DAMASCUS/QAMSHLI, — The Syrian government accuses the Kurdish parties in Syria of being separatist, while the Kurdish parties reject this claim.
[eKurd File photo] The Kurdish movement in Syrian Kurdistan started in the 1950s. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was the first Kurdish party, with the aim of establishing an independent Kurdish state, which would include Kurds from all states where they live. But the Kurdish nationalist movement split up in different factions eventually. Currently there are around 20 unlicensed Kurdish parties in Syria. None of them ask for Kurdish independence and insteadof autonomy, they are increasingly changing their demands to simply Kurdish cultural rights.The Syrian government is now accusing Muhammed Safo, senior member of the Kurdish Left Party in Syria, who is in a prison in Qamishlo [Eastern Kurdistan], of separatism. But his party asks for cultural and administrational rights for the Kurds inside Syria. But Syria says he wants to cut off a part of Syria and annex it to another country. This is an accusation that Syria uses for all Kurdish politicians.
Muhammad Musa, Secretary of Kurdish Left Party in Syria rejects the claims of the Syrian government. “None of the Kurdish parties in Syria have separation or independent on its agenda, but when you say you are Kurdish, the Baath-regime considers you as a separatist ,” Musa told Rudaw. “We are asking to solve Kurdish problem in Syria peacefully and democratically, and accept Kurds as second nation after Arabs and to fix this in the constitution” stated Musa.
“The prosecutor accused me of many things such as trying to change Syrian regime and cutting parts of Syrian land and annexing it to another country, while we had criticized Syrian government for some of their policies,” said Muhammad Musa, who has been in prison in Syria for a while.
Some Kurdish parties only ask cultural rights and citizenship for the 100,000 Kurds without citizenship. Some Kurdish party ask for autonomy, but none of them ask for independence.
“According to the ideology of Baath party in Syria, non-Arab people, particularly Kurds, are accused of separation from Syria, but these are only accusations without any logical background,” said Abdul Baqi Yousif, senior member of Kurdish United Party in Syria.
“The Syrian government tries to show Arabs inside Syria and outside, that Syria is threatened, and this shows the fact that Syria see every one as its enemy, this why they are accusing people of such reasons,” said Yousif who is living in the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq.
Yousif criticized some Kurdish political parties for minimizing Kurdish problem in Syria to citizenship only. “Unfortunately there are some parties who are minimizing Kurdish problem and looking at Kurdish problem in being citizen of Syria only, but it’s the matter of people and land,” stated Yousif.
He also mentioned that according to all international rules, Kurds have right to independent nation, as all the other nations of the world. “But this has not mentioned in our agenda because the [political] conditions do not allow this,” said Yousif.
Kurds constitute around ten per cent of the 22 million Syrian population and live mostly in the agricultural areas of the north and northeast. International and local organisations say they suffer political and cultural discrimination. IWPR reports that the call for autonomy of Kurdish parties caused a rift between the Syrian dissidents and Syrian Kurdish parties.