To put it briefly – without too many blunt words on a dark chapter of our recent history: we express our deap gratitude to MP Özdemir for a foreword in our issue on the seventh anniversary of the Genocide of the Yazidis.

The foreword appears in the comic book “FERMAN – The Suffering” by the artist Sedat Özgen and published by the Office of Yazidi Affairs.

„In their long history, the Yazidis have often been victims of terrible crimes. This book expresses the painful experiences of the Yazidi community very distinctly. I hope that it will reach many readers and that by this the history of the Yazidis and the imperative of tolerance and human rights will take root in many hearts and minds.

In the 21st century, we hoped that the long history of suffering and oppression would be a chapter of the past. But we were taught otherwise. In August 2014, the horrific Genocide of the Yazidis in Iraq occurred. Thousands of people, mostly men and boys, were murdered and thousands more, mostly women and girls, were abducted and enslaved. Hundreds of thousands still live in inhumane conditions in refugee camps.

In 2018, the next terror took place. Turkey and its Syrian proxy forces, many of them Islamists, occupied in violation of international law the mostly Kurdish Afrin, which is traditionally a center of Yazidis in Syria, too. The fear and despair among the Yazidis that the terrible events of 2014 could repeat themselves has shaken me deeply. The traditional population of Afrin became victim to looting, displacement and other crimes. The fact that Islamist groups supported by Turkey destroyed Yazidi cemeteries and shrines in Afrin is hardly bearable.

Germany and the international community must become much more involved in the region to prevent and address such atrocious crimes in the future. We must hold those responsible accountable, both in their home countries and in German courts. In Germany itself, we still have a lot of work to do to improve the living conditions of Yazidis who have fled here and to support their political participation. I hope that the culture of the Yazidis will be passed on from generation to generation. That is the best answer we can give to ISIS and other fanatics.“