Turkey’s Disaster and Management Authority (AFAD) supports Syrian groups that Turkey backs, as a state body that is loyal to Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu that handles its dealings via an Islamic foundation, Syrian politician Saleh Muslim said in an interview.
“The truth of both the Turkish state and the Syrian regime has come out. It is clearly revealed how they view the Kurdish people. There are many under the rubble still, but they can’t receive aid because they are Kurds,” Muslim said regarding the twin earthquakes of 6 February that killed more than 40,000 people in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeast and in northern Syria.
The Democratic Unity Party (PYD) co-chair’s comments come as Turkey continues military actions against Syrian Kurds, both with airstrikes in Kobani, Shehba and Ayn Issa, and with ground operations by opposition groups it supports in occupied Syrian territory despite the earthquakes.
AFAD has not been delivering to victims donations it received, Muslim said. “AFAD didn’t intervene for a long time. In many cities the Kurdish people helped victims themselves. … It is not a body that was established to help people. AFAD answers to [Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu], who supports gangs. Soylu himself answers to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan]. As such, we do not expect them to help. Maybe they are glad people are dead.”
The Syrian territory affected by the earthquake, Aleppo and Afrin, are under Turkey’s and the Syrian government’s control, Muslim continued. “We try to send support via various methods, but according to videos we have received from Jindires, the people have not received any support at all.”
Meanwhile the attacks in Kobane and its Menaz village “came from Russia’s camps”, Muslim said. “Russia is particularly silent. They lost 30 soldiers in these attacks, but they haven’t shared this anywhere in their announcements.”
“The guaranteer states are here to make sure there are no deaths and that the ceasefire is held up, but they remain silent when it is Kurds who die,” Muslim said.