The Kurdish issue and Ankara’s policy
The Turkish Army with the support of the airforce of the coalition led by USA on August 24th launched an operation to liberate Jarablus city in the northern Syria from militants of the terrorist group “Islamic State.” Turkey was the first country which officially entered his full forces into Syria. This is a gross violation of the Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity of the silent consent of international organizations. But the invasion of the Turkish army has been directed primarily against the Kurds. As a result, the international community and the experts more and more pay attention to the Kurdish Issue.
It is clear that the main objective of the Turkish army is preventng the transfer of territories along the border under the control of Kurdish forces. As private research and analytical company Stratfor writes in his “Geopolitical Journal”, “pain point” of the Turkey became the Kurds. Аfter the overthrow of the military coup and then normalization of the relations with Russia Erdogan apparently decided that he now had a mandate to attack rebels and, in fact, to exterminate the Kurds in Syria. Ankara is using the Syrian crisis to solve the so-called Kurdish problem.
At the same time the Turks are trying to fight with the Kurds with the other hands-the hands of militants of “Islamic State”, “Dzhebhat-en-Nusra” and other terrorist groups. Turkey, under the guise of anti-ISIS coalition, actually provides direct support to terrorists, supplying arms, ammunition, food. In this war Erdogan made a major bet on cooperation with “Islamic State”, and with such armed groups. But now they are recognized as terrorist organizations, and legal allies in Syria for Turkey no longer remains.
For a long time the Kurdish issue was a problem only for the countries in the region. However, over the past few years, the Kurdish issue has become urgent for the international community. It should be reminded that the number of Kurds living in all parts of Kurdistan, is 35 million people, making it the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East after the Arabs, Turks and Persians. The number of Kurds in Turkey is between 18 to 20 million, 8-10 million in Iran, in Iraq, nearly 5 million and Syria to 1.5 million people. The population of Syrian Kurdistan, constituting, according to the regional administration, about 3.5 million people, due to forced displacement was reduced by a third, but now because of the stabilization of the situation in the Kurdistan region residents return to their homeland and restore the destroyed towns and villages.
The ceasefire in Syria reached between Moscow and Washington – was a hit to Erdogan. The armistice deprives him of his last chance to influence the situation. However, Ankara continues to rely on the fact that blackmailing Europe with millions of refugees he guarantees itself in support of the West in that case, if he still pretends to a new venture in Syria.
Actions of Ankara against the Kurds is a genocide that is conducted on the territory of Syria, Iraq and Turkey itself. According to the Information Center of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Party of Turkish Peoples, from the date of termination of the truce in April 2015 to the present victims of punitive operations in Turkish Kurdistan are steel 495 civilians, including 87 children and 78 women. More than 250 thousand were forced to leave their homes. But this, according to the UN definition, is also a form of genocide. The war has affected a total of 1.5 million residents living in the south-east Turkey. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the victims of Turkey and ISIS became the residents of Shangal inhabited by Kurd-Yezidis, Makhmour regions as well as residents of Kirkuk province. It is known that the number of dead and missing people is about 10 thousand. In Jizra kurds were shot from heavy artillery, and those who hid in basements, Turkish special forces found. One was beheaded, others simply burned alive. On the Yemeni online radio Mustaqbal highlights in detail Turkey’s punitive measures against the people inhabited it. It is noted that the Turkish Kurds are subjected to genocide.
To tragedy, however, none of the well-known human rights organizations – nor Amnesty International, or Human Rights Watch, or the International Committee of the Red Cross – has not yet responded.
In July, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which led the long war for self-rule after a two-year ceasfire returned to the attacks on Turkish police and soldiers to protect their rights. Kurds are primarily accused Turkey of supporting “Islamic State”.
For many years Kurds have fought for autonomy. But if there is Kurdistan, Turkey will lose their dream – to spread its influence throughout Central Asia and will be deprived of connections with the Caucasus.
Now the Kurds are collaborating with the Americans, with Russia and Israel. This fact also causes anger in Ankara. The US is in dual position on this matter. Considering Turkey as a NATO ally, Washington is avoiding public condemnation of Ankara on the Kurdish Issue. On the other hand, because of their contacts with the Kurds US can’t openly support Turkey in Washington.
After the incident with the Russian aircraft, as a result of tensions between Russia and Turkey, the Kurds tried to strengthen cooperation with Russia. But Putin-Erdogan meeting in St. Petersburg on August 9 this year, was adopted by some Kurdish circles as a hit to the back and was strongly criticized by Moscow. But the Kurdish military elite understands that the warming of relations between Moscow and Ankara is temporary as they remain in the region as competitors creating new opportunities for the Kurds. However, Erdogan’s calculations to silence Kurds with force are counterproductive: there is even more their consolidation and support of Turkish Kurds representatives of this ethnic group from Syria, Iraq, Iran. .At the same time we must not forget that the Kurdish armed groups are perhaps the most combat-ready forces in the fight against the terrorists from ISIS. Erdogan felt into the trap. He does not know what to do, because the success of Syrian Kurds – is the success of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. And he doesn’t know what to do next so he started a land operation in northern Syria.
But in spite of these obvious facts, the genocide of the Kurdish population is still not recognized by the international community. And the invasion of the Turkish army to the northern regions of Syria means that the destruction and slaughter of the Kurdish population will continue.