Turkish and Kurdish Waterbury residents react to temporary ceasefire U.S. withdrawing troops from Syria

Connecticut

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH)– Plank Road in Waterbury has a Turkish and Kurdish restaurant right next to each other. The crisis in Syria hits very close to home there.

People there are reacting to Thursday’s news of that cease fire agreement.

Firat Ciftc is from Turkey.

“It’s good. I’m happy to hear that,” said Ciftc.

Related: Turkey agrees to Syria ceasefire: Vice President Mike Pence

Islam Selevany is Kurdish. He’s from northern Iraq but now a U.S. citizen.

“I think it’s great. There will be less bombing going on of innocent people,” said Selevany.

Selevany is the manager at Dunya, a middle eastern grocery store and restaurant. He’s been worried about the Kurdish people in Syria, especially after President Trump‘s move to pull out U.S. troops.

He knows a great deal about how much Kurds rely on American troops. He says when he was a child, U.S. troops protected his family from Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

“We had to go in mountains and live for 18 days when Saddam Hussein came and tried to wipe us out. And the U.S. government was the one who came and helped us,” said Selevany.

Selevany says he wasn’t angry when President Trump decided to withdraw U.S. troops who were working with Kurdish forces in Syria.

“I’ve been here 22 years, I’m American. I don’t want to see any of our troops getting hurt in somebody else’s war. That’s the truth. The U.S. has helped Kurds off and on, but ultimately the Kurds have to fight for themselves. They shouldn’t depend on anybody else to do anything for them,” said Selevany. “Ultimately the U.S. can’t be there forever just to protect us.”

Before the announcement of the cease fire agreement, violence against Kurds weighed heavy on his mind.

“It hits you hard because that’s where we’re from,” said Selevany. “Mostly the people who get hurt are children and women.”

No one at the Turkish restaurant agreed to go on camera, off camera they told us the cease fire is good.

Same for Ciftc who was born in Turkey and is now friends with Selevany here in Connecticut.

“Peace is good, you know?” said Ciftc.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

New Haven

North Haven man charged with sexually assaulting tenant

News /
Thumbnail for the video titled "North Haven man charged with sexually assaulting tenant"

3-year-old girl missing from Waterbury found safe, mother arrested

News /
Thumbnail for the video titled "3-year-old girl missing from Waterbury found safe, mother arrested"

Congresswoman DeLauro talks job training programs in New Haven

News /
Thumbnail for the video titled "Congresswoman DeLauro talks job training programs in New Haven"

Memorial service held for 19-year-old shot, killed by police in West Haven

News /
Thumbnail for the video titled "Memorial service held for 19-year-old shot, killed by police in West Haven"

RESOLVED Silver Alert: Police locate missing Waterbury woman

News /
Thumbnail for the video titled "RESOLVED Silver Alert: Police locate missing Waterbury woman"

Yale event encourages women to learn "The Basics" of working in politics

News /
Thumbnail for the video titled "Yale event encourages women to learn "The Basics" of working in politics"
More New Haven

Trending Stories