TEV-DEM Foreign Relations Representative Salih Müslim held a press conference in Berlin about the Turkish state’s attacks and invasion attempt against Afrin.
TEV-DEM Foreign Relations Representative Salih Müslim held a press conference in Berlin about the Turkish state’s attacks and invasion attempt against Afrin. German and international press showed great interest in the press conference.
Müslim said they knew from the start that Turkey supports terrorist groups and said: “With this attack, the Turkish government aims to increase the areas they control. They are talking about ‘national borders’ that include Aleppo and Rojava, and continue up to Kirkuk-Mosul. They want to use this war as an excuse to take these regions under their control.”
“THE PEOPLE OF AFRIN ARE DEFENDING AFRIN”
Müslim pointed out that Turkey is supporting groups like Al Nusra and ISIS and continued: “To put it bluntly, they founded ISIS and they nurtured it. They admit themselves that after ISIS invaded Mosul, they developed a relationship with them. After the attack against Afrin was launched, Turkey brought in 50 buses full of gang members including former ISIS members to the region.”
Müslim said the people in Afrin are trying to defend themselves: “Right now, there is only the people of Afrin defending Afrin. Afrin is under siege. There are 800.000 people from Afrin in the region, and then there are some 400.000 refugees who sought refuge in the region. The people defending that region are not just Kurds, other peoples are also organizing and defending their region.”
TEV-DEM representative Müslim stated that German weapons and tanks are attacking civilians in Afrin this time, and added: “There are NATO rules for the use of these weapons, but Turkey disregards those rules. The fight against ISIS is not over yet, but some units fighting in Deir Ez Zor have left for Afrin because they have their families there.”
Müslim stated that Turkey has used groups they had fighting in Aleppo and Idlib in the attacks against Afrin and continued: “They want to settle these groups in Afrin, Turkey has openly stated this. They will use these groups and the Syrian refugees they want to settle there against Europe and they will constantly threaten Europe with these.”
“EUROPE SHOULD UPHOLD ITS OWN VALUES”
Müslim stressed that the refugees want to return to Aleppo and Homs: “They don’t want to go to Afrin, Turkey is imposing this upon them.” Müslim said they are against the fracturing of Syria and that they favor a federal administration, which they continuously put forth, and continued:
“From the start, we have argued for federalism. There are many examples of this in the world, but Turkey doesn’t want this. So we called on the Syrian central government to ‘come and defend your borders’. But Turkey’s attacks continued, and the regime didn’t respond. We do have some calls to the regime, but this hasn’t turned into an agreement. I underline this: There is no deal with the regime in Afrin.
Nobody is reacting to Turkey’s attacks. For us, not reacting means supporting the attacks. We don’t want anybody to come and protect us, we don’t have such expectations. We only want the European Union to take a position against this attack within the constraints of their own principles.
Turkey is in negotiations with the EU, and receives financial aid. Turkey buys weapons with the funds they receive and they use these against us. We want Europe to uphold its own democratic values.”