The “Syrian Kurds” and Religious Liberty

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 20 March 2018

Among the artefacts found in Efrin after the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which uses the names Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, was pushed out by Turkey and its Arab dependencies in the OLIVE BRANCH operation, is the above document, which sheds some light on how the PKK treated religious institutions in the province.

The document, dated December 2013, is directed to the asayish (the secret police) and instructs them, according to a translation by Riam Dalati, to “to monitor all mosques, churches, and places of worship. Instruct them not to talk about current events, unless it’s in our favour. Ask them not to promote the regime, the Free Syrian Army, and especially not the revolution”.

The document continues:

  • Ban all visible or audible religious material from public places and shops.

  • It is entirely forbidden to play the Qur’an on loudspeakers during funeral processions of martyrs. Only Kurdish national songs are allowed.

  • All those working in civilian and military departments will be allowed to practice their religious duties as long as it’s not in public view or affecting workflow.

  • All of the above must be strictly enforced.

  • Send detailed weekly reports of progress as of coming Monday.

Among the raft of human rights abuses document under PKK rule is a record of intimidation and even assassination against imams.

2 thoughts on “The “Syrian Kurds” and Religious Liberty

  1. Pingback: Turkey consolidating in Afrin | Ahval - Turkey Agenda

  2. Pingback: A Local View of Turkey’s Capture of Efrin | The Syrian Intifada

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