Xelil: International powers should be guarantors - PART II

The second part of Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) Diplomacy Officer Aldar Xelil's interview with the ANF about current matters is as follows.

The second part of Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) Diplomacy Officer Aldar Xelil's interview with the ANF about current matters is as follows.

-Your committee had visited Russia. What did you discuss with them?

Our committees visited many countries at the same time, not just Russia. Some committees are still on these visits, some are back. Our agenda is how we will resolve the Syrian issue. As you know, Russia has plans and projects over Turkey in Syria. They also have a weight against the US and the international coalition. Russia offers Turkey quite a bit of support. This has been seen most clearly during the invasion attacks against Afrin. This must be remembered: All states act in their own interest. Despite this, we want to add to their agenda. If we can, this will be most useful. On this basis, our meetings continue. Not just with Russia, but with other powers as well. We are working on multiple aspects here. We are using our own strength and diplomacy. These efforts of ours are supported by our people through mass democratic actions. Other countries should know that we want a democratic, principled solution with the regime. If a solution develops on this basis, Turkey’s invasion attacks will be prevented and the struggle waged with great sacrifice will be protected.

-It was said that tduring the invasion attacks against Afrin, regime units crossed into Afrin. And now the same situation is present in Manbij. Could this prevent Turkish state attacks?

The issue is not one group or several coming. We say, let’s sit down for a principled alliance on a democratic foundation. Let’s develop a principled alliance. We have a system. Again, we have administrations under that system. Our issue should be this: How can we make the region safe and guarded, starting with borders? If there is a principled alliance, the central government will be defending the borders. If this develops, Turkish state attacks against the Syrian state or the autonomous administration won’t be in question.

The Afrin issue was different. During that period, the forces that arrived in Afrin were not officially regime allied. They were groups we can call militias under the Syrian army. No forces allied with the regime entered Manbij. The regime allied forces are in the Arima region, which is a kind of buffer zone between our forces and the Turkish state and their allied gangs. So it is a border. Along this border, there are Russian and regime troops together. They were in this area before as well. Some forces demanded that we take positions in this area, Some had come and taken position there. This does not mean everything. The essential thing is that the regime recognizes and acknowledges the autonomous administration. Northern Syria should be governed by the diverse ethnic and faith groups who live in the region. We should also have a relationship with Damascus. This is a sign for how we can come to an agreement, really.

-In Bashure (Southern) Kurdistan, international powers decided for a no-fly zone following the Saddam regime’s attacks. Is the same on the table for Northern and Eastern Syria? Could international powers take steps towards a no-fly zone?

Some countries want to see this discussed, and they have said so. It could be brought on the agenda in the Council of Europe. There are such efforts. There is a traffic of meetings in progress about how and at what level it should be. Certain things will become clear after these series of meetings. But there is a risk, that if the UNSC members veto it, this may not come to pass. That situation is on the agenda, albeit in a small way. First, the international powers could come between us and the Turkish state and act as guarantors. The Turkish state always uses Rojava as an excuse and says it’s very presence is “dangerous” for them. To remove this excuse, we said the international powers could come to the border regions and all could see whether it was us who transgressed or them. We have no such intentions. Second is the no-fly zone. This area should be declared a no-fly zone. This is not such a cheap issue. This is on the agenda, but there is nothing clear about the outcome. What the outcome will be is unknown.

-Turkey constantly speaks of a “threat”. They say you are “on the Turkish border”. Where is this fear coming from?

Our project is a threat against them, because our project is a democratic one. Our project is the unity of peoples, it is against war. Our project is the project to not give any path to ISIS, to Al Nusra. Our project is a project to resolve all issues. Our project is a project for freedom. The Turkish state always fears this project because of these. What does the Turkish state want? They want to pit the local peoples against each other. They want Arabs, Syriacs and Kurds to fight each other. They want a system of slavery, of women’s slavery. They don’t want democracy. They don’t want society to be free. They don’t want the Kurdish issue to end, that is why we are a threat to them.

-What role should Bashur play in this process?

The nation, the political parties, even the government should see the true face of the Turkish state in Bashure Kurdistan and they should make statements. The people of Bashur should remember what they did during the referendum process, the Turkish state objected because they didn’t want Kurdish gains. All the people of Bashur, the administration and all of the government should see this. The Turkish state invaded Jarablus, Bab and Afrin and still they are not satisfied. Up to now, the Bashur administration didn’t say anything, and the voice that the people sometimes raised has remained weak. The people of Bashur are peaceful heroes. Great leaders have come out of this people. Why are they silent in the face of invasion now? If this silence continues, it won’t just be Rojava that falls, Bashur will go too. Erdogan keeps saying he will instate the Misak-i Milli (the “National Pact”), according to which Kirkuk, Aleppo and Mosul are within Turkish borders and it would be legitimate to invade them. He wants to invade these areas. The Rojava border is brought to the fore front, but tomorrow Bashur will fall too. All the people of Bashur should rise up everywhere in Bashur against this invasion.

-What are your plans for Afrin?

Our struggle continues in the military and the diplimatic areas. There is a fact in Afrin that the demographics of the region are being changed. Their humanitarian values are being destroyed. For that, our multi-faceted meetings continue. Many documents and folders have been prepared and sent to relevant authorities. On the other hand, the people of Afrin are living in the Shehba region under harsh conditions. They say they won’t abandion their villages and their city, that they were forcibly removed from their lands but they will always stand with their city and resist these harsh living conditions. On the other hand, the YPG/YPJ resistance continues in Afrin. YPG and YPJ fighters resist heroically and I salute them. The resistance will continue until Afrin is free.

First part of the interview can be found below: