Would you like us to hand over Istanbul, too? - ÖZLEM ALBAYRAK

Would you like us to hand over Istanbul, too?

Northern Iraq's referendum was held despite objections from neighboring countries. But that referendum did not consist of a referendum alone. According to yesterday’s news, the foreign minister of Bashar Assad's regime said, in reference to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)-affiliated Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD), that the request for autonomy may be negotiated. If we recall that the PKK/PYD and the Assad regime have not been in any large-scale clashes since the start of the war, it becomes clear that the U.S. is not the only one that can support a Kurdish state or autonomy in the region. Even though it is expressed openly for the first time, Assad has been giving the green light to the PKK for some time now. 

It is not limited to this; even though during this process the U.S. and EU appeared to have good intentions, their reactions toward the referendum were very weak. 

Although it said in the statement from EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy High Representative's office that "The EU always confirms its support for Iraq's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity," it continued, "The EU made a call for the referendum to not be held unilaterally and especially in disputed enclaves. It is upset that these calls are not being taken to heed," taking the approach of pleasing both sides. 

The U.S. made three different statements on the subject. Even though the individual statements from the White House, the Department of State and the Department of Defense contained the emphasis "we prefer a united Iraq," and a theme of disappointment, there was no mention of any sanctions toward the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The Department of Defense, the Pentagon stated that there is no change in the U.S. army's support to the Peshmerga within the scope of the fight against Daesh. 


The reason why the voices rising from Europe and the U.S. are so weak was confirmed in the Yeni Şafak article published yesterday with the title, "Kerkük'ü başkent yapacak" (Kirkuk to be made capital of so-called Kurdistan). This reason is also based on the claim that the idea to divide Iraq belongs to Western powers. Accordingly, at the meeting held in KRG President Masoud Barzani's adviser Hoshyar Zabari's house on Sept. 22, pro-Israel names such  Zalmay Khalilzad gave assurance to Barzani in relation to Kirkuk becoming the capital city, establishing a joint army with the PKK-PYD, and many cities, including Mosul, joining the map. The instructions came from U.S. diplomat Peter Woodard Galbraith; former Iraqi Ambassador to the U.S.  Zalmay Khalilzad and former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. According to the news, in the 20-day period before the meeting, Barzani, who met with top level representatives primarily from the U.S., U.K., France and Israel, received full support in the secret meetings held behind closed doors regarding a united Kurdistan. 

There is no need to be a clairvoyant to see the situation. A Kurdish state is being established in broad daylight, right beside our border, almost without needing to conceal it. As a matter of fact, this state is supported by an expansive alliance from Israel to the U.S., from the EU to Assad's Syria. One development that will negate the arguments of those in Turkey who say, "Barzani is our friend, let's not ruin out relations," is that Barzani's Peshmergas are not enemies or rivals with the PKK-PYD organizations. It is obvious that at an uncertain time in the future, these two elements are planned to be brought together under the Kurdish state. And as indicated by the notorious map of Kurdistan that encompasses the east and southeast almost up to capital Ankara, this likely state is going to have certain plans regarding Turkey.  The picture is clear – it probably could not have been any clearer than this. Now the question is what kind of move Turkey will make. Looking at the power balances that changed step by step in Turkey in the last six years, putting aside finding a way to stop this, I guess that path needs to be taken without wasting any time.  


The most important result of the elections in Germany is that for the first time since World War II, a Nazi party made it into the German parliament with votes as high as 13 percent. This outcome is good for the racist Germans who have started to apply a light and covert version of the discrimination which they applied once upon a time against the Jews, now against the Turks, the foreign social group with the highest demographics in the country, and bad for us, the Turks in Germany and Turkey. 

What's worse is that the ethnic and religious discrimination, in other words, Turkophobia and Islamophobia, continuing to increase in Europe, and, which we have no idea of how far it will go, has a social base and response in Germany. Since the EU project has long exploded in their faces, Germany is the one that needs to dwell upon these results – not us. As a matter of fact, what difference was there between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Schulz, who competed against one another with clear aggressiveness toward Turkey, almost insulting in street language, and the neo-Nazis?

It seems racism, xenophobia will further increase in general in Europe and specifically in Germany, but Turks or Turkey will not be the only ones harmed by this. The ground that will be reached with this sociology is obvious. The "Transformation" famous German writer Kafka mentions had already captured the Germans once. Neo-Nazis entering parliament again with unexpected success might be an indicator that the second is to come.


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