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As evidenced by its date, this letter from Keziyên Kesk (Green Tress) of Rojava was sent to Brigitte Macron but also to political personalities and French media in May 2021…
Clearly, although the topic is of vital importance for the population of an entire region, it did not feature in political or media priorities in May, no rat any time since. The problem denounced in the letter is still current and it has received no solution. At the request of our friend and Kedistan contributor, Gulistan Sido, one of the founding members of Green Tress, we are publishing this letter so that public opinion can be aware of this non-assistance to endangered people and of the use of water supplies as a “war” instrument. And, as we know, this “water war” is not only carried out in Northern Syria.
Do not hesitate in relaying this call for help which, visibly, did not touch politicans busy with electioneering in France.
An open letter to Madame Brigitte Macron
I am a Kurd from Syria, originally from Afrin “a town occupied by Turkey since 2018”, holder of an M2 diploma in Modern Literature from Paris III in 2006. I am currently living in the region of Adjazeré in Rojava. I am one of the founding members of the ecological initiative “Green Tress“, a civilian initiative begun in October 2020 with the aim of fighting against desertification, improving climate through the increase of natural “green” spaces, and of raising awareness in the population on environmental questions. We launched a campaign for the planting of 4 million trees over five years.
You are undoubtedly aware of the dramatic situation of Syrians who have now suffered the impacts of an endless war for ten years. Entire towns were destroyed, infrastructures damaged, security destroyed, displacements made constant… etc. It is as if we had been condemned to suffer, as if misfortune pursued us, all kinds of weapons have been used against us. This year is marked by an exceptional drought, because of the lack of rain but also, aggravating this situation, policies conducted against Rojava and Northeastern Syria by neighboring countries such as Turkey. The Turkish State does not limit its attacks to the occupation and dismantling of our lands, but it attempts to make us bend by instrumentalizing water as a weapon.
Indeed, for the second year in a row, and continuously for the past four months, the Turkish State has repeated the same scenario, reducing the flow of water in the Euphrates, which has fallen by 60% in the past two weeks, although the river is one of the most important water resources and means of subsistance for the region. This flagrant violation of agreements and international treaties signed by Turkey will have catastrophic repercussions on the environment and on humans, not only in the regions in Northern Syria, but all along the river basin in Syria and in Irak.
The issue of reduction by Syria of water in the Euphrates is not a recent one, and this is not the first time that Turkey has cut off water and threatened the lives of the population. Turkey has already dried out streams and rivers in Syria, such as the Khabur, the Sajur, the Jaqjaq, the Tigris, the Black river, etc.
These systematic practices by the Turkish State have a direct negative effect on the environment in the entire zone of the Euphrates basin, threatened with desertification because of a lack of plant cover and the confiscation of water resources. In this way, Turkey targets the means of subsistence of populations and threatens food security.
The disastrous risks and consequences of the reduction of water levels in the Euphrates river are not limited to its direct effects on millions of Syrians, but more generally, it imperils the environment, the ecological balance and will accelerate climatic change and direct negative impacts on life resources such as cattle and fish. Ground cover will diminish. Food production and soil fertility will decrease.
Water reductions will devastate activities requiring abundant water, the most important being agriculture and industrial extractions. Productivity of cultures will diminish and the soil will be exposed to the risk of erosion, leading to the exhaustion of nutrients for plants. Violating the balance in biological diversity, this will lead to a loss of plant and animal species that will be unable to grow and multiply adequately… And, a most important factor, it will expose inhabitants to illness and will become a catalyst to the intensive propagation of epidemics.
According to international laws covering the right to water access, Syria is entitled to 500 cubic meters/second (agreement signed in Damascus in 1987), so as to maintain the balance, especially following the construction of the dam on the Euphrates. Pursuing cuts in water will have sanitary and humanitarian repercussions, notably during the difficult period of Covid-19 where everyone is supposed to be attentive to hygiene and to the use of potable water. The population is faced with thirst and famine. Hydro-electric installations will be unable to pursue their production. The main crops will be endangered and there will be no water for them.
Madame, in addressing this letter to you, I allow myself to inform you of the gravity of this environmental situation, in order to sollicit your public support in exerting pressure against the Turkish State so that it will release the confiscated water of the Euphrates, in order to avoid an ecocide and unpredictable catastrophes, should the cuts continue.
With warm greetings and thanking you in advance, Madame, for the attention you will bring to my letter.
Please accept the expression of my sincere consideration.
THE GREEN TRESS
Qamichlo Rojava May 2nd 2021-06-17
Green Tress / Keziyên Kesk
Facebook | Twitter @tress_green
A note from Kedistan:
Water is used as a weapon of war agains Rojava by Turkey who is a member of NATO. A contrario, the Turkish regime plunders agricultural zones it occupies through its militias, such as in Afrin. There, the pillaging flows in the opposite direction.
We can only deplore the number of persons fleeing these zones and attempting to find asylum in Europe, while the direct cause of this continues, with nothing but drowning as the in-between solution for them. Those who, at each reception of a Rojava delegation in Paris by the French State, would have us believe that the French government is acting to find solutions, do nothing but create a smoke screen hiding a dramatic situation and the de facto of abandonment and giving up of the Kurds who served as cannon fodder against ISIS, lest we forget.
All of this creates time bombs awaiting explosion because of constant retreats and political hypocrisy, also evidenced other areas, such as the refusal to repatriate the European combatants of ISIS in order to have them stand trial, or at a minimum repatriating the children. We are also still awaiting decisions concerning firms, such as Lafarge for example, who collaborated with the Islamic State.
Moreover, here in France, islamophobia is instrumentalized by two thirds of the political class, most of the media, the pseudo intellectuals in TV studios, while the true breeding ground for ISIS is not in the suburbs but truly in those theaters of war from which we turn away. There are even some here who allow themselves to film a “lemon” on the Kurdish struggle and to participate in the smoke screen and the inaction.
For these reasons we are not surprised to learn that such an appeal from Rojava resonated in a media desert, even from Rojava’s phoney supporters
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