by Claire Berlinski
gatestoneinstitute.org July 28, 2012
While there is a hint of hysteria in this column by Ertuğrul Özkök in Hürriyet, translated today by the Hürriyet Daily News staff, it is important both because what he says is to a large extent true, and because it suggests the way these developments are being received in Turkish nationalist circles. I reproduce the column in full:
Our Foreign Minister is reported to be “looking for a place for Bashar al-Assad.”
You know what, while he is looking for a place, let us, ourselves, look for a new place for Turkey.
We may or may not support our country’s Syrian policy. That does not matter in the least. We are all aware of the picture in front us, aren’t we?
We have a 1,200 km long Kurdish border.
Only one week ago, we had a 400-kilometer “Kurdish border.” Now, 800 kilometers have been added to this.
Friends, this is the new geopolitical reality that has been drawn by “our strategic depth”:
As of today, we have a 1,200 kilometer long Kurdish border.
We could not manage 400 km, could we manage 1,200 km?
We should consider this.
We could not manage a 400 kilometer Kurdish border. How are we going to manage 1,200 kilometers? We are awaiting an “in depth” response to that.
Arabs are fighting, Kurds are winning.
Are you aware, the “Arab Spring” that we fervently support has completely transformed into a “Kurdish Spring”?
There is a strange situation both in Iraq and in Syria: Arabs are fighting each other, people are dying.
The Kurds are taking one more step on their path to an independent state. Besides, they are able to achieve this without firing one bullet, without losing one soul.
Here you go, this is true strategic depth.
On the other hand, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is fighting and losing lives, but is not able to win.
There is another weird situation present: In Turkey, the PKK is firing bullets in the name of Kurds but it has not gained anything up to today. Let’s stop a minute. Who can guarantee that the “Kurdish Spring” that has arrived in the Arab countries will not one day also arrive in Turkey?
Don’t mention Foreign Minister Davutoğlu.
It is enough if he keeps a distance.
The coming era cannot be entrusted to the fantasies of an academic
* This de facto situation achieved by Kurds in two countries will involuntarily turn eyes to the Kurds in Turkey.
* If one day in the future an intense “Kurdish Spring charge” is directed in Turkey, how are we going to respond to this?
* By firing bullets?
* Or by a policy that would suit a democratic country?
What happens if an Alevi/Christian massacre starts in Syria?
The situation in the areas under the control of the opposition in Syria is far from pleasant. We hears that such creepy slogans as: “Christians to Lebanon, Alevis to the coffin” are being chanted in those areas. Concrete information is emerging that Christians are being badly mistreated. What will Turkey’s stance be if Sunnis attempted a massacre tomorrow? Are we going to request the Sunni Arabs to “act with decisiveness”?
Look at the map to see the photograph.
From now on we have a 1,200 kilometer long border with the Kurds. If you look at the map, you will see another reality. On this side of the border, at least 800 to 900 kilometers long, the Kurdish population of Turkey is residing. This means: The “Kurdish Spring” has arrived at our border.
To counter a “spring charge” launched by Kurds, based on the de facto situation in the two neighboring countries, we should respond with a serious policy, one that is backed by the whole of Turkey, not by the fantasies of an academic.
I might have oversimplified the matter, but the realities facing us are that simple…
May God save Turkey from the aftershocks of “strategic depth”…
Egypt’s Mursi has put Hamas’s Mashaal on an equal footing with heads of state, thus granting legitimacy not only to the Hamas leader but to its entire movement. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, has also been officially invited to the Presidential Palace in Cairo.
Hamas has good reason to be extremely happy with the “Arab Spring” that has been sweeping the Arab world for nearly two years: thanks to the “Arab Spring,” Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal has, for the first time ever, entered the Presidential Palace in Cairo.