Thousands of Êzidîs at AFAD camp in Midyat treated like prisoners

Thousands of Êzidîs out of the 30 thousand who took to the roads once more after ISIS attacked Shengal in 2014 are still unsure of the future.

The Êzidîs who suffered a 73rd genocide with the ISIS attacks and were settled in the Fidanlık Camp by the Yenişehir Municipality in Amed 3 years ago have been transferred to the state-run AFAD camp in Mardin’s Midyat district by the order from the trustee appointed to the Yenişehir Municipality and the Diyarbakır Governorate.

Êzidîs spoke to ANF about the injustice they are subjected to in the camp, they are allowed to go to the center one day of the week and some have said that the aid given to them for supplies and food has ended.

Êzidîs who were forced to move from Amed to the AFAD camp in Midyat have no access to health services, nor can they fulfill their religious duties or walk around freely. Êzidîs say their condition worsened after the Fidanlık Camp in Amed and that they are living like prisoners in the AFAD camp.


Bişar Elî (42) took to the road for 20 days with his wife and children during the ISIS attack on Shengal and walked to Zakho from the corridor that was opened and then travelled to Turkey from there. Elî said the following:

“We haven’t overcome the psychological effects of the pain we went through. While we were settled in the Fidanlık Camp in Diyarbakır, we felt that we were over the threat to our lives. Because my children are very small, we saw that they were affected deeply by what we had to endure, and we were worried. We did feel like we would be able to overcome this feeling a while after we were settled in the camp. Because on top of feeling safe in the camp, our children’s education and health needs were seriously taken care of. And there were many alternatives set up for us adults. For example, we did planting and gardening, we both produced things and it felt good in making us forget what we went through to some extent. In time, our production network grew and we did see the advantages that came with production. But they brought us here from the Fidanlık Camp. This place has nothing to do with where we were staying before. There were Syrian asylum seekers in this camp, and we were settled among them. There was discrimination between us and the Syrians. At first, our health issues weren’t taken too seriously and we almost never got to leave the camp. Later on, they did allow us to leave the camp to go to the city center for one day a week, but that sometimes changes and we are not allowed out for 2 weeks. I can say that we are living like prisoners in this camp.”


Xeyder Hiseyn, one of the Êzidîs forcibly settled in the Midyat AFAD camp, said that they could leave the Fidanlık Camp in Amed whenever they wanted and that they never had any problems with their needs, but in this camp they can only leave for 1 day a week. Hiseyn continued: “We could go out whenever we wanted in the Fidanlık Camp. The people of Amed visited us frequently, so we had a connection with them. We visited each other often. The people of Amed and the municipality never held back support for us, but since we came here, we can tell that this place is very different. We were taken here against our will, and we are living like prisoners.”