Photo: Dr. Hicran Kazanci
The correct address for the Kurds: Ankara
Star Newspaper 14.10.2011
Probably one of the most important problems in combatting terror is being able to portray the relationship between combatting and results correctly to the public. If the public is not told that it will take time until results are achieved then expectations will rise. Naturally this will be followed by disappointment.
Yet if we are to look at the messages given to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoşyer Zebari who has been making contacts in Ankara for the past two days it can even be considered that combatting terror has reached a phase which is extremely positive.
The two major actors in Kurdish politics, Mesut Barzani and Celal Talabani have a history of being far removed from understanding the power, stance and decisiveness of Turkey. However, it is not only regional actors who are calculating benefits over the Kurds, in fact it is obvious that the international system is taking a great interest in the issue. These relationships lie behind the up and down attitudes of the Kurdish leaders with Ankara.
On the other hand Barzani who is found sympathetic in a wide area among Kurds often gives grandstanding message to the populace to uphold these expectations.
Why is it the correct address
However, these issues are gradually remaining in the past. This is caused by a few reasons. First of all Ankara is much more powerful, respected and decisive than previously. It is now acting with a new smart policy leaving behind inter-agency rivalry out of scope. It is very difficult for the Kurdish leaders to confront such a Republic of Turkey.
Secondly, the new policy applied by Ankara in its fight against the PKK is forming into an action to free itself from an impediment in the area which is a threat rather than an endeavor to resolve an internal issue. This is an important difference. Instead of an introverted battle against problems and being squeezed into a corner, Turkey is a power with the courage to face its problems on a regional and global scale.
Thirdly it is sufficient to look at a map to see why the Kurdish leaders are obliged to act with Turkey. While Hoşyer Zebari was in Turkey an interesting move came from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri El Maliki: ‘If necessary we can send Iraqi troops to Northern Iraq to combat terror.’ It needs to be underlined that while this message supports Turkey it is also a meaningful ‘dispatch’ to the Kurds.
The Turkmen and the future
Since we are on the subject of Iraq let’s open another subject. As it is known, there is a large Turkmen population still in Iraq and as a result of mistakes made in the past, this community which is closest to Turkey is practically struggling to survive.
It is definite that the Turkmen will have an important role in future politics. I sincerely believe this. However, in order for this to happen the community must first resolve its internal rivalries. I often have discussions with Iraqi Turkmen Front Turkey Representative Hicran Kazancı. I find his approach not only regarding the front but his views on the future of the region to be very significant. The reason for this is that unlike in the past, he argues on behalf of establishing strong alliances rather than an aggressive or separatist approach.
Unfortunately this wide vision of the Ankara front representative has deeply disturbed some circles who are drowing in the reckoning of the past. In fact the issue is very clear. The Turkmen need to wipe the slate clean and renew themselves to become strong politically. Indeed, the political mind directing Ankara is looking favorably on the renewal process of the Turkmen. Perhaps a more active support and cooperation is necessary.
Otherwise it may be more difficult that expected to break the impact of some of the power groups which have settled into these structures in the past.