Dr. Sarbast Nabi, a Kurdish Academic who teaches the history of modern philosophy at Koya University in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, was interviewed by Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia) on October 7, 2019. In the interview, Dr. Nabi said that Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdoğan had ushered ISIS fighters into Syria. He asserted that Erdoğan only “started talking about terrorism” when local ethnic groups defended the area from ISIS. Dr. Nabi continued to say that “the Turkish army is coming to fight the Kurdish people.” He said that Erdoğan is set on committing demographic engineering and replacing the native Kurdish people with others, such as former ISIS members and Uyghurs. According to Dr. Nabi, Erdoğan has stated that 95% of the Kurdish lands are in fact Arab land and that he would take back Mosul and Kirkuk before 2023.
Following are excerpts:
Sarbast Nabi: The [Syrian] border with Turkey used to be safer than the Mexico-U.S. border. We know that when ISIS and Al-Qaeda settled near the Turkish border, this did not upset the Turkish military, and we did not hear a word from Erdoğan, who ushered in all the foreign ISIS fighters into Syria. There are Turkish stamps on their passports. They were brought into Syria. Erdoğan started to talk about terrorism only when the local ethnic groups made the area secure. The Turkish army is coming in order to fight the Kurdish people, just like it did in Afrin, where it drove out 75% of the population, destroyed all the shrines and holy places of the different religions and denominations, and imposed the Islamic education system sanctioned by the Turkish wakf. Today in the city of Afrin – and this proves what I am saying – there are doctors – ISIS members – who used to work for ISIS and then the Turkish government opened clinics for them. They are ISIS members and they work in hospitals in Afrin. The Turkish president says that 95% of this land is Arab land, and that he will give it back to the original population. Recep Tyyip Erdoğan has become a spokesman for pan-Arabism, and a Baathist of the first degree. This is very strange. This man does not conceal his desire to engage in demographic engineering and in the annihilation of identities and deeply-rooted historical cultures.
For the Kurds and for the Assyrians, Arabs and other nationalities in the region this is an existential threat. The aspirations of the Turkish president do not stop at the Syrian border. He says that Mosul and Kirkuk constitute Turkish land and that he will take it back before 2023.
You have brought extremists from Central Asia. You have brought them from among the Uyghurs of Chinese Turkestan. There are videos that show this. There are villages [in Syria] that have become entirely Uyghur. If you have a cause – go fight China and [demonstrate] your nationalist or Islamist heroism. Don’t displace the original people. Don’t destroy shrines and places of worship. You have destroyed archeological sites that date back more than 3,000 years, with your airplanes and tanks. These are the facts.