EFRÎN – 3 years ago with the approval of the global forces, when Turkey invaded in Efrîn, a humanitarian tragedy unfolded before the eyes of the whole world. While people were being kidnapped and murdered for ransom, women were being raped. All the wealth of the city was plundered while the demography of the city was forced to change.
3 years have passed since the attacks of Turkey against North and East Syria that was launched in January 20, 2018. The city holding a population of more than 500 thousand people is one of the places where the Rojava Revolution began.
The attacks that started with the bombardment of the USA and Russia with fighter jets and Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SİHA) towards the city continued with heavy weapons such as tanks and artillery. Subsequently, Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) troops entered the region from the ground behind the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which included radical predecessor groups on the front line.
Following intense clashes with the YGP/YPJ and Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) that continued for 58 days, Turkey and the groups backed by Turkey took control of the city center of Efrîn, 7 districts and 365 villages.
Efrîn of North and East Syria Autonomous Administration was the first city to be invaded by Turkey. Then Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî was invaded. The Salafi and paramilitary forces backed by Turkey got stuck in Idlib, found themselves back in play with the invasion of Efrîn.
EFRIN WAS A MODEL
Efrîn that turned into the most safe and stable city of the country with its autonomous system that was established during the 10 year long Syrian civil war was presented as a model in terms of restructuring of Syria. However, seeing this as a threat to itself, Turkey took to the field accompanied by the organizations and paramilitary structures along with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). This move of Turkey changed the nature of the war in Syria.
10 THOUSAND TROOPS AND 50 GROUPS ATTACKED
Along with 10 thousand troops of the TSK took part in the invasion of Efrîn with nearly 50 groups such as Sultan Murat Brigade, Süleyman Shah Brigade, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Brigade, Hamza Division, Feylek El Şam, Cebhet Şamîye, Samarkand Brigade, Sead Bin Ebu Weqqas Brigade, Ehrar El Şerqiye, Suqur Şimal, El Nixbe and Ehrar El Sham.
These groups shared the neighborhoods of invaded Efrîn among themselves.
According to the information shared in the invasion attacks against the city, 613 people lost their lives. While 498 people died in the direct bombardment, 82 people were tortured to death after being captured. 730 people were injured in the attacks, including 303 children and 213 women.
Over 7 thousand people have been abducted in Afrin in the last 3 years. The fate of more than half of these people who were kidnapped to receive ransom from their families is unknown. So much so that abducting people for ransom has turned into a business. More than a thousand of these abducted people are women. The fate of hundreds of women, 75 of whom were murdered and 69 of whom were raped, is unknown. These figures are updated almost every day.
WAR CRIMES REFLECTED TO REPORTS
The torture, kidnapping, theft, looting and killing, femicide and attempts at ethnic cleansing have reflected to the reports of international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) and the UK-based Ceaserife Civil Rights Center.
THE AIM IS TO CHANGE THE DEMOGRAPHIC STRUCTURE
Today we can say that the demographic structure in Efrin is sought to be changed by erasing all traces of Kurds from the city. More than 300 thousand people living in Efrin were displaced after it was invaded by Turkey and groups backed by Turkey. More than 400 thousand people brought from Idlib, Hama, Homs, Guta, Latakia and Aleppo were settled in their homes and lands. Among them are 500 Palestinian families brought from Damascus. These Palestinians are known as the families who were forced into migration from the region after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.
It is stated that the rate of Kurds, who are still in Efrin today is around 23 percent. Particularly, FSA members and their families are settled in settlements such as Shara and Bilbilê, and other Kurdish families are also wanted to be abducted.
TURKISH IS THE DOMINANT LANGUAGE
Turkish has been made the mandatory education language in all schools. The names of the cities, neighborhoods and streets are changed into Turkish. So much so that the Azadi Square is now Atatürk Square, Newroz Junction is Selahaddin Juntion, Blacksmith Kawa Square is Olive Branch Square now.
You can see posters of AKP's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in all settlements.
Historical places in Efrin were also targeted. Temples were bombed and plundered. 20 million olive trees were siezed by Turkey and groups backed by Turkey to be used in their own interest. The olives transferred to Turkey were sold to Spain, USA and Germany.
Along with these, there are reports that 314 thousand 400 olive trees have been cut down and 11 thousand hectares of agricultural land have been burned so far.
MA / Nazım Daştan