Hani Al-Jamel, a director of Al-Kinana Center for political and Strategic Studies, said that the task of preserving Afrin’s identity and its cultural and human heritage is a major duty and a task of Arab intellectuals.
He participated in the activities of the International Dialogue Forum on “Afrin is between the Turkish occupation and international interests”, along with many Arab politicians and jurists through the ZOOM program.
Al-Jamel said that “the Turkish occupation of Afrin has made it a hostile base in the region” stressing the need for Arab intellectuals from different countries to play an active role to preserve the self-identity and document the human heritage in it and expose the crimes committed against its people during the international silence.
Al-Jamel also pointed to the need to mobilize the people and expose the humanitarian crimes carried out by the Turkish occupation in Afrin through the media and doing festivals, meetings and even field visits and appeal to international organizations and civil society organizations in Arab and international way “to face the spectre of removal”.
The researcher pointed to the systematic practices by the Turkish occupation towards Afrin and its ancient modern seeking to combine it to Turkey where “Turkey has declared its goal to confront Kurdish groups and protect its border with Syria, but recent history reveals the opposite,” where he cited the statement of the Turkish defense minister when he talked about the subordination of Afrin to Turkish territories in accordance with the Charter on which Turkey is based to prove that it did not lose Afrin in the World War but it was forced to cede it under the Lausanne agreement in 1923.
“The Turkish occupation has sought for several years to change the identity of Afrin and its landmarks and make its identity as a Turkish identity, in addition to the demographic change and the increase in kidnappings, killings and the exposure of civilians to repeated kidnappings for ransom, which the militants describe it as a lucrative trade,” said the director of Al-Kinana Center for studies of violence and changes.
“The situation of women is the worst in these areas, where many cases of murder and rape have been documented, as well as attacks that occur in public,” he said. “They did not stop there, but included people, nature and everything through the theft and destruction of archaeological sites, control on Indigenous people, building mosques in Yazidi villages and building more than 18 settlements by political Islam Associations quickly with Turkish encouraging, which “represents the reality of the Turkish occupation of Afrin and prepares to combine it later” according to what was mentioned by Al-Jamel.
At the end of his participation, he called to support the initiatives launched in the recent period, both inside and outside of Afrin, in order to launch campaigns to prosecute Erdogan and his mercenaries in these areas in order to achieve his colonial purposes.