Thursday, June 07, 2007


"Frankly speaking, we support their rights. We do not interfere in their affairs. They choose their way to demand their rights or to struggle for their rights ... They do not ask us and we are not ready to interfere in their affairs, but we support them morally and politically ... It is impossible to support them with weapons, but we are ready to help them with all other means."
~ Mêsud Barzanî on the Kurdish struggle in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

For those of you who missed it, here's Mêsud Barzanî's interview with Al-Arabiya TV, the one that got Ankara's panties all tied up in knots:

A review of the situation from April can be found here.

It seems that there's one thing nobody can stand--an "uppity" Kurd.



Anonymous said...

An update to add to this post for the people reading it today.

Barzani Rejects Turkish Call to Curb PKK

June 7, 2007
The president of Iraq's Kurdistan region on Thursday rejected Ankara's declaration that it was ready for dialogue with Iraqi Kurds provided they took measures against Turkish Kurd rebels holed up in the autonomous enclave.

"We do not accept the conditions laid down to deal with the PKK. We have always said that we would help Turkey if it chooses the path of dialogue and we confirm this," Massoud Barzani told a news conference alongside Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, also a Kurd.

"If Turkey's aim is war, we are not prepared to accept these conditions," Barzani added.

The PKK or Kurdistan Workers' Party, branded as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community, has fought for self-rule in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984 in a conflict that has claimed more than 37,000 lives.

Turkey charges that thousands of PKK rebels have found refuge in northern Iraq where they are able to obtain weapons and explosives to launch attacks across the border.

Ankara accuses Iraqi Kurds of tolerating and even supporting the rebels.

"A Turkish invasion would be first of all an attack on Iraqi sovereignty and then an attack on the Kurds," said Barzani.

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Levent Bilman said on Wednesday that "we need to see positive signals in order to take steps for dialogue, and by positive signals we mean serious steps against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party.

"Otherwise, there is no point in holding a dialogue just for the sake of it," Bilman added.

Turkey has long pressed the United States and Iraq to stamp out the PKK presence in the region and has even threatened to carry out a cross-border operation if they fail to do so.

Mizgîn said...

Thanks for the article, Anonymous.

But it's obvious how stupid the AFP journalist is, because there is no mention of the fact that PKK has repeatedly made offers of a democratic resolution, and has accepted to work with the current borders, nor the fact that the first attempts to do this go back to 1993.

At least, at this point, Barzani is refusing to do American and Turkish dirty work for them, although practically speaking, I don't think he has much choice.

Firstly, I have the sense that the Southern Kurdish population is more informed about Turkish repression of Kurds in the North so that they oppose efforts against the struggle there. Southern Kurds will not be likely to take up arms against gerilas. But Barzani has said that before, that Southern Kurds will not fight Kurds and for that reason, peshmerga would not obey his orders to fight Kurdish gerilas.

Secondly, Barzani has a lot of business deals that involve foreign investment, and renewed fighting against PKK will create the kind of instability that foreign investors shy away from.