Haaeretz reveals similarities between Baath Party, Erdogan's plans for demographic change

Turkey seeks to replicate the Baath Party's demographic war strategy against Kurdish areas in the 1960s by changing the demographic balance in northeastern Syria to prevent them from becoming an autonomous Kurdish region.

Columnist Zvi Bar'el said in an article for Israel's Haaretz newspaper that Turkey has repeatedly threatened to launch a military operation against areas in northeast Syria controlled by the SDF, which is the backbone of Coalition Forces fighting ISIS mercenaries in Syria.

Last month, Turkey and the United States began efforts to create a safe area in northeastern Syria, which Ankara says will also serve as a "corridor for peace" for the return of the 3.6 million Syrians living in Turkey.

The resettlement of Syrian refugees in northeastern Syria is a strategy for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ease pressure on anti-Syrian sentiment in the country, which analysts see as one of the reasons for Erdogan's ruling AK Party turmoil.

"But the resettlement of refugees in Syria has another unspoken goal that threatens the Kurdish areas of the country,"  Zvi Bar'el said, accusing Ankara of seeking to implement a similar strategy previously used in the northwestern city of Afrin.

SDF says the Turkish government has changed Afrin's demographic balance by settling Turkmen and Arab families in nearby villages, while forcing Kurds to leave the city. It says Ankara wants to reduce the Kurdish population in the east of the Euphrates and replace them with refugees.

The demographic war strategy is not new. The Baath Party used it in Kurdish areas in the 1960s. Now Turkey seems to be trying to replicate this model along its border with Syria.


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