News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following article “Muslim ABD’ye gidiyor” was written by M. Ali Çelebi and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.
Owing to to an unconscious pernicious arrogance in regards to the Kurds, Turkey has for years imprisoned itself on a path which continues into the future and is directed by shortsighted military and civilian oligarchs. It was for this reason that Ankara began to throw all its hostility at Rojava when events in Rojava began to materialized following the Syrian uprising in 2011. For this reason they assisted groups such as Al Nusra and ISIS. If they had taken the diplomatic route and extended a hand of peace to Rojava, and instead of their laws written with hatred, blood and mines they had build bridges of brotherhood among peoples which could accommodate differences, both Turkey and Kurdistan and indeed the entire Middle East would be entirely different. With their racist, sectarian politics they spoiled these blessed years and watered them with blood.
While Turkey was late in taking many important steps, France, the United Kingdom and the United States have been taking up new positions in the Middle East. Because in their resistance against both ISIS and the dictates of the Baath regime the YPG has changed the geopolitics of the Middle East. As the risk has increased in these countries – Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan – the YPG/YPJ victory in Kobanê has only led to an increase in the faith that it will overcome ISIS.
It was in this climate that French President François Hollande hosted PYD co-president Asya Abdullah and member of the YPJ Military Council Nesrin Abdullah – dressed in traditional and military clothes – in the the Elysee Palace on February 8th. This was the first open meeting between a PYD co-president and a head of state.
So now the PYD is being invited to many different countries – have there been any more meetings with heads of state? There have been certain meetings mentioned to me off the record. Apparently PYD leaders have met with heads of state in Europe before. The United States had refused to grant visas to PYD co-president Muslim and the PYD leadership. The US was sitting back and allowing France to take the lead. So much so that the US diplomats conducted their meetings with the PYD in Paris.
A New Position From The US
The United States, which has become a player in the Syrian crisis in order to protect its regional allies and its energy routes, decided to open its doors to the PYD after the victory in Kobanê. They have decided to hold the next round of meetings within their own borders. The administration of President Barack Obama will host the president of the Kobanê Canton Enwer Muslim and a delegation which will accompany him. It was not only the defeat of ISIS in Kobanê but the preparations for an operation to push ISIS out of Mosul that influenced this invitation. As ISIS recruits from the United States threaten new attacks in the form of the Charlie Hebdo massacre the United States, which has weighed PYD participation in the conference in Moscow, wanted to negotiate over the future of Syria and Rojava and to speak about the PYD’s experiences.
Enwer Muslim was also hosted in Ankara (February 20-23, 2015) in order to provide for coordination between Turkey and the YPG and PYD during preparations for the operation to relocate the Süleymanşah Tomb. Enwer Muslim has also begun the process of applying for visas for future visits to the United States and European countries.
However Turkey, even as it attempts to hide the role played by the PYD and YPG in the relocation of its tomb and military base with heroic speeches, had invited and met with a prominent figure from the PYD. Only off the record.
Recent events have shown that Turkey needs to abandon its exclusionary policies regarding Syria and Rojava. The obligatory change in position from the United States will prepare the ground for a recognition of the cantons. If Turkey does not pull back its support from groups like ISIS and continues in its illicit animosity toward the Rojava cantons it will lose the Kurds as they have broken from other countries in the region.
Turkey’s Painful Falling Out With ISIS
However I can say that Turkey has come to a crossroads, a kind of turning point. The victories in Kobanê, Til Hemis and Til Berak, the pressure from the EU and US, and the embarrassment of Süleymanşah will lead to the building of new bridges. Just as the government came to blows with the Gülen (Hizmet) Movement, it is even closer to a more serious confrontation with ISIS. Will it take off its gloves? Or will it open the bidding to subcontracted organizations? An answer came from Zekeriya Karsli, a commander of the Turkmen military organization Mintaka Sharkia (“Eastern Region”) – an affiliate of the FSA – who drawing attention to the YPG’s approach to Jarabulus, Mimbic, and Gire Spi’ye (Til Abyad) said “recent developments are forcing us into a new conflict with the YPG…ISIS is abandoning many different regions because of its substantial losses from air strikes. The only group which is benefiting from this withdrawal is the militias of the YPG…we are thinking that Turkey will use us to crush the YPG. Provided they we receive substantial support we have the strength to change the balance. (Al Jazeera 27 February 2015)
However those powers which would take pleasure from attacking the Kurds should know that no broken cup holds water.