Resident visits Afrin but can’t stay

A.X. from Afrin went to Afrin to see his home and village, and stay if he could, but couldn’t. A.X. left everything behind and said, “As long as those people are there, nothing that was mine belongs to me.”

It has been 6 months since the Turkish army and their allied gangs invaded Afrin. With the invasion, pillaging, robbery, abductions and demographic structure changes continue. People who left Afrin and moved to Shehba and Sherawa are subjected to all kinds of inhuman treatment when they return to check up on their homes and villages.

An Afrin resident named A.X. was one of the civilians who visited Afrin to check on his home. His account is as follows:


We returned to Afrin to see our village and our home. We saw that there was nothing that belonged to us. The Kurds are only there physically. In reality, there is no such thing a s a Kurd, because a people don’t exist if they can’t protect their village, land, life, or any possessions. People live and die for their land, family and honor. There, there is no way to uphold any of these. That is why I said, ‘if my home and my olive groves are gone, be that way. I will get out of here’.


Any village the gangs entered is now theirs. They confiscated and pillaged whatever people had in the villages. Our village and my home are the same. They consider all Kurdish youth a threat to themselves. So whoever they find, they make up an excuse to arrest and torture. They do everything on the Turkish state’s orders. When the family looks for the children, they demand money to release them. The family has to somehow come up with that money. Those who don’t have money lose their children to the unknown.


 When you walk through Afrin, it’s like walking in a foreign land. It has transformed into a strange city. Kurds are like foreigners there. It is impossible to find a vacant house in the center or villages. 306 villages are all full. There are people who came from Ghouta, Humis, even Deir Ez Zor. When they settle in somebody’s home, they never leave. Some villages are already full to the brim. When owners of the villages want to visit, they are held at gunpoint.


Even if you had all the money in the world, it’s not worth it to live under that oppression and tyranny. My family lost 3 homes, one mine and two my children’s. They took $10.000 from me. I lost my car. My wife’s gold bracelets are all gone. My children used to work outside, the money they saved for years was gone. I left everything behind and came here. I couldn’t live there among them. They have no principles. There is only robbery, pillaging and theft. I left all my property behind. Nothing is important to me. As long as they are there, nothing that belongs to me is mine.