Report: Kurdish population in Afrin dropped to 18 percent

Within two years of Turkish occupation, the Kurdish population in Afrin has dropped to 18 percent. The human rights organization of Afrin has presented a report on ethnic cleansing and other violations of rights.

In March 2018 Afrin was occupied by the Turkish state. The human rights organization of Afrin has presented a report on the violations of rights during the past two years. The report was publicly read out by Heyhan Ali in the Serdem camp in Shehba.

According to the report, more than 300,000 people from Afrin were displaced by the Turkish invasion to the neighbouring canton of Shehba and other places in Syria. The Kurdish population in Afrin has dropped to 18 percent. In the course of the demographic change, jihadists from Idlib and other areas were settled with their families in Afrin.

Turkification policy

Heyhan Ali explained that the "Turkification policy" is being further advanced in Afrin. Places and streets have been given Turkish names. For example, the Kawa crossroads, whose name refers to the Kawa the Blacksmith from the Newroz myth, has been renamed Olive Branch Crossroads. "Olive branch" was the name Turkey had given to its invasion two years ago, which was contrary to international law. Today, Turkish language classes are given in schools in Afrin. According to the report, the new school uniforms represent "the Turkish culture". Pictures of Turkish President Erdogan hang in many places. Turkish identity cards are being forced upon the people in Afrin.

6,200 people kidnapped

In Afrin, according to the human rights organisation, 6,200 people have been forcibly abducted. The fate of 3,400 abduction victims is unknown.

Attacks against women

Women are particularly affected by the occupation regime in Afrin. The human rights organisation has documented 61 cases of attacks against women. The suicide rate of women has also increased since the occupation. Three women have committed suicide after being attacked by jihadists.

553 civilians killed

According to the report, 553 civilians have been killed by direct attacks of the Turkish state and its jihadist proxies. 55 of the victims were tortured to death.

200,000 olive trees cut down

The report states that not only the civilian population and their property are affected by the systematic attacks, but also nature and historical and sacred sites. Heyhan Ali stated that over 200,000 olive trees have been cut down and 11,000 hectares of cultivated land burned: "The green nature of Afrin has become a desert. The tree trunks were brought to Turkey for recycling.

75 historical sites plundered

75 historical sites have been looted by the occupying forces, according to the report. Dozens of mosaics were removed. In addition, 15 graves, which were sacred to various religious communities, were destroyed.

Before the eyes of the world public

Heyhan Ali concluded by pointing out that these crimes take place in front of the eyes of the world public. The human rights organisation called on the UN to fulfil its responsibility and to remove the Turkish state with its jihadist proxies from Syria.