Thousands of Kurds and supporters take to the streets in Dahuk, a Kurdish city near the border with Turkey, some 430 kilometers (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007 to protest the Turkish parliament's decision to authorize the government to send troops across the border to root out Kurdish rebels. More than 5,000 people packed the streets as they marched to the U.N. offices. (AP Photo)
As Kurds took to the streets in Dihok and Hewlêr in protest against Turkey, a statement of leadership has finally come from the South Kurdistan president. From Özgür Gündem:
Mesûd Barzanî has a statement for the Kurdish people on the TBMM's cross-border operations vote. Barzanî's statement was made through Dr. Rizgar Sindî, KDP Zaxo General Headquarters chief.
In his statement, Barzanî wants the kurdish people in general to become organized and take up positions in case of a Turkish cross border operations, they would have a very severe response.
Turkey is trying to annihilate the Kurdish presence from history. This is Turkey's main goal. Saddam Hussein could not finish the Kurds; how will Turkey finish them? In such an operation, Turkey would be the loser. Ankara is supposed to listen to the Kurds' calls for peace and dialog. Otherwise, the entire Kurdish people will resist a Turkish occupation.
Dr. Sindî spoke about some of the details of a 12 October meeting, with Behdinan radio and television broadcasting his speech. "PKK is a Kurdistan organization that they [KDP] would never fight anymore.
"Turkey says 'we are going there for the PKK and we will have a cross-border operation'. PKK is a Kurdish party and we are not going to fight against PKK. We are not going to use our arms against an organization which is demanding its cultural rights. Our people are not going after their brothers to attack."
Dr. Sindî continued,"We want to share the outcomes of a meeting we had with President Barzanî with our people. Even though we do not give credit to Turkey's cross-border operation, its aim is to annihilate Kurdish existence and it cannot accept the Kurdish group which has its government, its parliament, and is a ruling group. Turkey sees Kurdish law, government, and the Kurdish nation as a threat. Not only Turkey, but also the countries which say that we share the brotherhood of religion, also see the Kurds as a threat in terms of Kurdish independence and of their own traditions.
Speaking of Kurdish willingness to live with the neighboring countries in peace and brotherhood, Dr. Sindî said, "Kurdish people will not give up their land. As it was in the past, we will defend our land. Until the last drop of our blood, we will maintain our struggle. For that, Kurdish people around the world must begin a resistance and they must preserve the gains we have made now. Whatever it takes for this, it will be done. Because this is the legitimate defense of the Kurdish people for preserving their land and their law. The world is not the old world and Turkey must know this. Kurds are stronger than any time before, and Turkey must know this."
Stressing that Turkey must resolve its Kurdish question in a political and peaceful way, "You cannot solve any problem with a war, violence or weapons. Turkey cannot reach anywhere by using its military forces against PKK. On the contrary, it will just finish itself. For this reason, this question must be solved in political ways. The PKK question is the Kurds' legitimate, natural, cultural, and political rights that are supposed to be recognized by Turkey. In that way only will it be settled down. Saddam fought 50 years. He used chemical weapons, committed massacres, ruined all Kurdish cities and emptied the villages. However, the things they had done became trouble for them later. Kurdish people were never finished, but he and his generals were arrested and punished in a way that no one could even imagine."
Rizgar Sindî mentioned that the US is also opposing a cross-border operation and that on 12 October, the American ambassador to Iraq called Barzani and said they objected to Turkey's cross-border operation in terms of entering Kurdistan. France and Germany also object to an invasion and they indicated their support for Kurdistan. According to the KDP, the Baghdad government must take a clear stand against this cross-border operation.
If Turkey has a war against South Kurdistan, the Kurdish people are capable of fighting for years, and such a war will really last for many years. If Turkey has such an operation they will use their legitimate self-defense right and raise a resistance. This is the message of Mesûd Barzanî that I wanted to convey to our people.
The speech was broadcast for almost one hour on Behdinan's television and radios.