New party born in Raqqa

Mihemed Heci tells of the Syrian Future Party’s political manifesto and goals: only a political solution is viable for Syria.

Mihemed Heci (Assembly Member of the Syrian Future Party- Hizbi Syria Musteqbel and the Aleppo Provincial Chairman), spoke to ANF about how to bring a new breath into Syrian politics. Heci spoke of the project and political program of the new party born in Raqqa a few weeks ago and of the possible settlement to the Syrian crisis.

The people coming from all parts and provinces of Syria joined the party to respond to one crucial question, said Mihemed Heci: "What kind of Syria do we want?"

Heci added: ”We agreed that the Syrian crisis cannot be solved from outside, and that the Syrian people would find the solution by struggling shoulder to shoulder."

"Raqqa was liberated by the power of the Syrian people, - said Heci - and we wanted to make this congress claiming for unity in this city”.

As to the relations to develop with other political parties in Syria, Heci said: ”We need a new system, a new system of justice, so we are ready to meet all the political parties and forces in Syria, and we are ready to tell them our program and listen to their program."

Heci said that “Afrin was given to Turkey in order to hit Ghouta. The same happened to Jarablus and Bab sold in return for Aleppo”. But this, said Heci will not help to find a solution: “Selling Syria will not help peace”.

-Many parties, organizations and structures emerged during the last seven years of the war in Syria. Yours is a new party born in the past days. What is the purpose of establishing this party?

When the civil war begun, seven years ago, we wanted to set up a front. Here we were mentioning all the colors and voices of Syria. We were telling Syrian people to take part in this. Because this is a Syrian problem and it has to be solved in Syria. But this did not happen and as the days went by, the Syrian issue became an issue that transcended the borders of Syria. In Syria there used to be the regime and the parties affiliated to it, and there were parties that called themselves the opposition. But this 7-year war has shown us once again that there is no difference between them, they all have the same mentality. The 7-year war also produced a political void. This space needs to be filled. We said that some intelligentsia must come together and do something to fill this void. We decided to set up the Syrian Future Party to say something new, to develop a new political understanding.

-Could you tell us a little about the process of setting up this party? What is the most important issue around which the party was set up?

The intellectuals who came together had talks for over 6 months, made meetings and worked hard to establish this party. There are not only Arab intellectuals, there are Kurds, Armenians, Syrians, Turkmen. There are people from all parts of Syria. Because the crisis in Syria is not just a crisis related to the Arab or Kurdish people, but a matter that concerns all the Syrian people and their sensibilities. Everyone has suffered in this 7-year war and we have now reached a stalemate. The question we kept asking ourselves and the people we met was “Which kind of Syria do we want?” I guess the party was set up around this question, to try and give answers to it.

-Did you get answers as to which kind of Syria you want?

Yes, we did. Basically the answers which emerged spoke in favor of a democratic, fair, free and decentralized Syria. We actually made this congress using these words. We also wanted this party not to be limited to the North of Syria or to few Syrian provinces. The congress was attended by people from all the provinces of Syria. Tartus, Aleppo, Idlib… After that, we prepared the charter, principles and political program of our party and went to congress. 800 delegates and 200 guests participated in the conference in Raqqa. The congress voted 81 people to the party council, plus the party leader and his deputies.

-Have you identified a road map for the solution of the Syrian crisis?

We start from the unity of the peoples of Syria. Which is why we tried to gather people from every province. First of all, we have acted on the basis that everybody is suffering from this crisis and war. After that, we said that it is necessary to fight hand in hand, together as different Syrian nations and features. We agreed that this crisis cannot be solved from outside and that it is on the Syrian people to solve it fighting shoulder to shoulder.

-The party was set up in Raqqa: does this have a special or symbolic meaning?

For us, no city in Syria is different from the other. But Raqqa was the capital of DAESH, their reign and this city was liberated by SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). There was not only Kurds in the SDF, there were all the peoples of Syria, and Raqqa was ultimately liberated by the power of the Syrian people. We wanted to make the congress here to reclaim this spirit of unity.

-You are new in the political arena. What is your relation with other parties in Syria, the movements in the Middle East and the international community?

Our party was the target of some circles and some regional powers in the country. They attacked and criticised our political program, our rule, even before reading them. But we have relations both with independent patriotic figures and regional and international powers. Our main goal is to rescue Syria from this crisis and lay the foundations of a democratic, unified and free country. It is all that matters to us. What matters to us is the political party or some groups that are important to us and what the people say. The blood of this people has been shed in this country for 7 years. We want to stop the blood flowing. For that, let's talk about a political solution, let's listen to each other's programs.

-Aleppo is one of the cities where war has been widespread in Syria, and still the war continues around Aleppo. How does your Party address this occupation and what does it anticipate for the future of Syria?

Yes, for example, we were talking in Aleppo's Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood. This neighborhood is a very small place compare to the whole Aleppo. But thanks to its resistance, Aleppo ended up surviving. If Sheikh Maqsoud had fallen, the whole Aleppo would have fallen. All the peoples in Aleppo resisted, Kurds, Arabs, Armenians. They built a military force. This power was not an external force, they were the children of the people. We have resisted together, shoulder to shoulder, for 6 years. Most of the time, both the regime attacked and the gang attacked. Yet the people of Sheikh Maqsoud proved their own power. After a while, the regime was taken over, but if it were not for Sheikh Maqsoud, they could not survive. Why do I tell about Sheikh Maqsoud? Because in fact Sheikh Maqsoud was an example for all of Syria. We had no weapons, we had no food, but we had unity. This people did not resist with arms or anything else, but resisted with their will and unity, and then liberated many neighborhoods of Aleppo.

-A number of meetings have been held both in regional and international arenas for the resolution of the Syrian crisis. Geneva and Astana were the most prominent. What does your party suggest to these talks?

The Syrian crisis must be solved within Syria. We, independent personalities, some political forces, have been trying to explain this before. We also called the regime for those who act under the name of the opposition. But they were all labeled as terrorists or regime co-workers. The crisis has deepened and both international powers as well as regional forces entered the Syrian territory. But the Syrian people did not want it. At this point is when we decided to set up this party seeing the need for this political vacuum to be filled, the need to say to these powers to leave Syria, and let the Syrian people to decide about their own future. We need a new system of justice. For this, we are ready to meet with all the political parties and forces in Syria. We are prepared to tell our own program and listen to their program. If we do not get together around a common program, it is very difficult to overcome this crisis.

-You mentioned the intervention of the regional and international powers in the crisis in Syria. In the end, a dirty bargain was made over Afrin and the ground for the occupation of Afrin by the Turkish state was laid. What kind of project does your party have for the occupied territories of Afrin and Syria?

Why did they give Afrin to the Turkish State? To get Ghouta. Previously they sold Jarablus and Bab to Aleppo. Will the Syrian crisis be resolved by selling Syria this way? These are all the consequences of the intervention of the international and regional powers in the Syrian crisis. We do not see such bargains as a solution. We do not consider these powers to be moral and do not accept them. For example, is Afrin the sole goal of the Turkish state? No. They would like to see all territory from Aleppo to Iraq under their control. We believe that the crisis of Syria will be solved through political and diplomatic negotiations and through dialogue. We do not have an armed force. We foresee a political solution instead of an armed one. The regime also believed to solve the problem with arms. But what happened, did they solve it? No. Only destruction, plunder, death and victimization that would not be solved for decades arose from this. However, we do believe that eventually the political solution will have a voice.