“Northern Syria.” Get used to it — the term is going to be thrown around a lot. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose days are said to be numbered, has abandoned the Turkish border region. The Kurds are now in charge of the Kurdish villages in that area.
Actually, it would be more accurate to speak of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) — the Syrian extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) — being in charge in Northern Syria. If reports circulating are true, Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani has dispatched 2,000 of his fighters to control the region. Some reports say these fighters are already in Syria, while others say they are waiting at the border.
Will the PKK and the PYD allow them to cross over? Will the PYD, which mostly obeys PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, fight Barzani’s force? Or will the two reach an understanding?
The Afrin and Koban areas are now under the control of Kurdish militias. Directly opposite from Nusaybin in Turkey lies Kamishli, an important location. Assad’s soldiers are about to leave the area, and if they do, the region will be completely Kurdish. It will likely then be taken over by the PYD.
In the first days of the Syrian uprising, the PYD supported Assad, not the rebels. It even clashed with the Free Syrian Army several times. In return, Assad gave them all kinds of arms. This means that the PYD was supported both by Assad and the PKK. There are over 1,500 PYD Syrian fighters in the Kandil Mountains with the PKK, who might then carry out operations in Turkey. We are at the doorstep of an autonomous region. There will be a Kurdish Northern Syrian Administration, just like that in Northern Iraq.
We call it Northern Iraq, but the Kurds of Northern Iraq call it West Kurdistan. They see it as an extension of their own region, as another West Bank.
We will soon see the West Kurdistan flag flying. This might be seen as Assad’s latest ploy against Ankara.
We were supposed to be brothers with the Syrian Arabs
Turkey was the first country to open its gates to those fleeing Assad’s cruelty. Tent camps and container cities were quickly set up. We were not nearly as quick in responding to the victims of the massive Van earthquake. It took us months to move victims from tents to container houses. Many froze that winter.
Those fleeing Syria did not suffer the same fate. The weather did help, but container cities were set up at record speeds and close to 50,000 Syrian refugees moved in. They were given bedding, refrigerators, everything they needed.
After all, we were brothers. And in any case, it was our duty as humans.
Then Assad began shelling the Turkmen of Latakia, and 1,500 Turkmen were brought to the Islahiye Camp in Gaziantep Province.
How could they?
The Syrian Arabs in the camp mutinied. They took down the Turkish flag and hoisted their own. They attacked our police and took hostages. We quelled their uprising against the arrival of the Turkmen with pepper gas.
We were supposed to be brothers, but this is the reality: We see them as brothers but they don’t see us the same way.
In any case, it is not logical for us to be brothers; the Turks and the Arabs cannot be brothers.
At most, we can be friends.
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