Mar 31 2018

Congress makes Afrin part of Turkish province

The Afrin Liberation Congress, held under Turkey's auspices following the capture of the region of Afrin in Syria by Turkish and Free Syrian Army forces, has announced that the region will be governed as part of the Turkish province of Antakya, independent news site T24 said.

The region will also establish a 450-person police force, the congress decided, and a governor and local governor will be appointed by Turkey’s central government.

Around 100 individuals from the region took part in the congress in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, and elected a 35-person assembly made up of 24 Kurds, eight Arabs, one Alawite, one Yezidi and one Turkmen, spokesperson Hasan Shindi said.

“Turkey here is proceeding with a dual structure,” legal scholar Vahap Coşkun was quoted as saying.

“On the one hand, it is highlighting a delegation chosen by representatives of the people there and they are taking a role in the everyday administration (of the area). On the other, Turkey is appointing one of its own bureaucrats there in order to achieve general co-ordination.”

However, according to international law, the province must continue to follow Syrian law as it remains legally part of Syria.