After the Turkish government launched a military operation against Iraqi Kurdistan on 17 June, the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP’s) stance over the matter has become the subject of heated debate and discussion.
As the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has criticized the KDP, in response, the KDP has also criticized the PKK. As tensions have risen between the two Kurdish forces, boxer İsmail Özen called upon Kurdish forces to prevent clashes amongst themselves. Özen issued a statement: “The transfer of the KDP’s military forces to guerrilla regions poses a risk of clashes with the PKK. I call on Mr. Barzani to get involved in order to prevent a possible clash occuring”.
The Kurdish boxer, who lives in Germany, appealed “to Kurdish public opinion”. Özen’s appeal consists of eight articles and he shared the details of his appeal on social media. He drew attention to the concern amongst many that such clashes will be harmful to the interests of Kurds: “My appeal to Mr. Barzani is to get involved to prevent a probable clash. He has the power and means to do so. That responsibility also belongs to all of Kurdish society and its political forces. If we remain silent, we will also be responsible for that conflict among us”.
The eight articles for consideration, as presented in Özen’s appeal, are:
1 – As a sportsperson, I watch the incidents in Southern Kurdistan with concern and sorrow. The fact that the KDP dispatches its military forces into the regions of guerrilla forces poses a risk of a clash.
2 – A clash amongst Kurdish people will be in favour of the Turkish state and other denialist countries today, as in previous times. All of the Kurdish people will lose out if clashes occur.
3 – President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s goal is to trigger a clash amongst the Kurdish people and destroy all their achievements. He refuses Kurdish people equal rights anywhere.
4 – Today, the vital fact is not what Erdoğan aims to do, but what the Kurdish people and political parties choose to do. Kurdish political parties should solve their problems through dialogue.
5 – All sides have political maturity and experience. Kurdish people will lose not only the achievements they have gained, thanks to great struggles, but also opportunities in the new coming century, if they implement these conflict methods among themselves.
6 – Kurdish people do not have the luxury of losing what may be presented in the new century and the opportunities that may present themselves. Future generations will be ashamed and saddened by events that may transpire.
7 – I consider Mr. Murat Karayılan’s appeal for dialogue to solve the problem valuable. Mr. Mesud Barzani had sworn that he would not let a war between fellows (Brakuji in Kurdish) take place again in his previous statements.
8 – My appeal to Mr. Barzani is that he should get involved to prevent any clash. He has the power and the means to do so. That responsibility also belongs to all of Kurdish society and its political forces. If we remain silent, we will also be responsible for that conflict among us.