Opposition groups further splintered

Opposition groups further splintered

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Opposition groups further splintered

EPA Photo

The Syrian National Council has come under fire from other Syrian opposition groups, including Kurdish and Turkmen groups and anti-government forces on the ground, that claim they are being excluded from the council’s decision-making process.

Syrian Turkmens have accused the council of “trying to build up hegemony of the Muslim Brotherhood” within the council after the Syrian Kurds and Syrian revolutionary forces left a unity meeting in Cairo on July 3.

“We agree with the Kurds that the minorities are not represented in the [council]. Turkmens are not represented in the [council] either; they only want people who are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood,” Bekir Atacan, a prominent member of the Syrian Turkmen Group, told the Hürriyet Daily News on July 6.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood wants to become the hegemonic power within the council, Atacan said. “What they say about minorities’ citizenship rights is basically holding us up. They’re not genuine about including the Turkmens in the decision-making process.”

At the Cairo meeting, Syrian opposition groups exposed their deep divisions as they failed to reach an agreement on forming a unified body to represent them in negotiations with world powers. The Kurdish delegation and the representatives from the Syrian revolutionary forces on the ground walked out of the meeting, where scuffles broke out.

“The [council] has a hidden agenda to bring an Islamist, Sunni Arab nationalist regime to Syria by excluding Kurds and other minorities,” the president of the Syrian Kurdish opposition group the Kurdish National Assembly, Sherkoh Abbas, told the Daily News on July 4.