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Process of “Turkification” on-going in Manbij: local official

FILE PHOTO: People walk near the Manbij Municipality building in Manbij city, Syria December 29, 2018. Picture taken December 29, 2018. REUTERS/Rodi Said
2020-09-25

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SULAIMANI — Co-chair of the Manbij Executive Council Muhammed Khair Sheikho said on Friday (September 25) that Ankara is pursuing a policy of “Turkification” in northern Syria and is forcing people to use the lira and study a Turkish-language curriculum.

During an interview with Hawar News Agency, Sheikho said that Turkey has also raised its flag throughout the territory that it controls in coordination with Syrian rebels.

“All this brings to mind what the Turkish government pursued in the areas of the Sanjak of Alexandretta in the past, imposing Turkish policy step by step until it took over the area, ignoring that it is Syrian land,” he added, referencing the area that became Turkey’s Hatay Province after separating from the French Mandate of Syria.

Sheikho said he opposed Turkish interventions in Syria “because the lands occupied by Turkey are Syrian lands and the privacy, culture, language, education, and currency of these areas must be preserved.”

Since 2016, Turkey has launched at least four interventions into Syria, including Operation Euphrates Shield in al-Bab, Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, and Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria, along with an intervention in Idlib province.

The one-year anniversary of Operation Peace Spring falls next month.

(NRT Digital Media)