Why Turkey is bombing Kurds in Syria?

by Afreen Baig

Kurdish political parties pose a threat to Erdogan’s one-party-state Sultanate of autocratic militarist enforcement in Turkish politics

The Kurds are a stateless ethnic group dispersed primarily throughout the nations of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Armenia, and Syria – make up a region called Kurdistan.

The Kurdish population stands at about 25-30 million.

The majority of Kurds are devout Sunni Muslims.

Were Kurds promised a State?

Yes. After World War One and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the victorious Western allies made provisions for a Kurdish state in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres.

After the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish empire, Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, fought off the imperialist powers which were seekng to divide what is today Turkey into smaller territories. 

Ataturk deceived the Kurds by promising them the right to self-rule in Kurdistan, if they fought alongside his nationalist forces.

After the war ended, the Turkish state was established in 1934, but Kurdistan abandoned deceptively.

The “Treaty of Lausanne” set the boundaries of modern Turkey, but made no provision for a Kurdish state and left Kurds scattered as minority status in their respective countries. 

Millions of Kurds ended up living in a Turkish nationalist state that wanted to “Turkify” all within its borders. The nationalist nature of the Turkish republic aimed at ethnically erasing the Kurdish identity and replacing it with a Turkish one.

Over the next 80 years, any move by Kurds to set up an independent state was brutally quashed and labelled terrorism.

Tayyip Erdogan’s Kurdophobia: his deep-rooted personal hatred of Kurds

Abd Salam Ali, a representative of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), says Erdogan “suffers from Kurdophobia.” 

Erdogan’s interviews verify his ideology – “PKK, PYD, DHKPC, YPG, YPJ may have different names but they are all terrorist organizations”

Erdogan vowed Turkey would continue its “anti-terrorist” operation in the south-eastern part of Turkey until everyone who fightd against Turkey or even supports Kurds “will be buried in the trenches they have dug.”

On other hand, Erdogan lends military and financial support to terrorist groups like the Jaysh al-Fateh (Army of Conquest), Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria) and ISIS.

Recent Kurdish genocide in Turkey

The recent conflict between the Turkish government and Kurds started in 1984. Since then over 40,000 people have been killed because of it, according to the Guardian.

In 2015, around 3,100 PKK members and 162 innocent civilians were killed in Turkey.

The Turkish army is responsible for burning almost 3,000 Kurdish settlements and displacing 2,000,000 people.

Between August 16, 2015 and January 10, 2016 in 19 districts across the provinces of Diyarbakir, Sirnak, Mardin and Hakkari, a total of 58 curfews were imposed by the Turkish government.

Kurdish Role in defeating ISIS

The Kurds do not want their aspired homeland Kurdistan to be run over by ISIS militia.

The Obama and Trump administrations, have relied on the Syrian Kurdish militia as the most potent fighters against ISIS.

Since 2014, with the start of military action against ISIS, about 11,000 Kurds died in that fight.

Now that the Kurds almost succeeded as lead role in ousting ISIS from its territory, Erdogan invades Syria – unleashed airstrikes and artillery barrages to slaughter Kurds & release ISIS fighters.

About 70,000 ISIS fighters & supporters are currently held in SDF controlled prison camp by Kurds.

According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut, “Erdogan told President Trump that Turkey will be responsible for ISIS captives in Syria taken over by Turkish military”.

Why? So, they could set ISIS devils free again.

Why is it personal for Erdogan?

First, Kurdish political parties pose a threat to Erdogan’s one-party-state Sultanate of autocratic militarist enforcement in Turkish politics and a danger to Erdogan’s sadistic Neo-Ottoman designs.

Second, Erdogan’s family has been accused of dealing & benefited from the illegal smuggling of oil from ISIS held territory.

In 2016, Wikileaks published an archive of 58,000 emails documenting the involvement of Erdogan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, in helping ISIS market oil stolen from Syria and Iraq.

Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s deputy defence minister, had said: “Turkey is the main consumer of the oil stolen from its rightful owners, Syria and Iraq. The appalling part about it is that the country’s top political leadership is involved in the illegal business—President Erdogan and his family.”

Antonov also said, “In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president’s son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son-in-law has been appointed energy minister. What a marvelous family business!”

Erdogan’s interest in revival of ISIS

First, ISIS kills off Kurds for Erdogan. Second, it ensures his family’s billion dollar oil business empire.

Since 2012, the Turkish intelligence service, MIT, under Erdogan’s direction, has been providing resources and material assistance to ISIS, while Turkish Customs officials turned a blind eye to ISIS recruits flowing across Turkey’s borders into Syria and Iraq.

In October 2015, the Financial Times revealed that the average production of the ISIS’ oil was 34,000-40,000 barrels per day, which they sold for 20-45 dollars each. This meant $1.5 million daily income.

Finally, ISIS is the silent militia tool that shall enable Erdogan to implement his fascist version of Caliphate in Middle East – through evil proxies.

Why Saudi Arabia supports the Kurds?

First, Syria is an Arab land and Turkish invasion of it under any pretext cannot be allowed.

Second, Saudi Arabia is backing Kurdish efforts to win over Syrian tribes loyalty from the regime, so Assad Bashar could be ousted.

Third, retd Saudi Major General Anwar Eshki told the CFR, that the creation of a Greater Kurdistan through peaceful means would “reduce Iranian, Turkish and Iraqi ambitions. This will carve away one third of the territory of each country in favour of Kurdistan.”

What should we do?

Inform people that Turkey has invaded a sovereign Arab State Syria, in defiance of international laws & resolutions.

There is no comparison between Syria and Yemen.

Saudi military action against the terrorist rafidah militia Houthis was taken upon an appeal made by the Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2216 and Article 55.

The embattled President plead the UN Securit Council, Arab League and GCC to authorise a military intervention “to protect Yemen and to deter Houthi aggression”.

Syrian Kurds did NOT plead Turkish forces to save them from atrocities of Assad Bashar. Erdogan allied with alawi Assad Bashar to slaughter sunni Kurds.

The Houthis lobbed over 260 missiles at Saudi Arabia, and some targeted Makkah. Yet, Saudi Arabia has provided over $14 billion in assistance to Yemen.

Senior Houthi leader Abdul Karim Khiwari had announced “they would conquer Ka’abah” and circumambulate it as conquerors’.

Afreen Baig is a regular writer on contemporary issues of Middle-East and the Arab World. She writes for the Milli Chronicle. She tweets under @afreenb179 and she can be followed on Facebook.