Saturday, January 20, 2007


"There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust."
~ Demosthenes.

Check out the following, from Bits of News (Many thanks for the link, heval):

As the sectarian violence in Iraq becomes akin to civil war, the US and UK have reviewed their respective strategies. While President Bush has made a new commitment to 'victory' in Iraq, Tony Blair and the British have taken a more pessimistic view of the future and have begun to formulate alternative political alignments. The possibilty [sic] of the partition of Iraq is now being discussed, with Turkey assuming responsibility for Northern Iraq which is mainly occupied by Kurds. This is contrary to the US commitment to grantng [sic] the Kurds greater autonomy by means of a referendum.

[ . . . ]

While most commentators focus on the Sunni / Shi'ite rift, UK policy advisors have been assisting Tony Blair to formulate a policy which will effectively lead to the partition of Iraq. The background to Mr Blair's strategy lies in the longstanding and cordial relationship between the UK and Turkey. These ties have been greatly strengthened since 2004 when the UK became a vocal advocate of improving the international status of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, a state which is only formally recognised by Turkey. This relationship has also been nurtured by Cherie Blair's representation in 2006 of a UK couple who were being sued in the UK by a dispossessed person from the Greek Republic of (South) Cyprus. In addition, the UK has been Turkey's staunchest ally in the difficult EU accession negotiations. There have however, been setbacks to this relationship. Tony Blair was persistently tried to persuade Turkey to commit troops to Iraq, so far, without success.

[ . . . ]

While US policy has been generally viewed as favourable towards the Kurds and their desire for an autonomous administration or even a secessionist state, the UK has been sympathetic towards Turkish concerns for security and the suppression of the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) is considered a terrorist organisation. As Mr Blair's overtures for Turkey to send troops to Iraq have not borne fruit, he is now proposing that Turkey effectively occupies the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq. In return, Turkey will be expected to contribute to the pacification of Iraq. From a Turkish perspective, the opportunity to extend its sphere of influence to Mosel and Kirkuk in North Iraq is enticing. It will be given a free hand to search for and destroy PKK fighters who reside in Iraq and mount terrorist attacks in Turkey. In addition, Turkey would have control of the valuable oilfields of the Kirkuk region and the pipeline linking Kirkuk to Bayji and then north to Turkey.

Unfortunately for the British, they have never experienced Turkish occupation. If they had, their relationship with the Ankara regime would be significantly less "cordial," and if the British had the guts to stand up to such an occupation, would they also be labeled "terrorists?"

Let me point out that I do not know the source of this news, except to say that it's also being carried on a site for real estate sales in Turkish-occupied Cyprus. What would a Turkish occupation of South Kurdistan be like? Well, Turkish-occupied Cyprus gives us an idea, because to consolidate its position in South Kurdistan, the Ankara regime might follow a pattern of occupation similar to that of Turkish-occupied Cyprus, and a report by the UN gives us an idea of how that occupation would be carried out:

Forty thousand Turkish troops landed on the island, in violation of the Charter of the United Nations, the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance and the relevant principles and norms of international law. As a result approximately 37 per cent of the island remains occupied. Forty per cent of the Greek Cypriot population, representing 82 per cent of the population of the occupied area were forcibly expelled. Thousands of people, including civilians, were killed, wounded or ill-treated. Moreover, the whereabouts of hundreds of Greek Cypriots, including women and children and other civilians, many of whom were known to have been captured by the Turkish Army, are still unknown.

The Turkish occupation authorities resorted to a policy of systematic destruction of the cultural and religious heritage of Cyprus.

Since the Turkish occupation army has assumed effective control of the northern part of the territory of Cyprus, Turkey has pursued a systematic State policy of colonization. To this end, Turkey has relocated, as at the end of 1996, about 109,000 of its citizens to the area under its military occupation. The policy of the Turkish Government also led to the shrinking of the Turkish Cypriot population, mainly through emigration, from 120,000 in 1974 to approximately 89,200 by the end of 1996 . . .

. . . the European Commission on Human Rights found the Government of Turkey responsible for gross massive and continuing violations of human rights in Cyprus, including murders, rapes, expulsions and refusal to allow more than 180,000 Greek Cypriot refugees, almost one third of the entire population, to return to their homes and properties in the occupied part of Cyprus [ . . . ].

On 15 November 1983, in the middle of yet another United Nations initiative, the regime installed by Turkey in the part of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops issued a declaration by which it purported to create an independent State. Turkey immediately accorded recognition to the secessionist entity which, however, has not been recognized by any other State. Further secessionist acts followed.

[ . . . ]

In its search for a peaceful solution, the Cypriot Government, despite the continuing illegal occupation, agreed to intercommunal talks being held in line with the aforementioned resolutions. These talks are continuing even today. Success has not been possible because of the Turkish intransigence and partitionist designs.

[ . . . ]

From the above it is evident that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is prevented by armed force from exercising its authority and control and ensuring implementation and respect of human rights in the occupied area.

This is the pattern of Turkish occupation, and it is the same as the pattern used to "pacify" North Kurdistan in the 1920s and 30s.

The best outcome of such an occupation would be the unification of the Kurdish people across all borders and the ensuing slaughter of Mehmetciks, but practically speaking, I don't believe we are at the point of such a scheme being put into place. The US wants to maintain control of the energy resources of Iraq, including those of South Kurdistan, Mûsil, and Kerkuk. The US knows that if the Ankara regime occupies, it will not leave, thus jeopardizing the control over South Kurdistan's energy resources. A Turkish occupation would most likely cause Iran to react in order to rebalance the regional power, possibly leading to a seizure--even if a soft one--of Southern Iraq and its energy resources. At the top domain level, we could be sure to see more regional involvement by the SCO, since Iran has observer status in that organization, causing problems for both Turkey and the US as they hope to consolidate their own power in the Central Asian republics.

However, the idea of the UK government proposing such a plan is consistent with information that was leaked to Britain's Sunday Telegraph at the end of October, 2006, which read, in part, as follows:

A top-secret memo seen by The Sunday Telegraph, reveals Tony Blair and his senior officials have drawn up an extraordinary "wish list" of how they would like to see the world looking just 10 years from now.

[ . . . ]

The memo, circulated to senior ministers and security officials, envisages a significant – and controversial – expansion of the European Union to include Turkey and some Balkan states. These must be "stable" and "on their way into the EU", according to the classified document.

A contentious section deals with the Kurdish populations of Turkey, Iran and Iraq, all of whom face repression. To avoid being seed beds for terrorism, these populations must be "acquiescing in their treatment". In the Middle East and south Asia generally, there must be "no new failed states, dictatorships or wars" – an extraordinary state of affairs to hope for, let alone to expect.

The editors of the Sunday Telegraph characterized the memo as "a wildly optimistic vision that might leave even the most naive of political students gaping in disbelief," as does the occupation plan as mentioned in Bits of News. I also doubt that the UK would engage in a plan that would be against the strategic goals of the US, no matter how "cordial" the UK relationship with the TC. However, as a bit of wargaming or a matter of exploring other options for the region, mindful of the West's history of betrayal of the Kurdish people and contributions to Turkey's genocide of Kurds, the idea of a Turkish occupation of South Kurdistan is one that should be kept in mind.


samarkeolog said...

Presumably you mean: "Fortunately for the British, they have never experienced Turkish occupation"? (I agree.)

Mizgîn said...

No, Samarkeolog, I meant "unfortunately."

If the British had ever experienced the brutality of the Ankara regime, they would feel a greater sense of urgency to do what is right, instead of enjoying a "cordial" relationship with the regime, thereby enabling a continued, brutal repression.

Same for the rest of the Europeans and the Americans.