[A-List] On Turkey
sherrynstan at igc.org
Sat Dec 14 22:17:32 MST 2002
from Yavuz Akcay
Right after the First World War, defeated Ottoman Empire was being
disintegrated by the British, French and Italian forces. Ottoman Sultan had
ordered the army to surrender to the occupiers. However some nationalistic
generals refused to comply and started a résistance. Their call for an
independence movement gained the support of the peoples living in the
Turkish and Kurdish regoins of the Ottoman Empire. In 1920 a national people
's mejlis (parliament) convened in Ankara with the representatives from the
Turkish, Kurdish and Lazous (a small Muslim group living in the north east
The mejlis declared national borders that would be defended against the
imperialist forces. These borders included today's Turkey and today's
Northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan). The southern Kurdistan was included in
the national borders because this area had a majority Kurdish and minority
Turkish population. The resistance was successful with the help of the USSR
which acknowledged the Anatolian movement as anti-imperialistic. The
movement won except one point. Britain had realized the importance of the
Southern Kurdistan oil fields, they tried hard to keep this area away from
the Soviet backed Anatolian movement. At the end of the Anatolian wars
British, Greek, French, and Italian forced pulled out of the Anatolia but
British forces stayed in the Oil cities of the Kurdistan where were later
declared to be part of the British puppet Iraqi kingdom.
There was an interesting development inside the Anatolian movement. With the
establishment of the Modern Turkish Republic, Turkish leaders betrayed the
other peoples. Rights of the Kurdish, Lazous and other peoples were rejected.
The Kurdish people rightfully started their own independence struggle. This
struggle has continued on and off until today.
The Turkish rulers has denied the rights (even existence) of the Kurdish
people but never actually abandoned the claims on the Southern Kurdistan
(Northern Iraq). During the I. Gulf War the opportunist Turkish prime
minister Turgut Ozal has ordered the military to occupy the Northern Iraq
where was deserted by the Iraqi Army. But the self ruling Turkish generals
did not comply with the orders not because this would be against the
international law but they noticed some tactical problems with controlling
the mountainous area. The Turkish ruling class will always regret this
incapability. The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK - Partiya Karkaren
Kurdistan) which had been fighting for a independent Kurdistan since 1983
moved into this power vacuum and found a heaven there. The party trained and
supported its guerilla forces there and stepped up hit and run attacks on
South Eastern Turkish cities (North Western Kurdistan). Since than the
Turkish Army attacked and occupied several parts of the Southern Kurdistan
but could not stay because of the US pressure. The US military has been
air-controlling the area with the hope that Iraqi regime might be overthrown
one day with the help of Kurdish local forces.
Now Turkey's military and civilian rulers including newly elected
euro-islamist government think that opportunity is knocking the door. As the
US is gearing up for the II. Gulf War Turkey is getting ready to occupy
Southern Kurdistan. Turkish army assault from the north supported by the US
Air Force would save tens of thousands of US/British troops and spare the
lives of hundreds of western soldiers. There are confirmed reports from the
region that Turkish army has already sent thousands of troops inside the
Iraq. The unused Bamerni military airport was recently captured by the
Turkish commandos. Local Kurdish sources report that Turkish army is
repairing the facilities in Bamerni for a mass movement of helicopter lifted
There is one problem on the Turkish side though; the Turkish people are
overwhelmingly against the occupation of Iraq. The opposition is mostly
coming from the working class people. One reason of the opposition is being
in solidarity with another Islamic nation but the main reason is that people
know theTurkish soldiers who will be slaughtered at the war will come from
the working class families. As happens everywhere in the world, the ruling
class does not send their sons and daughters to the military service.
Instead they send their young ones to the US or European universities.
Nowadays Turkish people are confused by the fact that the first thing the
Islamist government they elected in November did is to declare the loyalty
to the US. The civilian government that come to the power using islamist
rhetoric is preparing to occupy another Islamic country hand in hand with
the secular military rulers. One side affect of the II. Gulf War will be an
awakening of Turkish working class out of the Islamic opium.
Is the US criminal justice system a weapon of mass destruction?
Money for reparations, not for war!
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