MEP Ward: There is a form of ethnic cleansing in Afrin

Julia Ward who belongs to the left wing of the European Parliament said that Erdogan would benefit the transformation into a mono culture in the previously multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Afrin.

The delegation from UK has arrived Rojava on the 8th of May as part of the campaign “Women Rise Up For Afrin” of Kongreya Star, the umbrella organization of women of Rojava. 

After visiting Kobanê and Cizîre cantons, PYD, Syrian Democratic Council, Jinwar the women’s village, Kongreya Star and culture-arts institutions as well as economy institutions, the delegation wanted to visit Shehba in order to observe the situation of the refugees from Afrin. Due to the closed roads they could not cross to Shehba. They visited a family which was settled in Kobanê.

A member of the delegation, Julia Ward, who is a left wing parliamentarian commented on her observations and the occupational attacks of the Turkish state for ANF.


Emphasizing the number of supporters of the Afrin resistance inside the parliament, Julia Ward said: “This is not the case in the British Parliament, currently we have a very right-wing conservative government. They are busy with making unholy trade deals with Mr. Erdogan to sell arms, military equipment and training. 

This is because of Brexit. Because Theresa May needs to find trade partners as she will not have any trade within the EU. She is holding hands with president Trump who is an abomination and she is going to meet Mr. Erdogan who is another abomination. These trade deals are much about military hardware.


Julia Ward continues her words by saying it is very inspiring to be in Rojava and said: “Women are in the center of the resistance. I understand the concept of defense; defending your values, defending it in every way, defending it through education, through participation, through economic activities. And also the women who choose to fight.

I am a pacifist. It is quite challenging for me to meet women who are prepared to take up arms to fight. I see it, I have a great respect for the women who do this. Also women of my own country like Anna Campbell who came here to defend these values, too.”


Expressing their willingness to visit the camps in Shehba, Julia Ward told her observations after visiting a family who fled from Afrin: “We met woman, her husband, sister and her mother. The woman had new born twins and another child, 3 years old. Her mother was very disabled and her husband had been injured. I directly met and talk with a refugee family from Afrin. I heard their situation, their distress, their fear.

They have been given a temporary home in Kobanê but they had to leave our olive trees, we had to leave our animals. Here are people who had been self-sufficient by growing their own food, by looking after their animals, by having this extended family. There are thousands of people displaced by the Turkish military’s actions. The most important thing is we have met people who have been directly affected by the conflict.”  

Julia Ward said she talks about the truth when she is in the parliament so that she will be able to report about the situation with the refugees on a personal level. She said: “What these people want is to return to their homes. We need to find a way for them to go back to their rightful homes. They cannot go back while the place is dangerous, when they may be subject to more violence. There has to be an effort to make Afrin safe for them.

What is really worrying is, we are hearing, that people are being brought into Afrin and given these homes. There is a demographic shift in the population, which is a form of ethnic cleansing. This kind of situation happened in other parts of the world and it creates a real problem in the long term. We have to recognize this in the international political scene. This creates an additional barrier in the question of how to overcome the situation. Afrin was a place of diversity, there were many different communities lived there in peace together. They did not have a problem whit each other. There was a mutual tolerance and respect. To have a mono culture would be in Mr. Erdogan’s interest, and this is a real problem.”