The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Turks worried about unrest in Syria leading to Kurdish state`

From the pro AKP paper Today’s Zaman April 30. A column by Ergun Babahan titled “Syria and the Kurdish Reality”

The Iraq war ended with the establishment of an autonomous formation in the north of the country. A portion of the Kurds living in Turkey have been carrying on an armed struggle for almost three decades and the conflict and deaths have continued.

Turkey’s democratic openings may have lifted the obstacles before the Kurdish language, but this has certainly not affected those who are carrying out this struggle.

Now Syria, which is home to a sizeable Kurdish population, is boiling again. Many Kurds with Syrian roots, are fighting in the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) lines and those who know the organization well explain that the members of group are not pleased with leader Abdullah Ocalan’s positive approach towards politics. A Syria-based group objects to both the cease-fire and the process of negotiation. Kurds are among the most oppressed members of Syrian society and they follow the developments taking place in both Iraq and Turkey with a great deal of excitement.

The Bashar al-Assad administration’s stance regarding its people who are revolting is becoming stronger with each passing day. The death toll has surpassed 1,000.

Ankara, which even risked friction with the Bush administration in order to pull Syria into the international system in the past, is seeing the threat but unable to see the results. Following the phone conversation which President Barack Obama had with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the sudden journey of a Turkish team to Damascus shows us that something is cooking in the West’s kitchen.

If there is a military intervention in Syria, it is evident that the consequences will be heavy for Turkey as well. All regional countries, including Lebanon, will get be affected by this volatile environment; however, Turkey will be faced with great risks.

The public is aware of the Iraqi model of such an intervention. The issue of thousands of migrants, a strike against the economy and the northern Iraq becoming a PKK base are all well known.

The collapse of the central administration in Syria carries such a risk and for Ankara in particular, will be a critical turning point in the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in the region. A possible intervention into Syria will be a step taking Kurds towards independence. Even though Syria will become a centre of attraction for Kurds in Turkey and appear to be heading towards unity, it will split off into two veins.

Some pens are writing that during such a time, the demand for democratic autonomy will weaken and that demands for a federation will increase.

The international dimension is that the Kurdish problem cannot be discussed in political centres which are in the process of heating up.

But there is a continuously growing problem which can threaten our national peace, and there is a population which continues with killings to this end. A violation of cease-fire until the elections means spilling more blood on this land. The Kurdish problem is not a problem peculiar to the East and Southeast in the reality of Turkey, but rather a problem that has become distributed through to every corner of the country, thanks to waves of migration.

Intensifying this problem even further poses a great threat for Turkey. At this point, it is important to be active in order to put out the fires in Syria; however, regardless of what Ankara does, it appears as though dissolution will occur there.

A crazy project for democracy and peace is necessary in order to decrease the effects of this dissolution on Turkey. A revival of the dwindled democratic opening following the upcoming elections, taking into consideration the regional population’s demands in the new constitution are more important. If this is the route that is followed, then we can enter 2023 in a state of unity, peace and well-being.

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 3, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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