ANKARA - Stating that a 'state fraction' that includes US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey wants to keep Turkey in their front using opposition against PKK, HDP's USA Represantative Giran Özcan said USA's purpose is to create a structure that minimizes Turkey's concerns.
The presidential elections to be held on November 3 in the USA are a few days away. The impact of the elections in determining US foreign policy in global and regional areas is also a matter of debate. The elections in USA is closely followed by the Middle East, Syria and Turkey.
It is a matter of curiosity if Donald Trump's rival John Biden will succeed, as Trump is supportive of AKP's tense policies. The course of a lot events like the Halk Bank case and the purchase of S-400 will be clear after November 3.
We spoke to Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) USA Represantative Giran Özcan about the foreign policy of USA, the aim of James Jeffery going back and forth between Turkey, Iraq and Syria, the current relations of USA with the Kurds and possible developments.
US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey has recently been shuttling between Ankara, Qamislo, Hewler and Baghdad. A few days ago, it was announced that it was assured to the forces of North Syria that "the Turkish army will not be able to carry out an operation". It is stated that the Kurdish side is not happy with Jeffrey. How do you interpret Jeffrey's aims or initiatives?
In US politics, individuals, including presidents, are influential but not decisive. Now, we see that Jeffrey has, or is trying to be, much more influential in his position when he comes to Northern and Eastern Syria. When we look at Jeffrey's individual diplomatic career and his past we see that he has been in diplomatic relation with Turkey fır 40 years. This relation goes way back. However, we can state that Jeffrey’s individual approaches and US state policies are in contradiction, especially when it comes to Rojava.
In deed, in the book written by former US National Security Advisor John Bolton, it is stated that Jeffery is more committed to the interests of Turkey than he is to US's. What is known is that, Jeffery thinks he need to keep Turkey in the US front no matter what, therefore he makes other actors ignore Turkey's behavior and he can do anything to keep Turkey in the USA and west front. Therefore, we know that Turkey doesn't like the Kurds having a status in Rojava and Turkey sees this as a matter of survival. All the moves of Jeffery aims to minimize the concerns of Turkey.
It is stated that US is oppressing the Kurdish forces and force them to be controlled by Turkey. Observing Washington, do you agree?
Turkey has a matter of survival and it makes it very clear. That matter of survival is the existance of the Kurds. Not an issue or a military situation but the very existance of the Kurdish people. Therefore the fraction of the US Jeffery is involved is giving reactions to minimize Turkey's concerns. Which means US want to create a Kurdish structure acceptable and controlable by Turkey in Rojava, just like they did in the south.
US administration sometimes makes positive statements about North and East Syria and the Kurdish forces. Currently there is an effort for unity in North and East Syria where ENKS is also involved. And US is interested in it. On the other hand, it is known that military operations in Northern and Eastern Syria and many regions where Kurds live are carried out with the indirect support of the USA. How do you evaluate this situation?
US could have prevented it if they wanted. How can the US that stops Russia everytime, can not stop Turkey? I know it is boring to talk about the survival issue of Turkey in every subject but I will reiterate it, because I believe it is important. Because the Kurds and the Kurdistan issue is the issue of 4 nation-states in the region. But none has such a deep rooted existance issue as Turkey has. Everyone who studied history can tell how Turkey was established as a nation-state and how it can be destroyed from the very core of its story of establishment. Therefore, if US want to keep Turkey in their corner as a hegemonic power both in Rojava and South Kurdistan, they have to do something about its concern for survival. And it does it against PKK which is a Kurdistani power in all four parts both ideologically and as a force that has a maeuver capacity. And at the same time they ally with Turkey fighting against this 'Kurdish and Kurdistani' power.
You stated that Turkey was not even discussed in the US 10 years ago with its strategic importance, but now it is being discussed. Is this in relation with the developments in North and East Syria.
We can say that the reality of Rojava causes certain things to manifest. But we need to mention Turkey's inner dynamics and its own historical process. Indeed, for 60-70 years Turkey has engaged itself was very firmly on the western front. Although it did not do this in the first 20-30 years of its establishment, it engaged itself economically and militarily in the western front, especially the USA, especially after the Second World War. But what I am emphasizing here is the social dynamics inside Turkey. Those who manage Turkey with Kemalizm, ignoring all other etnicities for 80 years are now pushed to the background. They were hit by both the society and the current government. This is a process linked to Turkey's own internal social dynamics. It shows that things will not go back to 'normal' if they get rid of Erdoğan and that the DNA of the society has changed, and that the Kemalist process was a short break at the 700 year history of Ottoman, and I guess even Washington sees this.
We can say that not a lot will change in Turkey with the change of the governments and that the social dynamics have become stable both socially and state-wise. Therefore we see a more expansionist Turkey with the nationalism and Islamism pumped by the government, which Turkey did not do in its Kemalist period. No matter how US claims that they can help Turkey get back to where it was, we can say that most of them sees Turkey's DNA has changed. US has seen that Turkey did not fight with ISIS because its DNA has changed. And they saw the need to ally with another power that can fight ISIS, which is the basis of their relationship with the Kurds. In this basis, the US that ignored the Kurds for 70-80 years, have not only allied with the Kurds in line with its regional interests, but militarily. On one side, it entered into a tactical relationship with the force that could fight in the most courageous way in Rojava and form the most participatory political structures.
What happens if Biden is elected?
We can say that there is a full court press situation at the moment. More than Biden's support for both the press and the public, Trump has seriously consolidated his own opposition. It also appeared on the surveys. Even though the surveys shows Biden is a little ahead, there are six weeks to the elections. A lot can change in six weeks in US politics. The only thing we observe is that the press emphasizes that Trump's second term will be much more dangerous. In this atmosphere, it seems very difficult that Trump will win the second term.
What changes for North and East Syria according to who wins the elections? John Bolton said that if Biden were elected, it would be for the benefit of the Kurds..
First of all, I can say that both the military and political struggle of the Kurdish people has been justified wherever it may be, and that it is advancing the rights of Kurdish and Kurdistan. In other words, the struggle of the Kurds in every part is moral and justified, and this truth must first be expressed, no matter what balanced policies are carried out in the world. I think that the attitudes of other powers against the just and moral struggle of the Kurds must be evaluated seperately.
As a matter of fact the moral and justified struggle of the Kurdish people has its own dynamic and self power. Everyone can see the sympathy it creates internationally. How the international powers relate to this moral struggle is another discussion.
After all there is an active struggle at the four nation-states, which are very effective at the region. The USA was obliged to maintain the status quo at all costs for 80 years, to maintain its hegemony. Indeed US gave every possible military and economic support to Turkey against its war against the PKK and the Kurdish people. And it continues to do so. But now the current world order is under serious threats. On the one hand, China poses serious threats to this hegemony of the United States, as Russia is directly in the field. In such a process, it turns out that the USA must protect the world order, and it has become too expensive to protect this world order and it is not as profitable as before. Therefore, protecting the borders is not primarily under the responsibility of the USA. We can say that this chaos gap creates a very suitable ground for the formation of new formations, new ranks and new lines.
MA / Selman Güzelyüz