Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Turkey needs constructive engagement with Kurds on Kirkuk

''So Turkey is welcome to host many delegations from Iraq, but those of us who know anything about Iraq simply because we spend most of the year there know well that a lack of dialogue with the Turkmens of Erbil or the Kurdish leaders will not get Turkey anywhere in its fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or on the Kirkuk issue‘‘ wrote Ilnur Cevik.

And Ilnur Cevik is right. I earlier wrote that ''Turkmen and Kurds could solve Kurdish issue in Turkey and Iraq’‘. But this can only work when Turkey engages the Kurds on a constructive way. It will not work if Turkey doesn’t invite Turkmens without Turkmen representatives from Hewler (Erbil). Currently Turkey is saying, I quote Gül: ’‘Needless to say that there is a tie between the Turkish Republic and the Turkmen. The Turkmen, Kurds and all other groups in Iraq are our relatives. We have shown sympathy towards all of them’‘.

Abdullah Gül is saying this without inviting representatives of the 200.000 Turkmens in Hewler (Erbil). So it’s clear he isn’t showing sympathy towards all of them. Turkey’s stance towards Kirkuk also doesn’t show their ''sympathy’‘ towards their Kurdish relatives, but more the reverse situation. In the past Turkey threatened to close the oil pipeline between Iraq-Turkey, if Saddam gave the Kurds autonomy. As a result Saddam didn’t accept the demands of the KDP. After the establishment of the safe-haven, one of Turkey’s red lines was the formation of a federal Kurdistan region. But gradually Turkey had to accept the reality. They still like to call the Kurdish region (northern iraq’‘, despite that the Iraqi constitution accepts it as a (Kurdistan region’‘. Although some Turks say that Kurdistan doesn’t exist, it were actually the Seldjuk Turks who created the term Kurdistan in the 12th century.

But to get back to the problem: According to the Turkish government the Kirkuk issue can only be resolved via consensus. ''The point is not to reach unproductive results by holding a referendum, but reaching consensus. [The point] is producing a consensus by which people living there -- all of the Turkmen, Kurds and Arabs -- will be able to live in peace and quiet, and then taking this consensus to a referendum. Otherwise, a referendum in itself will not be a solution,’‘ Gul said. Gül states that the results will be unproductive no matter what, this while Turkey doesn’t know the outcome. Or do they know the outcome? Do they know the majority of Kirkuk is Kurdish and that the Arabisation campaign of Saddam changed the ethnic balance in favour to the Arabic inhabitants of Kirkuk? Apparently they do, because they think Kurds are in the majority in Kirkuk.

Read the whole article on KurdishMedia

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