August 8, 2009
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Turkey’s Strategic Awakening - By Dr. Fariedun Hilmi

Whether Prime Minister Erdogan reads the Kurdish internet media or not is not certain but what is certain is his apparent realisation that Turkey must go back to its Middle Eastern roots. What is striking is the similarity between his declared aims vis-à-vis the Kurds under his rule as well his attempts to make up with the Armenians demonstrating a shy apology without uttering the words and suggestions I made in an article published by me some five years ago. Furthermore, Erdogan has been busily seeking to open up his communication, commercial and political channels onto Turkey’s erstwhile “Ottoman” colonies.

As I say whether by reading the free Kurdish press published in the Diaspora or as a deep-thought realisation, Mr Erdogan has now started a grand awakening despite the traditional Kemalist opposition, to steering the country in a direction between Europe and its physical and historic environment and natural home which is a great piece of news for the entire group of nations in the Middle East not counting Israel.

A number of years back I wrote about “Turkey’s Strategic Blunder” pointing to the isolationism that was imposed on the Turkish nation by the Kemalist dinosaurs still believing that only racial purity can bring prosperity and glory and that the Turks who originated in eastern China some 800 years back and mixed with the Kurds, Greeks and Armenians producing generations of people who could only be called Turks because of the prevalence of the language during the Ottoman era, were now Europeans because many of them shared some racial characteristics with East Europeans and Aryans.

Turkey, they thought, had built a great empire that lasted centuries, and the Turks were, therefore, superior to the other constituent nations that were instrumental in achieving, defending and maintaining that empire. Nevertheless the Kemalists believed that the lesser nations had to be eliminated or subjugated and pushed to the periphery in case they would be noticed by their “fellow” Europeans not realising that Western racism is not simply to do with race but cultural and religious as well and the Turks are culturally and religiously different despite all the paint and dyes used to convey a European look on them in a “Michael Jackson” fashion. This rather naive attitude by the Turks was extenuated and strengthened by the hypocritical way the western powers pretended to have come to rescue the subject minorities such as the Kurds and Armenians and even the Greeks all three of whom were duly sacrificed once they had served their purpose as negotiating cards to obtain the greatest benefits from the injured and dying empire. 

Those in Turkey with any foresight have realised that geographic positioning cannot be superficially altered and the constitution of a nation can only be radically or substantially changed through drastic, inhuman and aggressive actions which could not be tolerated and thus the only solution is to coexist with the Kurds, Greeks, Armenians, Laz and others. Furthermore, Turkey does not need to choose one or the other but can open up on all, inside and outside of its borders. This explains Mr Erdogan’s efforts to keep good ties with Russia, Georgia, the Arab world Iran on the outside while seeking radical change and a rethink of the way his country had tried to solve the Kurdish problem inside.

A new Turkey with the PKK playing their rightful role in leading its Kurdish territory under a single umbrella would be prosperous and powerful and I believe would create a good strong competition between the group of Kurds controlling the part under Iraq and those under Turkey. It is my belief that the Barzani and Talabani Cliques will not be able to carry on milking the retched nation’s resources as they do at the moment because I am confident that those in Northern Kurdistan will serve their part and people selflessly and diligently and that would show up the south for all its corruption and deceptive practices.

I advocate approaching the PKK because they have decided strategically to federate with Turkey and seem to be more tolerant of the Turks than any other. Furthermore they are a proper party whose members support it with their money and souls unlike the southern parties that only join to get paid by them becoming servants and staff of the party Aghas and “leaders” and therefore you expect the PKK to behave in a trusted and consistent manner whike the others will jump from the lap of one supporting government to the other.

I would like to also point out that despite the billions of dollars that have been poured into Iraqi Kurdistan we are still miles and miles behind the Kurds in Turkey as far as progress and civilisation (development of civic law and institutions), and services. The only thing that is missing is the national rights of the Kurds even though many of those have recently been granted and I hope Erdugan will expand them and treat them as God-given rights and that will create complete trust and co-operation to go forward and develop the entire country.


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