Monday, November 21, 2011

Van Catastrophe Reaffirms Turkey-Northern Iraq Relations

Koshan Ali Khidhir

Photo: Today's Zaman

“We are so sorry for what is happening in Van” “Donate a Penny, Safe the life of one person,” these quotations are the words of Kurds from Northern Iraq to show their sympathy to their neighbor city, Van, endangered because of series earthquakes.
In the last few weeks, while I have been travelling from one city, district and village to the other ones in Northern Iraq, when I have been watching and reading Kurdish newspapers, magazines, websites and televisions, the main focus is about Van. There are lots of tents in different districts and cities that call for a donation for Van and supporting its displaced people.
This would be a starting point for another way of looking relations between Turkey and Northern Iraq. The essential dimensions about this relation could be summarized in some points? It is rooted in the society, between different members in Turkey and Northern Iraq. It refutes all perspectives and methods that show relations as critical and problematic.
This would be sufficient evidence to the restricted conflict between a group of so called a supporter of Kurdish issue (PKK) and Turkish state. These events uncovered that the conflict is not rooted in the society and has not been structured within Kurds in Northern Iraq. It was and it is just a political struggle of this group to achieve external and internal goals. While Kurds in Northern Iraq supported Van, they evidently declared their support a method for resolving Kurdish question in Turkey, which is resolving this issue through peaceful means.
I have talked with many scholars in this region, they, mostly interested in resolving Kurdish issue in Turkey through a peaceful process. The Kurdish street in the region also has suffered from conflicts between PKK and Turkish state over borders; therefore, they would rather the political resolution for Kurdish issue than military operations.
Kurds in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Northern Iraq, are mostly benefited from their peaceful and stable region to experience their governance. Therefore, any conflict will endanger their prosperity and the future of this region. Thus, leaders of the region are concerning about improving their relations with Turkish government in different areas of politics, culture and business.
Kurdish leaders, Jalal Talabani, Iraqi President, Massoud Barzani, President of the Region, Barham Salih, current prime minister of the region Nechirvan Barzani, former prime minister of the region’s government, and other high ranked officials are continuously held meetings with Kurdish political parties to convince them on resolution for Kurdish issue in peaceful means. They have also worked to mediate between Kurdish parties, mostly their effective leaders, and Turkish elites. A few days ago Talabani and Salih met some MPs from pro-Kurdish Democratic and Peace Party (BDP), that would be a recent example for their efforts. According to the Kurdish news agencies, the meeting is mostly concerned about resolving Kurdish issue in Turkey through dialogue and peaceful means.
Van has uncovered the roots of the issues. While some Kurdish leaders, who are sincerely striving for Kurdish issue were in meeting with Talabani, but others were involved with hijacking. Real Kurds are those who have donated their money and clothes to other civilians in Turkey, but others are those who thinking about having more attacks and bloodshed. These groups are restricted their goals. Therefore, they will not gain future hearts and political achievements. These are just playing with time and struggling to survive.
I hope, as a Kurd in Northern Iraq, to have a peaceful process of resolving Kurdish issue in Turkey, which has started from AK Party’s reforms and initiatives. Catastrophe like Van would become new page for humanitarian cooperation, if we view these events in a different way.

The author is a Journalist, Blogger, and Undergraduate Student in Political Science and International Relations at University of Kurdistan-Hawler.

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