Muslim: PKK is an excuse, the target is Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah

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  • 10:35 20 April 2024
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ANKARA - Emphasizing that the Kurds should ensure their unity against attacks, PYD Co-chair Salih Muslim pointed out that Turkey targeted Kirkuk, Mosul and Sulaymaniyah using the PKK as an excuse.
While the crisis in the Middle East deepened with wars, occupations and social collapses, the tension between Iran and Israel brought concerns about the beginning of a new period of conflict in the region. In the current conjuncture, where the state mind, which responds to the people's rising demand for peace with an insistence on war, tries to create "opportunities" from crises, the AKP government, which is involved in this effort, continues its anti-Kurdish policies and insistence on war. The insistence on a deadlock on the Kurdish issue, especially in Turkey, also targets the gains of the Kurds in other regions. While the war process, which started with the brutality of ISIS in Northern and Eastern Syria in 2014, continues with Turkey's air strikes, a multifaceted occupation policy is in effect in Southern Kurdistan with the support of the KDP. The upcoming elections in the region are one of the most curious topics because of how the new federal administration will maintain its relations with Turkey and the Baghdad administration. Also, AKP Chair and President Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Iraq this month and to the USA next month are among the important headlines of the coming days.
The question “How will the Kurds respond to the ‘de-identification’ effort that continues all over Kurdistan” is also on the agenda. Partiya Yekitiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party-PYD) Co-chair Salih Müslim answered the questions of Mezopotamya Agency (MA) about the active process in the Middle East and the current situation of the Kurds in the region.
Let's start with the developments in the Middle East. It announced that it had completed its preparations for an attack against Israel-Iran. Iran also stated that they would respond within seconds. Tension appears to be escalating. What is the source of these developments? Where will this conflict between Israel and Iran lead?
There are two big problems in the Middle East. Peace will not come to the Middle East until these problems are resolved. However, everyone uses these two problems as their own extensions. They use it for their own plans, purposes, political processes, and their own ambitions and goals. For example; The Kurds have internal conflicts and by taking some Kurds with them and using them, they cause some situations such as their rights being denied. After that, they play various games that will be perceived as a threat through the states, using the same pressure tool. Now the Palestine issue is no different from these.
Everyone has projects. The new road issue is not at the expense of Iran and Turkey. Of course, this is why there are those who support Hamas in Turkey.
You know that the State of Israel was established since 1948. After that, the Arabs got involved in the matter and everyone said 'I will save it'. After that, they brought it to a Muslim-Jewish issue. Just like 1400 years ago during the time of the Prophet Muhammad, they exposed the hostility between Jews and Muslims in line with their own goals. In this way, the issue turned into a dead end. Now everyone is using this issue. Arabs and Arab states resorted to rhetoric such as 'I will solve the Palestine issue, I will do it, I will resist, I will save Palestine' to keep the people asleep. As if that wasn't enough, they have now turned the issue into an Islam issue. Now, the one who uses this the most lately is Iran. There is Hamas; They liquidated and deported them in 1982. They were driven out of Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan and were reduced to a marginal position. But the Muslim issue is still exploited by Islamic jihad organizations such as Hamas. So everyone has projects. Finally, Iran used them. This new road issue is not at the expense of Iran and Turkey. Of course, that's why there are people in Turkey who support Hamas. We said it at the beginning, if a solution is really desired; This solution cannot be achieved with such extreme ideas and extreme solutions. So this is a national state issue; Palestine wants a religious state, Israel wants a religious state. The Arabs are like that, and Hamas also wants an Islamic state. Contradictory things are happening on a piece of land. These are not solutions for either of them.
Is the solution to the Palestinian issue possible with Hamas?
This problem can neither be solved with Netanyahu nor with Hamas's radical Islamic jihadist view. The Palestinian issue is something completely different. It should be resolved as the Palestinian people want, but unfortunately no one listens to them. On the one hand, strict socialism, and on the other hand, strict Islamic jihad. These are not a solution, but they will bring destruction to the entire Middle East and we are witnessing this. Everyone says, 'You hit the consulate,' but no one says, 'What are all these generals doing in this consulate? They do not say, 'These are all commanders who wage the war.' They turned the building in this embassy there or the building next to it into a military headquarters and brought the war to the headquarters. Israel also shot them. Now this (Iran) is taking revenge on them. We don't know where it will go anymore, it goes on and on. But the situation is really very dangerous. I hope they don't lead the Middle East to destruction.
We also have solidarity with the Palestinian people. We've known them all along. They are our friends, we also have relationships. However, Hamas's ideas do not bring solutions. Jews have already been a part of the Middle East throughout history. It is a reality of the Middle East. We accept this too. Before Israel was founded, most of them were already living in Mesopotamia and Kurdistan. There was no contradiction between them and the Kurds. We do not accept such a contradiction. Therefore, the path is neither Zionism nor Jihadism. Neither of them will bring a solution to either the Middle East or the people there. At best, I think it will cause more losses.
As you stated, Turkey also takes advantage of the developments. After these attacks and the beginning of the mutual conflict, Turkey also launched air strikes against Kurdistan. How should this war process be evaluated from the perspective of the Kurds?
All wars are a matter of interest. Someone works for oil, someone works for trade. The issue of the Kurds is something completely different. Because it is a matter of existence. Still no one accepts the Kurds; That the Kurds are a people and can govern themselves with a status. For example, they do not want to recognize the Kurds, as in Bashur. Our problem is different; Whichever side we err on, we lose. That's why our line should be different. Our line needs to be the third way. We have our own project; It is a democratic nation project. I think if we can achieve this, we can protect ourselves both in Rojava and elsewhere. Our forces would not take part in such a war anyway. Because our people have always defended themselves within the framework of self-defense or legitimate defense from the beginning. We are not going to attack anyone unless they come at us. Even if they come at us, we defend ourselves and resist.
How should the Kurds be positioned in this situation?
Kurds should establish unity of purpose among themselves. At least, both in the form of coordination and to protect ourselves. Whether in Basur, Rojava or elsewhere, the more we can consult with each other and protect ourselves, the more we will avoid slipping into a dangerous situation. We hope we can protect ourselves this way.
Turkey leads the threats. There is the New Ottoman project and the national pact issues. These projects are also wanted to be started from Rojava. Al Nusra and other terrorist groups are used for this.
There is an autonomous administration that is constantly under attack, but what is the current situation, both militarily, politically, socially and in terms of its position in the international conjuncture?
The threats against us have not stopped. This is led by Turkey, Turkish fascism. There is the New Ottoman project and the national pact issues. These projects are also wanted to be started from Rojava. Their efforts had already been made before. Occupation of Afrin, then expansion to Tel Abyad and Serêkaniyê. If you want the truth, we have been at war since 2016 and this is how Turkey asserts itself and replaces ISIS. When ISIS was destroyed, Turkey replaced them and is still using all the tools it has for this purpose. It also uses Al Nusra. Other terrorist groups also use it. They have bases and training areas in the occupied lands. Both in Serêkaniyê, Abyad, Afrin and Idlib. It also uses all relationships. Whoever asks something from Turkey, they say, 'You will be an enemy to the Kurds, and then you will do this.' So wherever we knock on a door, Turkey has closed it or is trying to close it. The attacks have not stopped anyway. We don't know how far it will go anymore, but we are prepared.
An intense attack policy is being carried out against Bashur...
Of course, the biggest threats are in Southern Kurdistan. They want to occupy those places. The projects are already clear. So this is not just a PKK excuse. He wants both Kirkuk, Mosul and Sulaymaniyah. They want to occupy it and include it in their own ways and projects. Moreover, they do not want the Kurds in Rojava to receive such a status. For 8 years, when the United Nations (UN) resolution 2-2-54 was passed, Turkey is the one who opposes it the most. He doesn't want him to implement this at all. Because there will be some stability there now. Kurds will also be able to obtain at least some of their democratic rights. That's why they prevent this too. We resist in every scene. The war has not stopped.
What is the main justification of this plan for Turkey?
Turkey is attacking us because it cannot solve the Kurdish issue within it and even because it does not want to solve it. I think that if a solution develops there and an agreement is reached with the Kurds there, maybe we too will feel at ease. That's why the Kurdish issue is interconnected. Turkish fascism is an enemy to everyone.
While talking about all these, it is necessary to draw attention to the importance of the national unity of the Kurds. Is it possible that developments regarding this will be revealed in the coming period? There is also an election process in the Federated Kurdistan Region. It was possible that KDP would not participate in the elections, but it seems to have given up on the boycott decision due to international pressure. However, it is expected to be an election in which PUK will come out ahead. How do you read the balance there in terms of national unity?
We are doing our best. Whether it is the administration in Rojava, the autonomous administration here or others, as PYD, we are doing our best as a political party. Because we think that Kurds need to get closer to each other somehow. That's why we have relations, but Turkey has especially captured Bashur. In particular, it uses this PDK issue as both blackmail and a matter of interest. Of course, we see and watch this. The situation in Bashur is a gain for the Kurds. There is a federative system. This also definitely needs to be protected, but it seems that Turkey has now captured them and taken them over. As if this were not enough, they are also tightening relations with Baghdad.
 What is happening in Southern Kurdistan threatens the entire federative system. They say 'This is a PKK issue', but it is not so. They have been in Bashiqa since 2014 and all ISIS gangs are trained there and sent from there. Nobody says anything to this.
So, to what extent is the federal government aware of what is happening? Turkey, in particular, uses the PKK excuse for its military positioning there. How do you evaluate the stance of the Baghdad central government and the regional cliques, especially the KDP, on this issue?
I wonder how alert is the administration in Bashur? Because they need to be alert. Otherwise, it's out of business. Now, if Turkey starts a conflict and says, "I'm coming here for peace," who can do anything against it? Will Iraq block it? They already have the same thought. They also want to get rid of the federation issue, even if they do not say it openly. So what happens there threatens the entire federative system. They say 'This is a PKK issue', but it is not so. They have been in Bashiqa since 2014 and all ISIS gangs are trained there and sent from there. Nobody says anything to this. In fact, the Baghdad administration said 'Bashiqa should be closed', but Turkey said 'I will not close it'. It is something very dangerous for its. That's why Kurdish unity is so important in this process. Otherwise, Bashur will truly be lost. Now it took KDP with its. Then it started to threaten PUK. If they submit like this, all of Bashur will be gone. They already have around 100 superiors and soldiers there. Not in mountainous areas like this. Turkey, in cities located on all plains. Erbil has taken over all of them, especially Erbil. It is necessary to be very careful. It is necessary to act smart.
The Kurdish issue swallows everything like a black hole. They sold all of Turkey. Why? So that the Kurds will disappear.
Let's also ask about the Turkey line. A local election was recently abandoned. It is generally considered as a process in which the AKP-MHP lost and the Kurds emerged victorious. We can say that new equations have started to be discussed after the election. It is clear that its anti-Kurdish attitude made the government lose. In this regard, do you think that the AKP will change its position in the coming period, especially in terms of its anti-Kurdish policies?
Why did Turkey come to this situation? Why did Turkey go bankrupt economically? Why did Turkey move away from Europe? Why can't Turkey stop relations? Why did Turkey create tension with NATO? Now, these are actually all related to the Kurdish issue. You see, a state is entering into a war. It suffers from this for 10 years after that. Of course, it cannot fix its economy. You have been at war for 8 years, this much expense. They already said it themselves; how much money a bullet costs. Check out these recently dropped drones. Each drone costs at least $5 million. $100 million just went here. 8 years of war collapsed Turkey's economy. This is the first reason. Latter; Turkey has been waiting at the door of Europe for 30-40 years. Why can't it enter? The democratic criteria there will be for the benefit of the Kurds, and the Kurds will gain some democratic governance or rights. They don't approach its either. That's why they moved away from Europe. The Kurds have already proven themselves in war. Relations with the international coalition improved. The collapse Turkey is experiencing stems from the Kurdish issue. This is the truth. The Kurdish issue has now become a black hole, swallowing everything. It's swallowing relationships, it's swallowing the economy, it's swallowing politics. If anyone says two words against the Kurds, Turkey will open its pocket and give whatever it wants. They also sold all of Turkey. Why? So that the Kurds will disappear.
MA / Fırat Can Arslan 

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