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Al-Qamishli: PYD disrupts Yekîtî activities commemorating the »Arab Belt«

KURDWATCH, June 30, 2015—On June 24, 2015, the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) organized a rally in front of one of its party offices in al‑Qamishli to mark the 41st anniversary of the »Arab Belt« policy. Approximately fifty demonstrators demanded the return of the lands expropriated at that time. A seminar on the topic was organized in Tall Tamr, and party members distributed flyers in al‑Qamishli, ʿAmudah, ad‑Darbasiyah, and al‑Maʿbada (Girkê Legê). In al‑Qamishli, four party members were picked up by the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), while distributing flyers. They were released the same day. The »Arab Belt« policy stipulated the deportation of a total of one hundred forty thousand Kurds from more than three hundred villages along a ten to fifteen-kilometer wide swath of land along the Turkish and Iraqi border. The Kurds were to be replaced by Arab settlers. The implementation of the plan, enacted in 1965, began in 1973. By 1976, approximately twenty-five thousand Arab families had been settled in al‑Hasakah province.


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