Why the Iraqi Kurds Won’t Give in to Turkish Threats
Are the PKK terrorists who have been killing Turkish soldiers receiving significant aid and comfort from the government of Iraq’s semi-autonomous north? According to this op-ed article from Iraqi Kurdistan’s Kurdish Media, all Kurds -whether they are members of the PKK, Peshmerga soldiers or civilians – will resist the Turks “to the last drop of blood.”
“They know that this Kurdistan state, which they have been able to create and maintain in northern Iraq, is the ultimate prize for all Kurds. It’s a prize that Kurds have been trying to win for generations upon generations.”
By Karwan Qader
October 23, 2007
Iraqi Kurdistan – Kurdish Media – Original Article (English)
To almost all Kurds, talk of a Turkish invasion is the most critical issue. Recently, the Turkish Parliament approved a resolution granting the military permission to invade Southern Kurdistan (also known as northern Iraq WATCH ). Turkish politicians and generals claim that their purpose for invading will be to destroy Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK] camps in the region. But the reality is that what Turkey is most disturbed by is the autonomy that the Kurds have gained in Iraq. They are uncomfortable with growing international acceptance of Kurdistan and the legitimacy that Kurds have been able to achieve.
In response to this, in addition to deploying 400,000 soldiers along the Turkish-Iraqi border, the Turkish state has taken other steps. They have demanded that the Iraqi government arrest 140 individuals (36 of whom are members of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and they have even gone so far as to demand the arrest of the son of the President of the Autonomous Kurdish Government in Iraq, Massoud Barzani [Mensur Barzani, who is the chairman of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party’s intelligence organization ].
The Turks even began limited operations along the border this week, but were stopped in their tracks when Kurdish rebels effectively ambushed their forces and foiled their plans. But most importantly, the Turks have ignored every Kurdish call for a peaceful resolution and have effectively rejected any political dialogue.
Given this, the Kurds will not be so quick to adhere to Turkish demands. Despite all of their domestic problems, corruption and issues of establishing democracy that Kurds now face in their semi-autonomous region, they realize that what they have gained in Iraq is their right and in unlike anything they have experienced before. Kurds know that this Kurdistan state, which they have been able to create and maintain in northern Iraq, is the ultimate prize for all Kurds. It’s a prize that Kurds have been trying to win for generations upon generations. After all the injustice and genocide that has been perpetrated against the Kurdish people by oppressive states that surround them and have occupied them, Kurds have finally established the right to rule their own affairs in their own nation. They have finally established peace in a part of the world that is infamous for war. Even during the bloody Iraq War, Kurdistan stands as the only peaceful region. Hence politicians and generals in Turkey are foolish if they think Kurds will easily or willingly give up their new-found rights.