The recent terrorist attack in Ankara nearby a military headquarters was used by president Erdogan as another pretext to put the blame on Kurdish armed groups operating in Syria and inside Turkey. In the wink of eye Turkey’s security forces announced the name of the suspect who happened to be a Syrian citizen closely tied to the US-sponsored Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), fighting radical jihadists in Syria. The Syrian Kurds rejected the accusations reasonably stating that Ankara was merely looking for a justification to invade Syria.
Although an autonomous Kurdistan Freedom Falkons group (TAK) claimed responsibility for the bombing, it is quite doubtful that it was behind the incident. As most of the victims of their earlier assaults were Erdogan’s political opponents (including Kurds), and their multiple claims about previous attacks were never independently confirmed, TAK should be considered as Erdogan’s tool to manipulate the Kurdish issue.
Since mid-2014 the Turkish army launched a new war on Kurds in the eastern and south-eastern provinces of Turkey following the siege of the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani by Ankara-supported Daesh militants. In recent months, combat actions were mainly waged in Sur, the historic district of Diyarbakır – the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan, and Kurds-populated areas in the southeast. Thousands of Turkish military personnel, including special operations forces, are concentrated there using tanks and heavy artillery against civilians and local self-defense units. Last December, Turkish authorities imposed curfews in Sur, Cizre (its population dwindled by 100 thousands during the conflict), Silopi, Nusaybin and Dargechit (the Mardin and Sirnak provinces).
Forceful actions undertaken by Turkish military and gendarmerie against the local Kurdish population should be qualified as the war crimes. The following sample of deliberate targeting of the unarmed civilians by Turkish forces in Cizre (dated January 21) which caused certain international indignation, is just a top of the mountain of the ruthlessness and lawlessness there:
Occassional videos and blood-chilling reports about decapitated and burnt bodies of Kurds found earlier this month in the district of Cizre suggest that the scale of humanitarian catastophe in Turkish Kurdistan exceeds the picture exposed by the international humanitarian organizations by far. The undeclared war against its own people unleashed by the Turkish authorities 30 years ago claimed thousands of lives and made 400,000 Kurds internal refugees. Nevertheless, while the humanitarian situation in Syria is on Western radars already for long, the international media are generally deaf and mute in highlighting the bloody events in the Turkish part of historic Kurdistan. The reason is obvious: unlike Assad, the regime of Erdogan is the key ally on the southern edge of NATO hosting US nuclear capabilities against Russia.
As a matter of fact, this reckless tactic creates more threats for Erdogan himself. His blind ambition to restore a new Ottoman Empire by supporting the defeated quasi-islamist guerrilla in Syria, contradicts the American vision of the future of the region. The latest Russian-American peace plan for Syria, in which Ankara’s interests were mainly ignored, is the best illustration of Erdogan’s failure.