Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) delegation visited Sinjar in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, listened to the demands of the Yazidi people living there and prepared a report upon the latest situation in the region. HDP MPs Hüda Kaya, Feleknas Uca, Murat Çepni and Hasan Özgüneş paid a visit to the Sinjar, which Turkey has frequently bombed for the last couple of months.
The world heard of Sinjar and the Yazidi community living there when ISIS seized the region in 2014. The Yazidis, a minority in Iraq, were systematically almost wiped out by ISIS in 2014. Upon the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga did not want to protect them and fled, abandoning the Yazidis, they had formed a self-governing unit, the YBS, to fight against ISIS. But after the victory against ISIS, the Yazidis face other problems that continue to endanger their lives.
The delegation from the HDP made its way to Iraq to visit Sinjar and get an idea of the situation on the ground. After the attacks on Sinjar at the beginning of this month, where, among others, Sheid Azad Êzdîn was killed in a Turkish airstrike, the situation in Sinjar has escalated.
Yazidi people’s call to the world
In the published report of the press conference, first, the HPD delegation noted the role Turkey played in the fight against ISIS, according to their observations. HDP MP Murat Çepni spoke on behalf of the delegation and reminded of the latest attack by ISIS against Haseke in which ISIS fighters came from Turkey controlled Serekaniye.
“The most striking fact that we encountered there was that Turkey’s fight against ISIS is a big lie the international community is not up to this critical issue (…),” the MPs stressed.
“More and more evidence show how Turkey as a great power supports ISIS as in their latest attack on the prison on Haseke, northern Syria. Since the successful victory against the Islamic State in Rojava the remaining ISIS members have been placed in prisons. Over 5,000 ISIS members from over 54 countries have been placed in prison. On January 20 of this year, ISIS members supported by Turkey attempted to storm the prison from outside in order to free the prisoners. NATO weapons were used. Many prisoners escaped, but after a counterattack by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), many prisoners were brought back. This attack cost the lives of many people on both sides,” Çepni started.
“People living there think that Turkey is the country where ISIS takes power most,” Çepni said and added that gainings of Kurds in the region are in danger since, during the attacks of ISIS against Haseke, Turkey was also bombing Sinjar. Accordingly, the HDP delegation also quoted from the Autonomous Administration in Sinjar regarding Turkey’s latest attacks.
“Sinjar is an important strategic point on the map. Sinjar forms the border of Rojava and Basur. Turkey sees the self-government in Sinjar as part of the PKK, a party classified as terrorists in Turkey. This mentality is directly supported by Turkey and especially by Erdogan to spread chaos everywhere. Turkey and ISIS are pursuing the same goal”, declared the autonomy administration to HDP deputies in Sinjar during the visit.
Çepni also spoke about the Yazidi community in Sinjar.
“200 thousand people live in Sinjar. Just as many people have migrated to different countries including Australia, the US and Canada. Some of them are compelled to live in the camps affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) under the supervision of the United Nations (UN). There are 13 camps in total. According to the statement of people of Sinjar, people are prevented from leaving the camps and they are subjected to policies of intensive religious and cultural assimilation. It is made harder for families to reunite; families have been torn up.”
The conference report also says how Turkey operates in Sinjar.
“The Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) calls people in Sinjar, forces them to work for them and if not, they are threatened with death,” Çepni said.
The delegation and the Yazidi people have come to some resolutions. HDP MP Çepni listed the requests of people as follows:
-The people of Sinjar want a ban on warplanes and armed drones over Sinjar.
-The call from the people of Sinjar to the entire world is that they take action so that this atrocity comes to an end.
-Living under bombs and blockade, the people of Sinjar expect support from Turkey and all peoples of the world.
-They call on the democracy forces, women’s organizations, political parties, democratic mass organizations, ecology organizations, intellectuals and artists to visit Sinjar and observe the situation there.
-The recognition of the Yazidi genocide by all states.
-They request that international powers, especially the UN, speak about the situation and take action to prevent the attacks.