Iraq/Turkey: 15,000 Displaced Yezidis in Turkey seek mass exodus to EU through Bulgaria
The world fails to address Yazidi Crisis; 7000 enslaved, 5000 killed, and a half million displaced; they now plea for resettlement.
Diyarbakir, Turkey – June 27, 2015. Nearly 15,000 Yazidi displaced refugees in southeast of Turkey are seeking mass exodus to European Union countries through Turkish-Bulgarian crossing point where they plan to formally request temporary residency in Bulgaria, and admission to other EU countries as refugees.
More than 15,000 Yazidi refugees living across several refugee camps in southwest Turkey, have collectively decided to leave their camps and seek entry to Bulgaria and other EU countries.
Late Friday evening, June 26, 2015 at about 20:00 o’clock local time, about 30 buses, each with capacity of 60 to 70 passengers, managed to depart and are assumed now en-route to Turkish-Bulgarian border.
However, thousands of refugees remain trapped in the camps by local authorities and the Turkish police, while the police in Diyarbakir have stopped ten buses with the Yazidi passengers. Additionally, thousands of refugees have left the camps and walking on foot in hope of opportunity to leave for the border.
Representatives from the communities request that they are allowed to make this journey, to Europe and are appealing to EU parliament to hold an urgent meeting and grant Yazidis in Turkey temporary refugee status.
On August 3 last year, the so-called “Islamic State”, a Jihadi group that accuses Yazidis as “Infidels”, called publicly on absolute annihilation of Yazidi culture, community, and religion. The radical group executed nearly 6,000 thousand elders, children, and women en masses, enslaved 5 to 7 thousands Yazidis, mostly women and children. Threats against the Yazidi people remain immense in their homeland, Iraq, as well as the host country, Turkey. Murad Ismael, from “Initiative for Ezidis around the World” and Yazda NGO said:
“The hopeless Yazidis hope and plea in the name of humanity, that the world will extend a hand of mercy to them. We hope that the international community will finally take the sponsorship of rescuing our people. Most of our people have lost the hope of returning to their homeland, given the security, political and humanitarian challenges back home. Yazidi children deserve safety, education and a life with dignity. We call that the siege imposed by the Turkish police on refugees’ mobility be removed, urgent humanitarian aid and security be provided to the people en route to the border, and immediate response from EU, UN, UNHCR, IOM and other related parties to allow this resettlement”
Yezidi is a religious minority living in northern Iraq, with population of 600,000 people, including 400, 000 living in Sinjar District which is still under partial control of ISIL forces. About 200,000 resides in towns of Sheekhan, Telkaef, Bashiqa and Alqush, which at large remain under control of “IS”
The Yezidi religion is one of the oldest religions in Mesopotamia. Throughout their history, Yezidis have been subject of 73 genocide campaigns prior to this latest brutal campaign.
Photos will be provided upon request.
The Representatives of the Yazidi Refugees Community in Turkey, and Initiative for Ezidis around the World
Photo on June 26 2015: Estimated 2000 Yazidis seeking Exodus from Turkey have been stopped by Turkish Border Authorities and now remain without shelter or food at Istanbul Bus Station (Otogar)