YPG oppresses Kurdish opposition, claims Kurdish group official
İpek Yezdani – ISTANBUL
The YPG is oppressing Kurdish groups which disagree with them, raiding their offices, arresting dissident political leaders, forcing young recruits into fighting, and seizing civilians’ houses, according to an official of the Syrian Kurdish National Council (ENKS).
The ENKS is an umbrella organization which consists of more than 10 political Kurdish parties. The group claims the YPG commits human rights violations against Kurds and other groups who do not agree with their ideology.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet on Dec. 27, Abdullah Kedo, a member of the Yekiti Party and the political commission of ENKS, said people living in territories controlled by the YPG have been suffering from the group’s practices and policies. Kedo claimed not only critical Kurds but also Arabs and other ethnic groups were subjected to discriminatory policies, too.
“The YPG seizes civilians’ houses if they need to. They raid the offices of Kurdish political parties who oppose those acts and ban those parties. They also forcibly recruit young men and take them to battle zones in Raqqa,” he said, referring to the former de facto capital of ISIL in Syria.
Kamiran Hajo, the head of foreign relations of ENKS, stressed there were major disagreements between the YPG and other Kurdish groups that have emerged after the Syrian civil war broke out. The disagreements have been carrying on since then, he added.
“The biggest difference between them and us is that right from the beginning we sided with the people of Syria and the opposition. But the YPG has chosen to side with the regime. We do not share their ideology. As the ENKS, we think we represent the Kurdish people and we fight for their constitutional rights,” he said.
The ENKS rejects the political legitimacy of PYD — the political arm of the YPG — and aligns with the KDP, the ruling party of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government. ENKS is also a part of the Syrian National Coalition, the umbrella group for the opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime.
ENKS is also part of the High Negotiation Committee, which has been representing the Syrian opposition in the U.N.-led Geneva talks since 2015.
Ankara sees the YPG as the Syrian branch of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU. Ankara wants to drive the YPG out of the territories they control in the east of River Euphrates with a military operation.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Dec. 12 had announced Turkey would enter the east of Euphrates to oust the YPG from swathes of territory in Syria. The Turkish military has been reinforcing its border with Syria since then.
Erdoğan on Dec.24 vowed “Turkey will not leave Syrian Kurds to the oppression of the PKK.”