New realities in Iraq and Syria

New realities in Iraq and Syria

Architect Daniel Libeskind makes the most famous genocide monuments in the world. On April 11, he invited journalists to his office in New York and told them that it was time to open a “Kurdish national identity museum.”  I was curious why the architect would do such a thing out of the blue.

Last Saturday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the United States had sent its troops abroad to keep the peace in places where history had led people to create artificial states based on artificial lines made up of distinct ethnic and religious groups. He said the world had told them, “Go at it.” When I read his statement, then I understood that the museum announcement was not done out of the blue.

From the New York Times story, we learn that the U.S. is now openly mentioning the division of Iraq and the formation of an independent Kurdish state. The Arbil national identity museum project which was shelved in 2014 is now being revived as one of the steps in this. 

The history of the Middle East is being rewritten. Those borders that were considered unchangeable have started to change. Kurds, for the first time in history, are on the eve of having a permanent state. 

And, we should now comprehend this: The “red line” threats are no longer functional. Iraq, Egypt and Syria policies that were built with personal rage, youthful dreams, Ottoman visions and Muslim Brotherhood federation daydreams have collapsed. 

Every Turkish citizen has the right to ask these questions and have their own answers for them. 

First, is an independent or a federal Kurdish state in northern Iraq an unacceptable formation against Turkey?

Up until today we have declared that we would never accept such a formation and that this was our “red line.” 

This is my opinion: An independent Kurdish state or a federal solution is not against us. 

Second question: Is being a neighbor to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria in our favor or is a Kurdish corridor there or a neighbor under the Damascus administration, cleansed from fanatic components, in our favor? 

Turkey is still saying the Free Syria opposition made up of moderate Arabs will be effective there. 

In Syria also, it is in Turkey’s interest that a corridor is formed consisting of secular Kurds and forces loyal to Damascus. 

Thus, we would not have a border with ISIL, which will only be cleansed from Iraq and Syria after many years; the fight against them will be carried out by others.  

Which one would you like to befriend?  

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is always open, talking to your face – never from behind. He hates being perceived as if he is under the shadow of someone. He protects his close aides even if they do wrong, acting with the sentiment, “I will punish them if there is punishment to be given.”

He seldom smiles; he does not hide his intention, nor his hostility and friendship.

He speaks every day, never leaving the agenda empty. He gets angry quickly and cannot stay calm. He does not like to wait; he wants something to be done immediately. He is affected quickly; he reacts quickly.
He is able to defend every matter very effectively. He can defend something that is 180 degrees opposite to his previous position with the same reassurance. If it’s a theme he believes in, he can act surprisingly. He is able to say “no” easily. If he has said “yes,” then he delivers whatever the cost. 

He does not refrain from entering a discussion with anyone regardless of whether they are more or less powerful than him. 

On the other hand, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu does not say what he is planning but says what he wants others to know. If there is a benefit, he does not take any offence at working under the shadow of a powerful person. 

He does not regard others through trust or distrust but from the window of whether they would be effective and convenient.  

He constantly smiles or looks as if he is smiling. He also, like the president, loves to talk a lot. The difference is that he talks longer. He does not get angry. He is quite good at hiding why and whom he is angry at. He is successful at becoming friends easily with those he is most furious at or his enemies. 

He is extremely calm. He is patient. He is never agitated, but at the same time he does not take it as a burden to show as if he is agitated. 

He is a master at creating the perception that he is loyal to the mainstream even in those matters he firmly believes in. 

He never says “no” to anything but gives the impression that he persistently continues with his own agenda. He never gets involved in a debate with those who are more powerful than him.