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Kurdistance: Lebanon's Legacy?

While the world's media eye is focused on Lebanon, other potential conflicts are arising in the Middle East; but they are arising using Lebanon as the primary example for conflict justification. The Counterrorism Blog says it best:

Turkey is currently making a lot of noise about launching a cross-border incursion into Iraq to engage the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in combat operations. On July 18, Professor Sedat Laciner published an article in the Turkish Weekly comparing the situation that Turkey faces from the PKK to the threat Israel faces from Hamas and Hizballah. After stating that Western countries have defended Israel's right to self-defense, Prof. Laciner asks, “But, does the right of self defence just belong to Israel in the Middle East? For example, doesn’t Turkey have such a right?”

Needless to say the Kurdish blogosphere is up in arms over the potential prospect of Turkey crossing the borders of Syria, Iraq and Iran to pursue Kurdish “terrorists” (you'll have to wait until Saturday on GV for the Turkish blogosphere response)—and as expected there is not a solid Kurdish opinion as to whether or not this is a good idea.

Roj Bash! put it thus:

Strangely, the situation is quite similar, concerning the casus belli, to the current Israeli attack against Lebanon : the former country, for it shelters Hebollah militias which attacked Israël, is now obliged to state in which camp it places itself.

If we only regard International rules, it is quite impossible to tolerate armed groups leading raids from its own soil against a neighbored country, without being considered as directly responsible and facing reprisals.

It is exactly the same problem in Southern Kurdistan. As so long as the PKK stays in Quandil Mountains and leads attacks in Turkey, de facto, the Region of Kurdistan, and then Iraq, could be officially considered as patronizing acts of war against its northern neighbours.

Soon or late, Lebanon will be obliged to adopt a clear position, against or the Hezbollah. But what will happen for Hewlêr ? The Israeli-Lebanese case is definitively an encouragement for a Turkish invasion.

Hiwa from Hiwa Hopes referred to the possible incursion of the Turks into Northern Iraq as Turkey's Second Blunder:

So if they want to go for another bitter pill [the first was when they denied the US the use of their occupied land which in deed is northern Kurdsitan anyways] and try to disturb the only safe part of Iraq which the Americans and their allies hope will become an example and a refuge place for the rest of the country, I doubt they will be greated with better expressions than the embassador's!
I have always said, we owe the Turks a war, they have been trying to make us fight them since they established the Ottoman empire. The PKK war against Turkey is definitely not the one they have been asking for and its toll was more on our civilians than the Turkish military! So I think if we pay them back what they owe us now is much better than future as we might have to fight Iran AND/OR Syria at the same time! At the moment its too dangerous for Iran and Syria to interfere in such a payback as the B52s might want to visit some places around Tehran and Shiraz while the Israeli F16 might want to visit Assad's Palace again which they did recently!
Erdogan is waffling without thinking about the figures which the US&UK have put into the almost failed war on Iraq. The billions and the loss of over 2500 US soldiers to make Iraq a laboratory for the Turks to eliminate their rebels! I dont think the US Vs Turkey friendship includes such deals! So I really encourage Mr Erdogan to keep his world like a Turkish warrier and go ahead with his invasion of southern Kurdistan. I am sure there will be Kurds going back VIA Turkey to fight the Turkish GREAT army!

Mizgin from Rasti blames the conflict in Lebanon solely on Iran, and cautions against any other conflicts in the region…then the announcement from the Turkish government came….to put it mildly she feels that the Turkish government is using this an opportunity to over-react to terrorism in the country…terrorism that is not supported by the Kurdish community at large. She also questions the Kurdish diaspora's lack of voice on this issue:

Another question: Is there really a Kurdish diaspora? I ask that because I don't hear anything from the Kurdish Diaspora about what is happening to the Kurdish people under Turkish occupation and a de facto OHAL. There were protests during the Amed Serhildan, but what was that? Did everyone shoot their wad then, and now they're recovering their strength?

Just like people in Amed, I too wonder what in the hell a Kurdish life is worth. Where are the demonstrations for the Kurds?

In every single country where there is a Kurdish Diaspora population, there should be 24-hour protests in front of every Turkish embassy and every Turkish consulate. There should be 24-hour protests in front of the White House, the Congress and the State Department. There should be 24-hour protests in front of every residence of heads of government, legislative bodies and foreign ministries, in every country where there is a Kurdish population. This is easy to organize, with people committing to “standing guard” for certain periods of time, and then they are relieved when their replacements arrive. When the goons from the Turkish embassies come to take photos and harass, then it's time to notify the local media, get it on the news wires and trash Turkish image. They are very sensitive about that.

Rasti also comments on a documentary about PKK fighters:

I always find it so ironic that people get concerned about 14- or 15-year-olds fighting, but they never seem to get quite so excited if a 14- or 15-year-old Kurd is murdered by TSK, tortured by Turkish police, ethnically cleansed from their homes by Ozel Timler, or forced into prostitution or crime by circumstances, in order to help their displaced families survive in places where there is as much as 70% unemployment. . . like in Amed, for example. I also noticed a huge lack of interest in the detention and torture of 12-, 13-, 14-, and 15-year olds during the Amed Serhildan, and their placement in an adult prison as well as their being charged as adults. Everybody was pretty quiet on all of that.

Very ironic, isn't it?

If 12-year-olds are old enough to be treated as adults for the purpose of prosecution by the Ankara regime, then they're old enough to take up arms against the Ankara regime. They have the right of self-defense too.

Of course the possible advancement of Turkish troops is not the only topic of conversation in the Kurdish blogosphere. Hiwa Hopes reminds us of the plight of Malak Ghorbany, sentenced to stoning in Iran. From Holland to Kurdistan reports about Syrian attacks against its Kurdish population, information on the Kurdish population residing in Lebanon, and information on the plight of Kurdish women, especially the Northen Kurdistan population (Southeast Turkey).

And lastly, in last week's edition of Kurdistance, entitled “No Good News”, I reported what another blogger had said about the torture of a little boy in Iran for stealing a piece of bread. A loyal Global Voices reader sent an email stating that the photos were a hoax and provided a link to a Snopes article about it. This situation represents what is wonderful about the blogosphere: the quick reaction to false information. Part of this situation I will gladly take the blame for as I did not research deeper into the posting myself. The blogger who I reported on has since removed the article from his blog, however I would still like to point out (in his defense) that Iran does have a track record of aggression towards it's Kurdish population that can not be denied. If you would like more information specifically on the Iranian Kurds I would like to direct you to a blog entitled East of Kurdistan that gathers news articles on that very issue. And I would also like to thank my loyal readers who are always keeping me on my toes, I truly appreciate it. Till next week….

1 comment

  • I think the Israeli incursion into Lebanon to fight ‘Hezbollah’ should not signal a green light for Turkey to enter northern Iraq to fight ‘PKK.’ For one thing, American military presence in that region and as such a military campaign would be very distracted. Second, the Turkish citizens of Kurdish descent would not be helped with such an adventure as the eventual retaliation from the PKK will put them in a precarious position. Third, there are religious and cultural ties that bind the peoples of Kurds, Arabs, and Turks (although that hasn’t stopped Iran/Iraq war or recent Turkish incursions into northern Iraq in the past.) And lastly, Israel has a ‘most favored’ status among the powers to be, that Turkey hasn’t ‘earned’ yet.

    I believe the solution should still come from diplomatic channels. The present government of Turkey (although slowly, but surely) has been willing to show patience as they work ‘behind-the-scenes’ to incorporate peace in the region.

    The Turkish citizens of Kurdish descent probably would find themselves ‘at a loss’ if they ‘renounced’ their Turkish citizenship and allegiances to Turkey and sided with a ‘Kurdish-only’ state. They should instead continue to insist on more concessions, and rightly so, should receive it. The Turkish intellect and liberals should support such a noble cause. Why not a ‘Kurd-Aid’ or similar campaigns to get public opinion to support an integrated, but independent Kurdish federation within Turkey that could serve as a model for other ‘aspiring’ minorities in the region.

    Constructive criticism is welcome!

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