ORHAN KEMAL – ISIS and the Kurdish questionORHAN KEMAL – ISIS and the Kurdish question

ISIS and the Kurdish questionMany dramatic things are happening in Iraq now. No day passes without seeing disturbing images of the savage actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) there.

Yazidis are still living in fear of perishing or being massacred. This brutal force continues itand#39s atrocities at full speed.

We all witnessed the blood-chilling barbarity of the beheading of an American journalist the other day.There is no way to find anything good in these disturbing developments.

However, they may also present some new perspectives through which Turkey can take much bolder steps to solve its Kurdish question.ISIS brought almost all Kurds in the Middle East together Historical rifts and tensions between Iraqi Kurdistan and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Rojava in Syria vanished overnight when PYD forces helped peshmerga forces reclaim the Mahmur camp and other places.

There is an almost absolute unity amongst all Kurds in the region against the common enemy.However, in spite of these swift and dramatic changes in the region, Turkey seems to be repeating its old clichandeacutes.

Who does Turkey want to win when the PYD and ISIS fight each other in Rojava? Who do Turks want to see as a neighbor, the Jihadists or ISIS?When a serious killer comes to the neighborhood, no one has the luxury of continuing old disputes.If Turkey can seriously revise its Syria policy and can put aside its obsession with overthrowing Assad, the presence of ISIS in Syria and the threat they pose to the Kurds can be used to convince all Turks that we are lucky to have Kurds as our neighbors.

When it comes to Iraq, there is a similar situation there. Turkish nationalists are extremely sensitive about the situation of Turkmens in Iraq.

ISIS is massacring the Turkmens and threatening the entire region. In the Turkmensand#39 fight against ISIS, the Kurds, including PKKand#39s extension the PYD, are the number-one ally.

The situation in Iraq, if so wished, presents fertile ground on which Turkish nationalists may be encouraged to change their deep-rooted stance against Kurds and the PKK.If members of the government were not blinded by sectarian prejudices, they would have already seen that ISIS poses an incredibly big threat to Turkeyand#39s stability and security.

If ISIS wins its war against Syrian Kurds, for example, Turkey will have the andldquoIslamic Stateandrdquo as its neighbor ISIS already poses a serious threat to Turkeyand#39s domestic security. It is said that two Jafari mosques in Istanbul were set on fire by ISIS militants and members of the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand#39 Democratic Party (HDP) were attacked by them, too.

Youth from Ankara are joining this organization, and so on.If the government is genuine in its efforts to solve the Kurdish question, if this turns into a burning desire, the current developments in the Middle East should speed up the whole process dramatically because things are much easier now than even five or six months ago.

ISIS and its existence in the region both provides extremely useful leverage for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and tests their sincerity in solving the Kurdish question for good.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman