More than a year after the so-called Islamic State overran Mosul and threatened Baghdad, the United States still can’t rely on the Iraqi Army to defeat the jihadist forces. If President Obama wants to break the Islamic State in Iraq and give that country a chance to survive, he needs to help organize and equip a true Kurdish army. (for Arabic translation click here).
With peace negotiations in tatters, the insurgency's leaders are preparing for a long and bloody conflict against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
Kurdish voters abandoned the ruling AKP in Turkey's national elections, propelling the Kurdish HDP into parliament and giving Kurdish nationalist demands a new legitimacy. Earlier, critics could argue the PKK did not really represent the majority of Kurds in Turkey, but that argument is getting weaker by the day.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has forced America to return to the battlefield in Iraq. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama ordered airstrikes against ISIS fighters nearing Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish region, while insisting that he wouldn’t allow the United States to be “dragged” back into Iraq.
Iraqi Kurdish strategy has paid off. The Kurds spent the past few years working to strengthen the Kurdistan region while keeping a wary distance from the rest of Iraq. They didn’t trust Baghdad, neither to deal with them fairly, nor to survive as a secular, democratic state.
The Turkish military wasn’t supposed to matter anymore. Over the past three years, many of Turkey’s senior military officers were tried and imprisoned on charges of planning coups against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s democratically elected government.
(Unofficial Turkish translation: Türkiye: Generallerin Dönüşü, Özgür Medya, April 15, 2014).
Cengiz Solmaz, PKK tarihini anlatan “Kan ve İnanç” adlı kitabımı sevmemiş! Benim ne yapmak istediğimi zaten pek tasavvur etmiyor. Makalesinde beni “kibirli bir Batılı” olmakla suçluyor; “bir Oryantalist” (aslında kibirli bir Batılı anlamına gelen) kötü bir analist ve PKK söz konusu olduğu zaman daha da kötü bir analist!” (For English translation click pdf icon: ).
The United States has spent the past two years struggling to craft a policy to weaken Syrian president Bashar Assad and Al Qaeda-linked militants at the same time. Now, as President Barack Obama seeks to strip Syria of its chemical weapons, it’s time for Washington to build ties to those inside Syria who are committed to the same anti-Assad and anti-jihadist goals: the Kurds. (Unofficial Turkish translation: Dostlar yok ama Kürdler var, BAS NEWS, October 2, 2013).
THE assassination of three Kurdish activists in Paris last week has raised fears that the true target was peace talks between Turkey and the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the P.K.K. But the so-called peace process was already in shambles before the killings, which have not been solved.
The new face of the Kurdish rebel fight in Turkey could easily be Zeynep, a thirty-year-old university graduate with a full-time management job in Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of the Kurdish southeast. Born in Bingol Province, in the mountains where rebels of the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) regularly battle Turkish soldiers, she moved to western Turkey for university.
The breakdown of authority in Syria and creation of a Kurdish enclave there has unexpectedly pushed Kurds to the forefront of regional politics—and almost nobody’s happy. The opposition Syrian National Council, the umbrella group leading the fight against the regime’s forces, has refused to accept Kurdish demands for self-rule, causing a rift with the Syrian Kurdish parties.
Pity Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It seems he just can’t get the Kurdish issue right. In early June, when Erdogan visited Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Turkey’s Kurdish southeast, shops closed in protest.
In 1999, Turkey struck what seemed to be a fatal blow in its 15-year war against Kurdish separatists when Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the PKK rebel group fighting for self-rule in Turkey, was captured by Turkish commandos in Kenya. It was the final stop in his increasingly desperate search for refuge after he was kicked out of Syria, his home for almost two decades, in October 1998.
Turkey's rugged Kurdish region in the country’s southeast has exploded in violence once again, posing a new challenge for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. More than 80 soldiers have been killed this year in attacks orchestrated by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group, already exceeding the total for all of 2009. Turkey responded last week by bombing PKK strongholds in northern Iraq.