In an exclusive interview , Syrian Kurdish dissident Sherkoh Abbas explains how Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning to convince US President Donald Trump to abandon the Kurds.
In an exclusive interview, Kurdish dissident Sherkoh Abbas proclaimed that the Turks asked Henry Kissinger and other members of the American establishment to pressure US President Donald Trump into abandoning the Kurds after he announced that he was going to arm the Syrian Kurds. According to Abbas, Turkey’s main interest is to prevent any potential gains for the Kurds in Erdogan’s meeting with US President Donald Trump.
“Over half of the Kurds in the Middle East live in Turkey,” Abbas related. “Any gains for the Kurds in Syria or Iraq can affect the Kurdish issue in Turkey. They would have to match or meet Kurdish gains in Iraq and Syria. They also have other minorities. Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq agree that any changes affect those nations or they will lose the power that they have now. For this reason, Iran and Turkey have good relations. They all have this agreement that they should work together.”
According to Abbas, Turkey pretends on the surface that they are willing to help Kurdish President Barzani in Iraq but behind the scenes, they are doing everything in order to prevent an independent Kurdistan: “They view the Kurdistan issue as a matter of survival for them. As the Kurds of Syria move closer to America and walk away from the PKK and the Marxists, the Turks are trying to paint them as Marxists, Iranian agents, Assad agents and terrorists. It is all in order to prevent the Kurds of Syria from getting access to sea. That is the primary reason why Erdogan is coming to the US.”
For Abbas, Turkey’s embrace of radical Islamists merely in order to thwart Kurdish gains in Syria and Iraq is deeply problematic: “The Turkish administration for a number of years had ISIS on their border. They benefited from them going in and out of Syria. There was profiteering for them. That was not an issue. But when the Kurds go to finish off the ISIS terror group, now they feel threatened. They fear the Kurdish issue. Now, Turkey is trying to use ISIS to make the Muslim Brotherhood to be a better alternative, just as Assad was presented as a better alternative to ISIS.”
However, Abbas is especially skeptical of Kissinger’s alleged assistance to Erdogan’s regime. Abbas stressed that in the past, Henry Kissinger was one of the first people to abandon the Kurds and this is why the Turks are hoping that he will be able to influence the Trump administration. In 1972, Henry Kissinger agreed to support a Kurdish rebellion against Saddam Hussein together with the Shah of Iran but then he decided to abandon the Kurds after the Shah had a rapprochement with the Iraqi dictatorship.
For this reason, Abbas does not trust Kissinger and believes that he will assist Erdogan in his efforts to get the Trump administration to take back their support for the Kurds: “The establishment views Turkey as an important nation. This is a cold war mentality. Turkey is an ally that never delivered to do this day. In short, Turkey has not given up.” However,
Abbas is not so positive that Kissinger will be successful in doing this: “There are some who will view Turkey as a great people to work with in the NSC, the US State Department and other US agencies but the Pentagon realized that the only proper and clean way is to work with the Kurds.”
“The Kurds have the same agenda as the West,” Abbas explained. “They are moderate. They prevent and stop radicalism. They are the only boots on the ground and the US is not prepared to send boots on the ground. The Trump administration learned from Obama that other moderate Islamic nations defected to Al Qaeda, ISIS or Al Nusra. Why educate more radicals to come and fight us back? Why should we do the same thing over and expect different results? We welcome the Trump administration in taking a fresh look at this.”
*Rachel Avraham, Media Research Analyst, Center for Near East Policy Research.