Thomas Wictor

Kurdistan is just about to become a reality

Kurdistan is just about to become a reality

Well, color me shocked. Turkey is on the verge of accepting the creation of Kurdistan. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made the announcement.

I’m very impressed. It’s obvious that I completely misjudged the Turks.

Here’s what Saudi Arabia said in June of 2015.

[Anwar Majed Eshki, a retired Saudi general and ex-adviser to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador] ended his remarks with a seven-point plan for the Middle East. Atop the list was achieving peace between Israel and the Arabs. Second came regime-change in Iran. Also on the list were greater Arab unity, the establishment of an Arab regional military force, and a call for an independent Kurdistan to be made up of territory now belonging to Iraq, Turkey and Iran.

And then two weeks ago, Israel joined the Saudis.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked on Tuesday called for the formation of an independent Kurdistan, and urged an enhanced policy of cooperation between Israel and the Kurds.

“We must openly call for the establishment of a Kurdish state that separates Iran from Turkey, one which will be friendly towards Israel,” Shaked said at the annual INSS security conference in Tel Aviv.

I’ve been studying the Saudi and Israeli governments daily since June of 2014. I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that neither the Saudis nor the Israelis would have made their statements unless they had already gotten assurances from Turkey that the creation of Kurdistan would be allowed. Despite what you may think about Saudi Arabia and Israel, they’re masters at achieving diplomatic miracles.

To clarify: They seem like miracles to westerners, because we’re incapable of carrying out effective diplomacy in the region. The reason is simple.



We’re bigots.

Don’t get me wrong; neither the Saudis nor the Israelis are children who need to be coddled. I’m talking about bigotry that has real-world consequences. We see their “funny” robes and “funny” headgear, and we don’t take them seriously. How could such “backward” people solve problems? They need “civilized” westerners to show them the way.

Don’t believe me? Listen to a former US Secretary of State.


No other country can rally the world to defeat ISIS and win the generational struggle against radical jihadism. Only the United States can mobilize common action on a global scale. And that is exactly what we need. The entire world must be part of this fight, but we must lead it.

Baloney. When it comes to the Middle East, we’re incompetent and always have been. I’m not saying that Middle Easterners are perfect; they themselves would be the first ones to admit that they aren’t perfect.

But it’s counterproductive to tell them that publicly. Our love of being on TV has made us into stumbling buffoons. If we were smart—HA!—we would’ve done everything secretly, the way the Saudis, Israelis, Turks, and Kurds have.

Behold the coming of Kurdistan

Currently the Turkish government is again at war with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK grossly miscalculated in July of 2015 and thought that the Turkish government would not risk bad PR by launching a violent, ruthless urban campaign in retaliation for attacks on security forces.

Well, the PKK was very wrong. Here’s what the Turkish cities of Cizre, Diyarbakir, Silvan, and Silopi look like now.





Even if you support the Kurds, you have to agree that no government on earth will stand for an armed insurrection. The PKK are insurgents.


They knew that prior to the current fighting, the Turks had killed 29,000 PKK fighters for a loss of 6600 soldiers and police. The PKK can’t win. As a student of warfare, I can tell you that the Turks punch far above their weight class. They always have. And Turkey also doesn’t give a hoot about world opinion.

We as westerners can’t grasp when Middle Easterners will fight and when they’ll acquiesce. Often Middle Easterners will fight and acquiesce at the same time, as Turkey is now doing.

This is the most important news that you haven’t heard.

“The zeitgeist dictates to us the following: While respecting the existing borders, we need to create common economic, political and cultural zones that go beyond borders, and to make the people converge in this way.”

These words were uttered by Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik during a press conference on Feb. 4. He also said, explicitly, that the Sykes-Picot order established 100 years ago in the Middle East was “artificial” and that the “primitive nation-state approach of the 19th century” needed to be revised.

This new approach is exactly what is needed to pass through the crisis Turkey is currently faced with, namely the northern Syria (Rojava) crisis.

The Turkish government is ready to accept the eventual creation of an independent Kurdistan.

It doesn’t look possible anymore to prevent the formation of a Kurdish entity in northern Syria. And the cherry on top is the international legitimacy and self-confidence the PYD [Democratic Union Party] has gained recently due to its role in the anti-ISIL fight.


On the other hand, Turkey’s problem with the PYD blocks its cooperation with the U.S. Whereas the Americans mostly rely on the PYD and its military wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), on the ground against ISIL, Ankara strictly objects to this, which in turn freezes all of their joint operational plans.

In short, Turkey’s PYD problem seriously limits its room to maneuver.

Here’s another factor.

Furthermore, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems to be planning to use the PYD as a card and Rojava as a buffer zone against Turkey, just like his father, Hafez al-Assad, used the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the 1980’s and 1990’s by hosting its outlawed leader, Abdullah Öcalan, in Damascus for about 20 years.


The worst part of this problem is the repercussions in Turkey. By receiving strong support from the PYD and the YPG, the PKK has intensified its terrorist activities domestically.


Looking at this big picture, it becomes crystal clear that normalizing relations with the PYD would take the “Kurdish card” away from al-Assad and Russia, pave the way for cooperation with the U.S. and seriously cripple domestic terrorism.

Go back to what the official spokesman of President Erdoğan‘s party said: The current order in the Middle East is artificial, primitive, and in need of REVISION. Despite the AKP’s fiery nationalism, there’s only one way to interpret that.

The Turks are already putting their money where their mouths are. They’re providing precision artillery fire in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) offensive on Manbij.


I have no doubt that Israel sweetened the Kurdistan deal by helping the Turks improve their armed forces. Once again, the Israelis proved that I was wrong for thinking that they give others too many chances. My main fault is that I’m almost totally unforgiving. It blinds me.

Yes, the Turks are blowing the hell out of Kurdish cities in Turkey. But that’s how things are done in the region. Turkey will finalize a Kurdistan agreement on her own terms. The Turks are—like it or not—showing that they were perfectly willing to keep the fight going. Their assault troops had the same ferocity in World War I.


The men above are members of a Turkish Headquarters Protection Company, photographed in 1918. They always fought to the last man. It was a matter of pride.

Though I personally would do things differently, so what? I’m not a Middle Easterner. There’s absolutely no way that I could’ve negotiated the creation of Kurdistan. It’s clear to me how the Arab League and Israel did it, but I understand the process only in hindsight. As it was happening, I had no clue what the activity meant. This is a diplomatic victory of unprecedented proportions.

If we in the west genuinely want peace in the Middle East, we need to arm and support those who we trust, and then we need to get out of the way.

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