News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
Thousands have Yazidi refugees who have fled the Sinjar (Şengal) region of Southern Kurdistan have been denied entry into Turkey/Northern Kurdistan by the Turkish military and remain in a desperate situation, according to an article from Özgür Gündem.
The refugees, many of whom managed to flee north through the civilian corridors established by the YPG, have been left waiting on the Turkish border by the 15th border-stone across from Roboski. Turkish soldiers have met any attempts to cross the border with force.
A Yazidi Blockade
Many thousands of refugees who escaped the ISIS advance are now facing a similar situation as the one they faced on Mount Sinjar. Trapped in the mountainous regions of Kora Çalê and Keşen, they are struggling to protect their children and sick from the sun under the shade of rocks and what few trees they can find. They eat whatever food they can find and cooking is done in empty oil containers or cans.
Infants Are Hungry
Many mothers have been forced to give birth on the road and some have declined to give their new children names out of fear for their future. A woman named Nefiya Xelef, one of the mothers who gave birth during the flight, told the paper that her child grew worse every day as result of a lack of sufficient food, saying “I fled Sinjar with my husband’s sister and mother without knowing where we would go. There PKK fighters helped us. Thanks to them we were able to keep going. If it had not been for them we would not be alive today. But if we had only died we would have seen ourselves reduced to living like this.”
Gulê İlyas scavengers for firewood in order to cook for her young children. She tells the paper that she is grateful for the efforts made by the YPG and PKK on behalf of the people of Sinjar, saying “that YPG and PKK took responsibility for us from the day we left Sinjar until now showed the whole world that in fact we were not alone. The PKK took responsibility for us and our small children and took us as far as here by their own means.”
İlyas went onto to criticized the Turkish army, explaining that Turkish soldiers have met any attempts to cross the border with tear gas and stun grenades, adding “the scorching heat of the sun and these rocks and trees have now become like our second home.”
Zaman Newspaper: Private War
The newspaper Zaman, which is close to the Hizmet movement led by Fethullah Gülen and a former ally of the AKP government, has attempted to cover up the violence of ISIS in the same way they attempted to cover up the Roboski massacre. The paper ran a story yesterday titled “Yazidis at the Mercy of Human Smugglers” in which it blamed locals for exploiting the refugees while attempting to label them as ‘smugglers’ and ‘terrorists.’ A very similar strategy was employed following the Roboski massacre, in which the paper attempted to blame the victims by connecting them to smuggling and terrorism. Villagers from the villages of Roboski, Ortaköy, Gülyazı and Andaç – many of whom have worked hard to support the refugees – have condemned the paper and denounced the article as the work of a private war and a call for new massacres.