Is ethnic cleansing not a crime for everyone?

Ethnic cleansing is one of the most ordinary crimes in the world. We should be against ethnic cleansing regardless of wherever and whoever and against whom it is committed.

We should try to end this crime as if annihilating an epidemic.

But, the world is not a world of angels. We can see cases of ethnic cleansing anytime and anywhere. The list of ethnic cleansing incidents that are attempted and/or legitimized with various reasons is quite long.

The Syrian civil war that has been continuing for almost five years is creating a new incident of cleansing as well. The last one is staged by the People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the outlawed PKK's Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). This is not a claim made by Turkish sources alone, but also estimable international organizations.

Amnesty International announced that the YPG has been “committing crime of war” in Turkmen and Arab villages.

In a report by the U.S.-based institute, it was emphasized that the habitants of the region who are mostly Turkmens and Arabs are forced to migration, their villages are totally destroyed, and the people face intimidation policy.

It was reported that the YPG, which is part of the same top structure as the PKK, has been threatening the people saying “If you don't abandon this place, we will execute you all by shooting within 24 hours.”

According to the report titled, “We had nowhere else to go,” in the beginning of this summer, 14 villages and towns were searched and 37 people who were directly affected by the incidents were interviewed.

It was determined that in June 2014, the town of Husseiniya which had 225 residences has almost been erased from the map within one year by the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

It was reported that in June 2015, only 14 residences have remained standing.

The statements of a person called Ahmad living in the city of Ras al-Ayn which is just across from the town of Ceylanpınar were also shared. He said: “The PKK detained my son for 15 days. We never went back home [from fear of reprisals] but our neighbors told us that the PKK took our belongings and confiscated our home and shops.”

It was stated in the report that another resident in the region said: “They pulled us out of our homes, then they brought the bulldozers. They demolished home after home until the entire village was destroyed… They told us we had to leave or they would tell the U.S.-led coalition that we were terrorists and their planes would hit us and our families.”

"By deliberately demolishing civilian homes, in some cases razing and burning entire villages, displacing their inhabitants with no justifiable military grounds, the Autonomous Administration is abusing its authority and brazenly flouting international humanitarian law," said Lama Fakih, an official from Amnesty International.

Even if we assume that there some mistakes and exaggeration in Amnesty's report, it is obvious that the report is substantially correct.

However the previously received information which came from different sources verified the news on cleansing. The YPG is carrying out human cleansing operations in areas it has overtaken. However this cleansing is not only about the ethnic colors, it has a dimension beyond that.

The YPG is an organization under which some Kurds have come together. It has a hardideologicalline, it is socialist.

But socialism is not approved by all Kurds. That's why, besides the Turkmens and Arabs, the YPG is expelling the Kurds it could not get on well with ideologically.

Those who both know the characteristics of socialism and the outlawed PKK aren't surprised with this.

However the YPG's answer to the report, more truly the reaction it gave was interesting. In the statement it gave, the YPG, rather than presenting information in response, it was talking about punishing those who prepared this report.

The surprising thing is, in spite of the highly correct news on the cleansing, some people and circles are ignoring what has been happening and almost presenting the PKK as a movement of saints.

The history of the PKK is full of inhumane actions. The legitimacy of most demands of Kurds doesn't mean that the outlawed PKK is right.

Accepting this enslaves Kurds to the PKK. Another issue is that the innocents and victims are not always right and the wrongdoers may not always be mistaken in all cases.

There is no doubt that Kurds are innocent and aggrieved. But this doesn't mean that the PKK is a group of the aggrieved and innocent.

One day, those who are tyrannized can tyrannize the others.

Israel and the way it treats the Palestinians in the lands it occupied is an example. Hence, a conscientious stance requires to see and condemn every tyranny.

On the other hand, the international and supranational institutions can mostly dissuade ethnic cleansing by guaranteeing and announcing that the land property and the distribution of the population will be the same as they were before the war in Syria.

The attitude of the YPG in the region is an indication of what an ultimate PKK dominance could cause. I hope especially the Kurds can see this sign.



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