– Recently, some newspapers near AKP have expressed dissatisfaction about the recent winning of Kurdish against ISIS. They believed that Kurdish (particularly PYD and PKK) are bigger danger than ISIS for Turkey. What do you think about the arguments? Do you think the argument is the main cause of little support of Turkey government of Kurdish struggle against ISIS? do you think we can expected change in Turkey’s policy toward Kurdish struggle against isis in the next government of the country?
– Turkey’s right wing conservative parties have always been against PKK which is mainly due to its Marxist roots and left leaning political stance. I believe there are also good number of those journalists who sympathies with ISIS rather than the Kurdish struggle. The next government seems likely to more nationalist and conservative. Therefore I don’t expect a shift towards Kurdish.
– Recently, President Erdogan said that Turkey don’t let to Kurdish establish Kurdish government in northern Syria. Do you think the Erdogan warn is serious? Do you think the military intervention of turkey army in Syria in next month will be possible? What would be the reaction of international community on the issue in your opinion?
– We know some Turkish voted to HDP too as well as Kurdish, How the Turkish convinced vote to HDP? do you think this is a sign of decrease Turkish nationalism sense or this is a sign of increasing pluralism in Turkey? what is your assessment about the recent victory of HDP in Turkey election?
– According to my estimations about 1.5 million Turkish voted for HDP along with 4.5 million Kurdish. Turkish support was partly to avoid any more of Erdogan’s government but also for many Turkish HDP as a left leaning democratic party was appealing. There was a strong swing from CHP supporters to HDP. I estimate this to be in tune of 0.8 to 1.0 million votes. These former CHP supporters are likely to stick with HDP as long as HDP maintains its current standing as a party of Turks, Kurds and others.
– What is your assessment about the relation recent HDP victory in Turkey’s election with PKK activities in the region? Can we expect the recent victory in Turkey will be impact on power of PKK?
– HDP and PKK are closely related and one’s victory is other’s victory too. I think both got stronger.
– What is the effect of HDP victory on Kurdish separatist sentiments in turkey and region? Will be weakened or strengthened?
– HDP cannot defend separatism and does not at the moment. However, in the long run, this issue of independence is inevitable as is the case in Scotland and many other parts of the world.
– As you know, HDP has radical leftist views and supported from podemos and Syriza parties in Europe. What do you think about the effect of the issue on Turkey relation with EU and US? Dont you think the issue will be a threat for turkey that is a NATO member?
– As a minority opposition party, there is no such risk. HDP and CHP combined is the limit of left wing support in Turkey. I don’t see any radical leftist government in the near future. So there is no such risk to NATO membership.
– Do you think the increasing conflict between HDP and turkey Hizbullah will be possible? What will be the relation between HDP and conservatives and religious Kurdish in the future?
– HDP will gain support as Kurdish struggle continues and therefore Hizbullah will attack HDP at every possible occasion. This may turn violent as well since the region has a history of that too. In the future, I don’t think HDP can maintain such a high level of support among the Kurdish. Once the peace process is complete conservative Kurdish will turn to religious and right wing parties.
– What is relation between PKK and HDP? Demirtas and Ocalan both are charismatic figures don’t you think in long time we will see conflict between two groups?
– Ocalan has been elevated to kind of the honorary “Eternal leader of Kurdish” position and I don’t expect him to confront anybody including Demirtas. HDP with non-Kurdish components within will have time and time trouble with PKK as some policies and moves may not be in line with what PKK prefer but still I don’t expect major conflicts.
– What do you think about the viewpoint of Kurdish peace negotiation prospect after victory of HDP? do you think it will have a positive impact on negotiation? What do you think about possibility end Ocalan arrested?
– We won’t know this until a new government is formed or a re-election is set. Currently there is no possibility for Ocalan to be released. Especially while a rather hawkish nationalist AKP seeks a coalition with MHP nationalists. However the election victory of HDP wins hearts of Turks that is for sure.
– What is your assessment about ROJAVA cantons and the performance? Do you think the Rojava can be a model for Kurdish in other parts of the region? what are the strengths and weaknesses of ROJAVA in your opinion?
– I am not an expert of ROJAVA. However, as far as I understood that it is a small area with weak governance and very close to Turkey. The future of it is likely to be similar to KRG in Iraq but with a left leaning government. This is too far to comment on yet. It will definitely inspire some Kurdish in Iran and Turkey but I don’t expect a similar move to emerge within Turkey; at least not so soon. Since Turkey is economically and politically an attractive country and looks relatively stable. Kurdish in Turkey would not like to swap this with something so fragile.
– What is your assessment about the Assad regime reaction to Kurdish autonomy in Syria ? do you think Syria government will be grant autonomy to kurds because their struggle against common enemy (ISIS)?
– Assad regime I believe is dependent on the existing international balance of power. Until Russia, China, and US agree on something, Assad cannot deal with the Kurdish. However, against ISIS, these two have common interests.
– What do you think about impact of recent HDP victory in turkey and PYD in Syria on the Barzani and Talibani power in Iraq? do you think HDP and PKK are threat against Autonomous Region of Kurdistan?
– I don’t think HDP-PKK is a threat against KRG but they are surely a rival. This victory and possible continuity in peace process will appeal to Kurdish in KRG and they may swing towards left wing parties in the region. I don’t think there is an active contest between the two yet.
– Some people said Kurdish could not reach to recent successes without US supports in Iraq. What do you think about the arguments ? what do you think about the possibility of establish a Shiite “Kurdish“ US coalition against ISIS in Iraq? do you think the cooperation against ISIS will be cause more close Kurdish Shiite?
– US support must be crucial. KRG is a small nation that cannot stand against a well-armed force in the long term. I don’t know about the possibility of Kurdish-Shiite coalition but they have to act together with the support of US (and others) for the moment.
– What is your assessment about the possibility of establish a Kurdish state in middle east ? what are the obstacle in the way of this? Israel supported for Kurdistan state idea do you think the support of US and EU will be possible, too?
– I think an independent Kurdish state in ME seems more likely than ever now as Iraq seemingly collapses as a sovereign state day by day. Turkey and Iran will not like the idea I believe. However, it can be a partial solution to the instability in the region. Turkey can be convinced as the Turks want stability around their borders too.
* Prof Dr Ibrahim Sirkeci
Ria Financial Professor of Transnational Studies & Marketing Director of Regent’s Centre for Transnational Studies Faculty of Business and Management, Regent’s University London
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