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Syria-Turkey Border Crossing to Reopen This Week, Officials Say

By Rudaw 30/11/2013
As part of the negotiations, the governor of Hasakah visited Qamishli last week and he has talked to the mayor of Nusaybin, Ayse Gokkan, on the same issue.
As part of the negotiations, the governor of Hasakah visited Qamishli last week and he has talked to the mayor of Nusaybin, Ayse Gokkan, on the same issue.

QAMISHLI—Syrian and Turkish authorities are expected to reopen the Nusaybin border crossing this week, officials have told Rudaw.

“The closure affected us on both sides of the border,” says Sheikhmus Ali, a resident of the Kurdish city of Qamishli. “People have used the border for trade, for bringing in medicine. We rely on the border.”

Official sources told Rudaw that Syrian and Turkish authorities have been in negotiations in the past two months about reopening the border that was closed due to fighting between Syrian and rebel forces in the past two years.

As part of the negotiations, the governor of Hasakah visited Qamishli last week and he has talked to the mayor of Nusaybin, Ayse Gokkan, on the same issue.

Younis Abdi Aziz, a political analyst in Qamishli says that the closure of the border during the fighting had harmed the local residents and helped smugglers.

“When the border was closed we on both sides of the border suffered,” he said. “People had no choice but to cross the border illegally. Some smugglers would charge more than 20,000 liras to carry someone across.”

The mayor of Nusaybin, Gokkan, staged a hunger strike last month to protest the building of a wall by the Turkish government to prevent a possible spillover of the Syrian conflict into its territories. She said it was an attempt to divide the Kurds on both sides of the border.

There are three important border points in the Kurdish areas of Syria.

Tel Kocer that was seized in October by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) after weeks of fierce fighting with jihadist groups, and Simelke, are controlled by the Kurds under the Democratic Union Party (PYD).   

However, the Nusaybin crossing is still under the Syrian government and its location in the oil-rich province of Hasakah makes it vital for the economy of the region.

“We hope this border opens soon so that our people can cross to the other side, take their patients to hospital, bring medicine. Otherwise it is all very difficult at the moment,” said Mustafa Mashayikh, head of the Unity Party in Qamishli.



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Amed | 30/11/2013
How can the the border crossing in Qamislo still be under the control of the Syrian regime? Why did the PYD tolerate the Syrian Regime in Rojava? They should be kicked out especially from Qamislo which is the capital of Rojava.
Raven | 30/11/2013
Border closure by Turkey and KRG is very inhumane! It should be reopened as soon as possible. The people of Rojava should not be victimized any longer.
Qaraman | 1/12/2013
Beautifully played by Turkey, first they manged to drive a huge rift between KDP and PYD so that KRG lost literally all influence in Rojava, then they reproached Baghdad and Iran, and despite what is reported they didn't sign the oil deal with KRG because Baghdad is in the last faze of making them a counter offer which will be better than KRG's, that of course has been Turkey's goal all along. Turkey used the same tactic with the US for their ballistic missile defense, they pretended to be interested in buying a Chines system and even signed with the Chines firm which shocked the whole of NATO, but in the end they got what they wanted and the US agreed to sell them their system cheaper and transfer some of the technology. They made president Barzani denounce Rojava but they themselves despite being the main country actively working to dispose of Assad are now reproaching Assad and opening the border with Syria!. KRG managed to sideline itself quite good and if it doesn't take countermeasures immediately will be left at the mercy of Baghdad and Ankara, if lucky watered-down and scarps of deals here and there will be left for KRG and they'll have no choice but to accept. This is why people were calling for caution and unity, this is why people were criticizing president Barazani for his decisions on Rojava. There are several very effective counter measures that could be taken by KRG, the question is does the KRG leadership have the foursight and courage to take them or are we going to experience yet an another opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Rojcan | 1/12/2013
@Qaraman great point and perspective on this whole thing, nice incite. As much as I critique the KDP and KRG, I hope don't get left in the cold bc of this and make the right moves to undermine the turkish regime. Their place as a Kurdish party shouldn't be lost bc of these snakes.
FAUthman | 1/12/2013
According to the Reuters report of only two days ago,:" Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan sign landmark energy contracts" Turkey will not, and does not seem to have the intention to, abandon the KRG for Baghdad. Turkey has invested billions in Kurdistan, signed partnership agreements with Exxon Mobile to explore for and export oil and gas from Kurdistan, has already signed pipeline agreements with the Kurds. Five of the worlds biggest oil companies work in Kurdistan and would not have if not assured by Turkey they could use Turkey as their export route. In the next few months Kurdish oil will reach Ceyhan. Is Turkey doing all that just to get a better deal out of Baghdad? Not likely. Furthermore, a risky pipeline by Baghdad with Turkey`s help through the insurgency territory of Iraq from Basra to Turkey is far fetched. Though the above article is about Syria, this comment needed to be made.
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