Economist-writer Ehmed Pelda shared his evaluations with ANF regarding the war that escalated during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule.
According to Ehmed Pelda, the primary financial source for Erdoğan’s war and his paramilitary organisations is from Southern Kurdistan. (Iraqi Kurdistan) “South Kurdistan’s oil was cheap and offered first to the Turkish domestic market who then sold to world markets at higher prices. Erdoğan and his supporters formed a merchant marine fleet for oil transportation and distributed it to the Turkish market and beyond. From top to bottom, the first partnership is with Erdoğan, who uses the profits to pay for his forces, ranging from paramilitary forces to his employees,” he said.
Pelda shared his view that by partnering with the Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] and people at the administrative level in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq Erdoğan formed strong relations and exploited the resources there. “Almost all of the businesses in the South belong to Erdoğan and his paramilitary networks. Kurds, Arabs and other business groups were purged in the the North. They carried on business with those close to the KDP and Barzani’s Family,” he said.
He went on: “The military bases established by the Turkish Republic in the South, the current attacks, the intelligence and spy network created in almost every city in the town, the organization of Turkmens and some tribes, all activities such as keeping the South under control, generating billions of dollars in oil and trade revenues every year. “It is all aimed at keeping it flowing to Turkey. It is the only gate with a surplus in foreign trade. This surplus value is at a level to compensate for the foreign trade deficit with regions such as Europe and Russia.”
On how Erdoğan transformed the war into a financial source Pelda recalls the ancient Chinese military war strategist, Sun Tzu. “There is an important principle of today’s modern art of war. If you have soldiers that does not bring money, it will cause a collapse. If it brings money, it will strengthen you. That is, you need to provide an income from the places you have captured by military forces. It is necessary to seize, exploit economic assets, and resources for their own benefit,” he said.
Pelda argues that Erdoğan does exactly this. “In addition to the classical army, special warfare forces, the increased number of police forces under Erdoğan, additional paramilitary forces such as militias and gangs, etc. cannot be financed by the internal national budget. Therefore, looting and pillage become important.”
Pelda shared his view that Erdoğan, who evaluated the conjunctural developments in the Middle East moved to the position of carrying out cross border operations and securing benefit from it. Stating that there is an international wing of financing Erdoğan regime’s war against the Kurds and against all peoples in Turkey and in the Middle East, Pelda continued:
“With the growth of ISIS, the Erdoğan regime has achieved great benefits. Both the Erdoğan family, his supporters, and the military and paramilitary forces formed a ring of wealth, having made great fortunes.”
“The money sent by several countries such as Qatar, etc… for the armament of ISIS is kept in Turkey, but weapons were sold to ISIS at great prices. The oil supplied by ISIS in Iraq, especially in Mosul, and in the areas seized in Syria, flowed into Turkey at very low prices and Turkey then sold them in the domestic market and in the world markets at high prices.”
Evaluating the support of European countries to Erdoğan, Pelda shared his view that it would not be wrong to say, “Erdoğan benifits from an arrangement of racketeering with Europe.”
“Turkey’s refugee policy should also be considered as a part of its war policy. Refuges from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, use Turkey as a transit zone. However, over time, they began to settle in Turkey. Because Erdoğan keeps them in Turkey in return for the money he receives from Europe; Euros for refugees,” he said.
“If not, Erdogan has demonstrated the ability to organise refugees mass transfer to Europe by mobilising his paramilitary forces, gangs, mafia groups for this purpose. In order to prevent this, Europe does not touch Erdogan’s power, does not touch on his war crimes and economic issues, as it pays tribute money to Erdoğan, but on the contrary, supports the continuation of his power.”