Dispossessed Turkomans in Syria wait for Turkey’s support

Turkomans of Syria protested burning of a Turkish flag by assailants in Latakia last month in front of Syrian Embassy in Ankara. (Photo: Cihan)

December 08, 2011, Thursday/ 17:57:00

A founding member of the Turkoman community in Syria, Ziyad Hassan, said dispossessed Turkomans in Syria are asking for help from Turkey. Hassan says the Turkoman people in Syria are kin to Turkish people and claims that other ethnic communities in Syria receive support from other countries.

Hassan claims that the Turkoman population in Syria has always advocated for unity, but assimilation politics xenophobic sentiments against the Turkoman population are stronger than ever, necessitating outside support. Emphasizing that Turkey is like a “father” country for Turkomans in Syria, Hassan said: “The Turkoman identity has always been denied by the Present Syrian Regime, which has always tried to assimilate us. Now we want to show the Turkoman presence in Syria.”

Internal conflicts and uprisings against the ruling regime in Syria are now known around the world. The Arab League and other countries including Turkey have imposed sanctions on Syria in response to the violent crackdown of the Syrian regime against oppositional groups. The Bashar Assad regime and his army have not abandoned using violence against own people; the conflict continues. Armed clashes between the Syrian people and Assad’s army are highly intense in Homs, Latakia, Dar’a and Deir Ez Zor, which are Syrian provinces with a significant Turkoman population. Indicating that ethnically based divisions have increased as a result of the present conflict, Hassan claims that some western powers including England, Germany and Italy aim to deepen those divisions in order to manipulate them for their own interests in Syria and the Middle East. Considering that the ethnic communities that are supported by Western powers would be very influential after a regime change occurs in Syria, Hassan said that Turkey’s support is critical for the future of Turkomans Syria.

Hassan claimed that Turkey holds a large influence over Syria, saying that Turkomans and other Syrian communities have friendly feelings for Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. However, he added, these positive feelings towards Turkey disturb the present Assad regime. Hassan told the story of one Turkoman who was tortured for two days for expressing his support for Erdoğan.

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