When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Turkey considers itself to be a democratic and secularist state. Turkey has also been recognized as safe haven for Middle Eastern minorities during times of political crisis. Turkey has hosted international peace conferences as well as Islamic Cooperation Organization (ICO) conferences. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan even supports the Palestine’s Hamas and sympathizes with the Palestinian’s fight for freedom. In spite of Turkey’s good-will to oppressed minorities in the region the country tends to act the opposite when it comes to the Kurdish minority.

I read two articles for this blog entry, both articles withhold similar contentions about Turkey’s relationship with the Kurdish people.

The first article titled, “Turkey’s Double Standard Policy Towards the Kurds” declares that Turkey oppresses the Kurds, ignores Kurdish political rights,  and violates Iraq’s sovereignty by implementing airstrikes on suggested PKK territories (these attacks mostly yield civilian fatalities). The article even goes as far to claim that Turkey supports radical islamist groups, such as IS, when they reap havoc on Kurds in Northern Syria. The author, Shawkhawan Shorash, provides evidence for his claims. One of his examples was the IS led attack against the Ezidi ethnic group on April  3, 2014 in the Shengal Mountains that borders Turkey. Despite an international plea to provide aid to the Ezidi’s who had just suffered an ethnic cleansing attack Turkey simply left the plea unanswered. Shorash also uses Turkey’s actions during the IS caused Kobani crisis as evidence of Turkey’s maltreatment of the Kurds. During the Kobani crisis Turkey blocked aid from getting to the city of Kobani while it was under siege. Ironically, Turkey allowed international Islamists, intending to fight besides IS, cross the border without an issue. Turkey’s Western allies developed growing anxiety during the siege; however, Turkey ignored the West’s worries and the city until the very last moment, almost like it was waiting for the city’s fall. According to Shorash, Turkey would rather have IS reign over northern Syria then see the Kurds or in Turkey’s eyes the PKK have gains in the region.

 

Turkey taking the side of IS. It is an interesting thing to wonder about. Reading this article had me recall the chapter titled The Islamist Resurgence in The Battle of the Arab Spring, on page 276 the author mentions that conservative Salafists are leaning towards a more Turkish – style system of governing. Maybe this is what’s alluring Erdogan to the dark side? Everyone loves inspiring others…. even if its an irrational Islamist group claiming to have the caliphate. It’d be one interesting and dangerous conflict if the Erdogan guy joins the jihadist bandwagon.

To further my little conspiracy theory my next article is “Erdogan will try to pull off a balancing act at NATO summit.” This article is about the last NATO member get-together in Wales. The article describes Erdogan as an abrasive leader who enjoys using anti-western rhetoric in his speeches; fortunately, according to the article this is merely a tactic to gather domestic support for his campaign. The article then goes on to mention the contents of the NATO meet – up. The western states agreed that they wanted to rally up there tuff-tootin’ militaries and get rid of those IS bastards; however, Turkey didn’t want much to do with this military plan of action. For one, Turkey didn’t want western aid to be given to the Kurdish militia Peshmerga, two they don’t want to back the western allies because, according to the article Turkey has 48 Turkish civilians kept as hostages by IS. Lastly, Turkey wants to have nothing to do with empowering the the Kurdish population. Towards the end, the article focused on a Kurdish man, Faud Hussein, who snuck over the border of Turkey to ask for arms to fight against IS, he was refused. When Turkey was asked by a Turkish TV channel for justification to their refusal to arm Turkey said that they don’t want the 48 Turkish hostages to be harmed. Oh, the article also mentions that IS soliders flow freely through the borders of Turkey and that Turks have sentiment for the IS group…. I mean IS soilders look kinda friendly and seem to have the people’s best interest at heart.. so the sentiment held by the Turks sounds reasonable (I’m being sarcastic).

I found this last bit, concerning Faud Hussein, to be most interesting. Especially Turkey’s justification for a refusal.. mostly because it seems like most of the countries concerned with the IS crisis have hostages as well. For the most part the hostage situation seems to be adding fuel to the military-intervention-fire, they don’t seem to be negotiating and obeying the IS “terrorist” group or whatever the politically correct term is.

Either Turkey’s Erdogan is a pansy or he’s having some issues breaking it to the west that he’s evil and doesn’t want to attend anymore NATO pow-wows.

 

Ehhhh I feel a bit uncomfortable calling Erdogan evil, I don’t want to give the west to much credit and deem them as the good guys. Being introduced to all these political messes during my time in school has allowed me to realize that all politics build their beds with the lives of others. In this case however, I’m going to have to side with the West. I think the Kurds have a lot going for them and I’d like to see them become more and more empowered… Miles more then I’d like to see IS empowered thats for sure.

 

Natalie

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