DOIU – What if Kobani were to fall?

What if Kobani were to fall?The government has finally realized the consequences of the potential fall of Kobani and changed course to allow a supply route from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. Yet, it has not taken on the responsibility of sending troops.

The Syrian Kurdish community does not want the presence of Turkish soldiers, which they see as a threat in their territory anyway.Turkeyand#39s inaction in the face of Kobaniand#39s potential fall and its defenders being slaughtered would damage Turkish-Kurdish relations beyond repair Furthermore, the widespread belief that Turkey openly or clandestinely supported the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) would stick.

In fact, it was not the governmentand#39s intention to support ISIL or similar radical jihadist elements in Syria Its unyielding insistence on bringing down the Bashar al-Assad governmentregime led to the support of opposing forces on the ground. Unorganized, poorly motivated and under-equipped, most of these forces gave way to the most radical, brutal factions among them, which had an alternative agenda of erecting their own state on Syrian and Iraqi soil.

When this fact became obvious, the world — at least most of it — ceased assisting them and accepted the fact that Assadand#39s government was better than theirs. However, Turkey did not follow suit and turned the issue into a political vendettaIf it were not for ISIL, the fall of the Assad regime would have allowed for the formation of a Sunni government parallel to the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, with which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has an emotional and religious affiliation.

Uniting their forces, Turkish, Syrian and Egyptian Muslim political agents could have reversed the tide in Egypt that brought down former President Mohammed Morsi.A Sunni powerhouse in the Levant could have empowered a political axis, something that has never existed before.

It would have been independent of the West and a bulwark against the Shiite onslaught around the Mediterranean. The West will sooner or later reconcile with this scheme.

Attractive but too simplistic, this notion has proven to be an illusion rather than a vision.Returning back to the Kobani issue, history tells us that desperate sieges and heroic defenses that have ended up with the decimation of the defenders have inspired following generations and fired up militancy for decades, even centuries to come.

One such example was witnessed only 10 days ago.Being a left-wing secular organization just as its Turkish twin, the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK), some Democratic Union Party (PYD) fighters are women.

One of the female fighters, ArIn Mirkan, blew herself up on a suicide mission after she infiltrated the ISIL militia on Mishtenur Hill.The fall of Kobani, or Ayn al-Arab, to ISIL could have produced many such examples, each feeding the hatred against Turkey.

Fortunately, Kurdish pleas and ensuing international pressures set in motion a protective scheme for Kobani. American-allied bombardments relieved the lethal siege on the town, and now, with weapons being dropped and a corridor being opened for troops from the KRG, the dismal expectation of the fall of Kobani is no more.

I am sure ISILand#39s brutality against other Muslims has awoken the government to the fact that a Muslim alliance was close to impossible among Muslim communities. Indeed, political Islam is a different beast that has severed its ties with religion.

Now the government feels obliged to stop pressuring Syrian Kurds to oppose Assad in return for relief. Furthermore, official ads began to appear on TV, in which talking heads are praising the European Union membership project of Turkey.

People from different walks of life are saying Europe holds the key to a better life for Turks.If Kobani were indeed to fall into the pitiless hands of ISIL, it would have a very negative impact on the reconciliation process that is going on in Turkey between the Kurds and the government.

This has quickly proven to be the case. Protesters burned the city and town streets 44 people in the country died during demonstrations against the government.

The government could only contain the riots by pleading to the leader of the PKK, who is in prison. He duly accepted the request.

Consequently, new Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu summoned a delegation of andldquowise menandrdquo to consult about how to revive the peace process.The tempest has subsided for now.

Let us see if Turkey will have a better approach in its dealings with the Kurds, who are still viewed as a national security concern. For Turkey, this is a habit hard to shake, with nationalism as the primary ideology of nation-building and maintenance.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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