News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following article “Muslim’den çoklu diplomasi” was written by M. Ali Çelebi and originally appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.
On one side Turkey is working with ISIS, on the other side it is working with the United States as it coordinates the international coalition. It took the lead in supporting the ISIS attack on the Müritpinar border crossing. And then it turned around and allowed the second peshmerga unit to cross into Kobanê. Apparently as Turkey watched American planes drop weapons to Kobanê it realized that peshmerga could also be dropped by parachute, and to avoid a growing distance between itself and the coalition as happened during the Iraq War and to avoid creating new problems between itself and the KDP with which it has developed its energy markets, it opened a land corridor to the peshmerga.
When I asked Ömer Mirani, who represents the KDP in Ankara, he told me that the shipments to Kobanê would continue. It has been agreed that peshmerga will be allowed to rotate in and out over set periods. Mirani, who told me that “157 people went to Kobanê” as part of the second unit responded to my question of whether or not the weapons deliveries would continue with this response: “Yes it will continue. There is no war without weapons.” He also added that following the agreement which was finally signed in Baghdad between Hewler (Erbil) and the Iraqi central government on December 2nd around such subjects as energy exports and the budget the Iraqi government is finally satisfied and has begun to transfer the salaries of peshmerga to the KRG.
As Turkey continues its games, the dynamics among Kurds have been shaped by new diplomatic steps which aim at increasing coordination and prevent relations from going asunder. PYD co-president Salih Muslim and PYD European representative Abdülselam Mustafa have once again gone to Hewler. Between December 6-9 the pair met with many different people including KRG president Mesud Barzani. Muslim also met with American diplomats such as Peter Galbraith, who recently returned from a visit to the Cizîre canton, and former US ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Halilzad, as well as French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and a delegation from the UK. Muslim has also been invited to a meeting of the Socialist International to be held in Geneva.
As the temperature rose in the diplomatic conference rooms in Hewler, TEV-DEM and the National Council of Syrian Kurds (ENKS) once again came together in Qamishlo on December 11th in order to put into effect the Duhok agreement signed in October. ENKS had conceived in Qamishlo between December 5-7 in order to select its 12 representatives to the political body which will be formed as per the Duhok agreement. However there are no Yezidis, Syriacs, women or people from Kobanê or Efrîn among this people.
On The Agenda: Kobanê and Şengal
I asked PYD officials about the meeting between Muslim and Barzan. They told me that the situation of Kurdistan and Kobanê were discussed, as were the political consequences of the peshmerga’s deployment to Kobanê. Also discussed were the common political body that will be formed and military coordination
One PYD official opened up a bit. “In the same way that the will of Kobanê came out into the open, emergency measures must be taken for Şengal (Sinjar), it must be taken up as a principal item on the agenda of the KRG or if necessary the Iraqi central government, and the liberation of Şengal must be accomplished. There were also other subjects discussed. The agreement made at Duhok has been late in being implemented. This alliance must be put into practice in another shape. ENKS has decided upon and announced its own 12 members. Meetings were held on these subjects. The president of our party Salih Muslim met with the spokesman for the Minister of Peshmerga Cabbar Yazer and Abdulkahar Mecid the commander of the Kobanê Support Force. While this meeting remain preoccupied with the role of the peshmerga, gratitude for their arrival in Kobanê were also conveyed.”
When I asked about the meetings with the delegations from the UK and the United States, the response was, “it is possible there have been some meetings at high levels. As you know the subjects of debate were likely politics within Rojava and support for the Rojava and Kobanê resistance. There were debates around these subjects. Weapons aid from international powers should continue. This is in line with our expectations.” On the demand from ENKS to send a military force to Kobanê I was told “it was spoken about. This was all connected to the practical implementation of the Duhok agreement. When the two sides have agreed ENKS can discuss this with the Rojava Defense Ministry, the cantons and the YPG. However the agreement is still not in effect. There has been no common committee, no security committee formed.”
Even if the diplomacy of the Rojava revolution has followed a difficult course owing to the contradictions and barriers thrown up by countries in the region, it is making quick gains. Turkey must now turn away from its mistaken preferences regarding ISIS and Rojava, and it must understand that if the fault lines within its large urban centers along which ISIS has been incubating begin to break it will be far too late.
Kurds must hold out the hand of peace, because they must see that even the most barbarous regimes of history have not demarcated their freedoms.