The Kurdish Globe
By Mehmed Sabri Akgönül
Recent developments in Syrian Kurdistan will not allow Turkey to rest in peace.
All Turkish politicians and intellectuals watch Syria with shock. Any of them, with knowledge or not, speak about or try to comment on the events in Syrian Kurdistan. This part of Kurdistan under the control of the Kurds that might infer a new base for PKK has been a serious nightmare for Turkey. This also means that the combat against the PKK will take place on a new footing. Over past few days, both the Turkish government and centres for strategic research have been busy with this matter.
Although, the conclusion of the extraordinary meeting through a Security Summit had not been shared to the press, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave some hints of agreed decisions from the meeting when he spoke on TV. Erdogan explained Turkey's unease about Kurdish control over Syrian Kurdistan, which may facilitate south Kurdistan's to access to the Mediterranean.
Turkey watches the developments with deep concern because of consequences that may harm Turkey's security and stability. Erdogan designated the 800 km geographical corridor as a "critical zone". This zone comprises lands from Afrin which is located 50 km south of the Turkish city of Kilis, to Qamishli which is located on the opposite side of the Turkey's border Kurdish populated town of Nusaybin. "An establishment that governs this territory will disturb Turkey. We would not say
Erdogan claimed that they will never let a Kurdish governance be formed that includes Qamishli and Afrin and said that "a formation to be organized in north Syria is a terror formation for us. It is the most natural right of us to interfere there." He referred to the Kurdish agreement made in Erbil recently and added that "it is not possible for us to tolerate or watch this even if they take steps by means of PKK-PYD cooperation and getting the support of different formations. We are taking all the required cautions. Both Turkish Armed Forces and competent bodies are maintaining their works about this matter."
Erdogan also talked about the possibility of buffer zone on the border with Syria. "These are all choices. It includes safe zone, buffer zone, camps and others. Priority of them depends on process, these will be evaluated according to process. Competent bodies are working intensely for this," he added.
After Syria Kurdistan fell into the hands of the Kurds, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu was getting anxious regarding developments and added to growing concerns of a unified Kurdish state by saying "The structure of the second state which will move absolutely in parallel with Israel is taking shape: a United Kurdistan. Didn't Turkey know it would come to this point?"
Kilicdaroglu criticised Turkey's foreign policy harshly and said that the process of analysis was not properly made in its foreign policy. "In the matter of foreign policy we have become the country which is dragged into the Middle East's marsh. We have become the country which couldn't direct the events but the state which events direct it. Besides, it isn't obvious where we are dragged."
Kilicdaroglu also emphasized that Turkey is a country which isn't taken seriously in the Middle East and, he argued that PM Erdogan has no power to direct events. "Erdogan's words have no importance for any Middle East country. Which does a Middle East country take Erdogan serious? Which country thinks that his words have importance? Behind all of his words are empty" he added.
Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has said that his party is concerned about the recent developments in the Kurdistan of Syria. He claimed that one of the issues that worry Turkey is that Syrian Kurds will gain the status of regional autonomy by saying "it appears that it would be a catastrophe for Turkey and existing states in region." He asserted Turkey should prevent formation of a Kurdistan regional government in Syria, like in Iraq, at any price and it has to mobilise its whole elements of national power.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) suggests a solution within the framework of the democratization and integrity of Syria. BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas said that any decision to be made on Kurdistan of Syria should be respected by the Turkey. "Middle East is going through a critical phase as the Kurdish people are accomplishing a result from their long standing struggles to ensure their own political unity. Syrian Kurds will make the decision on their future in this critical process," he added.
Democratic Society Congress (DTK) called on the Syrian and Turkish governments and all opponent circles to recognize and support the declaration of Kurdish autonomy in Syria. DTK stated that they support Kurdish autonomy in Syrian Kurdistan.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) also considered Erdogan's threat to the Western Kurdistan as just a Kurdish animosity and an expression of heavy chauvinism and racism. PKK underlined that if the AKP's hostile mentality leads to any mad intermeddling against behest of the Kurds, then all Kurds, wherever they may be, will take action against the Turkish state.
Syrian refugees are another issue that raises Turkish concerns. Since the beginning of Syrian revolt, Turkey has been taken hundreds of Syrians into refugee camps. Recently, the number of Syrians defecting to Turkey has significantly increased while at the same time unwanted incidents have started to emerge at those camps.
It is very obvious, as things warm up in Syria, that Turkey will encounter a greater refugee current. On the contrary, it is expected to face a confrontation with them in Turkey's inner lands. After that, Turkey might use it as an excuse and try to convince the world for constructing camps at the other side of border, in Syria. As a result of this, Turkey will obtain opportunity to promote its continuous offer of setting up a "buffer zone" in Syria for "humanitarian purposes."
It can be easily seen that one of the major concerns of Turkey in Syria is the possibility of an emerging Kurdistan government in Syria, like in post-Saddam Iraq, and it's paving of the way for a national excitement of Kurds in Turkey. If Syrian Kurds establish a regional government, it will raise Kurdish national passion in Turkey as well as increase hopes among all Kurds, especially for those who desire a unified Kurdish nation.
Based on the current political balances in the Middle East, the territorial borders of these cycles are plotted against the Kurdish nation. This balance changed in 2003. The Kurdish nation has no interest in the existing balance of power but this balance has abated reality of the nation-country of Kurds.
All religious and national values of Kurdistan have been faced with political and military ways to meet the existing balance. However, these balances have changed the Kurdish nation and created a wonderful opportunity for Kurdistan. This new neighbour who occupies Turkey's south border within 900 kms (Syria and Iraq) will be western and south Kurdistan. We all will soon see the impacts of those two parts of Kurdistan over northern part.