The head of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly Emin Bozoğlan has talked on Friday with the Iraqi Turkmeneli TV about his assessments of the Syrian peace talks in Astana in which he participated as part of the opposition. He sees the welfare of the Turkish minority closely linked to the supremacy of Turkey.
Bozoğlan indicated that Turkmen had been among the Syrian opposition mission attending the meeting about Syria which took place in Astana and continued as follows:
“We attended the meeting organized in Astana. We manifested our views as the Syrian Turkmen Assembly and had bilateral contacts. Long debates took place at these meetings. It was hoped that the ceasefire is applied in reality, that those who violate the ceasefire are sanctioned and that the relevant guarantor states guarantee this and demands were made to this end. This ceasefire should not be temporary, it must be sustained because without a maintained ceasefire peace talks are not sustainable. Therefore a ceasefire decision was taken at this meeting and this decision is backed by the guarantee of Turkey, Russia and Iran which are guarantor states.”
Bozoğlan said that during the 6 year process in Syria, Turkmen had always been among the opposition and continued as follows:
“As Syrian Turkmen we have always been with the Syrian opposition and the incidents which have taken place in Syria during this 6 year era because for 60years the Syrian regime has oppressed all the groups which represent the opposition today, persecuted them, discriminated against people and maintained a setup which prevented them from living their cultures and identities. Therefore we have joined the opposition in the field as well as the political area and acted together. As Turkmen we took our place among the opposition in the peace talks in the meeting in Astana.”
Head of Turkmen Assembly in Syria Dr. Emin Bozoğlan emphasized the role of Turkey in achieving a ceasefire in Syria and said:
“Turkey provided the most support to achieve this ceasefire and also gave significant guarantees as a guarantor state. All preparations have been made since the beginning of these meetings. There is ongoing conflict in areas held by the opposition and especially in Vadi Berede between the regime and militia forces supporting the regime and militia forces supported by Iran and Hezbullah. Previous ceasefires have always been violated by the Syrian regime and the ceasefires were never honored. Therefore the meeting in Astana was important in terms of forcing the regime to comply with the ceasefire which has been realized.”
Bozoğlan said that the Turkmen supported the territorial integrity of Syria and said that they wanted the Turkmen language to become an official language in Syria and said:
“As Turkmen we want all ethnic and sectarian groups to live in peace in a democratic environment in a Syria with territorial integrity. We shall not allow the opportunity for discrimination or any division. We shall live together with the Syrian people however, as Turkmen we would like a constitutional guarantee to enable us to learn to use, read, write Turkish in education. Our demand to have our language defined as an official language is valid.”
Enclosed a video of the Syrian FSA militia „Sultan Murat“ in the Turkish-led „Euphrates Shield“ operation in al-Bab region which is held by „Islamic State“ terrorists:
Bozoğlan further indicated that the Iraqi and Syrian Turkmen shared the same fate and that Turkmen were close relations with Turks and said:
“Our fate is similar because the Turkmen in Iraq as well as the Turkmen in Syria are the most victimized parties. Turkey is the neighbor of both Iraq as well as Syria and us Turkmen have strong ties with Turkey, we have a kinship and the same affiliations.”
In the course of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire which was dominated by Turks most of the Turkmen of Syria lost their linguistic competences and their identity. The Syrian government pursued a policy of Arabization. The Turkmen who still speak their language and preserved their identity lies at 1,5 million Syrian citizens. Despite a wide geographical spread, Turkmen settlements are concentrated in the rural regions of the provinces of Aleppo and Latakia along the Turkish border. About three million Turkmen live today in Iraq.