Obviously Kurdish autonomy or independence in Iraq is viewed with some fear by Turkey Syria and Iran and the referendum in Kirkuk may result in more ethnic violence.
The growing powers of Kurds in Iraq are becoming a threat to Turkey, the Sickman of Europe
2/8/2007 KurdishMedia.com - By Assad Waissi
According to press and media in the last two months, Turkish threat has become a main debate among KRG, Kurdish citizens, and Kurdish representatives in Baghdad. I would say the growing power of Kurds in Iraq and their influence on other parts of Kurdistan is not only threatening Turkey but Iran and Syria as well. The Turkish government and politicians are hopelessly becoming more and more desperate as the Kirkuk referendum gets closer. This fascist regime is taking every step to prevent the upcoming referenda in Kirkuk and to jeopardize peace and harmony in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. They have held numbers of conferences with neighboring countries Iran, Syria, and other Arab nations, including members of Iraqi government as well as the Iraqi Turkmen front leader Sadettin Ergec and others to create violence and chaos between the Kurds, Arab, Turkmen, and other ethnicities. The goals of these conferences were specifically and overly aimed at the Kurds in Northern Iraq. They have achieved nothing except humiliation.
In spite of their desperation about the future of Kurds and their concern about the growing power of Kurds in Iraq, The Turks are left with anxiety about the future of the twenty-five million Kurds in their country. Their hopelessness has forced them to use threatening language to frighten Kurds in Iraq and other parts of Kurdistan. They have “repeatedly warned Iraqi Kurdish groups against trying to seize control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, saying Turkey will not stand by amid growing tensions among ethnic Turkmens, Arabs and Kurds in Iraq's oil-rich north”(International Herald Tribune). I don’t think Turkish politicians and their support for the Turkmen would make any changes in the future of Kirkuk. The future of Kirkuk rests in the hands of the Iraqi government and Kurdish Regional Government, not with the Turkish politicians. Their interference was condemned by a large number of Kurdish representatives in Baghdad and also the KRG.
The rise of Kurdish power in Iraq is forcing the Turkish government and politicians to ally with Syria, Iran and other Arab nations to isolate Kurds. These countries have done all that was necessary in the past and today to contain the Kurds and keep control over those parts of Kurdistan that were granted to them and to assimilate and exterminate the Kurds.
They have denied Kurdish identity, deprived Kurds of their rights, and implement a policy of oppression against them. In this regard, they have in most cases cooperated and reached agreements among themselves to destroy Kurds by banning their language, media, and culture. They have brutally beaten down Kurdish uprisings by outlawing them and listing those Kurds as terrorists. The governments of Turkey, Iraq, and Iran are compelled to wage continual war against the Kurds. During this struggle, the Kurds have lost hundreds of thousands of their people and have been the victims of mass expulsions. You have all seen the result: Saddam Hussein and the massacres of Halabja and Anfal in Iraq. Tremendous suffering has been inflicted on us “Kurds,” This is, in fact, a case of genocide.
What they have done in the past and what they are trying to achieve today is to isolate the Kurds economically, socially, and culturally. They have plundered the riches of Kurdistan and prevented it from developing economically, socially, and culturally. This is exactly what Turkey hoping to achieve through his threatening language, and it is not taking them anywhere. However, they know they have lost the control and have no power to isolate the Kurds any longer. They know Kurdish questions are no longer about rights, freedom and equality. In other words, the Kurdish question is not the problem of a minority of the population of this or that country; it is the question of a divided country and a nation. The borders that divide Kurdistan are not natural, economic, or cultural borders. They are artificial borders drawn against the will of the Kurdish people according to the interests of the forces that did the dividing. In many cases, these borders have divided villages, towns, even families, and have had divisive and destructive effects on the economic, social, and cultural life of the Kurds in those regions.
They have fortunately failed in their dictatorial plans and tactics against Kurds because Kurdish national consciousness has strengthened from year to year, and we are stronger today than fifty or a hundred years ago.
Now is the time to strength our unity and nationhood. We the “Kurds” are the third largest nation in the Middle East and the largest nation in the world without our own state. Today Kurds worldwide are standing behind their proud and valuable historical movements and are working forward to end violence, racism, and oppression and to achieve social justice, peace, freedom, and equality for all Kurds. Yet we still continue to fail, despite our long history and rich culture, to attain our independence, even though we have waged resistance since the beginning of the nineteenth century and paid a high price for it. Our failure is because of the tribal social structure, divisions between religious movements, and party ideologies.
We the “Kurds” need to unite behind our brothers and sisters in Iraq, with Kurdish parties in Turkey, in Iran, and Syria and support their achievement and movement. Remember whenever it is questions about Kurdish rights and freedoms, these four nations have in most cases cooperated and reached agreements among themselves to isolate or destroy the Kurds. Yet even with this oppression, we sit silent and complain and blame other nations for not supporting our movements. It is our right and responsibility to support one another and decide on our own future. In order for us “Kurds” to be strong, we need to support one another be united. It does not matter if it is an uprising in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria. Our support through peaceful demonstration will strengthen their movement and provide a better future for you and me. These four states have always been in the state of fear whenever there is a single Kurdish demonstration or uprising in any Kurdish regions or any part of the world. These countries are no longer a threat to us “Kurds”; they know we are a threat to their colonization and dominance in Kurdish regions. For example, the growing power of Kurds in Iraq in term of economics, culture, solidarity, nationhood, and militarily has created tremendous fear in the hearts of Turkish politicians and government. Our future no longer rests with these fascist regimes; it rests within our solidarity.
Turkish government and politicians are now uniting with Iran, Syria, and other Arab nations to isolate the Kurds in Iraq from developing economically, socially, culturally, and nationally. We the Kurdish citizen of the four Kurdistan regions and particularly the Kurds in the Western Countries are sitting in silent and complain that U.S.A. and Britain betrayed the Kurds. Why wouldn’t they, when we do not support our own movements in Northern Iraq? We must support our people and their movements or will continue to fail like it has always failed in the past.
The most famous and important nationalist leader, Mohandas Gandhi, achieved the national independence of India using nonviolent methods such as organizing work stoppages and fasting until near death. We the Kurds are able to do that. We need to show our support through peaceful
demonstration to those who are fighting and dying for our freedom. For
example, Turkey is taking every step that is necessary to jeopardize Kurdish improvement in Iraq and also attacking the Kurdish parties “PKK” in Iraq. There has not yet been a single Kurdish uprising and demonstration either in any Kurdish regions or in the western countries where there are hundreds of thousands of Kurds residing. This is humiliation to our history and nationhood. This is a huge disappointment for the Kurdish organization and parties that are working hard and losing their lives for the sake of our rights and freedom.
Please, forget being a Kurd of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey; unite as one nation and support the KRG and other Kurdish movements that are effective in other parts of Kurdistan till death. This is the only way to prove our unity and nationhood. We must support the KRG and Kurdish “PKK” movement.
Strengthen them through our united voice and peaceful demonstrations.
Today is the most important time and opportunity to send our united voice and movements to those oppressive, imperial governments and other nations, including Britain, U.S. and the United Nation enough is enough. Our goals and future is in our hands, and the only way to achieve our goals is by uniting with our brother and sisters in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria through their movements. We can be united and can be strong.
Assad Waissi is a Kurdish writer lives in Canada.