Nineteen people have lost their lives in the riots
Where the riots a message to Erdogan?
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
The Turkish government is in a state of shock after the bloody protests of Kurds across Turkey, since while it was discussing and haggling for a possible intervention in Syria, it is now faced with the uprising of the Kurds within its borders.
From the street battles and clashes of the Kurds with the police and the parastate, 19 people were killed, 110 injured and dozens were arrests. It is three times the number of victims of the events of Gezi in 2013. In Diyarbakir, which is considered the informal capital of the Kurds, as well as in five other cities, a curfew was imposed for 36 hours with a view to be extended.
This is the first time in 22 years that this measure was imposed in southeastern Turkey. In the cities of Van and Hakkari, PKK members set fire to statues of Kemal Ataturk, set up roadblocks and checkpoints, with the gendarmerie unable to do something. Turkish Airlines have canceled their flights to Diyarbakir.
On Thursday morning, the army’s armored vehicles appeared in the main streets of the towns.
The riots continued on Thursday night, and in the city Agri protesters burned the Town Hall, while in many neighborhoods of Diyarbakir young people took to the streets regardless of the prohibitions. Protests and street battles continue in 17 cities.
Information speaks of “Islamists Kurds” shooting against members of the PKK. Similar battles took place in the 90s’ with Kurds of the Hezbollah (ed. members of parastate organisations) killing members of the PKK.
Kurds warn that if Kobani falls there will be chaos in Turkey
The vice president of the pro-Kurdish party HDP, Pervin Buldan, sent a clear message about the intentions of the Kurds, who are pressing Ankara to open the passages leading to Kobani. “The city has not fallen yet. But if Kobani falls, ends any peace process on the Kurdish issue”.
Essentially, it is considered that the PKK sent a message to Erdogan and Davutoglu that if they insist in supporting or even maintaining a neutral stance towards the Islamic Army, they will face serious internal problems with unpredictable consequences for the unity of Turkey.
The strategic importance of Kobani
Kobani has a great strategic value for the Kurds of Syria, since it is one of the three cantons that have been established after the withdrawal of the forces of Assad, and there was a future plan for their autonomy.
The city is located in the middle of the roads leading to the two other cantons and its fall would mean the weakening of all the territories controlled by the Kurds.
The PKK calls on Ankara to open its borders, so that the ammunition and provisions sent by their compatriots from northern Iraq and the rest of Syria can reach the city, as this road is the only one that is not controlled by the jihadists. If this does not happen, the Kurdish fighters will run out of ammunition and provisions and the city will fall.
“Ankara wants Kobani to fall”
“It is unacceptable, but Ankara wants Kobani to fall, to say it clearly. The traditional view of the Turkish state is that the Kurds are a continuation of the traditional ‘Islamic Turkish State’. Ankara cannot accept a self-determination by the Kurds, because such a thing could set a ‘bad example’ for the Kurds in Turkey”, says the political analyst Cengiz Candar.
The spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Marziya Afkham announced that Tehran will “send help to the Kurds of Kobani, but this will be done through the official state of Syria”.
A strange event occurred a few hours after the riots in Turkey, when leaked information calimed that the men of the Islamic State, retreated from the main roads, as well as from the western suburbs of Kobani.
Ahmet Davutoglu, called for an extraordinary meeting with the Head of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, Necdet Ozel and ministers to assess the situation after the internal conflict. Absent from the meeting was the commander of the Turkish secret service (MIT) Hakan Fidan.
The leader of the PYD (an offshoot of the PKK) Salih Mousri, had a meeting with members of the MIT.
The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today begins a two-day visit in Turkey, during which he will meet with Erdogan and Davutoglu and is expected to once again exert pressure Ankara to take action against the jihadists.