IHD: Humanitarian Aid to Rojava Needed


From October 5th to 7th, a delegation from the IHD (Human Rights Association in Turkey) conducted inspections at several border gates with Rojava (West Kurdistan/Northern Syria). A report has now been released with suggestions of conditions that need to be improved mostly by the Turkish government.

According to Bianet and ANF, the report, among other things, emphasized that refugees with different ethnic and religious backgrounds are facing problems with regards to refugee camps, stating that Kurds along with Arab Alawites in Turkey have no camp of their own.

The report also remarked that Turkish authorities seem to differentiate between border gates controlled by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and PYD (the Kurdish Democratic Union Party) with a negative attitude towards the latter.

The report called attention to other issues of which a few are mentioned below:

  • A “zero point” policy must be established at the border between Turkey and Rojava at Dirbêsîye and Serê Kaniyê gates which must be open for trade and humanitarian aid.
  • Nisêbîn custom border must be kept open by Syrian authorities and trade must be encouraged.
  • Immediate humanitarian aid to Afrin, a town besieged by Al Qaeda linked groups.
  • Immediate removal of border in the Nisêbîn side of Turkey-Rojava border.
  • Turkey must send basic material to Rojava in order to produce bread every day.
  • Humanitarian aid to Rojava provided by international organizations must be transferred to its recipients.
  • Investigations must be launched to find out regarding the allegations of torture and ill-treatment towards refugees at border  headquarters. Turkish government must inspect its military units.
  • Prosecutions must be launched against those who join Al Qaeda from Turkey to combat in Syria.
  • An “open door” policy must be established towards all refugees from Syria regardless of background. No more deportations must be made. Nobody must be forced for “willing returns”.
  • Official regulations on the  providing of healthcare towards Syrian refugees must be practices without any discrimination and inspected regularly.
  • The Turkish government’s regulations on Syrians and refugee camps must be reachable and transparent.
  • Required permissions must be granted for human rights organizations to monitor the situation in refugee camps

The delegation also warned against the construction of a wall on the border between Turkey and Rojava, 10 kilometers north of Qamişlo, the unofficial capital of Rojava. The wall is expected to be two metres high but it is not known how many kilometers it will span over. Turkish officials say that the purpose of the wall is to control illegal crossing and smuggling across the border.