STATEMENT : The Democratic Union Party office in Europe (PYD)

Monday, 10 June 2013 – To the public opinion! – The Kurdish people in western Kurdistan (northern Syria) constitute a population of 3.5 millions and make up around 15 % of the Syrian population.

Western Kurdistan is demographically pluralistic and is home to Kurds, Arabs, Yezîdî Kurds, Alawite Kurds, as well as Christians, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Armenians. The multi-ethnic and multicultural fabric of western Kurdistan has always lived in peace and harmony with one another. Since the beginning of the great Syrian revolution the Kurds rejected a militarization of the conflict and quickly denounced the brutal manner in which the regime cracked down on the peaceful protesters.

The Kurdish people rose in solidarity with the Syrian revolution and bitterly condemned the repressive ways of the regime. Very quickly the Kurdish protesters called for the overthrow of the regime, a position it has maintained ever since. It also condemned the increasingly strong engagement and intervention of external forces that tried, and still tries, to utilize the great cause of the Syrian revolution for their own narrow interests. Ever since the revolution the Kurds have focused on protecting themselves and their region from attacks by the Syrian regime and armed groups. These armed groups represent a myriad of forces ranging from salafist jihadist and petty crooks to fractions of Free Syrian Army. The protective measures undertaken by the Kurds, more notably by the Popular Protection Units (YPG) which are operating under highest political body in western Kurdistan, the Supreme Kurdish Council (DBK) has largely exempted the Kurds from the horrors of current the civil/sectarian war. The Kurds have installed new institutions and organizationa, effectively replacing the former political/social landscape of the Baath-party. This has enabled them to spare western Kurdistan from political economic free-fall and given them the tools to meet the basic needs of the general population. It has enabled them to harbor the countless displaced (a couple of hundred thousand) people and to assist those in most need.

Kurdish cities have been attacked countless times. Armed groups, chauvinists and fundamentalists, who refuse to recognize the pluralistic fabric of Syria, have attacked Serê Kaniyê, Til Temir, and more recently Efrîn, a city located in northwestern parts of Syria. For more than 10 days armed groups along with salafist elements have surrounded the city of Efrîn, effectively stopping the flow of goods, including medicine, baby milk, flour, vegetable oil and fuel, to the city. This policy of starvation is having terrible effects on the population of Efrin ranging to about million after the massive inflow of internal refugees. However, they haven’t been able to breach the defense of YPG.

It is our hope that the grave situation in Efrin will be discussed and highlighted in the Geneva II peace talks. We hope that the concerned parties will hear our message and we call upon the international community and the guardians of basic human rights, to take actions in order to put an end to the devastating siege on Efrin. It is our sincere hope that the question in western Kurdistan can be solved in a democratic and peaceful manner.