The international human rights organisations have accused the Turkish government of persecuting Yazidis living along the borders of Turkey and Syria by imposing radical Islam on the minority population. According to the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), Diyanet – the Bureau of Religious Affairs in Turkey – is building more and more mosques in Yazidi villages in Turkey occupied Kurdish region of Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).
The international human rights NGO said that Turkey’s efforts to build mosques in these Yazidi regions is an attempt to push Islamisation and to promote a radical interpretation of Sunni Islam in the multi-religious region.
The STPI has accused Turkey’s Diyanet of disseminating its religious views to local schools in Germany through the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), one of Germany’s largest radical Islamic organisations.
“Yazidi sources tell us about the construction of a mosque in Yazidi village of Shadere, south of Afrin-City. 45 Yazidi people still live there, but there were 450 before the Turkish occupation,” said Kamal Sido, an Middle East expert with STPI.
Turkey carries out raids against Kurds, says Human Rights defenders
According to Sido, Turkey has begun to settle radical Muslims in the region after most of the minorities were displaced. He added that Turkey regularly carries out raids against the indigenous Kurdish population. Sido said that Diyanet determines what is preached in the mosques and Afrin’s new Koran schools.
“Even little girls often have to wear a headscarf. During the latest Gaza escalation, the mosques circulated hate speech against Israel and Jews,” he said.
According to the STPI, DITIB is a radical Islamic organisation that supports Turkey’s persecution and added that the organisation had extended its support to Turkey’s 2018 military offensive into Afrin. The DITIB mosques in Germany had prayed for the victory of the occupying army.
Kurds formed at least 96 per cent of the total population of Afrin once. However, following the Turkish occupation and its massive human rights violations against the Kurds, most of them were either dead or displaced. Currently, the Kurdish population forms around 25 per cent of the region.
Afrin’s Kurds are predominantly moderate Sunni Muslims. At one point, 20,000 to 30,000 Yazidis lived in Afrin. They currently number only a few thousand.
“This means that Turkey is about to achieve one of its most important goals: to make Afrin Kurdish-free,” Sido said.