'KDP uses Semalka gate as a tool of blackmail', says Autonomous Administration representative Koçer

At the same time as the KDP closed the border between Rojava and South Kurdistan, the Syrian regime in Damascus also closed the borders. Hesen Koçer speaks of illegitimate blackmail against the revolution in northeast Syria.

The KDP is keeping the Sêmalka border crossing between South Kurdistan and Rojava closed. The deputy co-chair of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria, Hesen Koçer, sees the closure as a political decision that goes against humanitarian values. The political leadership in Hewlêr had justified the move with the permanent vigil in Sêmalka. The vigil is carried out by families of the martyrs at the Sêmalka-Pêşxabûr border crossing and has been taking place since the beginning of October. The families demand the delivery of the remains of guerrilla fighters who were killed in an ambush by the KDP special forces last August.

As Koçer explained to ANF, the KDP did not respond to the demands of the families. "The corpses are in the hands of the KDP and are not being handed over to their relatives. The people protest against this. The behaviour of the KDP is unacceptable and corresponds to its attitude towards the revolution in northeast Syria. It does not see people as people who have made a revolution and are demanding their rights and freedoms, but as an enemy. The KDP has always used Sêmalka as a tool of pressure and blackmail against the population of Rojava. With this, it wants to break the will of the people. The border crossings must not be used for political purposes. This is a humanitarian question. It is not right to use the borders as a tool of blackmail and threat."

Hesen Koçer points out that at the same time as the KDP, the government in Damascus closed the border crossings between the northeast Syrian autonomous region and the areas controlled by the Syrian regime. "On the same day, the regime closed the crossings in Manbij and Tabqa. The people of Northern and Eastern Syria are trapped in order to break their will. That is the aim of the embargo. However, it should be clear that we are not going to give up our revolution. It will be more difficult in certain areas, but they will not break our will."

Koçer adds: "Political pressure aims to be increased with the border closings. That goes against humanitarian principles. The KDP has to hand over the bodies to the relatives. That is what the population is asking for. The families didn't go to Sêmalka for fun. Closing the border is not correct.

Propaganda is being carried out in the KDP-related media and reports that there are no longer any foods on the market are circulating. The reason for this, however, is the KDP itself."

The vigil in Sêmalka will end the moment the relatives are handed over the bodies of their children, Koçer said, adding that "to the delight of the regime in Ankara, the KDP is implementing the policy of the Turkish state. The will of the people of northern and eastern Syria cannot be broken in this way. We will definitely be able to meet our needs. I therefore appeal to the population not to believe this propaganda. Our people must be aware of the underlying political aims and protest against them."