Vigil at Semalka border crossing continues

For a week now, a vigil has been held around the clock at the Sêmalka border crossing in Rojava. Families are demanding the delivery of the bodies of the guerrillas fallen in an ambush by the KDP.

The Martyrs’ Families Assembly in Northeast Syria started a vigil on 5 October demanding the delivery of the bodies of the guerrillas fallen in a KDP ambush in Xelîfan. The vigil at the KDP-controlled Sêmalka border crossing between Rojava and South Kurdistan has become a focus of protest against the KDP's collaboration with Turkish fascism. For a week, various groups have been taking over the vigil around the clock. The families of the martyrs announce that the action will continue until the remains are handed over. The families are asking in particular for the delivery of the remains of guerrillas Nesrîn Temir (Tolhildan Raman) and Yusif Îbrahîm (Serdem Cûdî), who came from Rojava.

"When our patience is exhausted, we will tear down the border"

In this ANF interview, participants report on their motivation. Hogir Qamishlo from the TEV-DEM youth warns the KDP: "The people are taking part in the action in Sêmalka en masse. Hundreds of young people are there. They say, 'We have run out of patience, it's enough.' As youth we say that if they don't hand over our fallen as quickly as possible, we will tear down the border. The KDP needs to know that every mother and adolescent is angry about this betrayal. This betrayal by Mesûd and Neçîrvan Barzani is unacceptable. It was the PKK, the guerrillas in the mountains, that followed the cry for help from Shengal, Rojava and Kobanê. The PKK stands ready for Kurdistan, the Kurdish people and the whole world."

Hevrîn Xelef's mother at the vigil

Suad Mistefa, the mother of the General Secretary of the Syrian Future Party, Hevrîn Xelef, who was murdered two years ago by mercenaries of the Turkish state, is also taking part in the campaign against the betrayal of the KDP. "The action that we started at the Sêmalka border crossing is ongoing," she said. "We will continue our action until we receive our dead from our so-called 'brothers'. If our dead were in the hands of others, we would say ‘They are with the enemy, with the traitors’. Unfortunately, their corpses are in the hands of our Kurdish brothers. We expect them to deliver our fallen to us."

The action continues into the night

Activists also continue the sit-in at night, around a fire on the border crossing. Sometimes they sing lamentations, sometimes resistance songs. Again and again they shout across the border river Xabûr: "Death to treason, long live the resistance of the guerrillas."

One of the singers at the border says of the KDP: “We hoped that there would be no war between us. But unfortunately that is exactly what is happening. Let us stop the 'fratricidal war' and unite against the enemy. It is enough. It is the time to unite and work together against the enemy."

The KDP prevents peace mothers from crossing the border

On Monday, 26 peace mothers from the Jazira region tried to cross the Sêmalka border to reclaim the bodies of their martyrs. The KDP refused them entry. Then they started a sit-in.

Turkish secret service and KDP take action

As ANF sources report, the DPK regards the action as a threat and has requested support from the Turkish secret service. As a result, special forces from MIT were deployed at the border. On the southern Kurdish side of the Sêmalka border crossing - called Pêşxabûr - MIT units are already deployed anyway. It was previously known that the MIT interrogated travellers from or to Rojava and required forms with questions from the secret service to be filled.