The olive groves of Zirgan abandoned due to Turkish invasion

People in villages in the northern Syrian region of Zirgan live from agriculture and the yield of their olive groves. But since the occupation of Turkey, the only livelihood people has been taken away.

Several hundred thousand people have had to leave their homes since the beginning of the Turkish war of aggression against northern Syria on 9 October. The images of plundering by Turkish-backed gang groups in the houses and apartments left behind have been circulating for weeks on the media. Most of the people had to leave their homes and all their belongings as quickly as possible in order to save their lives.

The town of Zirgan (Abu Rassan) in the east of Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) is in the immediate vicinity of the territory occupied by Turkey. Many people have already left the town and the surrounding villages. They fear that the Turkish army and its Islamist partners could next attack their settlement areas. They are already exposed to continuous attacks from the occupied territories.

Only a few people still live in the village of Rabiat near Zirgan. Most of them have also fled here. Idris Hüseyin, who still in the village, describes the situation on the spot to ANF as follows: "We and our neighbours still live here in the village. However, we are bombed here as well just like the villages of Til Werd and Ereb Xan. There are also air raids. Often we don't notice the bombardment until the missiles hit. Then the dust is stirred up everywhere.  But we don't want to leave the land of our ancestors. Many have already fled. They have left behind their land and their possessions."

Hüseyin tells us that the olive groves of Zirgan have now been abandoned. These groves are the gift of their ancestors to them, he says. But now, due to the attacks, not even the olives can be harvested from the trees. Because he saw the condition of the displaced population in Hesekê with his own eyes, with numerous people staying in empty buildings, schools and on the streets, he does not want to leave his village.

"Here we had a good life. We had good relations with our Arab neighbours. There were also Christians and Armenians among our neighbours," tells Hüseyin and notes that the land of the Christians and Armenians in the occupied territories have been confiscated by Turkey’s gangs.

Hüseyin does not know how life in the village will continue. Because without the possibility on agriculture and the olive harvest there would be no income. He calls on the international public to finally take a decisive stand against the war of Turkey, so that the people in the region can take up a normal life again.