Middle East

Sep 4, 2012

Kurds continue steady march to being serious Mid-East player

There is widespread opposition in Turkey to involvement in conflict beyond its borders, writes Andrew Penny, a long-time Kurdish rights activist and translator.

Following the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and the coming to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the US and its allies are now openly supporting the armed opposition in Syria. The US is perceived by people in the region to be supporting Sunni regimes, first and foremost Saudi Arabia and Turkey, against Shia Iran and other anti-US forces. This has raised tensions between Sunni and Shia and between the various ethnic groups in the region.

In Syria, the Bashar al-Assad regime, supported by Iran and Russia, appears to be fighting back, re-establishing control in Damascus and Aleppo. While there is no clear answer as to who is “winning” the current civil conflict, one group has undoubtedly made gains — the Syrian Kurds.

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3 thoughts on “Kurds continue steady march to being serious Mid-East player

  1. Gavin Moodie

    Thanx for this informative report and analysis.

  2. Clytie

    It would be good to see the Kurds achieve some autonomy, even better to see persecution of them stop. I disagree that a Kurdish-language TV station and mother tongue education are “cosmetic”: supporting your culture is empowering. However, the politics behind these services can make them less useful, or actually harmful (e.g. indoctrination of children).

    Prisons solve nothing. Give people a choice, and support working it out. Or the “problem”, like others in ethnically-repressed areas, just never goes away.

  3. AR

    The Kurds were just collateral damages when the Great Powers (France & Britain) carved up the Ottoman empire post WWI, pissing on promises to the Bedouin & other minorities with their preference for the ‘bigger picture’, ie what suited them.
    Interesting that there was never a word of condemnation when Turkish planes strafed & bombed the Kurdish enclaves & autonomous regions during the amerikan occupation of Iraq.
    Presumably bombs & bullets don’t kill & maim so seriously when they’re being dispensed by a NATO stalwart. Or maybe the Great Power, aka the Hegemon like the 19/20thC hegemons, just doesn’t give a shit?
    After all, it invented the term “collateral damage” in Vietnam, as well as similarly charming terms such as “harvesting a site” – obliteration – and the all time winner, “It was necessary to destroy the village (or culture, society or country, insert as required) in order to save it”…

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