Turkey Settles Chinese Uyghur in Kurdish Homes in Rojava

Turkey Settles Chinese Uyghur in Kurdish Homes in Rojava

One of the most insidious, and yet successful aspects of Turkey’s ethnic cleansing policies towards the Kurds has been resettling of other oppressed groups in Kurdish homes. In Afrin we saw efforts to resettle displaced Palestinian families; and now we are seeing in the city of Gire Sipi (Tel Abyad) efforts to settle the persecuted Chinese Uyghurs- a minority Turkic ethnic group currently under heavy persecution by the Chinese government, forced into detention camps and widely thought to face genocide by the government. These policies fit neatly into the ethnic cleansing policies of Erdogan, along with removing Kurdish symbols, language, names and establishing Turkish schools with a heavy focus on radicalization, regression of women’s rights, and widespread violence towards remaining Kurds and minorities.

So what are Chinese Uyghur doing in Syria? as far back as 2018 analysts warned that there was a massive influx of radicalized Uyghur in Syria. Back in the same year, a radical group called the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) attempted to establish an Islamic State in Idlib. Evidence suggests that TIP was functioning along with other radical groups in Syria as far back as 2011. Largely inspired by the Taliban and Alqaeda, TIP and other radicalized Chinese Uyghur numbered as high as 5000 at one point in the country. The radicalized often travel through Turkey to cross over into Syria and appear increasingly to work with Turkish backed proxies in the ethnic cleansing campaign currently underway against the Kurds, Yezidi and Christians in the region.

What is disturbing is that these policies have faced complete silence and lack of condemnation by the international community. International human rights groups such as Amnesty have remained utterly silent over this resettlement policy. Substituting one oppressed or stateless group by removing the Indigenous peoples of a particular territory- especially if they are Muslim- serves an old and consistent regional imperialist and colonial approach towards Kurds who are widely thought as “infidels”; along with that of the already heavily persecuted Yezidis and Christians sharing the land with the Kurds. There appears to be tacit support for Turkey’s policy of ethnic cleansing, especially if it means at least a third of the currently 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey will be resettled into these emptied Kurdish homes. The conspiratorial silence is loud in its indefensible immorality.

It is an old colonial ploy to argue that the oppressed have no choice. It is a weak argument to state that Palestinians, displaced Arabs in Syria and Chinese Uyghur settling in occupied Kurdish regions and homes have no alternatives or choices. To choose to settle in the homes of families forcibly removed at gun point is a deliberate choice. It is the critical and fine line where the oppressed become the oppressor. No one is asking the oppressed to die with dignity- silently, homeless, stateless and traumatized. However, settling in the homes of likewise terrorized and oppressed groups or to radicalize to the point of joining murderous and child-beheading terrorists is a deliberate and active choice. Settling in fellow oppressed group’s homes is not the answer to this oppression. Combating the systematic violence, oppression and foundational ideology of genocide and ethnic cleansing of the stateless is the response. Perhaps because Rojava’s Revolution attempted to subvert and break this ideology that it is now being invaded, occupied and attacked by a collaborate international silence and conspiracy; and what better way to gain support for this ethnic cleansing than to have one group of openly oppressed settle into the homes of the murdered and the displaced?

Hawzhin Azeez

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