August 31, 2006

PKK - nothing more than an excuse

Aso Kerim
Globe Senior Writer

It is clear that the PKK a Northern- Kurdistani party has attempted for more than 20 years to strategically achieve its continuing goal of military action against Turkey. The PKK membership roles both inside and outside Turkey include Kurds in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Caucasus, in Diaspora, as well as recruited members.

Regional governments that have tried to benefit from PKK activities include Russia, Iran, and
Syria, Saddam’s Iraq and other countries. In a reciprocal interplay, the PKK has received benefit from tensions between such countries.

It is obvious that Iraqi Kurdistan from 1991until today has a special status.

It has a constitutionally recognized regional government within a federal country having internal, regional and even international responsibilities.

Execution of these responsibilities with and understanding of the liabilities inherent with them is the path for future maintenance and enforcement.

Without a doubt, the PKK has fomented a lot of problems for Southern Kurdistan.

The arrest of Ocalan has limited the harassment to only a few mountainous regions on the borders and has little existence inside Iraqi Kurdistan.

However, deep within Turkey, the PKK has a strong presence within the cities which are PKK party activity centers. This means that the actual existence and center of operations of the PKK is inside

Turkey‘s borders and not outside its territorial domain. And then Turkey is focusing a misguided and Chauvinist response on 25 million Kurds in the North, and who lack even the simplest community rights!

At the same time, Turkey has made it abundantly clear in their statements of opposition towards developing Kurdish positions in Iraq, sometimes even to the point of interference in Iraq’s internal matters, in this case the lingering issue of Kirkuk.

They claim falsely to protect Turkumans in Kurdistan, which in itself is a breach of the main principle of sovereignty, fully recognized by the tenets of international law.

Turkey discourages speaking about Kurdish issues inside Turkey. However they have no right to do so within a sovereign entity such as Kurdistan and therefore must respect other countries’ internal affairs.

Since 1991 the neighboring countries of Turkey, Iran and Syria have tried to coordinate with each other in studying the Iraqi situation, especially in Iraqi Kurdistan. The PKK issue has become one of the security issues. We see coordination in military actions on both of the Turkey-Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran-Iraqi Kurdistan borders.

Both borders have been bombarded by artillery fire and air strikes with substantial loss to local villagers in the Region prompting some to leave the area. This is just one example of a serious breach of national sovereignty and an issue to be reconciled within the Iraqi presidency.

It is highly doubtful that America wants cooperation between Iran and Turkey since Iran supports
Hezbollah in Lebanon and is in diametric opposition to the United States in the issue of nuclear proliferation.

What shall be the American reaction to Iran trying to attract and entice Turkey into cooperation using the PKK factor? In addition, Iran plays the insurgent card by using Ansar Islam as a threat surrogate to attack Iraqi Kurdistani main forces and the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The message is clear. If Kurdistan supports America, Iran will instigate trouble similar to that being experienced in the rest of Iraq, in an attempt to abolish the stable security of Iraqi Kurdistan

The PKK has recently announced a ceasefire. However Turkey response was not positive to the ceasefire and continues its attacks on the PKK. The duty of the government of Kurdistan is to nurture and protect the region’s political and legal status in compliance with Iraqi Constitution and international rule of law.

The PKK should take notice and respect Kurdistan sovereignty by changing its route from Turkey-Iran to its actual domain which is Turkey itself.

Iraqi Kurdistan will face a great challenge in the very near future, perhaps as early as the end of next year. By the end of 2007, the issues of resolving the return of Kirkuk to the Kurdistan Region and other area crises will be at the forefront.

All Kurds should recognize this as a personal challenge and not side with those who devise excuses to make the Kurdistan Region their own particular domain and flooding the region with accessory duties!