Since Turkey has occupied parts of Syria in 2016, it has been working to change the demographics of these regions through aggressive attacks on the population of the region, amid a shameful international disregard despite the statistics and reports of many international human rights institutions that expose Turkish policies and goals and reveal the truth of their actions.
Displacement of the indigenous people and settlement of mercenary families
More than 900 thousand people from the various Kurdish, Arab, Turkmen and Circassian components, in Al-Shahba regions lived in (Al-Bab, Al-Safirah, Azaz, Jarabulus, and their countryside) according to statistics.
However, after the Turkish occupation of the Jarabulus, Azaz, Al-Bab, and Al-Safira areas, thousands of civilians, especially the Kurds were displaced. Only a small number of the indigenous population remained.
According to Al-Shahba Provincial Council, Turkey has occupied more than 230 villages, completely destroying more than 52 villages in each of the cities of Jarablus and Al-Rai and areas of Al-Bab and displacing its indigenous population.
Member of Al-Shahba District Council, Muhammad Al-Ahmad, who hails from Al-Bab city, says: “The Turkish occupation is proceeding in the demographic change in the occupied Al-Shahba areas through the settling people from Al-Ghouta. Now, most of Al-Bab's residents are settlers.”
For his part, human rights activist Emad Daoud says: "Since Turkey has occupied Al-Shahba, extermination policy has been followed against everyone who objects the Ottoman policy. It resorted to kidnapping and killing by mercenary factions with Turkmen leaderships to control the region.
Daoud asserts that the displaced were caused by the Turkish state’s policies against the residents of the region and brought the families of the mercenaries from Deir ez-Zorr, Al-Ghouta, Hama, Aleppo. They housed them inthe Kurdish villages such as “Tarahin, Kaaba and Qabasin” camps, in addition to settlements that were built with country support on Susian Village Junction.
After Turkey occupied Afrin on March 18, 2018, it displaced more than 300 thousand civilians, and resettled thousands of families of mercenaries and displaced people from Al-Ghouta and its countryside, Homs, Aleppo, Hama and , according to the human rights organization - Afrin.
The Turkish occupation also settled more than 500 Palestinian families in Afrin, according to the Civil Documentation Center for Palestinian Refugees in the Syrian North. They were distributed in the village of Deir Ballut and the city center of Afrin.
After the Syrian government launched a military operation on the city of Idlib, the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries transferred more than 200,000 residents of Idlib to Afrin.
The Turkish occupation also displaced more than 250,000 civilians from Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî / Tal Abyad after its attack on October 9, 2019.
According to informed sources, the Turkish occupation resettled more than 2,500 families in the city of Serêkaniyê, and more than 1500 families in Girê Spî.
Turkmen parties to change the identity of the components
In an effort to consolidate its occupation of the Syrian regions and carve out these territories as it did in the Iskenderun brigade of the last century, it resorted to changing the character of some Kurdish clans and claiming that they are Turkmen as "Karajaj and Rashwan" clans, in addition to its efforts to establish Turkmen political parties through Some Turkmen mercenaries, such as the Turkmen Society and some parties that claim to be Kurdish, are known for their loyalty to Turkey, such as the "Independent Kurds Association," according to the Jurist Imad Daoud.
Member of Al Shahba District Council, Muhammad Al-Ahmad, adds that, “The Turkish occupation follows the Turkification in the occupied areas to persuade people that they are Turkmen through documents and records dating back to the days of the Ottoman rule. It is also working to establish Turkmen parties.” By offering material and relief inducements that exploit people's poverty. "
It keeps on following the Turkification approach
Immediately after the Turkish occupation of cities and regions from the northeast, and northwest of Syria, the main features of those cities began to fade away slowly, by imposing a policy of abandonment on those areas.
The Turkish occupation changed the names of the villages and towns of Afrin and the regions of Al-Shahba. It changed the name of Al-Raai in the north of Aleppo to "Juban Bay" and the name of Jabal Aqil to "Polat Al-Bairaq".
The Turkish occupation also changed the names of squares, streets, and gardens, and named them by Ottoman names . In Azaz, a garden more than 100 years old was named after the “Ottoman Nation” under the Turkish flag writing.
The Turkish intelligence also removed the Syrian telecommunications towers and replaced them with Turkish, and imposed dealings in the Turkish currency instead of the Syrian currency, as well as formed local military and intelligence structures associated with it.
In this context, human rights activist Daoud says, "Today, after years of Turkish occupation of our regions, Turkish policies continue through the imposition of curricula, language and Turkish science in all educational and religious buildings and institutions. I also used the Islamic religion to persuade all components of the region with its Ottoman project, so we find recruiting young people as mercenaries to go to Libya. "
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan acknowledged during an interview with Turkish official television, TRT, that Turkey wants to resettle a million people in the areas it seeks to occupy under the name "safe zone" in northern Syria.
Erdogan pointed out the possibility of resettling 530 thousand people in Derik and Serêkaniyê areas and 405 thousand between the cities of Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî.
Meanwhile, the Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Abdi, responded in a Tweet via Twitter to Erdogan's statements, saying that "Russia and America bear the responsibility to prevent the demographic change in the occupied territories. We call on them to implement their obligations and put in place a mechanism for the return of the indigenous people."
Abdi added, "What the Turkish president announced that it started working on settling a million people in the cities of Girê Spî / Tel Abyad and Serêkaniyê / Ras Al-Ain, is a very dangerous matter aimed at resettling strangers in these cities."
Acts punishable under international law
The Turkish occupation policy did not observe the rules and regulations governing the occupation under Article 42 of the Hague Regulations 1907 and Common Article 2 of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, which prevented any kind of violations during the occupation process.
Resolution No. 2265 of the United Nations General Assembly at its thirty-fifth session prohibited any interference, even if for humanitarian reasons, unless permitted or blessed by the Security Council, as Turkey occupied the city of Jarablus and expanded in the Al-Shahba areas (Al-Bab, Azaz and Al-Safira) on August 24. 2016, and occupied Afrin on March 18, 2018. In October 2019, it occupied Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî, without the approval of the United Nations.
According to the provisions of Articles 39 and 51 of the United Nations' Charter, occupation and invasion invade legal liability.
The Hague Regulations also devoted to protecting property of the local population, preventing mass displacement or torture against them, preventing changes on the ground or abolishing local laws, as the occupation is a temporary situation, but the Turkish occupation was not satisfied with that, as it went on to commit violations by building a concrete wall around Afrin since April last year. It has also started building the wall on the western side of Girê Spî since January this year to separate the two cities from Syria.
"All these occupation policies are taking place under the nose of the international community and the Syrian, Russian and Iranian states without even issuing any statement of condemnation from anyone," jurist Daoud called on the international community and Arab states to break their silence towards the Turkish state's occupation of Syrian territories and pressure them to exit. The fact that this occupation threatens international peace and security and helps to revive ISIS and terrorist organizations that will be a pandemic to the countries of the world. He also called for the return of all indigenous people to their occupied villages and cities.
Daoud called on the Syrian state to emerge from the influence of the policy of regional and international powers and to engage in a real dialogue with the AANES administration to rid all components of Syria from regional and international conflicts.
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