Self-government and self-defense against massacres

TEV-DEM’s Kemal Akif held weekly press conference to discuss latest political developments.

Kemal Akif, spokesperson of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) Diplomatic Relations Committee, spoke about the Shengal genocide anniversary, the Astana talks, Afrin, the meeting between delegations of the Syrian Democratic Council and Syrian regime and the return of refugees at the weekly press conference in Qamishlo.

'Self-administration and self-defense against massacres'

Speaking about the Shengal genocide, Kemal Akif said: “3 August marks the fourth anniversary of the Shengal genocide against Yazidi Kurds. On this anniversary we want to commend all our martyrs and the heroic resistance that YPG and guerrilla forces carried out to protect the people of Shengal”.

Akif added: “Once again we want to reiterate that self-defense and self-government are the only way to avoid these massacres. We will support our peoples in establishing such a self-administration and self-defense system”.

‘No Free Syrian Army in Afrin, only Turkish state-supported mercenaries’

Drawing attention to the situation in Afrin, Kemal Akif said: “The Turkish state continues to commit crimes in Afrin. In Afrin there is no organisation called ‘Free Syrian Army’ left. What we find in the area are all ‘national’ forces and mercenaries linked to the Turkish state”.

The resistance, said Akif, “has reached its second stage and our people continue to fight for the liberation of Afrin. We call on everyone to unite in the support for the resistance and liberation struggle. The withdrawal from Afrin was a strategic decision and cannot be reversed”.

Jafari’s statement disappointing

Commenting on the Astana talks in Sochi, Kemal Akif said that the declaration by Bashar Jafari [Syrian government representative] according to whom there is no need for a new Constitution was disappointing.

Akif said: "Once again, we emphasise that initiatives carried out outside of Syria and not based on a dialogue process among Syrians will not actually solve the problem. There is a deep problem in Syria that needs to be solved by going to the roots and causes of the crisis”.

Akif added: “The states calling for solutions in Syria must reach all active forces in Syria. On the other hand, the Syrian regime representative Bashar Jafari said there is no need for a new constitution. This we consider a negative step. Such a statement shows that the regime is still ignoring the current situation in Syria and approaching the situation the old way”.

Meeting in Damascus a first step

Addressing the issue of the Syrian Democratic Council (MSD) delegation visit to Damascus, Akif said: “TEV-DEM is following statements and information coming out after that meeting and so far no visible development can be detected. The visit represented a first step”.

According to Akif, “this visit was an initial step aimed at seeing if there was a possibility for negotiations. The parties agreed to form Committees. This is not a negotiation commission, the task of these committees is to draft a road map. The MSD represents all Syrian peoples”.

Akif also reminded that “the Kurdish issue is an issue that the MSD is working on as part of the solution of the problems of the Syrian peoples. We believe that the negotiations that should take place with the regime would be of interest for all sectors”.

The situation of Syrian refugees

TEV-DEM’s Kemal Akif finally touched upon the issue of the return of Syrian refugees. “There is much talk about the return of Syrian refugees. - he said - We think that refugees and their return should not be treated as political bargain material. We believe refugees should return to their houses and lands. To this end, we consider that the policies of demographic change should be banned if we are serious about return”.