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Betting the West was contrary to the interests of the revolution

In the first talk after his departure from Syria ... Riad Turk: the main imbalance is no longer the survival of "war criminal" Bashar al-Assad ... The pivotal ring is the end of foreign occupationBetting the West was contrary to the interests of the revolutionInterviewed by Mohammed Ali Al-Atassi


The role of Israel is very dangerous and may be the alternative and ally of the Russians in the flotation and protection of the regime
You will not list any opposition if you do not succeed in taking legitimacy from the inside ... People need clarification and we have to accept criticism
The American position is the worst on the Syrian issue and Ford worked to divide the opposition to reduce the ceiling of its demands
Meeting the national and national rights of the Kurds comes in a national context and not imposed from abroad

Some might think that one of the signs of the Syrian revolution's defeat and the will of change in the Syrian people is the departure of veteran political opposition Riad al-Turk (88 years) from Syria, after many years in disguise.
But those who read this meeting with Al-Quds Al-Arabi on the outskirts of Paris two weeks after arriving in the French capital, coming from the Syrian interior, will realize that a whole legacy of anti-tyranny and struggle for freedom and dignity has been created by the lives and struggles of tens of thousands of people. Syrian opposition, is still present and effective now and here, and «cousin» as called by the Syrians, but one of the most important and solid symbols.
It is not harmful to the Turk to be a race to criticize the experience of the revolution and call to draw conclusions and lessons, and review the role he played personally and played his party, and the Declaration of Damascus in the ranks of the revolution.
At the time we did not see the opposition politicians who were involved in the institutions of the coalition and before the National Council, the ability to follow the example of Turk in reviewing their experience and recognize their mistakes.
Syria was and will remain a birth, leaving is no exception Syria opposition, and there are a lot of symbols and figures and soldiers anonymous who gave a lot and sacrificed a lot and remained out of the limelight. Today, with such people inside and outside the country, and upon his arrival in Paris, there is a chance that the Syrian opposition, the title and the presence and personalities of symbolic weight, deprived of personal passions and ambitions, working to defend the Syrian cause in international forums, and trying to hear the voice of the Syrian people absent , And push for the creation of institutional structures that allow young generations to take the initiative and face the occupation and the restoration of free and independent Syria.

After spending ten years secretly working in Damascus, I decided to leave Syria and your friends at home and join your family in France. Have you ever had any kind of fear when you decided to leave and cross into Turkish territory? How many days have you taken this trip? What difficulties have you experienced?
When I decided to leave, I had no fear of arrest. I had taken my decisions and precautions and then it was no longer possible to accept the logic of "what has become." We crossed Syria from its south to its north, and the journey lasted 3 days. The road was hard and long, especially for those of my age. But the young people accompanying me were a good friend and companion. I would like to thank them very much for their lives. Fancy. They were wonderful young people and most of the distances we traveled from Damascus passed through the city of Aleppo and the city of Aleppo under the control of the regime, to the fortress of the watchman, and spent a night in the occupied city of Aleppo of Russian and Iranian forces. Interestingly, most of the regime's barriers were bought for a small amount, but for the many barriers, the amount eventually became profitable.
* In the second part of the film "cousin" which I photographed with you at the beginning of the revolution, I said that you will not leave Syria and will die in it and then remained steadfast for 6 years? Why did you finally accept to leave your country and what are the reasons?
My departure was for two reasons, the first to please my daughter Khuzama and Nasreen. They both had a strong desire to reunite the family after all these years. After my wife's death, I was far away from her and the family. Of course my inner sense was pushing me to be on their side, but I did not say it to my comrades in the party at home, fearing that it would be understood as a withdrawal, although they were encouraging me to come out.
The second factor was my sense of self that my role in the party and at home began to weaken, and this feeling increased with my illness and my age and the difficulty of medical follow-up under conditions of clandestine work. In the last period my performance has become poor, and I felt that I was no longer useful to my companions at home. Nevertheless, aside from any perseverance, I feel today as if I were a fish that was taken out of its sea, and I still believe that the basic and meaningful work is inside Syria.

Many Syrians have been deprived not only of their right to life but also of their right to the graves!


[Asharq Al-Awsat] Are you afraid that you will end up as a refugee abroad? Do you have the hope of a close return and how do you see your future role abroad?
* Sometimes I fear that I will die and be buried outside Syria, and it seems that today we are the Syrians scattered across the earth. The irony is that even among the remaining Syrians at home, many have been denied not only their right to life but also their right to the graves! I can not now determine if my role in the next days will be satisfied with people, but I feel that this stage needs the effort of young people, and I feel as if our role ended and the role of others. I am very honest and I have many questions about going into this new experience.
But there is still hope that I will return and return to our homeland Syria, and I will not go too far, if circumstances permit, to make it possible. If it is necessary to return to the need before the appropriate political conditions are available, I am prepared to risk and follow the same path back and to return secretly to the inside.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Is there something that you regret at the political, personal and family levels during these past seven years?
From the political point of view, we were talking about the inevitability of the victory of the revolution and perhaps we did not realize to what extent there was regional and international reluctance to change in Syria and the region. I feel that, as is the case with others, we need an in-depth review. We were in a difficult road, and this road did not lead to the success of the revolution and the overthrow of the regime. We need to understand the reasons for this failure. What is required today is to reconsider many of the Muslim women, and to renew our ideas, our strength and our relations, because we have lost a round of the rounds of this great historic battle and the renewed confrontation with the occupiers. People need clarification and we have to accept criticism and hold people accountable to us and accept the other.
On a personal level, I honestly did not think about it! I regret some of the detailed positions, but I do not think I regret the main stages of independence from the Soviets and stand in the face of Khalid Bakdash, to confront the tyranny of Hafez al-Assad, to refuse to inherit and engage in the Damascus Spring, to form the Damascus Declaration and then to engage in revolution. At the family level, my view was that politics and the party came first, and then the family, and I see today that this is some exaggeration, but it was a necessary measure of my psychological and necessary and the requirements of political opposition. Today, after my daughters have grown up and become independent, I do not accept them and support them that I do not deserve.

The foundations on which the policies and bets of the National Council and the National Coalition were built failed


[Asharq Al-Awsat] Does this mean that the foundations on which the policies, stakes and alliances of the National Council were built and after which the National Coalition for the Syrian Revolution Forces failed to achieve their goals of national democratic change?
* Yes, in my opinion it failed, and preferably there is a serious cash pause. We are facing a new situation in which Syria is occupied by foreign forces, and therefore the main link today is the struggle in all forms in order to get these foreign forces out of our land. It is important for people to realize that today's major imbalance is no longer in Bashar al-Assad's absence or in his extension of two years or more. He is a war criminal who killed his people and a dictator who handed over the foreign occupier to his fate. The main flaw and the pivotal ring today is the occupation and the need to struggle for its end.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Where is the mistake made regarding the formation of the National Council at the beginning of the revolution?
* The main mistake was the urgency in achieving the unity of forces and the formation of the National Council on the basis of an agreement between several political parties, especially the Damascus Declaration and the Muslim Brotherhood, without setting conditions on the parties involved, in the event they violated the terms of the agreement, allow to withdraw or prevent this imbalance. Initially, the agreement was to form the National Council in its governing body from seven political parties, each with an equal footing of four delegates, with a total of 28 members. However, other parties, such as the tribes, also demanded that they be represented politically in the council. After their entry, it turned out that they de facto owe allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result, the Muslim Brotherhood leaked to its side several parties that have a political status independent of the Brotherhood, but its representatives are practically members of the Muslim Brotherhood. In this sense, we had 28 representatives and 52 representatives representing an important part of them loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The second mistake was to resort to self-defense in the face of violence and barbarism of the regime, without any oversight, regulation or tight planning. We, for our part in the party and the Damascus Declaration, did not engage in any armed action. We were not affiliated with any foreign party, but others were involved from the outset in armed action and had regional and international extensions. Consequently, many progress to the square under Islamic names, and it has little by little militarization of the revolution and then Islamized in favor of the agendas of many of the sponsoring organizations of the Islamic armed regional states, which in turn ultimately led to the deviation from the orientations of the basic revolution and to a kind of international trusteeship opposition institutions.
The third mistake was the dream and wish of some opposition political forces that the revolution would receive Western support in the face of the regime, which did not materialize and was ultimately contrary to the interests of the revolution.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] What do you think about the accusations of many of the revolution activists of the Muslim Brotherhood that they betrayed the revolution?
* No, it's not about treachery. I think that they have a desire to control and absorption, and to have the final word before the public opinion, and there were self-confidence too, up to the point of arrogance sometimes, and perhaps some of them are subject to regional and international influences, while others thought they were just around the corner of Topple the regime. We have experienced an experiment in which the political stream of Islam has been one of the main reasons that led to failure. It is our duty to criticize and engage with him politically and ideologically, but this does not mean excluding him from political life or questioning his representation of important segments of our societies.
In the end, this does not prevent me from saying that the Muslim Brotherhood, like others, was the victim of many of the plots against which the Syrian people were subjected. I think that all opposition parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood, the Damascus Declaration and the People's Democratic Party, should conduct a self-critical review of their experience over the past seven years.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Is it possible for me to determine from your point of view what are the priorities of the Syrian opposition action under the current circumstances?

* I tend to emphasize that Syria has been emptied from the inside, and we must fight by all means for the return of people again into Syria, and to ensure their safety and the preservation of their rights and return a dignified and safe return under conditions that are not the final word of the old regime. Our struggle will remain limited if people remain outside Syria. People must return, but not to the embrace of the Russians and the regime, one of which is more obscure than the other. Here is the dilemma and contradiction, especially in the absence of any serious change in the structure of the system and the absence of any international guarantees, and any balance of forces to ensure the return of safe, voluntary and dignified people. The struggle from abroad will remain mostly restricted and governed by the conditions and the pressure of host countries and balances involved in the conflict of international forces in Syria and Syria and the weakness of international sympathy with the Syrian issue, the deficit and the weakness of many of the parties to the opposition pledgee regional hubs. There will be no real opposition if it fails to take its legitimacy from within, and to push for the return of decent Syrians to their country. This raises the question of the possibility and role of young people and their ability to crystallize an independent and different situation that is driven in this direction.
Unfortunately, we are now governed within the balance of the prevailing powers, the ability of the countries involved in the conflict in Syria, the pressure to reach a political settlement including power-sharing within the transition will not be the final word in which the former regime, and impose on all parties to make mutual concessions in the hope of access To a permanent and just solution to the Syrian issue, but the prospects for conflict are open to all possibilities in the future and the balance of power in a state of constant change.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Does this mean that you are calling for compromise with the existing regime?
* Today I am convinced that there is no such thing as Bashar Assad or the Assad regime in Syria. This illusion exists in the heads of some. Today we have a puppet in the hands of Russians and Iranians. This is where Petain comes to me from the old poetry of a late Abbasid Caliph, when Turkmen leaders took over the reins of power.

Khalifa in the cage between summer and Bga
He says what they said to him, as the Baggah says

What is the meaning of the existence of the head of the system and there is no existing army and there are no ministries and institutions working, and there is no judicial system! Today people run themselves in every neighborhood and town and spend.
I am not convinced that there is today a regime called Syria's Assad regime. This is illusion. There are gangs associated with Russian bohemian grace and gangs linked to Iranian bole grace and others associated with American or Turkish bole. But today the Russians seem to need such a tool or a scarecrow called the regime to say they are legitimizing their occupation. But in reality there is no Syrian regime, and there is a direct occupation. To get out of the occupation today from Syria, and will not find the system list. From here the main link today is the struggle against the foreign presence in Syria in all its forms and names from Russian to Iranian to American to Turkish. These forces, which today consider themselves victorious militarily on the ruins of the Syrian revolution and the Syrian national movement, are able to offer a political way out? I doubt that, there is no horizon in front of them? In my opinion, Western talk about a political settlement in exchange for reconstruction, is also not a basis for the solution. The most important thing today is that Syria should not remain empty of its people. We must work towards a political settlement that will allow the Syrians to return to their country. For this, the battle today is with the occupier, not with the regime because there is no regime left to govern, but there is an occupied and ruled country of the alien.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Do not you think that it is very difficult today to awaken Syria's patriotism in the face of the occupation, especially since there is a sectarian sectarian divide that played an important role in fueling, investing and building on it?
* I still do not believe in the tyranny of this sectarian division over other divisions in the Syrian meeting and politics. Not to mention that I am not convinced that Alawite is Bashar Assad or that it will renew loyalty to him. It is true that the crimes of Bashar al-Assad caused horrors to the members of the Sunni community, from the killing, displacement and arrest, but in return there is a high price paid by members of the Alawite community as a result of the war launched by Bashar al-Assad on Syrian society. Entire villages were emptied of their men and young people by fighting or fleeing military service. The end result was the devastation on all sides. Whatever Bashar al-Assad tried to do, it remains that within the Syrian equation, neither side can deny the other.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] In your opinion, is there a real possibility after all that has happened that the Syrians would accept to live under a national umbrella that satisfies everyone?
* It is not about the possibility of the return of coexistence between people or not, because this is a need to be aware of the importance and work for it, whether available or not available. The alternative is division and more divisions. The alternative is to move the divide to the countries surrounding Syria. Regardless of religious, national or regional affiliation, we need each other, and this must be part of our political consciousness and policies based on this consideration, in order to restore Syria's unity after being divided into protectorates and areas of influence between states. At the end of the Syrian national day is the reference and umbrella under which we all meet, which is broader than any umbrella Islamic or national, religious or partisan.
Q: How do you see the future of the Kurdish issue in Syria, in view of the shrinking role of the Kurdish National Council, the role of the PKK and the military control of Syria's democratic forces on the island?
* The Kurdish issue in Syria in my personal opinion is complementary to the Syrian issue, and vice versa. When the Syrians revolted for their dignity and freedom, they were among them the Syrian Kurds. And what happened to the people of the Syrian people of horrors, crime and displacement, also occurred on the Kurds of them. Today, despite all the new facts that have been created on the ground by the ultra-Kurds, I believe that the fulfillment of the national and national rights of the Kurds and the resolution of the Kurdish issue in Syria can not be imposed by force or by the use of foreign countries. It must come in the national context, Is achieved and continues only in the context of the unity of Syrian territory, and in the context of the struggle for a free and democratic Syria, which respects and protects the rights of all its citizens.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] In previous interviews, as in the beginning of this interview, I mentioned the importance of empowering young people and giving them a greater role in opposing political action. But at the same time, you failed to keep cooperation during the revolution with one of the people closest to you, Razan Zeitouneh?
* My relationship with Razan is old and strong. She accompanied and accompanied her in her opposition work and even in practicing law. It is rare to find a man like her dedication, and has always respected her intelligence, her stubbornness and hardness, and she played a role far beyond the importance of the role played by most of the veteran opponents. In fact, I was not far from Razan, but she preferred to get away in the early stages of the revolution, after I was very critical of her participation in the Antalya conference, which was one of the first international conferences to try to contain the youth. Razan at the time did not accept the cash and moved away. Unfortunately, I admit today that I was very harsh in this situation, and I should not have been so cruel. Because this was her first experience in public relations abroad, but Qsoti was born of my jealousy and I was keen on it and was very afraid of it to fall into the pitfalls are indispensable, and it was urgent and few experience in this area. Until she went to Duma I was afraid of him. I had the feeling that the Army of Islam was infiltrated by the regime, and therefore there was no real security in the world.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] I have been repeating in recent years that the Syrian revolution is victorious even if it is defeated! Do you think today that the Syrian revolution was defeated, and how to put this revolution in the context of the so-called revolutions of the Arab Spring?
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Yes, this revolution is victorious, even defeated, if we look at it from the perspective of the depth of the social transformations taking place in our region. We lost a round of conflict, but we did not lose the battle. And I tend to say that the battle is still going on, and the strength of the battle comes from the magnitude of the international conspiracy and the great brutality that has befallen the Syrians.
This historic battle is not measured by the defeat or victory of a revolution that lasted for several years. The strength of this battle comes from its Arab depth and not just from its Syrian depth.
Arab societies today have reached a stage in which they need a profound and profound change, expressed by the turmoil and upheaval that these societies have experienced for seven years. There is a kind of colonial alertness in order to prevent these peoples from taking control of their own affairs, to be part of the modern world, to choose governments that derive their legitimacy from the ballot box and from the popular will. There is also concern and fear in some Western decision- Sykes Pico, and is keen to preserve its output, while the real goal is to break the will of democratic change in our peoples and to stand up to the wave of emancipation that has rocked the region for the last seven years. Of course here, we must not lose sight of the disastrous role played by the currents of jihadist Islam and extremist ideology in the face of this popular tide, and in emptying societies from within the forces of change and renewal.
Yes, there is a lot of interdependence and similarities between the revolutions of the so-called «Arab Spring», albeit governed by different phases, each with its own circumstances, but it remains that the basis and common link is the need of these communities for radical change and salvation from tyrannical and corrupt regimes, and access to some kind of good governance , Which in this complement each other.
His revolution may fail here or there, but it will come back in a new way. Our peoples today are at the heart of history; they are the ones who make history. This historic course is impossible to stop.
Q: What is your assessment of the American role over the years of the revolution? And how do you view today the renewed Israeli role in the Syrian arena?
* The American role in Syria can not be understood outside the context of the Obama administration's attitude towards the Arab Spring revolutions. This administration was unable and unwilling to accept the results of the election funds and the return of the Arab peoples to be part of the political equation and to introduce moderate political Islam streams within the democratic game, preferring, as in the past, to deal with military regimes that claim stability and are governed by a single, Negotiate with him, make deals and get concessions. In the Syrian context, it is enough to look at the fate of Obama's red lines and the resulting international agreements to disarm him, which in the end made the Syrian regime a partner in these agreements and ensured its survival and did not prevent it from continuing to use these weapons against the Syrian people.
In this context, I can not forget the ambiguous and bad role played by US Ambassador Ford since the first day of his appointment as representative of his country in Damascus. As if he came to work to divide the opposition and increase confusion within its ranks towards the revolution and reduce the ceiling of its demands to the lowest ranks, without affecting the structure and stability of the system.
I still consider that the American position in general is the worst among the positions on the Western level towards the Syrian issue. However, considering that the US administration is a big country with broad regional influence, we can only take this situation into account and deal with it and try to minimize its negative effects. As for the Israeli role today, in my opinion it is very dangerous, and I am concerned that Israel is the alternative or ally of the Russians in its flotation and protection, knowing that the Israeli lobby has played a role from the beginning in exerting pressure on the American administration to ensure the survival of the regime and work to weaken it somewhat . I believe that if there is a Syrian national revival and a restoration of some of the national movement, we will face a new repressive force that is no different in its brutality from Russian or Iranian power.
Q: What is your reaction to the opinions that you have become as authoritarian as Khaled Bakdash and the leader of the PDP and run behind the scenes, and that you do not allow any charismatic leader to emerge, and that you often marginalize and exclude them?

* I do not think this is accurate. The most correct thing in my view is that I am a hard-liner in the political situation, and I may sometimes transcend my border, and not in the position of the people. Yet I have long been pushed to take on a lot of young comrades with the highest responsibilities and I wanted their metals to be exposed by taking on the most serious responsibilities. As for the party, I was the initiator of the rejuvenation of the party, and my goal was gradual withdrawal, and from here left the party's first secretariat at the Sixth Congress. If we had succeeded in holding our seventh conference in 2008, I would now be outside the Central Committee.
In a conversation with Dr. Fida Hourani, former president of the National Council of the Damascus Declaration, she pointed out the importance of forming a kind of national structure or conference abroad that sets priorities for national action and allows the creation of a process within the ranks of the Syrian opposition on the independence of the Syrian national decision. From here, in the light of the special and close relations that bring you together with Dr. Fida, how do you look at the question and what are the priorities of the Syrian national action abroad in your opinion today?
In fact, this is an important question and I have yet to find satisfactory answers. I believe that the Syrian national movement needs its personalities, forces and parties to renew its vision, program and structures on the basis of a critical review of the course of the revolution. This, in my opinion, would not be an individual or a party; it should be the outcome of an in-depth dialogue at the national level and the outcome of a process in the making. And every political force or national figures to pay their price, and we here to listen to those who have sold and experience in the fight against tyranny, and we must listen to young people and listen to people who have been displaced and displaced. If I allow myself to make a proposal here, it is the steadfastness of the slogans of the revolution and the focus on ending the occupation, and the assertion that there is no regime in Syria, and what is trying to scare us is an illusion. What exists and exists on the ground is a group of gangs and structures that are used as an extension of the regime, but are in fact in the service of the Russian or Iranian occupation.
[Asharq Al-Awsat] Since you left prison in the late 1990s, you have always emphasized the importance and priority of transferring Syria from tyranny to democracy.
Today the first issue and the first national duty is liberation and confronting the occupation, and thus all other national issues are difficult to achieve and struggle for without being free in our country. It is true that democracy is the backbone of the Syrian cause, but now all the forces and all the possibilities should be directed to get the foreign occupier out of our land and our country. It is true that our Syrian people have fought in the past against the French occupation, but now the process is more complex because it includes not only Syria and the region, but it has become an international crisis concerning the depth of the policies and balances of the big powers. From here we must realize that we have two forms of struggle: the internal struggle against the occupation and stand in the face of attempts to float the regime again, and the external struggle and work in the international fields in order to collect any support, even a simple issue of Syria.


source from here

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