Shingal’s Self-Administration: Turkey is behind the protests in Shingal

Nineveh, 2019 – a checkpoint in Shingal district – Photo by Ibrahim Ezidi

Ammar Aziz - Nineveh

Members of the Democratic Self-Administration in Shingal stress that Turkey is meddling in Shingal, spreading rumours about PKK and inciting people to protest.

Shingal’s Democratic Self-Administration (which is not recognized by KRG and Iraq’s federal government) was set up by Ezidis with affiliations with PKK, to administer the district after they and YPG fighters fought to fend off the ISIS attack on Shingal in 2014.

The statements from the Self-Administration members came after a group of Ezidis held a protest accusing the PKK of “kidnapping” their youth.

The protest took place on Tuesday (11 August) at Sardasht area on Mount Shingal. Protestors demanded forces with PKK affiliation to leave Shingal.

Jamil Sleman, PR person of the Ezidi Khan (an Ezidi advocacy group), told KirkukNow: “We protest against the illegitimate forces. Those forces are a source for problems, and have messed up the demographics of Shingal.”

“Worse of all is that the fate of more than 70 boys and girls from our region is still unknown. They have been kidnapped by those forces,” added Sleman, who himself was one of the organizers of the protest.

Shingal, 11 August 2020 – a protest by a group of Ezidis at Mount Shingal

But Haso Ibrahim, deputy chair of the Self-Administration in Shingal, told KirkukNow: “There is an external hand behind those individuals who organized the protest in the Sardasht area… especially Turkey. Before they started the protest, they visited us and we talked, but their demands are vague and keep changing.”

They put the blame on PKK for kidnappings and the burning of Mount Shingal. We reject all of those accusations

“They put the blame on PKK for kidnappings and the burning of Mount Shingal. We reject all of those accusations,” Haso added.

70 Ezidi boys and girls are “missing” for two years according to the numbers from Ezidi Khan.

Refuting the claim, Haso said: “Some have voluntarily joined the PKK and don’t want to leave it. For example, a woman who took part in the protest has a son who is in Qandil [where PKK’s main base is] who has told her and his father that he believes in the PKK and will not return. Yet his mother says that he is kidnapped.”

Members of Shingal’s Democratic Self-Administration stressed that protesting is a right and that they have even let their forces take the responsibility of protecting the protestors.

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