AFRİN – The last step towards changing Afrin's demographics was the the ban on speaking Kurdish. Democratic Society Education Committee Shehba Spokesperson Hena Kalo said that the names of streets, city centers and settlements in the city were changed from Kurdish into Turkish, and the people were forced to learn Turkish.
Steps towards changing the demographics of the Afrin Canton of Northern and Eastern Syria, which Turkey and the groups backed by Turkey took control of in 2018, are being implemented one by one. Afrin, where extensive attacks have been launched against the Kurdish population since the first day, they are trying to erase the traces of the Kurds. With the murders, extortion, plunder, destruction, abduction, human trafficking and massacres Afrin is being erased of any traces of the Kurds.
The last step taken in this context was the Kurdish language itself. Kurdish education given in schools was removed from the curriculum.
With the beginning of the attacks on the city, most of the people had to migrate to Shehba.
Democratic Society Education Committee Shehba Spokesperson Hena Kalo stated that the people of Afrin were displaced from their homeland, massacred and their belongings were plundered after their lands were occupied.
Stating that rape, torture and violence have been experienced extensively in Afrin, which is under occupation today, Kalo told that Turkey is hostile to the Kurds who are being targeted anywhere they are, whoever they are.
Stating that they have achieved a lot with the Rojava Revolution, and that education in the mother tongue is the foremost among these gains, Kalo noted that they opened schools by establishing a new education system.
'THEY ARE PILLAGING AND DESTROYING OUR LANDS'
Kalo said: "Children of our people flocked to schools. The Syrian state always banned our language before. Baathists were trying to Arabize us. However, we survived this stage with the revolution. We embraced the gains of the revolution. We opened schools in small towns, villages and districts under the leadership of thousands of teachers. This time, the Turkish state attacks our language. They approached with a policy of plunder and destruction wherever the Kurds had gains. They attacked Afrin with tanks, artillery and warplanes."
KURDISH WAS BANNED
Noting that Turkey's first focus after occupying Afrin was on education, Kalo said, "They said they would provide education in Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish. This was a deception. Kurdish was banned in Afrin in a short time. They only taught in Turkish and Arabic. They will try to impose Turkish on our people in Afrin. The names of streets, neighborhoods, villages and settlements in Afrin are being changed into Turkish.They are trying to assimilate our people with the language."
Emphasizing that Turkey launched these attacks with the support of international powers, Kalo said, "Schools were among the places they first targeted when attacking Afrin. They bombed and destroyed schools. Language is the identity of a people. An attack on the language is an attack on the people. This is how they approached us. If a people's language is banned or is facing extinction, it is not possible to talk about the existence of that people."
'AFRIN IS BEING TURKIFIED'
Kalo said: "Those who return to Afrin are arrested and interrogated. They are tried to be tortured to break their wills. Then they are demanding ransom from their families for them to be released. They are forced to learn to speak Turkish and threatened that if they do not learn to speak Turkish they have to leave Afrin. They are trying to Turkify Afrin. We educate children in their mother tongue. When they saw this, they say they will educate the children Kurdish. But they are lying. They are trying to implement this through ENKS. ENKS supports them. With this plan, they are using our people here as a tool for the tricks of the Turkish state. That's why our people should be careful and not be fooled by such games."
MA / Nazım Daştan - Leyla Cizirî