Tag Archives: Ankara

As Turkey frantically jockeys to tarnish Syrian Kurds, can the U.S. afford to abandon the Kurds?

As Kurdish-led forces were rejoicing the capture of the strategically important town of al-Shadadi from the Islamic State (IS), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was on a frantic mission to pressure Washington to abandon support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and label the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as terrorists.

Erdogan’s call to Barrack Obama was on the back of statements from State Department spokesman John Kirby that refused to blame the YPG for the recent bombing in Ankara that Turkey vehemently insists was carried out by the Syrian Kurds.

Turkey has long insisted that the PYD are a mere extension of PKK and has stuck to the view that the PKK or PYD are no different than IS. In fact, since Turkey formally joined the war against IS after a bombing in Suruc in 2015, it is the PKK that been the subject of Turkey’s rage on “terrorists”.

On the other hand, the Syrian Kurds have proved to be the most effective ground force against IS and have made significant gains in recent months in curtailing vital IS supply routes. At the same time, Turkey has insisted that Washington decides between the PYD and Turkey.

The fact that the U.S. has refused to take sides speaks volumes. The U.S. spent millions of dollars on a training program for so called Syrian moderates that amassed to virtually no gains. The Kurds have demonstrated to the U.S. that they are the ready-made boots on the ground that Washington had craved in vain for so long.

The visit of US Special Presidential Envoy for the Coalition against ISIS, Brett McGurk, to the Kurdish town of Kobane, the source of the symbolic victory of the US-led air campaign against IS, illustrates the significance of Kurdish support to the U.S.

Even though the Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) claimed responsibility for the deadly Ankara bombing, this would have always fallen on death ears in Turkey.

It is not just about a bombing incident, it is about the strategic standing and clout of the Syrian Kurds, who aside from a narrow corridor between Afrin and Jarablus hold almost the entire Syrian border with Turkey, that Ankara is trying to tarnish.

The fact that Turkey sees the PYD as bigger “terrorists” than IS, Jabhat al-Nusra and various other jihadist groups tells its own story. Turkey would tolerate any group on its doorstep than an autonomous Kurdish stronghold.

Turkey’s border has been the lifeline for not just the Syrian opposition but also IS. The remaining IS access to the Turkish border could have been easily sealed by Kurdish forces with coalition air support.

Turkey is already fighting a frenzied new battle against the PKK and the south east of Turkey is threatened with a return to the dark days of the 1990’s with daily curfews and violence.

The fate of the Kurds in Turkey and Syria are intrinsically linked. Without an affective Turkish policy that caters for both realities there will never be peace in Turkey.

As for the Syrian Kurds, what if Turkey succeeds in getting the U.S. to abandon ship and desert their Kurdish allies? The simple answer is that the already uneasy Kurds will merely become fully engrossed in the Russia camp where they already enjoy strong ties.

First Published: Kurdish Globe

Other Publication Sources: Various Misc

US softening stance on Assad epitomizes failed foreign policy

In February, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura controversially claimed in a press that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “…is part of the solution”.

Then a short while later in March, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, caused more controversy when declaring in an interview that “we have to negotiate in the end” with Assad.

While both statements resulted in swift backtracking amidst Syrian opposition and a regional outcry, it appears that Kerry and de Mistura merely uttered a growing acknowledgement in the West and particularly Washington.

In spite of later assurances that the US line on Assad had not changed – that he had no role in Syria’s future and had lost legitimacy to rule, Kerry’s comments merely added to growing scepticism and frustration in Turkey, with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu likening shaking hands with Assad to shaking hands with Hitler.

US President Barrack Obama, once labelled groups such as the Islamic State (IS) as minor players. Yet a grand coalition, frantic responses as IS steam-rolled through large parts of Syria and Iraq and hundreds of air strikes later, the name on the lips of Washington is IS and not Assad.

Turkey which has been at increasing loggerheads with the US and become disillusioned and bitter with Obama’s foreign policy, finds itself in a difficult predicament as an “official” part of the coalition, yet finds differences with the US over Assad a bridge too far to assume a more active role. In turn, the line from Washington is that Turkey has not stepped up to the plate as a key NATO ally.

Failed US foreign policy

Regardless of the official tone, there is now increasing realisation that whilst Assad is part of the problem, he is also part of the solution.

When Assad alleged that there was indirect contact with the coalition over the operations against IS, the US quickly denied this insisting that Assad’s comments be “taken with a grain of salt.” But the situation must also be judged within the new grains of reality – Assad did not give up power when the regime was on its knees, let alone when they are relatively secure and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is rapidly splintering.

This says much about the sorry state of Western foreign policy. Four and half years into a brutal civil war that has killed over 200,000 and displaced millions under the hands of a regime that clung to power by all means possible, to be in a situation where Assad and his institution is needed to prop up a Syria under the evident threat of a Jihadist takeover, tells its own story.

Obama’s Syrian policy failed to see the bigger picture, a conflict hijacked by Jihadists that was spreading fast across the borders of Syria and that once the bushfire started the effort to contain it, let alone to put it out, would far exceed any efforts in its prevention in the first place. Syria was very much the fertile Jihadist garden which allowed the IS seeds to flourish with Assad’s blessing.

Assad continuously broke red-lines that we quickly reset into greyer lines by Washington. Finally, a largely reluctant US intervened – when yet another red-line surfaced, IS banging on the doors of Erbil and Baghdad.

Strained US-Turkey ties

The lack of intervention in the first pace and now a focus away from Assad has infuriated an Ankara adamant that tackling Assad must be part of any operation against IS. The US has insisted that its hands are full with the fight against IS in Iraq and Syria, but for Turkey, increasingly fed-up with more foot-dragging by Washington, the road to defeating IS can only run through Damascus..

The softening of the US stance towards Assad is hardly through a plethora of options on the table. Put simply, giving the choice between Assad and IS, US would choose Assad over and over again. But choosing the lesser of two “evils” hardly bodes well for American credibility.

From the long-standing assertion that the time has come for Assad to “step aside” to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statements that the time was now for Assad to “to think about the consequences”, the tone changes are subtle but nevertheless discernible.

Kerry gave tentative support for a largely unsuccessful Russian peace initiative between Syrian opposition figures and the regime which saw large segments of the key Syrian opposition figures boycott the talks amidst distrust and skepticism. The fact it was Russia, a chief backer of Assad, leading the peace charge with US nowhere to be seen, highlighted that Washington sees prospects of a real breakthrough as slim and that Assad’s removal is not a priority.

Turkey remains reluctant to meet the Coalitions demands of using Turkish soil for air raids or for Turkey to assist directly in the fight against IS. Turkish bases are highly strategic for a successful campaign against IS, especially Mosul.

Erdogan has shown himself as a dogged, independent and at times unpredictable ally that will not be pushed around by the US or European powers. Erdogan warned months ago prior to a repair mission by US Vice President Joe Biden that the Turkish position will not change unless the US can strike real compromise. The repair mission was ironically by a man who drew the ire of Erdogan with suggestions that Ankara had encouraged the flow of Jihadists along the border.

“From the no-fly zone to the safety zone and training and equipping – all these steps have to be taken now,” insisted Erdogan previously, before reiterating a common stance “The coalition forces have not taken those steps we asked them for…” and that as a result his stance will not change.

With such a significant shared border with Syria, home to the main Syrian opposition groups and the host of millions of refugees, Turkey finds itself at the centre of the conflict one way or another. Yet its lack of an agreed policy with the US speaks volumes on the state of what was already a diminishing relationship.

Turkish annoyance at their US partners could not have been demonstrated better than over the Kurdish town of Kobane. As Erdogan continuously downplayed the significance of the Kobane, the small dusty town unknown to much of the world become a symbol of the coalition fight against IS and one which the US deemed its credibility would be judged.

Kobane was not any Syrian town. It was part of the newly declared autonomous cantons of the main Syrian Kurdish party (PYD) which Ankara accuses of been an arm of the PKK. To the anger of Turkey, the US even provided ammunition and supplies to the Syrian Kurdish rebels with signs of growing cooperation.

The bigger picture

Even if IS is defeated in Syrian, which could take years, the US needs to quickly agree on a plan to deal with the root-cause of IS – Assad.

A grand bargain with Russian and Iran may well be possible to see that regime apparatus remains in place with Assad ‘eventually’ gone. However, such terms can no longer be on the unrealistic Genève Communique of 2012.

Even the new US initiative to train thousands of so called moderate Syrian rebels in Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia starting in early spring, is fraught with difficulties. The US made clear that goal of the initiative was to empower rebels to go on the offensive against IS and set the scene for a negotiated settlement of the conflict in Syria. Assad was not even mentioned.

But so fractured is the Syrian landscape that picking out the moderates and vetting individuals is a painstaking task. Indeed, many moderates have slipped into the hands of new Islamist alliances in Syria bewildered at the lack of Western support. And what about the appetite of any newly trained rebels turning their guns on IS under Western pressure whilst Assad, their ultimate priority, simply regroups and gains strengths in the background?

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Ankara with its new independent and assertive role in the Middle East can simply wait on US policy that it remains unconvinced with, as it continues to harbor millions of refugees and an unstable border.

First Published: Daily Sabah

Other Publication Sources: Various Misc

Turkey’s new saviour role in the region undercut by its refusal to resolve age-old issue at home

Turkish support of Palestinian statehood and human rights in the Middle East is all the more ironic as the real issue of the region, a solution to the Kurdish national struggle is overlooked.

As Turkey attempts to accelerate itself as a reborn champion of the Middle East, at the same time its highly anticipated “Democratic Opening” aimed at resolving its age old Kurdish dilemma has ground to a halt. Turkey continues a reach out to its neighbours but increasingly neglects to resolve historic problems on its doorstep.

In the past few years, Turkey has increasingly strengthened its influence over the eastern Mediterranean and the greater Middle East. While for decades Turkey looked more closely to its West than its Eastern frontier, there has clearly been a shift as it tries to muster an Ottoman-like prominence over the region.

With the prospect of EU membership seemingly  becoming more distant and the growing economical connotations that have come with improving relations with its eastern neighbours coupled with the huge energy incentives that come with Turkey’s unique geographical location, Turkey has realised that the key to its future lies with its past.

As Turkey has moved closer to its Arab and Iranian neighbours its relations with Israel have deteriorated exponentially much to the dismay of the US. The growing popularity of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan coincides with the Arab spring where Turkey promoted itself as a saviour of repressed peoples and a stalwart of human rights.

While Arabs may have gained tremendously from the historic revolutionary dawn, this has placed Israel into tight corner where its relative peace with Egypt and its neighbours has been greatly jeopardised.

One the back of rising anti-Israeli rhetoric, now Turkey finds itself at the spearhead of a contentious plan by the Palestinian government to push through recognition of statehood at the UN. This has placed the US under a challenging predicament were it could easily veto such proposals but ultimately face a great own-goal in its credibility in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

At same time as building bridges with the Arab community, Turkey continues to foster warm ties with Tehran. Suddenly Turkey finds itself with a hand in critical matters across the region from Cairo, Jerusalem, Damascus, Beirut and Baghdad to Tehran.

With Turkey enjoying a regional renaissance akin to its yesteryears keeping them onside has been ever more critical for the US.

All the while as Turkey flexes its new socio-political muscles, its Achilles heel remains on the backburner but as fervent as ever – a genuine solution to its Kurdish problem. It seems that whenever a social earthquake strikes the Middle East from the post Ottoman days to the current Arab spring, it is the Kurds that lose out.

Turkey’s passionate defence of what it deems rightful Palestinian statehood is all the more ironic as it denied the mere existence of the Kurds for decades. But as the Kurdish problem gathers dust on Ankara’s political shelf, just who is pressurising the Turks to resolve its age old problem?

Palestinian may be deserving of statehood but can anyone genuinely say that a 22nd Arab state is more justified than Kurdish independence?

The Kurds continue to act as one of most pro-US groups around, yet the US is rushing to appease Turkish demands at the expense of Kurds to save face at the UN and keep its other historic allies onside. A trade-off for a Turkish backdown on its insistence on unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence is likely to be direct American assistance to oust the PKK rebels, including deployment of US predator drones.

It is remarkable that as the Kurdistan Region gets bombed from both sides of its border and as Baghdad attempts to dilute their power to the south, the US keeps a silent profile.

Rather than propelling the steady Kurdish advancement, it appears leaning towards its “bigger” partners who appear intent on not just reining the Kurdish rebels but the region itself. Turkish and Iranian firepower serves as a reminder to the Kurdistan Region as much as the rebels just who calls the shots in the region.

Kosovar independence was fast tracked with the assistance of the EU, US and Turkey as a justified special case, much in the same way as South Sudan and now Palestine looks to join the list sooner or later.

Ironically, those same powers also consider Kurdistan a special case but to detriment of the Kurdish nation. Kurdish independence is considered a special case due to geopolitical ramifications i.e. fear that Kurdish independence in any of its parts would cause tidal waves and instability in others.

However, those that consider Kurdistan a special case are those same powers that created this artificial predicament.

As Kurdistan was selfishly carved up and denied the same rights that were given to other ethnicities, who asked the Kurds how they wanted to decide their own destiny?

While all parts of Kurdistan have undergone decades of repression and genocide under successive regimes, where was the US, UN and Europe to champion their rights or talk about “justified cases”?

Any established nation has the right to unmolested existence, to decide its own affairs and to express cultural freedom. No nation has the right to submerge, rule-over or deny outright another nation.

 These fundamental principles are one of the main reasons why the League of Nations and later the UN was created and why many wars have been waged against rogue regimes and dictators trespassing international charters.

 Clearly, in the case of Kosovo, South Sudan and Palestine such international charters are interpreted and implemented to suit strategic, ideological and political goals.

 The Kurdistan Region can be a power to be reckoned with if it maintains internal unity and refuses to succumb to bullying from regional and global powers and double standards to the adoption of UN charters.

 There is no doubt that the Kurdistan Region relies greatly on Turkish and Iranian support but they must not accept to be viewed as inferior partners but great strategic actors in their own rights. Kurdistan has masses of oil at its disposal and neighbouring partners are starting to realise a long held anxiety, a Kurdish boom underpinned by oil.

PKK and PJAK must lay down their arms for the days of armed struggles are gone. But the end of such rebel groups must be met with a genuine opportunity for peace and brotherhood. If Turkey continues to view the Kurdish issue as a terrorist issue then another 100 years will not end bloodshed and suffering. If the fundamental social polarisation remains intact, the demise of one rebel will simply result in the rise of another.

As Turkey builds extensions to its formidable looking house, without a true resolution to its Kurdish issue, its foundations are susceptible to crumbling at any time.

As for the US and UN, rather than  a continuation of supporting policies detrimental to the Kurdish cause, they must employ a genuine desire and effort to resolve the real issue of the Middle East – Kurdistan, not Palestine.

First Published On: Kurdish Globe

Other Publication Sources: Various Misc.

Growing polarisation of Turkey deepened by a policy of no-peace and no-war

The promise of progression in the Kurdish opening and a true resolution to Turkey’s age old Kurdish dilemma has slowly disintegrated.

Rather than a positive climate that should been created by AKP’s historic success at the recent elections with anticipation of democratic reform and a new constitution combined by a record number of Kurdish PM’s elected to parliament, the last few months have served as an ominous prelude to a growing social divide, increased bitterness and rising inter-communal  tension.

The PKK continues to cast a hefty shadow on the Kurdish landscape yet the government refuses to negotiate with them, and continues to attack them culturally, politically and militaristically thereby punishing all Kurds.

Underpinned by a Kurdish boycott of parliament and a contentious declaration of democratic autonomy much to the fury of Ankara is a number of controversial trials of Kurdish politicians and a deepening Kurdish-Turkish divide created by a growing number of Turkish casualties in an escalating war with the PKK.

With signs of a dangerous increase in the polarisation of Turkey, sentiments are hardly helped with the recent high-profile charges against Kurdish politicians.

Only this week Turkey charged over 100 Kurdish politicians, 98 of which are former mayors, for signing a demand over two years ago that called for better conditions for imprisoned former PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Prosecutors had deemed that such demands constituted terrorist propaganda, whereas for the Kurds it merely reemphasised the prevalent out-dated mentality and approach of the Turkish judiciary. The politicians could face years in jail and the trials will almost certainly placate growing Kurdish resentment towards Ankara.

As witnessed by the huge Kurdish uproar and protests that came with a number of pre-election arrests and charges, the Kurds are increasingly determined to stand up to what they see as Turkish political aggression against the advancement of the Kurdish cause. The BDP have maintained a boycott of parliament in retaliation for the stripping of jailed deputy Hatip Dicle of his seat.

The proclamation of more trails comes hot on the heels of popular Kurdish deputy Aysel Tuğluk who was elected to parliament last month been given a two year sentence for similar charges.

Placing a dark cloud on reconciliation and soothing of sentiments is the high-profile “KCK trials” which includes 12 Kurdish mayors and dozens of other politicians. Ankara has accused them of been part of KCK, an umbrella organisation of the PKK.

The nature of these trials has cause greater enmity amongst the Kurdish community and even criticism from the European Union and international observers. The continuing harassment of Kurdish political parties and the application of ruthless outdated penalties in cases where there is subjective evidence at best, not only damages the chances of a breakthrough via Kurdish political channels but yet again places the Kurds into opposing camps of thought.

The Turkish government has vehemently refused to negotiate with the PKK on an official level, yet the continuing disillusionment in Kurdish circles and the suppression of any Kurdish political vehicle, means that the PKK remains as entrenched a part of the Kurdish problem and thereby its solution as ever.

Only this week Abdullah Ocalan in a detailed and emotive statement ended talks with the AKP, claiming “If they want me to resume a role then I have three conditions, health, security and an area where I can move freely”.

It is clear from the statement that the AKP has long been in discussions with the PKK. However, while refusing to legitimise the demands of the PKK against a backdrop of hawkish circles, it at the same time tries to muster peace.

Ocalan accused both the AKP and PKK of using him as a ‘subcontractor’ and for their own purposes. Ocalan claimed the AKP wants war and does not want to resolve the question.

While some claim that Ocalan’s apparent criticism of the current PKK command and those who rally around his name, is a sign of dissent within PKK circles, it is not clear how much sway Ocalan had in any case from his prison cell. Ocalan’s name continues to be used as a figurehead and to strengthen the PKK identity, in reality the PKK is the result of a greater Kurdish problem and not an Ocalan problem. Even if the PKK were banished, under the current hostile climate another off-shoot will quickly emerge.

Turkish nationalism and suffocation of the infant Kurdish political renaissance means more than ever the PKK remain the default representation of the Kurds and the only true interlocutors to the Kurdish problem.

It seems that after thousands of lost lives, billions dollars of lost expenditure and decades of failed policies towards the Kurds, Ankara still doesn’t come to term with the limits of any military solution. In recent weeks the Turkey has reaffirmed its commitment to attack the rebels with all its might. The life of either a Kurd or Turk is equally sacred and tears of a mother are equally regretful. After 40 years of confrontation and painful memories, it is time that all sides see that bloodshed must be ended.

Only recently Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan boldly proclaimed, “there is no Kurdish problem; only a PKK problem.” And that the issues of the Kurdish citizens in Turkey are not to do with the PKK.

On the contrary, the PKK has not been eradicated because Turkey has refused to see that the problem is not 5000 guerrillas but 15 million people. Without resolving the root of its age-old conundrum, Turkey’s continual cutting of branches will never bear any fruit.

The issue of the 5000 guerrillas and the 15 million people goes hand in hand. More than ever the PKK is intertwined with the struggle of the Kurds in Turkey.

Too often Turkey’s policies have meant that Kurds have been trapped with no real alternative. Not for the first time, the Kurdish political campaign has ground to a halt and the PKK remains the noose by which Ankara can control and intimidate the Kurds. Ankara too often not only tries to resolve the problem without the PKK but without the Kurds themselves.

Turkey’s policies continually place the Kurds into the hands of the PKK, yet ironically the Turks then use this as an opportunity to charge Kurds for been supporters of the PKK.

It is Ankara’s policies and continual labelling of any pro-Kurdish figure as PKK or terrorist related that has given the PKK more weight.

This general labelling of Kurds in Turkish circles as separatists or PKK collaborators has fuelled inter-communal friction. Not all Kurds support the PKK lest all Kurds been supporters of violence or having anti-Turkish sentiments.

This is demonstrated with the strong support for the AKP in previous elections, and even though they were over shadowed by BDP’s record success at the recent polls, the AKP still mustered 30 seats.

But clearly the Kurds feel that they have given the AKP enough time and support, but the AKP has not lived up to its pledges and bold pre-electoral promises.

The problem is that although the AKP has made a number of positive steps and breakthroughs in resolving the Kurdish problem in last decade or so, their hands are tied by the nationalist elite and general nationalist euphoria that plagues Turkish society.

Keeping the Kurds content with piecemeal gestures in the east yet appeasing nationalist circles in the west has proved almost impossible.

On the back of the recent spate of Turkish casualties in fighting with the PKK, inter-communal tension has become dangerously high.

Popular Kurdish singer Aynur Dogan was heckled off the stage by the audience at a concert for singing in Kurdish after the death of Turkish soldiers. This was preceded by protests and attacks by both sides in Istanbul.

This attack on Kurdish identity shows the progress that Turkey still needs to make. There appears this mentality that an attack on a Turk by a small group of Kurds is akin by an attack by all Kurds.

The younger generation of Kurds, with growing expectations and resentment towards Ankara, will be more difficult to appease. This standoff between expectant and frustrated Kurds and the government’s tentative dealing of its Kurdish problem will only lead to a wider gulf.

The only solution is a new Turkey that embraces the Kurds as true partners and as a key component of their society.

First Published On: Kurdish Globe

Other Publication Sources: Various Misc.

As its National Pride is Wounded, Turkey Invariably Points the Finger at the Iraqi Kurds

Turkish military and political leaders squarely accused the Iraqi Kurds of having an indirect hand in the latest deadly showdown between PKK rebels, reportedly resulting in the death of 15 Turkish soldiers and 23 Kurdish rebels, and countless wounded.

Perhaps, it was the daring nature of the daytime attack near the border that shocked the Turkish hierarchy, pressing them into a customary strong-worded rhetoric. The strong and respected Turkish army, as the protectorate of the republic and the symbol of Turkish nationalism, have since the inception of Kemalist-ideology, posed an almost mystical identity. The idea of such a flagrant attack by the much-loathed rebels was bound to rattle sentiments across Turkey.

However, as much as Turkey would hate to believe, let alone acknowledge, even the mystical might of the Turkish army has simply not been enough to counter an equally vibrant nationalist movement. The analogy is of a ferocious lion been bitten in broad daylight, by a much smaller-cat, who in the knowledge of been unable to ever directly counter such a beast, will nevertheless aim to strike psychological ‘bites’ to the proud animal rather than ever serve it any great physical damage.

This attack, along with those of the past has done just that. They have hurt Turkish pride and stoked national sentiments, forcing Turkey to take decisive action as in the mass-invasion of this year, designed to send unwavering intent that the lion will fight back to uphold its honour and eminence, than belief they can kill the nemesis cat in the midst of a torrential landscape.

As mass funerals and patriotic outcries highlight the death of every Turkish soldier, thousands of Kurdish deaths, the ‘debris’ of the greater nationalist-project, are ignored. Insurgent and violent means of gaining goals, least of all terrorist acts, belong in the bygone era and are ultimately counter-productive and a prelude to tarnishing what may essentially be a justifiable cause. However, let’s not forget that there is a mourning mother on each side.

While, it is simply untrue to allege such direct Iraqi Kurdish support such as to provide weapons, roads and hospitals, undeniably as the crisis grows and Turkey takes more abrasive action, it is slowly submerging Iraqi Kurdish sentiments into the conflict. The Iraqi Kurds rely heavily on Turkey, and in the modern era maintaining strong relationship with a monumental European neighbour has been much more important than aiding and abetting their ethnic-brethren in a violent battle that the Iraqi Kurds would do well to avoid.

It is true the Iraqi Kurds could do more. But in the eyes of Turkey, this ‘more’ is a deadly inconclusive inter-ethnic confrontation with the PKK, resulting in mass-suffering for the local population and destabilisation of the region. And for what? In order that Turkey will continue to treat the Kurdistan Regional Government with disrespect and utter discontent, let alone the simple virtue of acknowledgment and direct dialogue?

The time for realism has never been greater in the back of this latest shockwave across the region. On the eve of Turkish parliamentary vote to extend the 1-year authorisation for cross-border attacks, this attack was clearly designed to ensure that Turkey will not only authorise another extension but take graver disproportionate measures against their foes.

And this is exactly the focus and attention that not only the PKK craves, but it decisively needs to survive as a movement. As Turkey will feel forced to take more abrasive measures, this will eventually evoke a broader regional conflict that will serve no sides, but the sides of violence and bloodshed.

Turkey must act at the root of problems. Rather than addressing how to shoot down rebels in mountains, Turkey could seek ways of seeing them come down at their own will.

Promises of greater south-eastern development and more encompassing reforms, may have been more than encouraging compared to past records, but in the context of today have been beset without any significant action.

Now is the time to stop further blood-shed and promote a feeling of brother-hood in Turkey. Lets not let forgot there are millions of disgruntled Kurds in Turkey, and only a minority in arms. Not all Kurds believe in confrontation, not all Kurds rejoice at Turkish deaths. The people want jobs, peace and prosperity – they have long-chosen Turkey and the prospects of the EU over unrealistic daydreams.

First Published On: Kurdish Globe

Other Publication Sources: eKurd, Peyamner, Various Misc.