A statement has been released by the Press Office of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) on the desecration by Turkish occupying forces of the graves of civilians and fighters of the YPG and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) in Afrin.
The statement emphasises that Turkey, which has held Afrin under occupation for three years, is committing atrocities and changing the demographics of the region before the eyes of the whole world, and that it has recently desecrated the graves of resistance fighters. It states that the corpses of 71 martyrs, both fighters and civilians, have been exhumed from the cemeteries on the pretext of the “discovery of a mass grave”.
It indicates that the Turkish state had intended to use the so-called ‘discovery’ as a means of psychological warfare.
The YPG Press Office shared a list of names of the deceased buried in the relevant cemetery, saying, “Fourteen of the martyrs have been identified as YPG members and 12 as YPJ members, five as internal security forces, three as being from Jabhat al-Akrad (The Kurdish Front), one from Self-Defense Forces, and five are civilians. The identities of others, though also confirmed to be martyrs, are not yet clear.”
The statement ended with a call: “The cemeteries of Şehit Seydo, Şehit Refik and Şehit Avesta in Afrin have been destroyed by the Turkish state. No-one should remain silent before this atrocity. Remaining silent is equivalent to participating in this crime. We believe that not only in Rojava and Northern Syria, but across the world everyone with a conscience will choose to respond to actions of this nature by the Turkish state.”
The names of the YPG and YPJ members in the registry are as follows:
- YPG fighter Mazlum Taş (Alias Andok Farqin)
- YPG fighter Basil İşe (Alias Basil Şehba)
- YPJ fighter Leman Eli (Alias Berçem Şiyar)
- YPG fighter Efkam Sağım (Alias Cesur Cudi)
- YPG fighter Zekeriya Şobek (Alias Cewad Şehba)
- YPJ fighter Dilan Burun (Alias Deniz Kewyan Amed)
- YPJ fighter Bahar Gunden (Alias Dilan Cudi)
- YPG fighter Mehmud Mıhemed (Alias Dıbirin Qamışlo)
- YPJ fighter Sevda Ülker (Alias Doğa İntiqam)
- YPG fighter Ebdılqadir Şehbo (Alias Abdılqadir Şehba)
- YPG fighter Mıhemed Hesani (Alias Ebu Leyla Efrin)
- YPJ fighter Felek Ehmed (Alias Gülbahar Helin)
- YPJ fighter Heyat Ebdilah (Alias Jin Zagros)
- YPJ fighter Hülya Çoban (Alias Jiyan Cudi)
- YPG fighter Cudi Eli (Alias Mordem Agır)
- YPG fighter Davut Özsular (Alias Navdar Serhed)
- YPG fighter Merwan Omer (Alias Polat Efrin)
- YPG fighter Kaniwar Fetah (Alias Rebaz Çiçek)
- YPG fighter Riyad Cafer (Alias Riyad Efrin)
- YPJ fighter Şin Gedro (Alias Rohenda Xemgin)
- YPG fighter Bawer Bakır (Alias Rojhat Devrim)
- YPG fighter Mehmet Şahgüzel (Alias Şervan Amed)
- YPJ fighter Fula Hebeş (Alias Sterk Efrin)
- YPJ fighter Kader Eyitmiş (Alias Tekoşin Botan)
- YPG fighter Ebdilhemid Cewher (Alias Welat Xwinda)
- YPJ fighter Dicle Miqdad (Alias Zilan Cudi)
YPG also shared the photos of the fighters.
On 14 July the Turkish state news agency AA claimed that a mass grave of “victims of the YPG” had been discovered in Afrin. The claim was blown up in the state media as an actual discovery for several days, after which it ceased to be mentioned at all.