On its 81st usurpation anniversary, Liwa Iskenderun will remain Syrian forever

Damascus, SANA_ Despite the elapse of 81 years after the crime of usurping Liwa Iskenderun from the motherland, Syria, the sinister memory of this crime is still evident in the conscience of the Syrians who are committed to restore their rights and regain every inch of the soil of their land.

The plot to usurp Iskenderun in 1939 and plunder its wealth was achieved after the facts were falsified according to a tripartite agreement between Turkey and the French and British occupations at the time.

The chapters of that conspiracy are still clearly present in the minds with the attempts of the current Turkish regime led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan to repeat the same scenario, through its support for terrorist organizations and its aggression on Syrian territory.

On September 1, 1939 Turkey exploited the outbreak of the World War II and the coalition’s need to join Turkey to them or keeping it neutral, particularly after Montereux Treaty on July 20, 1936, it dominated the straits in the time of war, announcing the annexation of the Liwa.

France and Britain agreed to give Iskenderun as a bribe to Turkey in return that the latter will support them in the World War II and guarantee their colonialist interests in the region.

The move was a grave precedent as it is a flagrant violation of international law and conventions.

The League of Nations refused to pass the illegal usurpation and annexation of Iskenderun. So, the French British Turkish decision remained illegitimate and was not ratified by any international body.

The UN which replaced the League of Nations after World War II didn’t recognize all the procedures and the demographic and geographic changes made by France and Turkey to change the status of the Liwa to wipe out its genuine Arab identity.

Changing the names of villages and their demographic features, the displacement of Arab inhabitants, replacing Syrian currency with Turkish Lira as an official currency and halting education and government transactions in Arabic were among other racist measures taken by the Turkish regime.

81 years have passed since usurping Liwa Iskenderun from its homeland Syria. A crime whose perpetrators rely on the  statute of limitations to escape punishment and to go ahead with their Turkification policies to turkishize the region and its villages which cover 4500 km2 and have population of 1 million and more, most of them are Syrians.

All artificial borders and barbed wire fences could not shake the loyalty of Liwa Iskenderun inhabitants or change their feeling of belonging. Liwa Iskenderun still lives in the hearts and minds of all Syrians as an occupied Arab land which will inevitably return to its legitimate owners, given that “a right is never lost, as long as someone strives to claim it.”

Gh.A.Hassoun

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