Is Turkey trying to settle a million Syrians in Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî?

Hamdan al-Abid from the Northeast Syrian Autonomous Administration appealed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to stop supporting the Turkish settlement policy in northern Syria: "This land belongs to the people who have been displaced."

The Turkish government has announced that it will send a million refugees back to Syria. As the human rights organization Afrin announced on Saturday, a group of Syrians are said to have entered the Turkish occupation zone in Girê Spî (Tall Abyad) from Turkey. Hamdan al-Abid is a member of the Labor and Social Affairs Committee of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. The Arab politician spoke to ANF about Turkey's plans.

Al-Abid pointed out that Turkey wants to consolidate and perpetuate the occupation of northern Syria with its settlement policy and permanent attacks. “The Turkish state has been intervening in Syria since the beginning of the crisis. It is well known that it wants to realize its neo-Ottoman dreams. It wants to expand the occupation of the Middle East. To achieve this goal, it wants to conquer and annex parts of Syria. It has done it before and now it wants to do it again. At the same time, the Turkish state wants to legitimize his zone of occupation in Syria and does this in the name of Islam. However, we do know that these policies of the past four hundred years from the Ottomans to the present have brought nothing but death, robbery, massacres and attacks on humanity.”

The Turkish state has built up an army of jihadists in Idlib and deploy them everywhere, al-Abid said, adding: "It's doing the same today in northern and eastern Syria and in Iraq. For alleged security interests, it wants to annex territories from Aleppo to Mosul. To achieve this goal, it supports jihadist groups such as the Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State.”

Turkey has contributed to the worsening of the crises in Iraq, Libya and Syria as people in those countries rebelled for their freedom. As a result, the desired revolution degenerated into bloody chaos. When the Muslim Brotherhood project in Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya, which was supported by the Turkish state, failed, then Turkey attacked northern and eastern Syria and founded a jihadist mercenary army of thousands in Idlib.

Al-Abid continued: “This mercenary army is sent to the areas occupied by the Turkish state. It's a dangerous group. The Turkish state claims that the Kurdish freedom movement poses a great threat and it attacks. However, this movement is only defending its land and people, which is their legitimate right. Every human being, every community and every people has the right to defend himself. The Kurdish freedom movement defends the lost rights of its own people.

No state has the right to intervene in the internal affairs of another state from outside. However, that is exactly what the Turkish state is doing. It intervenes in Syria and northern Iraq, it attacks southern Kurdistan and Shengal. Its goal is occupation. Iraq and Syria have a responsibility in this, and should not allow Turkish interference in their internal affairs.”

The Turkish state is not only attacking the Kurdish people, the Turkmen, Circassian, Armenian, Arab and Assyrian population groups are also affected, said al-Abid, adding: "When Afrin, Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî were occupied, no distinction was made between the peoples, all were attacked.”

Hamdan al-Abid points out that settlements are being set up in the Turkish-occupied areas of northern Syria with the support of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. “These camps are officially being set up by humanitarian organizations, but they have a completely different purpose. I appeal to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to abandon this project. The people who are to be settled here do not come from here. This land belongs to other people who have been displaced. This policy means robbery and targeted demographic change, it is a crime against humanity.”