The regions of the Middle East, East Europe, and Caucasia are focal points for international contention. The war in Iraq, the conflict between Georgia and Russia, the row over Iran’s nuclear program, and the missile defense system deal signed this week between the U.S. and Poland despite Russia’s serious objections indicate the dangerous path of world politics.
Kurdistan as a geostrategic region in the Middle East and its approximate closeness to the Caucasus (through north Kurdistan/Turkey Kurdistan) without doubt makes it a very strategic region, thus attracting the attention of international powers.
The Kurdish nationalist movement in general has been caught unprepared and disoriented in this sensitive period when the great powers are in a deep struggle for restructuring world politics and the economy. South Kurdistan’s political actors’ relevant organization and united stance thankfully elevated the political status of southern Kurds (Iraqi Kurds) to a recognizable position. The divided, disoriented, and confused state of affairs of Kurdish political movements in other parts, however, not only reduces the chance and opportunities for the realization of Kurdish national rights, but at the same time presents a serious menace on further political gains of southern Kurdistan (Iraqi Kurdistan), particularly on the issue of Kirkuk. In this confused state of affairs, the PKK is the major reason and it must be dealt with swiftly.
The Ergenekon case in Turkey not only exposed the dark side of the Turkish state’s illegal acts, but it also revealed the PKK’s relation with Ergenekon. The Istanbul public prosecutor’s accusation about Ergenekon throws serious doubt on the PKK’s real intentions and its dirty relations with it. Ergenekon is not what most observers claim-a gang supported by some high-ranking military officials. It is a legacy of Teskilati Mahsusa, a clandestine organization set up by the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), which played a major role in the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and the formation and development of the Kemalist movement following World War I.
The PKK is a Trojan horse in Turkey, used initially to fragment the Kurdish national movement during the 1980s and later to destabilize Iraqi Kurdistan from the 1990s to the present. The incorporation of Kirkuk into Kurdistan Region will be a historical turning point for a century-long Kurdish national movement, and the reality is that, among all others, it is Turkey that exerts all its pressure and threats not to allow this to happen. The only serious weapon that Turkey has to destabilize southern Kurdistan is the PKK card and it plays it well. Military and political destabilization of Kurdistan Region of Iraq and constant threat of a possible Turkish invasion is a key stumbling block in the way of southern Kurds to press further on Kirkuk.
It is crucial to notice that without a resolution to the PKK problem, the incorporation of Kirkuk to Kurdistan Region will barely be possible. Southern Kurdish political actors’ seriousness in the Kirkuk issue must be reflected on the issue of the PKK. This card must be taken out of the hands of Turkey without further delay.