permanently. With this, it wants to change demographics and ensure that the people who live there are 100 percent committed to it.”

Connecting the occupied region to Turkey

Cuma continued: “Turkey's aim is not only to change the demographics of the areas it occupies; it wants to connect these areas to Turkey. The culture, language, economy and institutionalization in these areas changed. For example, although there are Syrian cities, it is forbidden to use Syrian money there. Turkish currency is used. Syria has cut off its internet, and Turkey's internet is being used. Water and electricity are all supplied to these regions from Turkey. Turkey is building a wall in Afrin and separating it from the Syrian regions. Again, the people living in the areas occupied by Turkey were Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Turkmen, and Assyrians, and they taught in their own language. Now, Turkish and Arabic are the language of education, but Arabic is being pushed into the background in favour of Turkish. They hung Turkish flags everywhere.”