Turkey performs a 180 degrees turn in its foreign policy
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
Turkey looks set to recognize an independent Kurdish state, changing its “traditional” policy, which was against any kind of independence of the Kurds in the Middle East.
The deputy chairman of the ruling AKP party, Hussein Celik, who belongs to the close circle of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview with the Financial Times, said that “if Iraq is broken up, something that seems inevitable, everyone in Kurdistan are our brothers. In the past even the pronunciation of that name caused irritation. Their name is Kurdistan and we should not accept that”.
He said that a few years ago the establishment of a Kurdish state was “casus belli” for Turkey, but as he now stated “now things have changed”. Until 2013 the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that “the establishment of a Kurdish state, is our red line”.
Kurds: “We have a strategic cooperation with Turkey”
The Minister of Natural Resources of the autonomous Kurdish administration in northern Iraq, Asti Hawrami, in his statements in the newspaper Hürriyet showed signs of significant cooperation between Ankara-Arbil. “With Turkey we have a strategic partnership. For any decision regarding a confederation or our independence will be discussed with Ankara. Neither side will face any surprises”, he said.
Northern Iraq, through a new pipeline that passes through the territory of Turkey, exports oil through the port of Ceyhan in southern Turkey. Everyday there are transported 125,000 barrels of oil and the goal is to reach about 300,000 barrels. Hawrami denied the reports that the previous days, oil was exported from this pipeline to Israel, he stated however that “no one can prevent us from doing so in the foreseeable future”.
Ankara-Tel Aviv go hand in hand in the Kurdistan matter
What’s impressive is that Tel Aviv agrees with Turkey’s stance on the possible independence of Kurdistan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for “the creation of an independent Kurdish state, which will be part of a broader alliance between Israel and moderate forces in the Middle East”. He stressed that “the Kurds are a nation of fighters, have demonstrated their political commitment and are worthy of independence”.
The supreme court approved the name Kurdistan to a political party
Ankara continues to negotiate with the PKK towards a definite resolution of the “Kurdish issue”, changing its stance in its domestic policy regarding the Kurds. The Supreme Court of Turkey, approved the establishment of a political party in the country, which will contain the name “Kurdistan”.
The Interior Ministry a month ago had requested an opinion whether the Constitution permits the establishment of a political party with the name “Democratic Party of Turkish Kurdistan”. The answer, was a surprising to many yes and the request of the founders of the Party was approved.
Until a few years ago, any mention to the Kurds, to Kurdistan, as well as speaking and teaching the Kurdish language was prohibited.