Saturday, October 11, 2014

Turkey comes too close to its own disintegration, by Lyuba Lulko

Turkey and Europe have witnessed violent protests of the Kurds who, according to Turkish and Western media, are extremely concerned about the activities of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in Syria. The West had been pedaling the creation of the Kurdish state with a view to finally solve the problem of Bashar al-Assad. Yet, Recep Erdogan stood on the way. The Turkish PM is facing a dilemma: either to preserve the integrity of the state or ruin relations with ISIL.
On October 6, Islamist militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant entered the Syrian city of Kobani and started fighting against Kurdish self-defense forces, known as the Committee of National Defense (YPG). This is the military wing of the Party of the Democratic Union (PYD), representing the Kurds of Syria, and in fact - the wing of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers' Party. In addition to Syria and Turkey, the conflict between Islamists and the Kurds involves Iraqi Kurdistan, the armed forces of which now confront ISIL in northeastern Iraq.

Kurdistan is a historical region in the Middle East (south-east of Turkey, west of Iran, north and north-east of Iraq and northeastern Syria), mainly populated by the Kurds. The idea of ​​building the so-called Greater Kurdistan is very popular among the Kurdish population. They want to unite all those territories under the flag of an independent state.

"The Turkish authorities misinterpret the current Kurdish protests in Turkey for the international community, - Alexander Ignatenko, president of the Institute of Religion and Politics, member of the Council for Cooperation with Religious Organizations under the President of the Russian Federation told Pravda.Ru. - According to the Turkish authorities, the Kurds allegedly rebel over the fact that Turkey is not actively fighting against the so-called Islamic State. However, objective observers say that the Kurds attack offices that, in their opinion , belong to the Islamic State in Turkey. Suffice it to say that the Turkish government supported the Islamic State with weapons, military training, and Turkish special services were involved in that. The Kurds, standing up against the Turkish government, in fact, stand up against both Turkey and the Islamic State."

Turkey, the expert believes, is not interested in the destruction of the Islamic State, because the country buys very cheap oil from this organization, for two to three million dollars a day. The Islamic State constrains the offensive potential of the Kurds, who seek the creation of er Kurdistan in Turkey. Finally, Turkey wants to send troops to Syria and create a buffer zone there, which, from the point of view of Syrian authorities, will be considered as an occupation of the Syrian territory.
Erdogan said that he would accommodate Kurdish refugees there. In fact, Erdogan's goal is different - to destroy the government of Bashar al-Assad, Alexander Ignatenko believes.

Syrian president warned the Turkish leader that an attempt to send Turkish troops to Syria would be considered intervention that would entail adequate consequences. As for Iraqi Kurdistan, President Massoud Barzani can not win Erdogan's support to help the Syrian Kurds.

Western civil society organizations and parliamentary parties actively discuss the issue of independence of Kurdistan. Jim Karygiannis, former member of the Canadian Parliament and incumbent executive director of G20 Human Rights, dealing with ethnic communities and religious minorities, opened petition on his website to support independence of five million Iraqi Kurds. "Iraq is falling apart, and it is time for the West to recognize Kurdistan as an independent country," he said in an interview with Rudaw. According to Swedish Liberal Party MP Fredrik Malm, the West should support the Iraqi Kurds, to give them an opportunity to survive as a secular state in the volatile Middle East. "If Iraq is standing on the verge of a new long-term war, the Kurds, of course, can revise their options, and I hope that their decision will receive international recognition," he told Rudaw. This brings up a question: is it a mere coincidence that the Kurds were allowed to "shatter windows" in Europe?

For the West, it is obviously profitable to play the Kurdish card now to remove Bashar Assad. This is the prime goal of this challenging game in the Middle East. "The current bombing of ISIL in Syria - is the beginning of the operation that will then proceed to the destruction of al-Assad. ISIL is a game of the United States, - executive secretary of the presidium of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems Araik Stepanyan told Pravda.Ru. - The United States is bombing the forces that do not want to obey the Americans. They can bomb a certain part of ISIL and en-Nusra while supporting a different part of these, because they act as their agents."

Thus, a lot will depend on the main regional player - Turkish President Erdogan - in the solution of the Kurdish issue. What will be more important for him - to save the country from collapse and prevent the Kurds from uniting or succumb to the pressure of the West, engage in a war with Syria and direct ISIL against Turkey? Noteworthy, Erdogan could negotiate with Bashar al-Assad well, including on the Kurdish issue, too. Erdogan's relations with Iran are fine too. Russia would not mind supporting him, should he support Syria. For the time being, Russian diplomats do not release any comments on the Kurdish problem.