"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within."
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero.
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero.
On Sunday, Özgür Gündem reported on the statement of Celal Talabanî, issued following a meeting with Mesûd Barzanî, that the Southern Kurdish leadership has decided not to allow PKK and PJAK to return to Iraqi territory if they conduct attacks against the neighbors.
Odd. Talabanî must have learned that language from the neighbors because PKK and PJAK gerîlas do not attack; they engage in counter-attacks against brutal, repressive regimes.
Right after Talabanî's statement, Turkish President Abdullah Gül made a statement that brought a new dimension to the relationship between South Kurdistan and Turkey. A journalist reminded Gül about Talabani's statement and asked him if he would talk with Talabani. Gül replied, "Of course I will have talks with him. Ultimately he is an elected official."
Let's recall the situation prior to the Turkish elections in July. Erdoğan and Büyükanıt insistently refused to hold talks with the Southern Kurdish leaders by saying, "We are not going to talk to those tribal leaders" (including Talabanî, Iraq's president).
What has happened to end the so-called tribal leadership of Southern Kurdish officials? What has suddenly made Turkey realize that Talabanî is an elected official? Or, what has changed in Barzanî, who said that any Turkish intervention in Kerkuk would result in Kurdish intervention in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan? After all, Barzani used to have "brothers" in Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.
On Monday, Yeni Özgür Politika carried an article about Talabanî's growing cooperation with AKP. According to that article, the Southern Kurdish leadership's move is parallel to Turkey and Iran's permanent policies toward the Kurdish people, with the goal of eliminating PKK and PJAK. It should be remembered that these are the only organizations on the frontlines of legitimate Kurdish resistance to the neighboring genocidal regimes.
We might say that Talabanî made his first move in this direction at the end of August when Zaman cited PUK Media's report on clashes between PJAK and Başûrî peşmêrge.
On 4 September, TNA published an interview with Talabanî's chief of staff, Kamran Karadaghî. Regarding PKK, Karadaghî states that the biggest problem is "how you get rid of them." He states that a political solution to the Kurdish situation in North Kurdistan should consist of "dialog" between Ankara and the Southern Kurdish leadership--not a dialog between Ankara and the elected Kurdish officials of Turkey. He implies that DTP parliamentarians should stress their "Turkishness" in the TBMM.
Finally, when asked about Talabanî's feelings about Turkey, Karadaghî replies:
I have no hesitation stating that President Jalal Talabani is a friend of Turkey. He admires Turkey and realizes its importance as a model and key to stabilization and democracy for the entire region. He never misses the chance when meeting with European leaders to express his strong belief that it is not only in the interest of Turkey itself to be a member of the EU, but it is also in the interest Europe, the World and particularly the region. It is Mr. Talabani's conviction, both as President of Iraq and Kurdish leader, that close relations between Iraq and Turkey serves well the interests of their peoples.
Celal Talabanî is a friend of Turkey while Qubad has "Turkish brothers"--and that can be read any way one wants.
Has the opportunity to create Kurdish unity, implicit wıth the US invasion of Iraq, been squandered by the Southern Kurdish leadership? Talabanî's recent statements and his cooperation with AKP--along with the apparent acquiescence of Barzanî to the plot--are reminiscent of the days of the 1990's when both held Turkish diplomatic passports and both joined with Ankara in killing those who ought to be their brothers and sisters, PKK's gerîlas. Both have contributed to the repression of the Kurdish freedom movement in North Kurdistan.
Can anyone say "Hainler"?