Is there not something absurd (if not for the cost in human suffering) in Turkey’s ruling coalition’s deep seated venom for the social and cultural presence of this not-Turkish people?
With conflicting reports coming from the U.S. Administration (“The reports change daily,” Noam Chomsky to Kurdistan 24) and, apparently, no American troops exiting yet from Rojava / The Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS), one would be forgiven for wondering – at this dark time of the year as the anniversary of the brutal invasion of the relatively peaceful Syrian enclave of Afrin by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s second largest army comes round, (19-20th January, 2018) –
…why is it that Turkey – with its enormous military machine resourced by the Alliance with its 28 other well-armed member states ready and willing to step in to defend it – why is it that Turkey feels the need to continue to threaten, harass, intimidate, assassinate, murder and massacre Kurdish and Arab civilians in these once-off-the-beaten-track parts of the Middle East (“Kurdistan”) but now being crucified by a number of international power brokers in a world turned into a strategic minefield?
Into this twisted ‘Alice in Wonderland world’ the BBC now tells us “…Mr Trump seemed to row back last week when he said troops were being pulled out “slowly” and that they would be fighting remaining IS militants at the same time” …the headline as US National Security Adviser John Bolton prepared to visit the region:
“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that is not fully co-ordinated with and agreed to by the United States at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered.”
That is: no US withdrawal from Syria now but that is not “an unlimited commitment.” More war? Surely. When? We can’t be certain! Don’t endanger the Kurdish fighters that have fought ISIS/Daesh for us! Where? Not sure, but it’s okay to slaughter them in Afrin…
Bolton’s unpopular visit it seems, was be followed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo beginning “a week-long tour of the Middle East designed to reassure allies in the region.” To say nothing of ongoing meetings between Turkey, Russia and Iran as they do their macabre dance around the future of Syria.
Having had the remnants of a decaying imperial power here in Ireland for a number of centuries ourselves, one that that surely rivaled the now defunct (?) Ottoman empire, we can just about imagine what it must be like for the Kurds currently spread over at least 3 (if not 4) unfriendly territories; though with all their dirty tricks and murder here, the British never managed to engineer the audacity to send F16 fighter jets flying over the rebel Bogside in Derry to bury children and old people in their council flats, as we are now forced to witness almost on a daily basis as a result of the ongoing Turkish assaults in both south-east Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), Syria and Iraq, ostensibly to strike out at the Kurdish PKK – brave men and women no doubt with a desire for freedom most Irish people can recognize, but little match for NATO’s second largest army with its arsenal of the latest technology imported from where – Oh, the European democracies such as Germany, England, Italy?.. And, of course, the United States, all with their endless, hypocritical and now boring rhetoric around democracy, human rights etc. etc… while, as the Kurds point out daily, with understandable frustration, naked state-murder (war) is perpetrated on their people in the appalling silence where a conscience or a working concept of humanity used to exist.
…“And what should these states be expected to say, if their tanks, airplanes, helicopters, drones and assault rifle sales do skyrocket thanks to another war in Turkey? We know only too well that we can expect nothing from them. To these states, war, death and destruction mean nothing but profit. It was they who provided Turkey with arms to turn against its own population for decades. And they were the ones who made the war against Afrin possible.” As the Internationalist Commune of Rojava tells us in their recent call to the world for the upcoming global days of action for Rojava on 27 and 28 January 2019.
So, to ask again: why is it that Turkey – with its enormous military machine resourced by this apparently-struck-dumb-Alliance (NATO: Not A Thing to Say?) and its 28 other member states ready and willing to defend Turkey if attacked – feels the need to continue to threaten, harass, intimidate, assassinate, murder and massacre Kurdish and Arab and other ethnic-minority civilians in these once off-the-beaten-track parts of the Middle East, but now regions being crucified by a number of international power brokers in a world turned into a strategic minefield?
Tell us, Turkey, why?
But with the age of empires gratefully passing yet quickly being replaced by these ‘new upstarts’ behaving like bullies in the schoolyard intent only on carving out their own sphere of influence, at whatever cost, particularly when it comes to the lives of ‘innocent’ civilians, one might be forgiven (again) for wondering: is this some primeval instinct to destroy everything that might appear to be different from you that we, as a species, don’t seem to be capable of transforming at present?
Or are we witnessing the endless cynical manouevres of an even more cynical generation of politicians intent on keeping power at whatever cost?
The Internationalist Commune again:
“In these negotiations we hear the voices of the rulers, talking over the heads of the people of Syria and Rojava. They are concerned only with the redistribution of Syria’s wealth and land. Cities such as Idlib and Manbij, whole regions and peoples: all are carved up and traded for one another by the imperialist powers. The people themselves have no voice in this process. Yet it will be they alone who end up suffering when the Islamist gangs of Turkey get the green light to invade, to murder and plunder. And if Russia and the US allow the airspace of the Turkish Air Force be opened for extensive bombardments, it will be they alone who die.”
While Erdoğan and Trump, Putin and Hassan Rouhani and the rest of them talk, once more, once again, as it always was, it is the people and their loved ones – who die; brutally, viciously, and with contempt for anything that might make us human or appear so in the eyes of the so-called non-human species we share this small disturbed planet with.
Again, as the new year sets sail into obviously stormy waters (along with Washington’s recent announcement of the sale of $3.5 billion worth of Patriot missiles systems to Ankara, which surely has to be one example of the storm brewing), we are now almost four years on from the ‘collapse’ of peace talks between the Turkish regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Kurdish resistance headed by Imrali political prisoner Abdullah Öcalan and the much revamped (since the 1980’s) PKK; months and years which have only witnessed tragedy added to tragedy in an ongoing litany of inhumanity from the curfews and indiscriminate artillery bombardments in the towns and neighbourhoods of south-east Turkey, followed by a massive displacement of Kurds in this part of a-never-to-be Kurdistan… a carnival of terror, arrests, torture and massacre as well as (but nobody has told the Federal Republic of Germany or Teresa May in her ‘mother of all parliaments’) the forcible overthrow of local democracy where it involved Kurdish representation as the local politician elected by a free vote in south east-Turkey/northern Kurdistan have been replaced by Turkish officials…and most, I would guess, are now behind bars.
All this, to be followed by war. War in the south-east of Turkey. War in northern Syria. War in northern Iraq. War against the Kurds wherever they happen to be…
War. Not peace. And the recent version of war as we witnessed in Afrin: technology. Where innocent civilians are burnt or buried alive from the air by pilots whose eyes probably never leave the control panel in front of them and who have little idea (nor care) for the heartbreak and pain they and their shiny new technology – (imported from Germany, or the U.S. or England and the multinational aerospace and defense corporation with budgets larger than some developing countries ) – is causing.
“Turkey used its F-16s extensively in its conflict with separatist Kurds in Kurdish parts of Turkey and Iraq. Turkey launched its first cross-border raid on 16 December 2007, a prelude to the 2008 Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, involving 50 fighters before Operation Sun. This was the first time Turkey had mounted a night-bombing operation on a massive scale, and also the largest operation conducted by Turkish Air Force.”
An operation still ongoing in southern Kurdistan and elsewhere as Turkish jets and artillery continue to bomb Kurdish villages with obvious impunity.
The Kurdish–Turkish peace process (also known as the ‘Solution Process’) lasted from 2013 until July 2015, and was to be followed with “the renewed full-scale warfare in South-Eastern Turkey”; a strange war against hastily made barricades usually thrown together by young militants with more courage than wisdom. Did this peace process ever have a chance of succeeding considering the cynicism of the ruling elites and the games they seem to need to play to explain their raison d’etre or more accurately hold on to their grip on power?
But if peace doesn’t have a chance – what chance has this shiny new technology, whose only capacity is for war and killing, got… other than to generate the illusion of winners and losers in a landscape where rubble and the buried and often decapitated dreams of humanity make a laugh of politicians who seldom visit the front lines (when the firing is going on, of course), fired a shot (President Trump becoming notable recently for being able to “avoid conscription through a series of student deferments, as well as a medical deferment for a bone spur in his foot”) nor certainly get their hands dirty defending their village from half-crazed invaders whose only interest is pillage, murder and rape as recently witnessed in Afrin?
Hard to believe this is the 21st century Meaning this important question should be more glaring:
…why is it that Turkey, with its enormous military machine resourced by this apparently-struck-dumb-Alliance (NATO) and its 28 other member states ready and willing to defend Turkey when attacked – feels the need to continue to threaten, harass, intimidate, assassinate, murder and massacre Kurdish and Arab civilians in this part of the Middle East called “Kurdistan” which is now being crucified by a number of international power-brokers in a world endlessly being turned into a strategic minefield?
Surely as the new year takes shape and the ongoing talks between these different ‘powers’ that have their claws gripped firmly around a Syria where the word citizen has almost been replaced by corpse or refugee – and, hopefully, in a world not too far from complete insanity – will broker some peace deal…
…surely it is time for peace to be put back on the agenda in place of these Turkish troops and their jihadist mercenaries massing on the borders of this great experiment in local democracy known as Rojava?
Is it not time for an internationally negotiated settlement between the Kurds and the Turkish people where respect for each other and a beady eye on the twisted history of the region is widely shared as a way of finding a path towards a future of sustainable development and peaceful co-existence?
And should this not be the beginning of an international dialogue and commitment to redress the betrayal, among the many other crimes and monstrosities of the 20th century, of Kurdistan and its people?
And if not, why would we as citizens of the “international community” as well as citizens of the other 28 states of this grand North Atlantic Treaty “Alliance”, not demand that our democratically elected leaders, representative and politicians and their for-hire military commanders ask (if not insist) of the AKP regime of Turkish President and Chairman of this ruling Justice and Development Party Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: why won’t Turkey talk peace with the Kurds?
Why, Mr. President, why won’t you allow the Turkish people to talk peace with the Kurds?
A Turkish F-16 fighter jet
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons