Olives of Afrin exported to other countries by Turkey -3
Olives are sent to world markets through Turkey Indicating that war crimes have been committed in Afrin, Ruşin Hido, a member of the Afrin Human Rights Association, told us that the olive trees of the people of Afrin have been cut down and stolen. “The people of Afrin are forced to undersell their olive oil. Then, olive oil is taken to Turkey and exported from there with Turkish brands.
Olives are sent to world markets through Turkey
Indicating that war crimes have been committed in Afrin, Ruşin Hido, a member of the Afrin Human Rights Association, told us that the olive trees of the people of Afrin have been cut down and stolen. “The people of Afrin are forced to undersell their olive oil. Then, olive oil is taken to Turkey and exported from there with Turkish brands.”
SARA ŞÊX HESEN
Aleppo- On March 18, 2018, Turkey launched a military operation into Afrin. As a result of that operation, Turkey and Turkish-backed factions took the control of Afrin. Despite that, the Kurdish people didn’t leave their houses but they have faced abduction, pillage, theft, and rights violations since then. The nature and olive trees of Afrin have their share of rights violations.
According to the Afrin Human Rights Association, more than 45,000 trees were cut down in Afrin in 2018, 78,800 trees in 2019, 58,600 trees in 2020, and 23,800 trees in 2021. More than 315, 200 trees have been cut down in Afrin by the Turkish army and Turkish-backed factions since 2018.
Citizens were threatened
October is the harvest time for olives in Afrin. On October 1, 2021, the Turkish army and Turkish-backed factions demanded the citizens in the city pick olives. The people of Afrin immediately began to harvest olives because they were afraid that their olives would be stolen. Recently, an old man was threatened by an armed group, he was told, “If you don’t leave your olive grove, we will kill you.” Ruşin Hido, a member of the Afrin Human Rights Association, spoke to our news agency about the threats against civilians in Afrin.
“They have been forcibly displaced”
Emphasizing that rights violations against the people of Afrin have been increasing since Turkey and Turkish-backed factions took the control of the city, Ruşin Hido said, “After the occupation of Afrin, the Turkish state and Turkish-backed factions have committed many crimes against people, nature, and all living creatures in Afrin. The people of Afrin, who resist not leaving their houses, have faced abduction, death, and rape. Meanwhile, the attempts to change the demographic structure of the region continue. Thousands of trees have been cut down and the cultivated areas have been burned. The people of Afrin have been forcibly displaced from their homeland. At the same time, the Turkish state has settled the families of armed groups in the region. The language of education in Afrin is now Turkish. We can say that the identity of Afrin has completely changed.”
“Trees are being cut down”
Ruşin Hido reported that many trees have been cut down and burned in Afrin;
“Many olive trees have been cut down or burned. Before the occupation of Afrin, there were 18 million olive trees in the city. Thousand-year-old olive trees planted by our grandparents and their grandparents are being cut down now. Previously, the territories of Afrin were full of olive trees but now there is no tree. The enemy knows that the olive tree is the identity of the people of Afrin so they have uprooted thousands of trees to change Afrin and to rebuild a new Afrin. Unrooted trees have been sold to other occupied areas in Syria or stolen and taken to Turkey. Recently, hundreds of olive trees were unrooted in Kutan village of Bilbile district and their woodblocks were stolen by al-Hamzat (A Turkish-backed faction).”
“They demand money under the name of tax for each tree”
Highlighting that the people of Afrin are forced to pay high taxes, Ruşin Hido said, “Each faction determines its own tax. They demand money from the citizens under the name of tax for each tree. Last year, al-Hamzat received 8000 Syrian Pounds for each olive tree in the Shiye district of Afrin. They took money from the citizens to prevent them from harvesting their olives. They forcibly take olive oil from the citizens. The olives of the people are forcibly taken from them.”
“Turkey sells the olives of Afrin like its own products”
Ruşin Hido pointed out that olives taken from the region are marketed under the name of Turkish products.
“Olive oil stolen from Afrin is sold under the name of Turkish products. The Turkish-backed factions don’t allow the people of Afrin to sell their olives to other places. The olive oil is taken and sold by these factions. Olive oil is first taken to Turkey and then Turkey sells olive oil in bottles. The people of Afrin are forced to undersell their olive oil but Turkey sells olive oil in the world markets at a very high price.”
Call on the international community
Ruşin Hido called on international organizations and said, “Many international reports reveal that the crimes committed in Afrin have reached the level of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in general. Those who have committed these crimes should be prosecuted by the international courts and the rights of the people of Afrin can be demanded. The information that we have received shows only some rights violations in Afrin. We have received this information from the local people. Our demand is to establish an impartial tribunal in Afrin to prosecute the criminals. We call on the international community to stand against these crimes and to end the occupation in Afrin. The armed groups should be gotten out of Afrin and the displaced people of Afrin should return to their homeland.
Tomorrow: “Get the invaders out of the land of olives”