Kurdistan: the state-to-be



Peter Lyukimson, Israel. Exclusively to Vestnik Kavkaza

In recent times, the attention of many Israeli experts on the Middle East is focused on the Kurdish issue and an attempt to estimate chances for establishing an independent Kurdsih state in the region. The form and borders of the state-to-be would influence further developments in the region, as well as the military and political situation there.

The Kurds, who live mainly in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran, are the biggest ethnic group in the world without an independent state of their own. For more than a century they have been fighting for the right for self-identification, but all their dreams about independent Kurdistan are only dreams. The events of the last decade in Iraq seemed to bring them closer to their dream, while the civil war in Syria gives it another powerful impetus.

It should be noted that even though the Kurds are Sunnis, unlike their coreligionists Arabs in Syria, they have never fought against the Alawite regime of Bashar Assad. Moreover, they were thought to be its allies. However, right after the beginning of resorts in Syria, leaders of the Kurds who lived in the country stated that they were going to decide themselves how to live. Many political scientists considered the statements as a fact of betrayal of Assad by the Kurds, but later odd things began to happen.

Bashar Assad didn’t disturb the Syrian Kurds and withdrew government troops from their territory without fighting, giving them an opportunity to do what they wanted. It enabled him to focus on the struggle against the so called opposition troops which were based on Islamic terrorists, first of all the world jihad militants who came from various countries.

In their turn the Kurds didn’t join opponents of Assad and began to develop their territory. For a short period they established 19 commissions which began to form the national police, construct checkpoints on their borders, improve infrastructure, collect taxes, open Kurdish-speaking schools, and reconstruct local industry and agriculture. In recent years Syrian Kurdistan has turned into almost a full-scale autonomy and has become an island of stability and relevant prosperity in Syria.

However, “the heart of Kurdistan” has always situated in Iraq. Today the Kurdish district of Iraq is actually a separate independent canton (at the same time, the Kurds are pushed out of other Arab regions of the country), while Iraq resembles a confederation. The Iraqi Kurdistan which is governed by the ethnic parliament became the most economically and politically stable territory in Iraq, and it also improves the Kurds’ positions in establishing an independent state.

The main treasure of Iraqi Kurdistan is oil. It has the sixth biggest resources of black gold in the world. Meanwhile, except for agriculture, all other spheres are underdeveloped; that’s why the Iraqi Kurds have to rely on neighboring Turkey in providing a normal standard of living. Today the turnover between Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey is $9 billion, and after signing a new agreement on oil export to Turkey, it will reach $20 billion.

The import of goods from Turkey occupies 80% of all goods available in Iraqi Kurdistan, while 60% of registered companies are Turkish.

Along with economic profit the union between Barzani and Erdogan brought political benefits to Turkey. Barzani who is a conservative and understands the role of Islam in the spiritual life of the nation can’t stand Marxists from PKK and doesn’t approve terrorist methods. That is why when he became the national leader, Iraqi Kurdistan stopped supporting PKK; and considering reforms provided by Erdogan, the organization weakened. Therefore, Kurdish terrorism weakened as well, which used to strike Turkey painfully.

Finally, we shouldn’t forget about the Iranian Kurds who are discriminated in Iran, like Azerbaijanis. Ostracism of the Kurds in Iran is encouraged by the fact that they are Sunnis. At the same time, the Iraqi Kurds are deep in internal quarreling; they have never been united or stood together.

An absence of ethnic unity has always been and remains the main problem of the Kurds. All political forces in the nation want to establish an independent state, but each of them sees the future of the state differently. Mainly, it prevented holding a conference in August 2013, in which leaders of all Kurdish movements from the four countries had to participate.

Anyway, whether Kurdistan will appear or not, the continuous process of the Kurds’ awaking will influence the region, and the countries of the region, as well as the international society in general, should consider this.

1080 views


More Turkey News

Turkey ready to send 11,000 tons of aid to Gaza

Turkey ready to send 11,000 tons of aid to Gaza

Days after Turkey and Israel reached a deal restoring normalized ties, 11,000 tons of humanitarian aid – including rice, flour, and toys – are being readied to send from Turkey to Gaza this Friday. Relief supplies for …

Mikhail Remizov: Syria will continue to spoil relations between Russia and Turkey

Mikhail Remizov: Syria will continue to spoil relations between Russia and Turkey

Russia and Turkey may quickly restore relations to the level of last September, but it will not remove the contradictions that exist between them on key issues of international policy, Mikhail …

Turkey to inaugurate fourth-longest suspension bridge

Turkey to inaugurate fourth-longest suspension bridge

A landmark road bridge over the Marmara Sea will open to traffic in Turkey on Thursday, which aims to drastically cut travel time between Istanbul and the country’s western provinces. Osmangazi Bridge, a 2,682-meter long …

Russians mourn victims of Istanbul airport blasts

Russians mourn victims of Istanbul airport blasts

A meeting of mourning is to be held near the building of the Turkish Embassy in Moscow on June 29. People will gather for the meeting to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks at Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport, …

Turkey mourning Istanbul airport attack victims

Turkey mourning Istanbul airport attack victims

Turkey announced a day of mourning to honor the victims of the June 28 terrorist attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, TRT Haber news channel infromed June 29, Trend reports.  Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport came under a …

Death toll in Istanbul airport attack grows to 41

Death toll in Istanbul airport attack grows to 41

The death toll in terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport has reached 41 and another 239 people have been injured, the city governor’s office said in a statement on Wednesday, TASS reports. "A total of 37 people …

Mikhail Meyer: Russia got what it wanted from Turkey

Mikhail Meyer: Russia got what it wanted from Turkey

Russia and Turkey have a long way to reach complete cooperation, since it is the nature of politics, the President of the Institute of Asia and Africa of the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Mikhail Meyer, …

Zakharova: Istanbul airport massacre caused common grief

Zakharova: Istanbul airport massacre caused common grief

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that the recent Istanbul airport massacre caused common grief, TASS reports. "The explosions at Istanbul airport prove the thing that has long …

Putin expresses condolences to Turkish people after Istanbul airport attack

Putin expresses condolences to Turkish people after Istanbul airport attack

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the Turkish people on Wednesday after the deadly terrorist attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport, Sputnik reports. We feel …

Putin holds phone conversation with Erdogan

Putin holds phone conversation with Erdogan

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The presidential press services issued official reports about this conversation. Kremlin …

more Turkey News