MESOP NEWS : ISIS Threatens Yezidi Refugees In Turkey

ROJAVA REPORT 20-8-2014 – ISIS militants have threatened Yezidis seeking refuge in a UN refugee camp in Turkey with death if they do not leave, according to an article from DİHA carried by Özgür Gündem. Many Yezidis have sought refugee in Turkey/North Kurdistan, and parts of Rojava and South Kurdistan following the attack by ISIS on Sinjar (Şengal) that forced hundreds of thousands to flee.

ISIS Threats In Aksaray

The threats were made to Yezidi families seeking refuge in the UN-run Aksaray Refugee Camp in Şirnak (Şirnex) Province. A Yezidi man named Basım Şemo who was staying in the camp with his family explains how he was approached by four men with long beards and speaking Arabic. The men told him “we know very well where you came from. You came here from Sinjar and we do not want to see you. If you do not go away from here we will kill you.”Şemo went on to explain that many Yezidi families have been forced to leave the camp and seek refuge in other camps in Amed (Diyarbakir) and Midyat. Xirto Hemo – a Yezidi staying in accommodation organized by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Ministry AFAD in the Silopi district of Şirnak Province – said that his sister and her children staying in the Aksaray camp were under threat. “Our relatives in Aksaray called us on the telephone” he said “and they told us they have been given death threats. We are worried for their lives.” Hemo added that 6 Yezidi families have left the camp for Amed following the threats. Hemo also expressed confusion over who exactly was responsible for the threats and demanded that authorities take steps to guarantee their safety, saying “we do not know who is threatening our relatives. Whether or not it is ISIS. But we want the safety of our relatives staying there to be guaranteed immediately.   

Turkish Military Hinders Fleeing Yezidis

Yezidi Kurds fleeing to North Kurdistan have also faced pressure from Turkish soldiers. Those without passports were not allowed to cross the border and soldiers cut off an escape route through the district of Qilaban (Uludere) in Şirnak that had been established by local villagers. Yezidis were also hindered from entering North Kurdistan by military barricades set up along the Şirnex-Colemêrg (Hakkari) road and in the areas around the Habur border crossing.

Among those who were refugees passage are infants, the wounded and ill. HDP MP Selma Irmak joined a number of DBP co-mayors from Qilaban and Beşêbab (Beytüşşebap) in calling on the residents of Qilaban to support those Yezidis who were not allowed to cross with food and other basic necessities. Following a meeting with the Governor of Şirnak Province and local district governors, Irmak and the co-mayor of Qilaban Zeynep Üren convinced local officials to allow the Yezidis passage into Northern Kurdistan