Syrian initiative blames Turkey for demographic change in Afrin
The National Initiative for Afrin on Monday accused Turkey of attempting a demographic change in Afrin, a Kurdish city located in northwest Syria, North Press Agency reported.

The Initiative issued a statement and said, “Turkey's bringing in tens of thousands of Arab and Turkmen families, especially the families of its affiliated factions, and settling them in the place of the displaced indigenous people”.

 “Turkey was not satisfied with that, but it has built entire settlement villages under the cover of the work of humanitarian organizations, including Kuwaiti and Palestinian from inside Israel,” the statement said.

New settlements are opened “with the intention of demographic change and imposing new facts on the ground,” the statement noted.

“The practices of Turkey and its affiliated factions may amount to a crime against humanity in accordance with Article VII of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” the statement added.

The National Initiative for Afrin urged local and regional forces, and the international community to “stop war crimes, demographic change and new settlements in it”, the statement said.

This initiative aims to report “Turkey's violations against the residents of Syria's Afrin to international institutions and human rights organizations”.

Turkey invaded Afrin in early 2018, capturing it from the YPG after weeks of fighting, and installing Syrian militia proxies in place of the Kurdish group.

Turkey has been accused of committing systematic violations against Afrin's local population since their takeover of the region alongside their affiliated armed groups in 2018.

The invasion displaced tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians and destabilized a region that had previously been spared the levels of violence seen elsewhere in the Syrian conflict.

Kurdish News Agency Rudaw reported that the Kurdish language has been replaced by Turkish in official curriculum of the educational institutions in the city of Afrin. According to the same report, the decision was taken by the "The Education Ministry of the Temporary Government."

Turkish government ally, Islamist pro-Kurdish Free Cause Party (HÜDA PAR) on Monday said that the removal of the Kurdish language in the predominantly Kurdish city is against human rights and should be abandoned.

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