The rise of ISIS has given birth to a renewed Kurdish movement across the Middle East. The Kurds are probably the largest nation not to have a state of their own with them spread across Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran. Their aspirations for nationhood have always been suppressed by the occupying countries, but having faced their "Stalingrad" in Kobane the fight for the self determination of the Kurdish people has now entered a new era.
Whilst neither Assad in Syria or the beleaguered regime in Iraq are in a position to stop the establishment of Kurdish "cantons" and other autonomous areas, the Turks are certainly not happy with the prospect of a Kurdish state on their borders.
The International Business Times reports:
Syrian Kurds have been fighting the group also known as ISIS on the Turkish border for the past year, and their recent advances have worried Turkey, which is opposed vehemently to a Kurdish state on its border.
“I am saying this to the whole world: We will never allow the establishment of a state on our southern border in the north of Syria,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech last Friday. “We will continue our fight in that respect whatever the cost may be.”
The Turkish government has not confirmed or denied the reports, but said the announcement would be made on Tuesday.
Erdogan is still smarting from his failure to gain the parliamentary majority he needed to establish his own form of Islamist dictatorship in the recent election. The advance of the Kurdish opposition part saw the defection of support from the more "pious" section of the community from Erdogan. There are some 19 million Kurds in Turkey and there has been a long and protracted war with the militants of the PKK over the last few decades.
The World Affairs Journal writes:
They are not crazy to fear this.
But they’re reacting by treating as ISIS the lesser of evils. If ISIS can keep the Kurds down, Turkey’s territorial integrity is more secure.
“ISIS commanders told us to fear nothing at all,” a former ISIS communications technician toldNewsweek, “because there was full cooperation with the Turks and they reassured us that nothing will happen…ISIS saw the Turkish army as its ally especially when it came to attacking the Kurds in Syria. The Kurds were the common enemy for both ISIS and Turkey.”
Apparently the Turkish government will be making a decision on their actions shortly as the International Buisness Times report continues:
The Turkish Government must not be allowed to stab the Kurds in the back.
Remember this is a country which committed the first industrialised genocide of the twentieth century and massacred one an a half million Armenians. It remains a crime in their country to even call this for what is was, a Holocaust.
The world did not act then, but we must act now to defend the Kurds against Erdogan's Islamist intentions for which he will also get the support of far right Turkish nationalists.
If Turkey intervenes against the Kurds we must protest. The traditional left/anti-imperialist brigade cannot be relied on so it will be up to the "decent" left to raise the issue.
There needs to be a nationally (and internationally) co-ordinated Kurdish Solidarity Campaign with protests held outside the Turkish Embassy both here, across Europe and the Western world.
The Kurds have been fighting on the front line against ISIS almost alone.
They are in need of our help.
Freedom for Kurdistan!