Turkey’s recent operation in Garê aimed to keep the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on the list of “terrorist organisations” by blaming them for civillian casualties, said Kamuran Berwarî in an interview with Mesopotamia News Agency.
Thirteen Turkish prisoners, including police officers and soldiers, were killed in the Garê region of Iraqi Kurdistan during a Turkish military operation against the PKK named “Claw-Eagle 2”. While the Turkish Government announced that the PKK killed the 13 prisoner, the PKK refused the claims and said the deaths were caused by airstrikes during the Turkish military operation that began on 10 February.
Opposition politicians and human rights organisations in Turkey have been raising critical voices regarding the Turkish government’s lack of transparency on the situation of the Turkish hostages, who had been held for years as “war prisoners”, as the PKK previously announced in a statement.
Kamuran Berwarî, a Kurdish politician and an academic at Duhok University shared his thoughts on the much discussed operation. “The purpose of Turkey’s Garê operation was to frustrate PKK’s efforts to be removed from the list of terrorist organisations”, said Berwarî.
Berwarî said the PKK had been added to the list after the Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme and 33 soldiers were killed in Elazig-Bingöl road in Turkey by the order of Şemdin Sakık in 1993.
The main purpose of Turkey
Berwarî argues that the Garê operation was never a “so-called rescue operation” to save the 13 prisoners.
“If the aim was to save the hostages, they could have accomplished this mission with hundreds of methods which have been already tried successfully since 2015”, he said. “One of the most important purposes of the operation was to kill the hostages and blame the PKK, so that the PKK would be kept on the list of terrorist organisations in Europe and America”.
Commenting on the status of the PKK and the isolation of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan on Imralı Island, Berwarî said, “It is now time to ensure the freedom of Öcalan. The PKK also needs to be removed from the list of terrorist organisations. Political and diplomatic relations should be developed with the PKK in Kurdistan and around the world”.
Another purpose of the operation was to “occupy” the Kurdistan region of Iraq, according to Berwarî . “If the operation was successful, they would have attacked the Rojava border and Sinjar [Shengal]”, he said.
“Thus, they would break the connection between Rojava and Bashur [South Kurdistan], but this strategy of Erdoğan government collapsed in Garê”.
The Kurdish politican believes that the Garê operation means a defeat for the Turkish government in the end. “The operation failed and after this defeat a new portrait appeared for the American and European forces, as well as for the Arab states, Turkey and Iran. A new portrait also appears for the forces of Kurdistan. Now Erdoğan’s government needs to review its strategy at this new juncture”, he said.
‘Neo-Ottoman dreams collapsed’
Berwarî said that Turkey’s failure in Garê means the collapse of the “neo-Ottoman dreams” of the Turkish government.
“Peaceful, democratic and libertarian powers have achieved a great success in this battle, it was a success for the Kurdish forces while it means a collapse of the neo-Ottoman dreams of Turkey. With this victory, they saw the people of Kurdistan deciding their own fate. People have been on the streets all over Kurdistan protesting Turkey’s attack”, he said.
“The success of the Kurdish forces in Garê has given an important message to Turkey and to its affiliates. Still, all Kurdish forces should focus on pushing the Turkish soldiers out of the Bashur region. Bashur Kurdistan needs to get rid of the multifaceted effects of the Turkish state”.