For the last four years, Turkey and its terrorist factions such as ISIS and the Syrian National Army have carried out all kinds of crimes against the Kurds in the city of Afrin. All the crimes that Turkey and its terrorist factions have committed in Afrin are classified as genocide and crimes against humanity according to Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention of the United Nations General Assembly of 9 December 1948. Cases of destruction, kidnapping, ransom, sexual violence, and the systematic destruction of the environment are increasing day by day, and all this taking place before the eyes of the world with no apparent reaction. Because of the silence of the global political systems, the people of Afrin people are trying to influence global public opinion by conveying the image of their tragedy, by the use of peaceful, civil means.
On the fourth anniversary of the Turkish aggression against Afrin, a human rights organisation (The National Initiative for Afrin) launched hashtag #TurkeyOutOfEfrîn at 7 pm last Wednesday (19 January), in an attempt to remind the world of what is going on in Afrin, and to convey their voice to international decision-makers. The main goals of hashtag #TurkeyOutOfEfrîn are to grab the attention of the international community and to encourage world public opinion to demand international intervention to stop the war of genocide against the Kurds in Afrin. Tens of thousands of people around the world have shown their support to the campaign by following, contributing, and sharing the hashtag. The last update, according to the hashtag’s creators, had a rech of more than 100,000. This great achievement is succeeding despite the Turkish state’s attempts to launch a similar hashtag with the intention of confusing the original one.
Several Kurdish, Arab and European human rights organisations and media institutions have published identical reports about Afrin from the date of its occupation to the end of 2021 to show the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in Afrin.
Human Rights Watch and several other human rights organisations such as the Network of Afrin Activists, the Human Rights Organisation – Afrin, and the Syrian Human Rights Organisation, based in the UK, have repeatedly published reports about the number of dead, kidnapped and displaced in Afrin. Recently and in conjunction with hashtag #TurkeyOutOfEfrîn, the Syrian Alyam TV has published reliable statistics about what has been happening in Afrin since its occupation in 2018.
Killing, kidnapping, displacement, and demographic change between 2018 and 2021:
655 civilians were killed, 90 of whom were killed under torture.
86 women were killed, 70 women were sexually assaulted and there were 6 resultant cases of suicide.
700 were wounded.
Over 300,000 Kurds were forcibly displaced from Afrin’s population.
Thirty settlements have been built. The number of settlers was 400,000, most of whom were families of terrorist elements affiliated with the factions, especially Turkmens.
There was a huge decrease in the Kurdish population of Afrin from 95% in 2011 to less than 30% in 2021.
3,434,900 olive trees were cut down,
12,000 trees and 11 hectares of agricultural land and forests were burnt.
60 archaeological sites were subjected to sabotage and destruction.
28 shrines and religious sites were destroyed, where Afrin used to be a significant centre for various sects and religions.