August 24, 2011

Turkish Foreign Policy and Developing Wars - By Amed Demirhan

Turkish foreign policy is primarily indexed to Kurdish issue and Kurdistan since its foundation. This has been so more than any other occupiers of Kurdistan. Turkey like other Middle East countries is a creation of post World War I (WWI) imperial powers with intention of “sustainable” conflict and oppression for survival of regimes just like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and others. There is a legend about “Turkish Liberation under military officer Major Mustafa Kemal” (Mustafa Kemal was not a Pasha at that time).  The fact is that Mustafa Kemal army never shot a bullet at major imperial occupiers: French, British, Italian, Russian, and all of them withdraw from occupied territories in support of Mustafa Kemal.

The regime that was established in historical multinational and multi ethnics’ geography had one simple ideology, an artificial pan-Turkist: “One nation – Turkish; one language Turkish, One Flag Turkish, and One religion Sunni – Hanafi”: Turkish, Turkish, and Turkish … Kurdish response was almost instant in 1925 against this superficial and racist regime. However, the “international community”  or imperial powers of 1920s had their design for the whole Middle East. Therefore, any opposition to “new order” must be stopped or eliminated. Because of this policy, all Kurdish attempts in 1920s, 30s, 40, were brutally suppressed either with tacit support of international powers or directly.

What is happening now is different

Since WWI with exception of the new world or the American continent/s the political maps of world have changed many times. For example, in Europe since the 1920s the political map has been changed four times. In Asia and Africa changes have been in force. The births of East Timor and South Sudan in July 9, 2011 are just latest additions to changing political geography. However, the Middle East is the only place in the world with political map remains the same but since 1991 i.e. no fly zones in Iraq and 2003 Iraqi war the changes started in this region and now it is spreading all over greater Middle East.

Despite all European and American encouragement and support the Turkish regime has not been able to adjust to changing environments. Former President of Turkey Turgut Ozal tried few changes but was stopped. Mr. Recep Tayib Erdogan has been mentioning some changes but despite his promise to the European Union (EU) and even with the adaptation of “Copenhagen Criteria” as a pre condition for any candidate for the membership to EU, he has not made any change that will release the regime from its oppressive racist character. Mr. Erdogan is increasingly sounding like some of the founders of the republic with his rhetoric of “one nation, one flag, and one state: Turkish, Turkish, and Turkish.”  Therefore, he has declared war on Kurdistan.

However, this is quite short sighted and the Turkish regime can not stop the changes in the Middle East despite its alliance with major powers. Until February of this year Turkey was an ardent supporter of the Libyans and the Syrian regimes but now Turkish regime switched to other side with hope of getting a free ride against Kurds. Because this regime believes the political map of Middle East is going to be redrawn, therefore, Erdogans’ government want to marginalize Kurds as much as possible. For example the Alawi /Nasturi population of Syria will not submit to the Sunni Muslim rule of Syria just like Shiite of Iraq will never again submit to the Sunni Muslim rule in Iraq and Iraqi Sunni are starting to understand they can not live under Shiite dominance for very long. The political map of this region will change; therefore, no one can stop the birth of independent Kurdistan.

Amed Demirhan

Demirhan is University Librarian and a  writer on the Middle East issues.

Amed was born in Northern Kurdistan (Turkish part of Kurdistan). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies with a minor in Spanish, a Master of Arts Degree in Dispute Resolution from Wayne State University and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Southern Mississippi. His languages spoken are: Kurdish, Swedish, Turkish, Spanish and English. Since 1998, Amed has contributed to numerous newspapers and online news portals as a columnist in international affairs.


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