Why Turkey Will Let Iraqi Kurds, But Not Turkish Kurds, Fight Extremists In
ISTANBUL -- For weeks, Turkey has barred
Turkish Kurds from crossing the border into Syria to defend their ethnic
fellows in Kobani against the Islamic State’s wrath. As the predominantly
Kurdish town burns within eyeshot, Kurdish rage has prompted mass protests
across Turkey and threats of reignited war with the Turkish state.
On Monday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
said for the first time that Turkey will let Kurdish fighters cross its border
into Syria to defend Kobani. But only a particular subset of Kurds will be
allowed across -- not those from Turkey itself, but those from Iraqi Kurdistan,
a major Turkish ally.
The announcement came several hours after
U.S. planes dropped small arms, ammunition and medical supplies to aid Kobani's
besieged fighting force.
Turkey finds itself in a difficult situation as international pressure mounts
on the NATO member to play a more active role against Islamic State militants.
In addition to the Kobani situation, Turkish officials have come under fire for
not quashing Islamic State recruiting efforts inside Turkey and for not curbing
the flow of extremist fighters from Turkey into Syria. The United States, leading
a coalition to strike the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, has pressed a
reluctant Turkey to step up its game against the hardline group.
But the Turkish government has been reluctant
to support Kobani’s defenders because of their ties to opposition forces in
Turkey. Many of those now fighting for the city belong to the Democratic Union
Party (PYD), the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a
Turkish group that demands greater freedoms for the local Kurdish population.
Over 40,000 people have died in the three decades of fighting between the
Turkish state and the PKK, the majority of them Kurds. Jailed PKK leader
Abdullah Ocalan has warned that Kobani’s fall to the Islamic State would mean
an end to the already shaky peace process between the PKK and Turkey.
The PKK, which has been designated a
terrorist organization by both Turkey and the U.S., no longer calls for
autonomy. But Turkey still sees the PYD’s control of three Kurdish enclaves in
northern Syria as a major threat.
“At the moment, the PYD is equal with the PKK
for us,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Oct. 19. “It is also a
“It would be very wrong for America -- with
whom we are allies and who we are together with in NATO -- to expect us to say
yes,” he continued, “after openly announcing such support for a terrorist
organization.” Erdogan was referring to U.S. calls to help the fighters in
Ibrahim Kalin, a senior adviser to Erdogan, wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Sunday
slamming the idea that Turkey should help Syrian Kurds. “Arming PKK’s Syrian
affiliate is tantamount to giving weapons to the PKK,” he wrote. “Who will
guarantee that the weapons given to PYD will not end up in the hands of the
Now, in an apparent attempt to curb
international criticism, Turkey has agreed to open a corridor to Syria for a
different Kurdish force, the peshmerga fighters of Iraqi Kurdistan. A
semiautonomous region in northern Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan is one of Turkey’s top
allies on issues of security and energy and a major exporter of oil to the
latter country. Iraqi Kurdistan has also butted heads with the PKK and its
affiliates in Syria.
In June, Turkey signed a 50-year energy deal with the Kurdistan
Regional Government, which runs Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey analyst Aaron Stein, an
associate fellow at London's Royal United Services Institute, said that the
deal served to both benefit Turkey and help bolster an alternative form of
Kurdish nationalism, but that recent fighting has upset those ambitious plans.
“The PYD has received support from the U.S.
and the coalition,” Stein said. “Turkey’s relationship with its traditional
allies is strained, and the PYD is now viewed by many as being the tip of the
spear against [the Islamic State].”
So the Turkish state is trying to find a way
to navigate the increasingly complicated political situation that has unfolded
with the Kobani siege without having to directly support a group linked to its
“The practical calculation in the end -- or
overly practical -- to moderate the current situation is to let Barzani into
northern Syria,” political analyst Ahmet Kasim Han of Istanbul’s Kadir Has
University told The WorldPost, referring to Masoud Barzani, president of the
Kurdistan Regional Government. “They hope the arrival of these forces will
balance the political playing field. Because then there will be at least two
parties in northern Syria, whereas right now, there is only one.”
Peshmerga spokesman Halgurd Hikmat told The
WorldPost that it wasn’t clear when or if fighters would be sent to Kobani. But
late Monday night, Hemin Hawrami, a senior Iraqi Kurdish official, said on Twitter that two peshmerga units
would be deployed in the next 48 hours, adding that it was a “big success” for
IS A SILLY QUESTION TO ASK AS TO WHY TURKEY WOULD NOT ALLOW TO FIGHT THE KURD
STATIONED WITHIN TURKEY BUT WOULD ALLOW IRAQI AND SYRIAN KURD TO FIGHT. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT TURKEY IS MORE CONCERNED
WITH THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE TURKEY'S KURD AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OTHER COUNTRIES
IS ANOTHER REASON THIS KURD ARE A PROBLEM CREATOR LIKE ISRAEL'S ZIONIST
TERRORIST. IT IS INTERESTING WHY THE WEST AND EU GOT SO INTERESTED TO SOW THE
SEED OF THIS IRAQI KURD ON THE SOIL OF TURKEY.
TURKEY IS NOT A STUPID BLOODY COUNTRY NOT TO UNDERSTAND THE SECRETS OF FULFILLING THE DESTRUCTING DESIRE OF
ISRAEL'S ZIONISTS WITH THE VIEW TO POSE AS A SAVIOR OF ISLAM ON THE CONTRARY TO
TOTALLY ELIMINATE ISLAM FROM THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH NOT ONLY FROM MID EAST.
THAT DESIRE WOULD REMAIN UNACCOMPLISHED AND KNOWN TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF
NATIONS THAT WE ARE NOW NOT LIVING IN A CIVILIZED WORLD BUT IN A ZIONIST
BARBARIC TERRORIST DOMINATED BLOODY WORLD ORDER SUPPORTED BY THE MOST POWERFUL
SUPER POWER 'S CONGRESSIONAL ZIONOIST TERRORIST LAWMAKERS THAT NEEDS IMMEDIATE
CHANGE TO SAVE THE WORLD COMMUNITY OF NATIONS.
TERRORIST SUPPORTERS MIGHT NOT LIKE IT BUT TRUTH HAS TO BE TOLD TO AVERT
ANOTHER HOLOCAUST. NOW IT IS CLEAR WHO WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LAST HOLOCAUST,
IT WAS THESE HORRENDOUS FILTHY ZIONIST ISRAEL'S TERRORISTS AND THE SUPER
POWER'S ZIONIST TERRORIST LAWMAKERS. NO DENIAL OF THIS FACT.