Syrian Turkmen demand regime change through political process

Syrian Turkmen demand regime change through political process

Sevil Erkuş- ANKARA
Syrian Turkmen demand regime change through political process

A regime change in Syria through a planned transition process, which envisages elections and a new constitution, is required for a political solution in the country, Syrian Turkmen Assembly Chair Mehmet Türkhan said on March 13.

Thanks to the Astana process, Syrian Turkmen are not in hot conflict with the regime forces, but minor confrontations are inevitable from time to time, Türkhan told a group of journalists in the capital Ankara.

According to Türkhan, the number of Turkmen in Syria is nearly 4 million. Some of the Syrian Turkmen had to leave their villages in Syria over regime bombardment and settled in the Turkish army-controlled region, in the military zones of Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch, he noted.

“Turkmen will return to their lands, but a change of regime is a must,” he underlined.

Asked about the number of Syrian Turkmen refugees in Türkiye that returned to their homeland in Syria, Türkhan said the numbers were limited.

Türkhan emphasized they were confident that Ankara will preserve the interests of Syrian Turkmen in the process of its new dialogue with Damascus.

“Türkiye is an independent country. It can negotiate with whomever it wants. But Türkiye will not be involved in anything that will undermine the rights of the Turkmen,” he stated.

Expressing confidence in the Turkish government’s new demarche with the Syrian regime for the normalization process between Ankara and Damascus, Türkhan expressed suspicion over the Iranian involvement in political processes regarding Syria.

“We have never made peace with Iran. Iran is a great danger to that region. They want to control the entire area. It’s been said that Iran wants to grow the Shiite crescent. Whereas Iran is targeting the full moon there,” Türkhan said.

The sixth Ordinary General Assembly meeting of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly was convened in December last year and Mehmet Türkhan was elected as the president of the new Turkmen Assembly.