Syrian Kurdish groups reunite with opposition
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Syrian Kurds wave Kurdish and Syrian flags during an anti-regime protest in the city of Qamishli on March 23. Syrian Kurdish groups reunited with the SNC. AFP photoThe Kurdish groups who previously split from the most prominent Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), have reunited with it after the council accepted the addition of a paragraph to the “National Contract of the New Syria” that recognizes the “Kurdish identity.”
“We added a paragraph to the ‘National Contract of the New Syria,’ and the Kurdish groups who left our conference last week with the aim of unification have agreed to be represented under the roof of the SNC. However, we have not yet heard anything from the Syrian Kurdish parties based in Northern Iraq,” the Turkey representative of the SNC, Khaled Khoja, told Hürriyet Daily News in an interview Thursday.
Syrian dissidents led by the Syrian National Council had revealed the main principles of a future Syrian constitution in a meeting at which all of the opposition groups gathered on March 28 ahead of the international “Friends of Syria” meeting in Istanbul. However, some Kurdish groups walked out of the conference, protesting the lack of any representation of the Kurdish identity in the “National Contract of the New Syria” document, which was later submitted to the international community at the Friends of Syria meeting April 1.
Two Kurdish groups, The Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadi) and Al Mustaqbal, have agreed to unite with the SNC after an additional line was added to the document saying that “Kurdish national identity is recognized within the framework of the unity of the people and territory of Syria. Kurdish people will be paid compensation because of the oppression they have encountered in previous years.”
The other Kurdish groups who formed the “Kurdish National Council” in the Northern Iraqi city of Arbil have not responded to the SNC’s request yet.
Syrians flock to Turkey amid violence
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Ongoing violence has prompted more than 40,000 Syrians to flee the country, including up to 900 who arrived in Turkey in the past 24 hours, a Turkish agency said yesterday, according to Anatolia news agency.
The Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said in a statement yesterday that 1,622 refugees arrived on April 4 and yesterday. That pushes the total number of Syrians who fled to Turkey to 21,285. Currently, 7,726 Syrians are staying in the southeastern province of Hatay, 4,770 in Gaziantep province (Nurdağı-İslahiye) and 8,724 in Kilis province, AFAD said. Two Syrian soldiers who left the army crossed into Turkey earlier yesterday. Meanwhile, the International News Safety Institution has warned Syria was the most dangerous country for journalists in the first three months of this year saying 10 members of the news media were killed there since the start of 2012. Meanwhile, two Turkish journalists missing in Syria since March 10 have still not been heard from.