World Kobani Day vs. Turkey’s Foul Position

save-kobaneToday, November 1, is World Kobani Day. Also known as the International Day of Solidarity for Kobani, events are being held in major cities around the world.

From Kurdish Human Rights Watch: “If Islamist terrorists capture Kobane, they will massacre the remaining of its population—some 3,000 civilians are believed still to be in Kobane. An ethnic cleansing is already taking place. About 300 villages in the region have already been emptied. For the first time in more than three thousand years there will be no Kurds in the Kobane region.

Capturing Kobane will also give ISIS a direct link between its positions in the Syrian province of Aleppo and its stronghold of Raqqa. From there, they will be able to launch attacks against the two other Kurdish regions: Efrin and Jazira.

So far, because of access issues local and international organizations have not been able to provide essential humanitarian to the over 180,000 refugees that fled to Turkey.

The refugees are in the streets, under bridges, parks and other common area structures. They need almost everything, but critical needs are water, food, tents and blankets. The winter is upon them and it is already cold at nights.”

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Meanwhile, another journalist is dead, a native son of Kobani is starving to death in Washington DC, Kurdish people are burying their fallen heroes and Turkey wants to continue pursuing their own agenda.

Serena Shim, a Lebanese-American journalist working for the Iranian channel, Press TV, had been reporting from the front lines near Kobani since the crisis erupted.  She reported that she had film showing Daesch (ISIS) militants crossing from Turkey’s border into Syria in the backs of trucks from NGO (non-government organizations) delivering humanitarian supplies to Syria.

“We were some of the first people on the ground –if not the first people – to get that story of…militants going in through the Turkish border…I’ve got images of them in World Food Organization trucks. It was very apparent that they were militants by their beards, by the clothes they wore, and they were going in there with NGO trucks,” she said.

She had expressed fears for her own safety. On Saturday, October 18, she reported receiving threats from the Turkish intelligence agency (MİT), saying they had accused her of spying. A report from her news agency confirmed the threat. “The Turkish intelligence agency has now accused our correspondent Serena Shim of being a spy,” said a Press TV report on Saturday.

“I’m very surprised at this accusation – I even thought of approaching Turkish intelligence because I have nothing to hide,” Shim said in the broadcast on Saturday.

“I am a bit worried, because…Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists…so I am frightened about what they might use against me,” she said.

Image via FaceBook

Image via FaceBook

Shim had been returning to her hotel after reporting from Suruç – a rural district near the Syrian border, where many foreign journalists are based. “Our correspondent Serena Shim has been killed near the Turkey-Syria border. Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene…their car collided with a heavy vehicle,” reported Press TV.

The driver of the vehicle was subsequently arrested, according to Turkish news agency Hurriyet, citing the Turkish Doğan News Agency. Press TV disputed this, alleging that both driver and vehicle have disappeared. We were unable to find any confirmation of the actual arrest, no person was named, no official was quoted.

People gathered in front of Shim’s house in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Wednesday, October 22, to attend a funeral ceremony held for the journalist.

Turkey remains unrelenting in the closed border near Kobani. They will allow Peshmerga forces to come from Iraq, but deny access to the Kurdish men from Kobani standing on the border less than a mile from the city. In fact, they use their vehicles and teargas to push observers, reporters and the Kurds from Kobani in Turkey back from the border periodically.

Down the road from Kobani is another crossing: 60 km east of Suruç, at the next border crossing in Akçakale. – this one very porous and open. Men are allowed through with little to no identification, with loads of whatever is in their vehicles – in ISIS HELD TERRITORY. Is there any wonder why most new recruits for ISIS arrive to Syria by traveling through Turkey? You didn’t assume they were crossing in Kobani, did you?

Moustafa Mohamad: ‘Fasting is the least I can do.’ Photo by Yerevan Saeed.

Moustafa Mohamad: ‘Fasting is the least I can do.’ Photo by Yerevan Saeed.

On Monday, October 20, Moustafa Muhamed began a hunger strike in Washington, DC, after traveling from his current home in Colorado to set up in Dupont Circle in the nation’s capital. He is a native son of Kobani, Syria and a former Parliamentarian and has an extremely personal view of the unfolding siege on his original home. His efforts include a petition addressed to President Obama.

Now that the Peshmerga forces are entering Kobani, we can not help but ask a few new questions that we think are deserving of some answers. How is it that Turkey can control what the Peshmerga can or can not do once inside the Syrian city of Kobani? Turkey’s demonstrated position has been that the Syrian Kurds are more a threat to them than is Daesch, yet the Rojava region of Syria, including Kobani, was the only stabilized region within Syria prior to the advance of ISIS. Erdogan insists on calling for a buffer zone between Turkey and Syria, which would remove the Syrian Kurdish communities from the Rojava region, a goal he has manufactured from this crisis in order to extinguish Kurds, not to repel Daesch. If he is successful in his effort, the reality would be further destabilization and millions more displaced Kurdish people with no where to go.

Why is the Turkish government denying humanitarian aid to reach Kobani? They have claimed there are no civilians left within the city, which was quickly proven to be incorrect. They have allowed passage of trucks with humanitarian supplies to cross the border in areas controlled by Daesch, knowing full well the supplies would most likely end up in the hands of Daesch, while preventing these same supplies from entering areas controlled by Syrian Kurds.

What is REALLY going on here? We call into question the legitimacy of a government which has signed treaties that it chooses to ignore; a government that has systematically sought to destroy or assimilate an entire ethnic group within its borders; a government which has made deals with terrorists while condemning others for doing so; a government whose policies have not provided any aid to millions of Kurdish refugees scattered throughout the country; a government that arrests and attacks the population for protesting its actions; a government that murders, imprisons and expels journalists regularly; a government that controls the media, internet and social media platforms to prevent the spread of truth. We can add to this list, but at the very least, we question how Turkey can remain a NATO power in good standing with the UN.

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