The tale of a farewell to arms

The tale of a farewell to arms

The U.S. claims that it will retrieve 1,000 trucks of weaponry after giving them to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), once the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) ends. Is it possible to believe this?

First of all, certain questions must be answered.

For example, how will we know when the fight against ISIL has ended? Combat, assassinations and clashes will undoubtedly linger on. So how will the weaponry be retrieved? 

Would Washington really say to the YPG: “Go and fight against ISIL. Die for me. Then I will take these arms back from you”?

Either the U.S is treating the YPG as if it is “stupid” or it is deeming Turkey “naïve”.

But the reality is that neither are the YPG-PKK terrorists stupid enough, nor we are naïve enough to believe in this tale of a farewell to arms.

Think about it. A man has accepted a weapon and fought for a long time. Would he then return the weapon easily?

Under what conditions will the YPG return the weapons? How many will they return? What about the weaponry it declares “lost”? Would anyone who has fought a war then accept leaving themselves unarmed?

Let’s remember back to the first Gulf War. Remember what the status of Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani was before that war? He was just a chieftain.

However, 10,000 Peshmerga soldiers were then hired and trained against Saddam Hussein. Thousands of arms were distributed. What did Barzani become over time?

He is now the president of the KRG. Arbil has transformed into a capital. Bids have been made; roads and airports have been built; universities have been founded. Now Barzani is bargaining for independence.

My late mother used to say that “even the unripe grape becomes ripe in time, my son.” It seems that the U.S. is “making the unripe grape become ripe.”

I am not interested in reproaching Washington or Moscow over all this. After all, they are only pursuing their interests, and history is full of struggles over interests. There can be no relations of love between states; there are only relations of benefits. 

Is Russia supporting Bashar al-Assad because it loves him? No. Simply, the opportunity for which it has been waiting for a century has finally come. Russia is supporting al-Assad in order to guarantee its military harbors and airports in the Mediterranean.

Similar reasons underpin why the United States supports the Iraqi government.

What about Turkey? Naturally, we should look after our own interests. Turkey’s interests lie in the stability of the region.

Think of the energy lines crossing the region, the Silk Road project, the aerial lines, and the pipelines. All these require stability.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım recently made a key comment on Barzani’s planned independence referendum in the KRG. “Wars only happen between states. Our judgement is clear. The referendum is wrong,” he said.

Yıldırım was answering reporters’ questions not in a harsh manner, but in a solution-seeking manner. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also struck an inclusive tone.

So while remaining resolute against certain developments, Turkey must also be brotherly toward the local peoples living under these political structures to our south.