Turkey establishes new settlement in Syria’s Afrin

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Turkey has recently established a new settlement in the Yazidi village of Shadere in Sherawa district in Afrin’s southern countryside, northwest Syria, according to a media outlet.

The settlement, that was opened on May 8, is named Umm Tuba after the Palestinian Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem part of Sur Baher, the neighborhood of the funders, and includes 60 apartments the sources added.

In March, the so-called Basma settlement was established by Living with Dignity Association’ (Jamia’at al-Aish Bikarama) in Shadere. The settlement was co-funded with Kuwaiti and Turkish state-sponsored groups, as well as Muslim Brotherhood-linked associations from the US and Britain. What remains of the original Yazidi population has been forced to attend Islamic education by local factions, under threat of force.

The number of families who live in the abovementioned settlements has reached about 281 ones, including 1,700 people, according to the sources.

The two settlements were established by White Hands Association, affiliated with Turkey, and Living with Dignity Association of the Arab citizens of Israel (48-Palestien).

Turkey has built more than 19 settlements in Afrin region through using organizations like Living with Dignity Association, White Hands (Beyaz Eller), Rahma International Society, and other organizations which are funded by Qatar and Kuwait.

While the number of settlements built by Turkey with the support of Gulf countries, most notably Kuwait and Qatar, and Palestinian associations, has exceeded more than 100 in Turkish-occupied areas in northern Syria, according to North Press’ own investigations.

The formerly Kurdish-majority region of Afrin has been under Turkish occupation since 2018 following a military operation dubbed “Olive Branch” to push away the Kurdish People’s/Women’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ) under the pretext of protecting the Turkish national security.

The invasion displaced around 300,000 indigenous Kurds. Turkey and its affiliated opposition factions of the Syrian National Army (SNA), replaced the population with Arabs fleeing other parts of Syria. Kurds in Afrin are subject to systemic discrimination and violence.

Reporting by Emma Jamal