Living in southeastern Turkey, refugees from northern Syria's Tal Abyad expressed their wishes to return to their homeland which has been seized by the PKK terrorist group's Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
Halil Abbut, a 65-year-old of Arab origin, was the local administrator of Tal Abyad for 33 years. Abbut is one of the hundreds of people who were forced by the PYD to migrate to Turkey's border district of Akçakale in southeastern Şanlıurfa province, two years back.
"The PYD seized our houses and soil, and gave them to the Kurds who were brought in from Iraq, Iran and other parts of Syria," he told Anadolu Agency reporters. "Before the PYD's arrival, the majority of the people living in the town were Arabs."
Around 500,000 Syrians are now living across Şanlıurfa, according to the Interior Ministry.
Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, the PKK/PYD seized control of Tal Abyad from Daesh in June 2015, prompting Arab and Turkmen residents of the area to flee.
Amnesty International accuses the PYD of committing war crimes in predominantly Arab and Turkmen areas of northern Syria.
"They forced us to migrate. They seized our soil under the name of ‘democracy.' How democrat of them!" he said. "They are no different from the PKK terrorist organization."
Abbut said he and his family were very thankful to the Turkish government for their support to Syrians and added that they were happy in Akçakale.
He said, however, "I dream of returning to Tal Abyad before I die."
"We don't want terror organizations on our soil. No matter what the cost, we will not surrender it to terror organizations," he said.
Turkey has repeatedly called for an end to U.S. support for the PYD, which is considered the PKK's Syrian affiliate.
Though the U.S. classifies the PKK as a terrorist group, it calls the PYD an ally in the fight against Daesh in Syria.
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