As the Turkish military operation targeting the Zap, Metina and Avashin regions in Iraqi Kurdistan continues for more than two months, tensions are escalating between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
In order to end the long-standing tension and prevent a possible intra-Kurdish conflict, peace delegations in Europe decided to visit the region. However, members of the Peace Delegation and Defend Kurdistan Initiative, who wanted to create dialogue for a solution, faced detention and ill-treatment by German and KDP officials.
Demir Çelik, Peoples Democratic Party’s (HDP’s) former MP and a member of the Peace Delegation who was detained at Erbil (Hewlêr) Airport on 12th June spoke to MA regarding the threats and opportunities awaiting the Kurds.
Çelik believes that Turkey wants to expand its hegemony by occupying Federal Kurdistan and North East Syria. “With such attempts, the real purpose is to eliminate the national unity and awakening of the Kurds,” he said. “And, Turkey also seeks to take possession of the wealth in Mousul and Kirkuk. Therefore, they have making use of paramilitary forces such as Al-Nusra, ISIS and the Free Syrian Army (FSA). However, it seems like they have failed in this strategy and so they rely on their aim and hope of an intra-Kurdish conflict.”
Çelik pointed out that despite the use of all kinds of advanced technology in the operation in Avashin, Zap and Metina, Turkey has failed, saying, ”There is a defeat, a dead end and a military failure. To hide this, they have now resorted to provoking activities that could lead to an intra-Kurdish conflict and war.”
Former MP also explained how deeply they resented it when they were detained and deported from Erbil. “What we went through there really hurt us. I suffered from an emotional break down. It is really painful. As Bashure [South] Kurdistan is so significant for the Kurds, who had been subjected to genocide for centuries, we have not experienced such a negative hospitality regardless of our [political] sensitivities,” he said.
Çelik defined the Defend Kurdistan initiative as a “historical step”. “The purpose of the Defend Kurdistan Initiative is to spread the struggle for the status of all Kurds. During the First World War, due to the approaches based on ‘family, tribe, region’, unity among the Kurds could not be established. Now, this initiative aims to achieve the historical unity in which the Kurds have not been able to achieve for centuries,” he said.
Çelik went on: “With this effort, we want to transform Kurdistan into a livable country with the strength and support we will receive from our friends, and we want to have a political status worthy of thousands of years of historical struggle.”
Finally sharing his evaluations on the detention of the member of the Peace Delegation and the Defend Kurdistan Initiative, Çelik stated that all that happened should be understood with the policies of NATO and its member states. “The persecution of the Kurds is a part of the strategic relations and interests of global powers along with regional powers,” he said.
“What happened is directly related to the international conspiracy of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan’s being brought to Turkey and the isolation policy developed afterwards.”