Behind Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s extended opposition to Sweden joining NATO were plans to impose an anti-Kurdish agenda on the bloc, said Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan in an interview.
The Swedish bid was Erdoğan’s ace in hand to “make everybody accept the Kurdish genocide and attacks to eliminate Kurdishness under the guise of terrorism”, Kalkan said.
“NATO were to back him up, provide political and military support,” he continued. “So they would become the auxiliary force for the Kurdish genocide and Turkey’s accomplice in all crimes against Kurds. That is the imposition, that is the bargain.”
Were these plans to succeed, NATO “would replace Lausanne”, Kalkan said.
The Treaty of Lausanne, signed in 1923, is considered Turkey’s founding document in that it established most of the country’s current borders. While an overall success for the new Turkish government at the time, the treaty further divided Kurdish society and resulted in a walkback of plans for Kurdish autonomy, which was included in the constitution drafted in 1921.
The founding treaty “formed the legal basis and political force of the first Kurdish genocide”, Kalkan said.
“They will complete the Kurdish genocide in the second century, with NATO behind them. That is the goal of the Turkish republic today, as it allows Erdoğan and his alliance to rule the country and implement state policies through them,” he added.
NATO has to decide whether it will “accept a fascist genocidal ideology and politics and become its implementer”, Kalkan said.
The top PKK member blamed newly appointed Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, who was Turkey’s intelligence chief before his promotion, for the Quran burning incident in Sweden.
“Fidan is just the man for these kinds of things. His first act was to get Sweden and NATO to bow under pressure and accept their terms via this incident,” he said.
There have been several incidents of hostilities against the Muslim holy book in the Nordic country as Turkey continued to veto Sweden’s accession to NATO, leading to heightened tension between the two countries as well as domestic tensions in Sweden over immigration and Islam.
“If there is no objection to (tyranny against Kurds), the government will of course impose its own ideology and politics on NATO too,” Kalkan said. “That is very clear.”
Kalkan condemned NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for blaming the incidents on the PKK and said the PKK had “nothing to do with Sweden’s NATO membership”.
“Let them join or do whatever else. But they can’t do it based on a Kurdish genocide. Not haggling over genocide. That is all we say. Europe, Sweden, NATO should not include themselves in the Erdoğan regime’s actions in Kurdistan. The rest is distorting the truth,” Kalkan said.
NATO’s 2023 summit in Vilnius started on Tuesday, with a focus on the memberships of Sweden and Ukraine.