PYD hinders Turkmens from crossing back to Tal Abyad

FATIH ŞEMSETTIN IŞIK @semssami
ISTANBUL
Published 23.06.2015 20:32

Hundreds of Turkmens, who fled to Turkey as a result of the clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed People's Protection Units (YPG), were reportedly prevented from crossing back to Tal Abyad by the PYD at the Turkish-Syrian border gate.

Despite the PYD's statement that it will allow transits through the border from Monday, it was reported that Turkmens who wanted to return to Tal Abyad were prevented from doing so at the border gates due to "security reasons" by PYD officials who have been accused of "ethnic cleansing" in northern Syria.

It was also reported that 500 Turkmens out of around the 4,000 who fled to Turkey had returned through the border gate on Monday and local sources indicated that around 3,500 Turkmens are still in Turkey due to the fear of being arrested, detained and investigated.

Furthermore, the commission that was established by the recognized Syrian opposition for investigating violations of rights that took place in Tal Abyad was not allowed by the PYD to enter Tal Abyad on Saturday.

The town was taken by YPG forces last week by driving ISIS militants away from an advance backed by U.S.-led airstrikes. After the event, Turkey accused Kurdish forces in northern Syria of driving out civilians in the areas it occupies, voicing concern over the alleged displacement of Arabs and Turkmens from the area around Tal Abyad.

Although greater military and financial aid is needed to make a change in the field against ISIS and the Syrian regime, Turkmens have continuously received different kinds of support from Turkey, including humanitarian, diplomatic and logistical assistance, since the civil war erupted in 2012. However in an earlier exclusive interview with Daily Sabah, Syria's Turkmen Assembly spokesman Tarık Sulo Cevizci said the Turkmen community is deeply frustrated with how the global community is turning a blind eye to the Turkmens in Syria, who solely depend on assistance from Turkey and on their own limited assets in Syria.

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