Clashes between Turkish troops and PKK fighters have intensified in recent months. The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since the 1980s. The conflict has left tens of thousands dead.
An interview with Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and historian, to further discuss the issue.
Q:…things in Turkey. How much is it an immediate spillover of Turkey’s interference in Syria’s situation?
Tarpley: I would say it is a direct consequence of the folly of Turkish [Prime Minister] Erdogan for letting himself be conned by Obama in a series of phone calls starting two years ago perhaps promising Erdogan that the Syrian government, the Assad government and the Ba’ath Party would simply collapse within a matter of weeks, pretty much like Tunisia or a couple of other places.
Now this has not occurred and now there is this blowback which is tragic but it was absolutely predictable and Erdogan has nobody but himself to thank for this.
As far as I can see on the Turkish side where these protests have occurred at the funeral, this seems to be dominated by the PKK and that is an armed opposition against the Turkish army but we should also remember that the Kurds in Syria have taken advantage of the need of the Turkish army to concentrate in areas where the rebels were attacking primarily Damascus and then later Aleppo.
So the Kurds have taken over more autonomy in those areas of North East Turkey and what we had there and also in the north, we had clashes in the past week in the city of Aleppo, we had the Democratic Union Party which seems to be the Kurdish militants on the Syrian side, the Peshmerga I guess you’d call them.
They clashed with a couple of components of the death squad coalition, two death squads in particular the Jabhat al-Nusra which is an al-Qaeda affiliate and the Northern Storm Brigade something similar.
So this is not really the Free Syrian Army, these are independent groups but in Syria there is also a moderate Kurdish group, the Kurdish National Council and the Kurdish National Council is somewhat similar to I guess to the they want to make a deal with the Syrian National Council.
And of course the other complicating factor is that the United States just in time for the elections here is junking the Syrian National Council and wants to roll out a new puppet rebel council next week in Qatar this time featuring more representation from the death squads and particularly from al-Qaeda.
So this is the kind of turbulent chaotic situation which the NATO intervention has created but Erdogan has made it worse for himself.
Q: Indeed. It is interesting Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the ethnic Kurds not to turn this strike into blackmail. Just how can it be blackmail?
Tarpley: This is some kind of a rhetorical figure of speech. This reminds me of a small boy who pokes his stick into a hornets’ nest and then runs crying home that the hornets have stung him and this was not right, this was inevitable.
And the Turkish position just makes no sense. There are legitimate questions for the Kurds. The Kurds deserve I think on the whole a much better deal than they have been getting. Some Kurds seem to be interested in autonomy, some interested in something more. This has to work itself out.
All I can say is that the current situation in that part of the world is the worst possible setting for the Kurds to have some of their national aspirations met.