Turkmens in Syria not accepting Assad’s election victory

By Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu

IDLIB, Syria (AA) – Turkmens in Syria do not recognize the so-called presidential election that Bashar al-Assad claims to have won by ignoring the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

Vail Haj Taha, who lives on Turkmen Mountain in the countryside of Latakia, told Anadolu Agency his group did not accept the so-called elections.

“He's been killing us for 10 years. Now they say there has been a new election and he won. They call him the president. In fact, he is not the president, he is a monster,” he said. “We do not know how the elections have been carried out. Because there are no Syrians in Syria. All of them are in Germany and Turkey.”

Muhammed Hac Bekir, another Turkmen, said the regime caused them to migrate.

“My children went to Turkey. He [Assad] bombed and burned their houses,” he said.

Mustafa Memleket said Assad killed the people with the murderers he brought from abroad.

“We went to Germany, Lebanon and Turkey. The whole world is full of Syrians. They force the nation to elections by force of soldiers and police. May God save us from him,” said the Turkmen.

Bashar al-Assad was declared winner of “presidential elections” that were held with nonfunctional candidates, the regime's news agency SANA announced on Thursday.

The regime's Parliament Speaker Hamouda Sabbagh announced to the media that Assad won with 95.1% of the vote.

He claimed voter turnout was around 78%, while more than half of the country cannot go to the polls.

Assad has been the victor in every election since assuming power in 2000 as heir to his father, Hafez al-Assad.

The decision to hold elections was made despite an ongoing military conflict, the lack of a political solution, the failure of negotiations between the opposition and the regime, and the displacement of more than 10 million Syrians either as refugees or internally displaced persons.

Moreover, about 40% of the country is not under regime control.

Syria has been mired in a civil war since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Over the past decade, around half a million people have been killed and more than 12 million had to flee their homes.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar