Turkman Component of the Syrian National Coalition
The Turkmen are an essential component of the Syrian people who have played a positive role in the culture and history of Syria and their children are dedicated to the Syrian national approach. They affirm the unity of Syria’s land and people. They are willing and able to play their role as a bridge of civilization between the Arabs and the Turkish people by virtue of their knowledge of the language, culture, and habits of both parties.
Turkmen roles in the great Syrian revolution:
Turkmen opposition to the Assad regime and Baathist ideology stretches back tens of years. This fueled the repressive policies followed by the regime against the Syrian people, revolutionary ideas, the rebel youth, and intellectual Turkmen were especially exposed to oppression two fold:
First: They are Turkmen
Second: They are Syrian patriots
The Turkmen offered up many victims in the history of the struggle against the dictatorial regime. The fiercest attack against the Turkmen was in the nineties of the last century when the regime captured hundreds of Turkmen intellectuals and imprisoned them on false and counterfeit charges.
One of the most important attributes of the fight against the Turkmen presence in Syria was that the fight against Turkish language and culture. It became illegal to speak or write in Turkish and illegal to practice or spread Turkish culture and organizations that wanted to do this would not get permission from the state. There was also a systematic political economic crackdown against the Turkmen that prevented them from developing their regions especially in the coastal region which is considered as one of the most beautiful tourist places in the world. Also, the government took much of the Turkmen property in these areas.
As for the Golan Heights Turkmen who refused not to to resist the Zionist occupation and stood with the nation were betrayed by the regime and were punished for standing against the Zionist enemy and standing on the side of the nation forcing the Turkmen to live a life of poverty and difficulty in neighborhoods with minimal services.
These and many other reasons which cannot be mentioned right now led the Turkmen community to sympathize with the Syrian revolution from the very start of its launch. They have stood in the ranks of the revolution during all its phases and in all its forms including the peaceful and military movements.
The Turkmen played a key role in the protests against the Assadi Baathist regime in all their localities including Lattakia, Aleppo, and Homs especially in Baba Amro where Turkmen make up 40% of the residents, in Damascus and other places where Turkmen are present.
Many Turkmen activists have been victim of arbitrary arrests during this time as well as many insults, especially those who were accused of being traitors and being loyal to other countries which always the strategy of a tyrant. With the beginning of the second phase of the revolution and the arming of the revolutionaries the Turkmen were among the first to take up this task and form fighting brigades in the places where they live. They began to fight against the criminal regime forces next to their brothers from all walks of life, here we list some of the first fighting brigades created:
Sultan Mohamad Al Fatih Brigade
Sultan Suleiman Brigade
Sultan Selim Brigade
Anwar Al Haq Batallion
Sultan Murad Brigade
Ashab Al Yamin Brigade
Jabal Al Turkman Brigade
There are other valiant and brave fighting Turkmen brigades and battalions in all parts of the country. These battalions and brigades include individuals from all walks of life in Syria, assuring the unity of the goal that all the Syrians are fighting for.
The years of oppression and tyranny that the Syrian people lived under over the years was a serious challenge to forming political parties or opposition groups against the ruling power in Syria. The Turkmen were victims of this since they attempted to organize, even simple charitable and intellectual organizations, but these historical groups that were formed at various phases in history were fought against, such as family organizations and tribal organizations that contribute to a sort of communal reunion.
When the Syrian revolution was launched the Turkmen were participating on the ground taking part in peaceful protest and taking up arms. Without question there were political organizations that expressed the views and positions of the Turkmen Syrians, request that their rights be protected in the Syrian opposition arena and in other political arenas. In response to these needs some Turkmen parties were formed and launched:
- The Turkman Democratic Syrian Movement
- The National Syrian Turkman Party
These political organizations have confirmed Turkmen adherence to the unity of the Syrian territory and the national rights of Turkmen covered by the Syrian ceiling that does not exclude or marginalize anyone. They have also tried to represent the Turkman in the political opposition against the regime when the Turkman Democratic Syrian Movement and the National Syrian Turkman Party took 9 seats in the Syrian National Council 7 of which were taken by the National Syrian Turkman Party. When the National Syrian Coalition was formed the Turkmen took three seats. Two of those seats were represented by Turkman Democratic Syrian Movement and the third was represented by an individual independent Turkman.
In addition to the Turkman political organizations, the Turkmen took as a priority civic society organizations. Many of charitable organizations were formed and launched to meet the needs of the poor, the families of martyrs, and spreading culture among Turkman youth.