German doctor and political activist Michael Wilk has recently visited Kobani (Kobanê) city in northern Syria to deliver donations collected as part of the city partnership with the Berlin district of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, reported tagesschau news website.
The donations were aimed at aiding the residents affected by Turkey’s attacks on civilian infrastructure in northeastern Syria since the beginning of October.
The timing of Dr Wilk’s visit fell just prior to with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s planned visit to Germany on 17 November. The doctor expressed concern over the reception Erdoğan might receive, saying, “If this man is welcomed when he comes to Germany soon, there will be bloody hands shaken.”
Wilk further criticised the double standards in Europe, where leaders engage with Erdoğan despite his actions that “terrorise and displace people”.
The donation handover ceremony took place in the city administration building, situated just a few metres from the border with Turkey. When Wilk noticed a hole in the wall, the co-Mayor Rawsan Abdi led him to a hallway, where he observed 20 bullet holes in the wall facing the Turkish border.
“I learned that the town hall is repeatedly and randomly shot at by Turkish border guards with heavy machine guns. The employees are exposed to the impact of the bullets,” Wilk told tagesschau.
Describing the current situation, Wilk stated, “When someone drives his tractor across the field, it is hit by grenades or bombs. Anyone who cultivates their field does so at the risk of their life.” This has led to depopulation in some parts of the border region, with entire towns standing empty.
Dr Wilk expressed concern about the contradictory stance of NATO, where Turkey receives funds to curb refugee flows while simultaneously contributing to the refugee crisis. He emphasised the need to address the root causes of displacement and pledged to continue his involvement in the region, serving as an emergency doctor in Kurdish hospitals and bringing donations from Germany.
Dr Wilk has been actively involved in supporting the people of northern Syria since 2014. He has worked closely with Hevya Sor a Kurd, the Kurdish Red Crescent, providing medical assistance to those in need.