Three years have passed since the invasion of Afrin by Turkey and Turkish-backed mercenaries. The Yazidi community who live in Afrin (Efrin) are subject to numerous violations of rights, as reported by Hawar News. Yazidis in Afrin are forced to convert to Islam and women are forced to wear the black chador.
Two women spoke to Hawar News about what it is like to live in Afrin under Turkish occupation.
Sûadê Hiso, co-President of the Yazidis Union of the Afrin Canton, said, “The Turkish state and its mercenaries are attacking the sacred places of the Yazidis. They are destroying places that we consider divine. Yazidi people are also tortured and even kidnapped here”.
‘They release Yazidis for a ransom’
Hiso recalled the village of Bosoufane (Basufan) in the Şêrawayê district, which was besieged twice recently. “Dozens of villagers have been tortured and arrested”, she said. “Later, they released people for a ransom of 1,500 euros. A woman named Xezalê Selmo (45) lost her memory due to the torture she suffered. Another woman, Fatima Hemko, was killed in her home. Nercis Dawud and many Yazidi women were attacked by the Turkish state”.
She compared Turkey’s crimes to those of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Afrin. “ISIS, like the Turkish state, forced women to wear the black chador. ISIS forced women to give up their religion. Women were threatened with death. Yazidis who want to live their religion are forced to leave their land. The same things are happening again. Despite all this, the international community remains silent”.
‘The international community has to stop Turkey’
Gulê Cafer is a member of the Yazidis Union in Afrin. “Although the inhumane practices continue we will continue to resist”, she said. “There are 22 Yazidi villages in Afrin, and the Bosoufane (Basufan) village was under blockade for days. Yazidi children are being forced to change their religion. Families who refuse to do it face torture. Even the graves of Yazidis are being destroyed. The international community must see all this. The Turkish state must be stopped from committing these crimes”.