Nine years have passed since the Yazidi community was targeted by ISIS in a brutal genocide, yet the fate of thousands of women remains shrouded in mystery. The Yazidis refer to this atrocity as the 74th Ferman, a grim testament to the numerous massacres they have endured throughout history.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Foreign Relations Commission, Co-spokesperson Feleknas Uca highlighted the ongoing crisis. “This genocide occurred in full view of the world, leaving a deep wound for the Yazidi community,” Uca stated. “Thousands of women taken captive by ISIS were sold in Mosul markets, with each woman being sold multiple times.”
Uca, a Yazidi herself, drew attention to the fact that many of the women and children kidnapped by ISIS have surfaced in different cities, including in Germany and Turkey. “Many women were sold in Germany and Turkey, and many children have appeared in cities like Ankara and Kırşehir,” she said. Uca questioned how these women were transported to cities as far as Ankara, given the rigourous security checks within the country.
Uca also pointed out the alleged collaboration between ISIS and Turkey, recalling photographs taken during the attacks on Kobane that showed Turkish soldiers alongside ISIS members. “ISIS leaders and members are known to reside in Turkey,” she added.
Uca criticised Turkey’s hostility towards the Yazidis, which continues with attacks on Sinjar. “They are raining bombs on a people who have seen so much oppression, killing their leaders. They see the emptying of Sinjar and Kurdistan and the eradication of Yazidism as their goal,” she said.
Despite the passage of nine years since the massacre, Uca noted that thousands of families are still living in tents. “We are all responsible for these families living in tents. If we cannot return these people to Sinjar, we all bear responsibility,” she said.
Yazidi activist Azzat Alsaleem emphasised the need for justice for the people of Sinjar. “The wounds of the Yazidis have not healed due to regional conflicts. The forces responsible for the genocide need to be held accountable,” Alsaleem stated. He warned that another genocide is inevitable within a few years unless there is a Yazidi defence force and autonomy to protect the Yazidis. “The Yazidis trust neither the KDP nor the Iraqi government,” he concluded.