While negotiating their reintegration into the Syrian Arab Republic, the Kurds of the PYD are doggedly pursuing their policy of the forced Kurdization of North Syria, in the region known as the Rojava.

The PYD is the Syrian branch of the Turkish PKK (the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan). The PKK is the Kurdish Independent Party established in Turkey in 1978. Taking advantage of the situation that arose during the foreign aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic, the PYD which brings together some of the Turkish Kurds that took refuge in Syria when they were fleeing Turkish repression, has tried to establish an independent state in the North Syria with the help of the US, French and Israeli military.

From the 1980s, which was when they arrived in these parts as asylum seekers, the Kurdish members of the PYD have begun a policy of the forced “Kurdization” of Arab and Christian people. This includes expropriation without compensation, mandatory conscription of youth in order to enrol them in pro-US militia and the imposition of a new school curriculum conforming to PKK ideology, delivered in the Kurdish language.

The most recent action taken to further Kurdization occurred on 7 August 2018. The Turkish PKK closed the Assyrian Christian school in Derbiseye (a city in the North of Syria), charging it with refusing, despite pleas from the Assyrian bishop of Hasaké, Monseigneur Maurice Amsih, to roll out this programme of studies.

Anoosha Boralessa