OPINION mehmet-ali-birand

Could Barzani fight the PKK for Turkey?

HDN | 6/4/2010 12:00:00 AM | MEHMET ALİ BİRAND

If there hadn’t been the Israeli raid, we could’ve read the visit of Northern Iraq Regional Administration leader Massoud Barzani to Ankara.

Turkey is a country o’ storms, political storms. Agenda changes rapidly and takes us away. If there hadn’t been the Israeli raid, we could’ve read the visit of Northern Iraq Regional Administration leader Massoud Barzani to Ankara in the headlines. Unfortunately, this trip hasn’t been given importance to be in the headlines. But after an extremely volatile and difficult six years, this trip was extremely important.

Some circles in Turkey are angry at Barzani for some reason. They claim he is not trustworthy. On the contrary, Barzani is an outspoken leader and doesn’t play. If we don’t like what we hear, we are quick to term others “enemies of Turks.” Since this is a habit, we keep avoiding Barzani.

All gestures, welcoming ceremonies, conversations during his arrival in Ankara and the way of being received by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu as well as reciprocal messages indicate clearly that Turkey wants to have peace with Kurds in Northern Iraq.

But Ankara, or rather Turkish public opinion, has some expectations, one of which is that Barzani should remove the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the PKK, from the Qandil Mountain, if necessary.

All right, but is it realistic to expect such a thing?

We shouldn’t expect Barzani to grab a weapon and fight for Turkey up in the mountain or fight against the PKK. No matter how much he dislikes this terrorist organization and is against the interests of Iraqi Kurds, this means a war between Kurds. That’s why we shouldn’t expect Barzani to fight for Turkey against the PKK. But on the other hand, we expect him to take measures and stop the PKK strolling around freely. We can do this only by acting together.

Turkey recognizes Kurds in Northern Iraq, no matter how much this is denied. So, Barzani’s trip to Ankara happens to be a first. In terms of the Kurdish initiative, this is extremely a timely visit.

[HH] What was this kid doing on board?!

I didn’t want to push harder during the hot days of the Israeli raid.

But since we are relaxed a bit, let me tell you this:

As you recall, we saw the 1.5-year-old Türker Kaan Çetin on television and read about him in the newspapers. He was sitting in his father’s lap. The story of this kid who was on the ship attacked by the Israeli marines has increased the dosage of criticisms against Israel.

But nobody asked “What was this kid doing on board?”

Indeed, what was this kid doing on the ship?

His father Ekrem Çetin is a chief engineer. Çetin shouldn’t allow his son and wife to come along with him, should he?

I am sure that father Çetin acted on good will. Or perhaps he was not aware of the danger. But still he should accept the fact that it was extremely wrong to take this kid to a humanitarian aid mission. And he shouldn’t put his family into similar risks in the future.



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