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Qamishli: PYD confiscates houses of expatriates, migrants

Translation by Yusra Ahmed

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Kurdish PYD's key unit, Asayish militia, seized13 houses in Alsiahi and Gharbi neighborhoods of the northeastern city of Qamishli, saying the move is protect properties of expatriates and migrants, activists said this week.

Owners abroad and relatives based in Qamishli expressed their frustration to have their houses confiscated by the
'autonomy forces'.

Danny Asmar confirmed to Zaman Al Wasl that the number is higher than that, pointing out that each day the number of houses and shops seized by the PYD’s self-management. “How can it be a law of protection and seizing in the same time?”, wondered.

Danny explained that the Kurdish administration was trying to find legal justification to the act of “theft”. He added that PYD plans to evacuate the region of its native population, particularly the Assyrians and Syriacs, who were more affected by this decision, because large number of them live in Western countries.

The head of the Legislative Council in the Kurdish administration Northern Hasaka, Hakam Khalo, after issuing the decision in November 2015 said: "in regard to properties of Syriac, Chaldo-Assyrian, Yezidi and other ethnic groups components, committees would be set up of these components to manage properties of people of their ethnic groups”.

Khalo added that when the migrant or absentee returns, his property and assets would be returned to him 30 days, but if no first of second degree relative was presented, the property and money would be proceeded to go for supporting social development programmes in general, according to regulations would be determined later.

Judy.D from Qamishli explains that the decision is too ambiguous and has many explanation, which enables the PYD to manage the properties of absentees according to their benefits, and considers the decision was made to help in seizing people’s properties, not to protect them from theft and getting lost.

Noura fron Ras al-Ain said angrily: “many people knocked my house’s door in Ras al-Ain and asked me where I came from, and mentioned that they knew that the house was empty, but I explained to them that my husband works in Turkey and I stay at my parents’ house for security reason”. She confirmed that they had recorded 5 houses around as “empty”, despite their owners went only for short period to work in harvesting in Turkey.”

Samhar Hassoun, one of people who escaped the war in Syria to Europe says that the decision is nothing more than punishment to all who left the areas of PYD and justifies seizing their properties, and it is a threatening message to prevent others who are still living in those difficult conditions from leaving.

The Assyrian organization has warned of consequences of the decision on community as it would encourage users and opportunists to use the chaos and contradiction in laws to seize others’ properties, or to take a chance to resolve personal issues.

The Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian branch of Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), had announce in 2014 the Self-Management in North of Syria to rule the areas under its control, and set up its legislation and regulation, even they forced the mandatory recruitment in army for youth to fight with them. In November last the Self-Management formed committees to count houses and properties belong to absentees under the pretext of “managing and protecting the absentees’ properties”, as a preparation to seize them.

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