In a recent interview with Yeni Özgür Politika, Professor Dr. Hamit Bozarslan drew stark comparisons between Turkey’s military operations in North and East Syria (Rojava) and Israel’s actions in Gaza. “What Turkey is doing in Rojava is no different from what Israel is doing in Gaza,” Bozarslan stated, making a direct comparison between the two scenarios.
Bozarslan further elaborated on this comparison by referring to the Turkish government’s military actions in the predominantly Kurdish towns of Sur and Cizre, in the country’s southeastern region. These towns experienced extensive destruction during the intense urban warfare that unfolded between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militia from 2015 to 2016. Bozarslan contended that these operations, occurring under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, follow a similar principle to those observed in Gaza, highlighting the severity and impact of these conflicts.
Bozarslan analysed the shift in Israeli society and politics towards right-wing ideologies and the emergence of a ‘military-solution society’. “Both the political class and society in Israel are increasingly shifting to the right,” he explained. This shift, according to Bozarslan, threatens to weaken or even collapse the peace movement in Israel.
Discussing Israel’s internal politics, Bozarslan highlighted the formation of a hegemonic block centred on national security, transcending the influence of individual political leaders. “There can be struggles, but when it comes to ‘the survival of Israel’ or the Palestinian cause, this hegemonic block reforms,” he stated, emphasising the deeper crisis in Israeli democracy.
Focusing on Turkey’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict, Bozarslan critiqued the political rhetoric and approach of the Turkish government. He observed, “In the foreground, there’s the right-wing political syntax in Turkey, ranging from conspiracy theories to anti-Semitism.” Bozarslan pointed out the discrepancy between Turkey’s aggressive rhetoric and its lack of significant policy shifts or actions, stating, “Whatever the rhetorical radicalism in Turkey, a balance-changing step has not been taken.”
Bozarslan also commented on Erdoğan’s recent visit to Germany and his policies regarding North and East Syria. He reiterated his earlier point about the similarities between Turkish actions in Rojava and Israeli actions in Gaza, saying, “There is no difference between what Turkey does in Rojava and what Israel does in Gaza.” He recalled the curfews and destruction in Kurdish cities in 2015, underlining the severity of these actions.
In conclusion, Bozarslan touched on the roles of global powers like the USA, Russia, and Iran in the Syrian conflict. He noted the importance of their influence in maintaining the current status quo in Rojava, concluding, “Whether this status quo period will continue, how it will continue, we cannot know.”