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The Kurds Are Turkey’s Palestinians

Author bio: 
Richard Cottrell

The American Government is trapped between a rock and a very hard place trying to understand the motives and mood of the resurgent Ottoman Empire.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains on a high, aiming his metaphorical guns at Israel, Iran, Syria and now the Greeks over oil and gas drilling rights around the disputed island of Cyprus.  Indeed he has gone further, telling the UN that in terms of world powers, Turkey is the brash new kid on the block.

The American response is to wobble from one confused position to another. Typical of this is the question of supplying Turkey with the Predator drones she claims she must have to fight Kurdish insurgents. Rather too conveniently, we have witnessed a sudden upsurge in the activity of Kurdish activists, who are blamed for a series of bomb explosions rocking the country and attacks on Turkish army units.

In response, Turkey has virtually gone to war in northern Iraq, the quasi-independent Kurdish appendage of the Iraqi state. The Turkish air force is blasting civilians in massive daylight raids, on the slightest pretext of killing guerillas. If this were Israel, there would be international uproar. Instead, because this is a dispute very  few outside the region understand, or even remotely care about, there is a blanket of silence.

Let us speak the truth; the Kurds are nothing less than Turkey’s Palestinians.

Iraq is really nothing more than a US occupied territory. The Kurds in the north are supposed to be unquestioning allies of  Uncle Sam. Yet here are the Turks knocking six kinds of hell out of them.

Let it be said now that the story of Kurdish terror is a long lasting illusion.  Every time any government in Ankara feels the need for some diversionary tactics on the  domestic front, to tweak Turkey’s very own private war on terror, out comes the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan).

Invariably, this used to occur at times of tension with the staunchly secular, Kemalist Turkish High Command, which in the past has hanged politicians who strayed too far from the secular tablets bequeathed by the immortal Founder, Atatürk.

As I  demonstrate in my forthcoming book on Gladio: NATO’s Dagger at the Heart of Europe, a lot of terrorist bombings and murders attributed to the PKK were actually carried out  by the deep state (in Turkish, derin devlet). For many years Turkey was tortured by an unholy alliance of the Turkish state intelligence organization MIT, Counter-Guerilla (the local arm of the Gladio secret warrior organization), Turkish gangsters, extreme right political forces and the Gray Wolves, a (literally) howling neo-fascist paramilitary organization.

The Wolves numbered among their recruits  a certain Mehmet Ali Ağca, the man of destiny in St Peter’s Square the day that Pope John Paul II was shot.

This unholy alliance wrought havoc for the best part of three highly unstable decades in the mid-20th century. The country came close to the brink of full scale civil war between the forces of Left and Right, which of course created the perfect climate for military coups.

The sudden surge in PKK activity is unquestionably connected with the rise of New Ottoman Power. The request for drones is part of that exercise. Ostensibly they will hammer the Kurds. In cold reality, they can also be used to pound any force with whom the Turkish state chooses to quarrel; Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia among the leading candidates.

But of course, the Israelis are pulling every string in Washington to deny the Turks this extremely adept and agile weapon – the Grand Slam, we may call it  - which has changed the face of war.

The US Administration has been caught with its collective pants down by the sudden pace of developments in the Middle East – and particularly the near-vertical rise of the New Ottomans. By the look of things, the CIA played the role of the blinded Cyclops as Erdogan seized the stage and brilliantly altered the balance of power in this fractured region.

It is the most important development in the Middle East since the rise of  Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and the seizure of the Suez Canal in 1956. Erdogan and the New Ottomans however, are another dish altogether.

American diplomats failed over and over again to read the minds of Erdogan, his close ally, the president Abdullah Gül, and the sweeping command their designer creation, the Islamist Justice and Development Party, has established across the land.

Turkey is now a pick and choose a la carte member of NATO. She is establishing herself as the decisive power in the Middle East over the heads of the Israelis and the Sauds. There is very little that America, whose power in the region is diminishing, can do about it.

Turkey is flexing her sea power across the eastern Mediterranean. She has seized the high moral ground over Palestine. She agreed to the Iranian missile shield purely to switch it around as a defence against the Israelis (which, too late, the Pentagon has finally understood).

Yet she has her very own Achilles Heel. The Kurds. Imagine the incandescent rage in Ankara should anyone dare to raise the flag of Kurdish sovereignty at the UN. After all, what is good for the Palestinians is surely just as good for the Kurds, another race from the mists of antiquity?

I have said that the Kurds are in fact Turkey’s Palestinians. Another way of looking at this problem is from the Chinese angle. China has her own equivalent of the Kurdish problem – the Tibetans. The Chinese have no rightful claims to Tibet but ‘China splitting’ is completely unthinkable.

The Turks are equally against ‘Turkey splitting’. This is a hangover from the fall of the Ottoman Empire after WW1. The allied powers – the British, French, Greeks – supported by  the Russians in the East – fell upon the rump of the empire (old Byzantium) like a plague of colonial locusts.

Kemal Atatürk wheeled his armies around in a series of brilliant maneuvers which sent the straggling remnants of the invaders sailing home to lick their wounds.

This is very much the spirit which rules – in fact unites – all Turks, irrespective of their political, secular or religious affiliations and differences.

The United States is already firmly trapped in the Palestinian vice, which is an insoluble problem unless Israel is prepared to give way. That, as no one as far I can see has yet observed, would be bound to lead to civil war within Israel herself.

Now Turkey must take the weight of the Kurds, an almost identical problem, on her shoulders.

The New Ottoman aim is to drive the Kurds into the northern Kurdish enclave of Iraq. There they can be corralled, just as the Gazans are corralled (and effectively, the West Bankers too). Turkey already does as she pleases in ‘Kurdistan’ loosing her army and air force whenever she thinks fit. She fails however to make a dent in the bumper of the Kurdish liberation movement.

Washington is silent because the PKK is a listed terrorist organization.  If we remember that did not prevent Washington ultimately effectively recognizing Yasser Arafat and the PLO. The Turks remember this and are determined to prevent a repeat performance.

It is an old truism that one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist. It is hard to see what the PKK might expect to gain from a reign of terror inside Turkey, which merely serves to harden anti-Kurdish opinion.  However, against a background of false flag, largely synthetic violence - the stamp of the Strategy of Tension during NATO’s secret war in Europe -  the Turkish authorities may achieve important strategic gains.

Such as a short cut to Predator drone technology in order to pursue their resurrected Ottoman ambitions throughout the Middle East