By Ibrahim Ipek
No national oppression exists in Turkey, at least it ceased to exist after 2012
Today some founders of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) are representatives in the Turkish Grand Assembly (relatives of Abdullah Ocalan), and even various Armenian nationals can speak up for the recognition of Armenian “Genocide”, which shows the tolerance that Turkey shows for the sake of free speech and ethnic harmony. Today, Kurdish people have their own TV channels broadcasting in their own language, their own newspapers, books and even special university departments studying in the Kurdish language, all legal and available. There are government channels doing broadcasts in Kurdish as well. This only shows that Kurds are recognised as a part of Turkey by the government and former policy denial has been reversed.
Kurdish provinces have Kurmanji greeting charts built by the state at their entrances. Kurdish people are legally permitted to own property and there are extremely rich Kurdish businessmen/landowners who have political influence in Turkey. And of course, there is no ethnic segregation at all. Most Kurds have Turkish relatives. The two nations are brotherly and interpenetrated.
Under these conditions, it would be absurd to claim there is national oppression. PKK is the movement of the Kurdish bourgeoisie who seek more plunder and complete integration with imperialism – it is fascistic and has nothing progressive within it. They explode bombs in public transportation to kill ethnic Turks. This had been in Ankara and just shows that they are no different from the Nazi Azov Battalion in Ukraine, but that it is based in Syria and Iraq. I have not yet mentioned their terrorist attacks in Eastern Turkey, murdering teachers, workers and many other civilians, regardless of their nationality.
Today, many Kurdish youths risk their lives fighting against it. Just a few days ago a Kurdish solider in the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) was martyred by terrorists who paid his last respect. This is as it is because the PKK made all peoples of Turkey shed bloody tears, with Kurds being no exception. Terrorists go into those Kurdish villages and kidnap little children to use them as pawns in their assaults. Powerful Kurdish tribal chiefs assist and protect them when they come for recruitment and supplies. Poor peasants are forced to give away their children and lose the little food they have. Due to the terror they are subjected to, many Kurdish villages are being abandoned. Not only this, the PKK also organised sabotage on dams and factories built by the state in Eastern Turkey. Those investments were for the sake of industrial development and providing better economic opportunities to the locals. The PKK, again, is the worst enemy of the welfare of the Kurds.
There is no “Kurdish Question” but a dangerous complot of Nazi type Kurdish ethnic nationalism reinforced by the Kurdish bourgeoisie and Western imperialism.
Islamism and Kurdish nationalism: Most of the time these two intersect. An infamous counter-revolutionary of Kurdish descent, Saidi Nursi, was the father of Islamism and an uncompromising enemy of the Republic in Turkey. He always targeted the uniting Turkish identity of Anatolia and Thrace, calling such civic patriotism an Islamic sin in which a culture is “deified”. Turkey is composed of thousands of cultures and ethnicities (Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Greeks, Armenians, Pomaks, Caucasian refugees) stuck together with the glue of the Turkish language.
What is Russian for the Russian Federation, what Turkish is for Turkey. For example, in Dagestan, there are so many nations and different languages that without the Russian language they would not be able to communicate and live harmoniously in an urban environment. And in Turkey, the same is the case. The author of these lines is himself not ethnically Turkish. My father did not know Turkish until he started his education. My village was set up by Caucasian Avar refugees, expelled by the Tsarist Russia. There are many like me, all coming from a different background. Turkish identity is a must for preserving the totality of this land and protecting it against secession. As Ataturk said:
“How Happy is He Who Can Say I am a Turk”
With attacking such patriotism, Saidi Nursi can be said to be the father of secessionism in Turkey. Kurdish nationalists were always in line to defend Islamist uprisings in Eastern Turkey (namely “Kurdistan”) organised by the feudal landlords and British imperialism (Tunceli, 1938, etc.) Indeed, today, they mourn those days because uprisings were repressed with force and blood by the glorious republic of Ataturk.
Kurdistan is an imperialist project, aiming to destabilise the Middle East, to break it into weak statelets easily dominated by Western imperialism. A unified Turkey will provide both Turks and Kurds with the greatest freedom and economic opportunities. For a unified Turkey free of imperialist terror and ethnic nationalism:
Support the Turkish Operation on the PKK!
Turkey is planning to introduce a safe zone in Syria, liberating Ayn Al-Arab, Menbich and Tel-Rifaat from the hands of the ethnic nationalist terrorists reminiscent of the Nazi Azov Battalion in Ukraine. These regions all have either strategic or symbolic importance for the Kurdish secessionists who work ceaselessly for US interests, destablisation of the region and control of the oil fields. Turkey plans to safely return Syrian refugees to their hometowns after this operation succeeds and stability is ensured. For this reason, the PKK and the PYD (Democratic Union Party) slandered the Turkish government with attempting a demographic change in North Syria, omitting the fact these refugees are just returning to where they came from.
The PKK basically aims for an ethnically homogenous Kurdish zone which will emerge as an “independent” nation state and they are themselves the ones who strive for a demographic change. In this operation, there lies an opportunity for the Middle East offensive of the US to be repelled and it is analogous to the Russian operation in Ukraine. Regions previously emancipated by Turkey are under control of a joint patrol composed of Turkish, Russian and Syrian militaries. Turkey should be supported in order to clear Syria from imperialist armies and proxies. After Turkey denied admitting Finland and Sweden into NATO, France allowed the PKK to set up an ideological training camp inside its own borders which is further evidence of the imperialist-allied nature of the targeted secessionists:
“Turkey’s refusal to accept Finland and Sweden’s bid to join NATO has triggered a spat within the alliance otherwise united over the two Nordic countries’ prospective entry.
On Thursday, Turkey blocked the start of talks around Finland and Sweden’s membership over complaints that the two countries have too lax an attitude towards the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Gülenist movement, two groups Turkey identifies as terrorist organisations.
Ankara has accused Stockholm and Helsinki of hosting suspects belonging to the two groups, but the two countries have rejected accusations of supporting the Kurdish militants – the PKK is also recognised as a terrorist group by the European Union – as well as refusing to extradite any suspects, as requested by Turkey.
The situation appears to be at a standstill.
Ankara’s objection could prove a real challenge towards a possible Finland and Sweden entry into the alliance, as NATO requires unanimous approval from all its members to accept new members. So how’s NATO going to respond to a member state that once again is proving an inconvenient, uneasy ally?
Could NATO expel Turkey?
It is not the first time there is talk of kicking Turkey out of the alliance.
The idea was first suggested in 2016 when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan cracked down on the opposition after a failed coup. It was then brought up again in 2019 when Turkey invaded northeastern Syria. NATO allies reacted with horror and concern at the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the country, with Finland and Sweden imposing sanctions on Ankara that are still in place.
At the time, US Senator Lindsey Graham suggested Turkey’s membership in NATO should have been suspended, if Turkish troops attacked the Kurdish forces who had helped the US destroy the ISIS Caliphate.”
As you can well understand from this quote, there is already a tension between NATO and Turkey. And the Turkish operation in Syria will take this to a new level. Russia never closed the airspace to Turkey in earlier operations. Indeed Russia did let the Turkish Air Force blow PKK targets into smithereens. What Ukraine is to Russia, Taiwan is to China, and Northeastern Syria is to Turkey.
Success of this operation can bring the end of an era for Turkey. A reactionary time slice starting from the Korean War, namely NATO membership and the alliance with imperialism. Erdogan has been in this direction since the US backed coup attempt of 15th of July 2016 led by the Gülen group.
Since then Turkey started to rupture itself from the orbit of NATO and Western oligarchs. This reflected itself in the structure of debts and the change in Turkish internal and foreign policy. Before 2016, a huge share of the public debt was to Western financial institutions:
The blue line is Turkey, and the orange line is the so-called “developing” world (better named colonies). Lines show the percentage of public debt owed to foreigners by central banks. Since 2016, for Turkey, there has been a strong break off from the world trend. So much that, what was around 20%, fell to almost 0%. This shows that the Turkish government is opposing the imperialist plunder of the country. Turkey is in debt, this is true. The Turkish economy is capitalist and has a growing unproductive sector of finance, this is also true. But we do not owe this debt to imperialism. We owe this debt to other Turkish citizens. This is why imperialism is so willing to overthrow Erdoğan no matter the cost, and also why Erdoğan is the problem child of NATO.
Photo credit: http://www.wgi.world