In Multipolarity

ANHA News report, July 1, 2016, translated to English on Kurdish Question

The Executive Body of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) in Rojava, Syria (Western Kurdistan) has expressed surprise at the recent statements by Staffan de Mistura, UN Special Envoy to Syria, saying that the Kurds represent only five per cent of the total Syrian population. The executive body considers this statement distorting and dwarfing “perhaps unintentionally” to the fact and the existence of the Kurdish people.

The Executive Body of the Democratic Society Movement issued a statement calling on de Mistura to conduct a fact-finding investigation accurately. The statement is as follows:

Flag of Rojava (Kurdish region of northern Syria)

Flag of Rojava (Kurdish region of northern Syria)

Mr. Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy to Syria, has stated that the Kurds represent five per cent of the population of Syria. He said this confidently in a press conference on 29/06/2016. We are surprised to hear such statements from a UN official, who should have been fully aware of all the facts and details of the case that he is responsible for.

This is a serious and worrisome sign of his lack of knowledge about his task, which will have direct drastic consequences on his objectivity and impartiality. His statement distorts and misrepresents, perhaps inadvertently, facts about the existence of the Kurds in Rojava Kurdistan. Therefore, we ask Mr. de Mistura to seek facts diligently and publish them objectively. We are confident that Mr. de Mistura is fully aware of the fact that the rights of peoples and their worth are not measured by quantity and size.

Moreover, Mr. de Mistura mentioned that there were some difficulties and challenges related to the participation of the Kurds in the Syrian-Syrian talks and first of those challenges was declaration of the federation.[1] From a particular point of view, rejecting federation which is a rightful demand of the Kurdish people and not to mention that it is the sovereign remedy for all Syrians, distorts the reality of the Kurds and their national cause in Syria.

His statement is a pretext for the intentional exclusion of the real representatives of the Kurds from the peace talks. At the same time, it also proves that any claim by any party to represent the Kurds is untrue and fallacious.

We ask Mr. de Mistura to remain committed to neutrality and impartiality in organizing and constructing authentic and inclusive peace talks. We assert that the legitimacy of these talks is, to a large extent, linked to the presence of the true representatives of the Kurdish people. We also positively evaluate his stated desire to remove obstacles that prevent the participation of the genuine representatives of the Kurdish issue.”

Kurds are thought to represent at least 10-15 per cent of Syria’s total population, which amounts to between 1.6 – 2.5 million people.

Original source in Turkish: ANHA

Note by New Cold editor:
[1] See a report here on the Syrian Kurd proposal made in March 2016 for a federal constitutional solution for Syria’s political crisis: Syrian Kurds form northern Syria federation, say aim is not independent Kurdistan but blueprint for future Syria, by Wladimir van Wilgenburg, Middle East Eye, March 17, 2016


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