Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

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RajeshA
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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 04 Oct 2011 04:33

Prem ji,

Yes indeed. We need to get into Kurdistan as the major patron. Our role in Kurdistan needs to be even greater than what we have seen in Afghanistan.

It should be used as our lever to manipulate the mood of the Middle East, always working towards increasing the capacity of Kurdistan.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 05 Oct 2011 23:40

It is going to take the US some time (if at all) for it to really wind up its long-time relationship with its Paki clients. There is too much sunk cost, too much thought-inertia, and too many internal problems for the US establishment to deal with, and for the near future their policy in the region may be on auto-pilot. Everyone is also recognizing Iran's clear emergence as the regional power, even as the neo-Ottoman Turks are trying to become the new most-favoured-Islamic-blue-eyed-boy. It looks like India is also giving clear recognition to Iran's status. So India has to be, and thankfully is being, pro-active.

The Kurdish cause could be yet another common interest between India and Iran. At a time when Pakistan is going to try to "neutralize" Iran vis a vis India, this is another handle we could add as we take the bull by the horns in the changing regional situation.

X-posting from West Asia thread:
From Turkish Gulenist newspaper Zaman:
PKK-Iran axis
As the fight between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) intensifies, the problems between the PKK and Iran are declining. Just last week, the PKK’s offshoot, Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), which was established to fight against Iran in 2004, reached an agreement with Iran. PJAK accepted all Iranian demands. In return, Iran didn’t make any promises, let alone concessions.

The swift Iranian victory against PJAK has now incited a new debate in Turkey on how Iran is capable of forcing PJAK, which in reality is the PKK, to stop its terrorist activities in Iran without any condition, but not Turkey. Isn’t the Turkish military supposed to be more powerful than Iran’s?

Well, examining the PKK’s media outlets indicate that Iran’s victory against PJAK is not a military victory, rather a political victory that led Iran and the PKK to reach an agreement to call a cease-fire. It seems that the PKK and Iran have realized that they both need each other as the political map of the Middle East changes. Especially the turmoil in Syria has brought Iran and the PKK together to establish a new axis between the two to open a new corridor between Iran and Syria through Kurdistan in northern Iraq. The following analysis is especially important toward understanding, at least how the PKK perceives the recent developments. The analysis by Yusuf Ziyad appeared from a PKK think-thank institution, the Kurdistan Center for Strategic Studies. The author is not just an “expert” on the region, he has a critical role in the PKK organization; he is the PKK’s media official. Therefore, his analysis must be taken seriously.

“As Turkey reached an agreement with the US to install NATO’s radar units in Turkey, Iran failed to drag Turkey out of the West. It further isolated Iran in the region. Turkey’s decision to support American plans in the Middle East have deeply disturbed Iran. Because there is no neighboring state for Iran to build an alliance with, Iran will build alliances with non-state actors. It is a well-known fact that Iran has had alliances with Hezbollah, Ansar Al-Sunnah, Hamas, etc. The [Justice and Development Party] AKP government has pulled Hamas away from Iran’s influence. As an outcome of an arrangement between Turkey and Hamas, the organization shut down its offices in Damascus.

Ziyad further goes on to suggest: “At this stage, the best option for Iran is to build a Shiite and Kurdish alliance [with the Shiite-Kurd axis the author implies an Iran-PKK alliance]. As we look at the interests of both the Kurds and the Shiites there is ground to build such an alliance. Turkey’s moderate Islamic model is a direct challenge to the Iranian model of Islam. Promoting the Turkish model of Islam across the Arab world is an American project.”

Ziyad deepens his analysis by adding the situation of Syria to the equation. “The Assad regime in Syria is very critical for Iran. {Shyamd ji, didn't you once suggest otherwise? Could you comment on this?} After the fall of the Assad regime, Iran would not be able to convince the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq to side with Iran. Turkey’s attempt to remove the Assad regime, at the end would be against Iran’s and the Kurds’ interests in the region. The only way to end this international conspiracy against Iran and Syria would be to build an alliance with the Kurds. With such alliance, Iran would have a new area of operations from Lebanon to Afghanistan; this would become a breathing ground for Iran.”

Looking at the political actors in the region, Ziyad thinks Massoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) would be against such an alliance because Barzani is serving in the interest of the US and Israel in the region. Therefore, Ziyad suggests “the main pillars of such an alliance would be Iran and the PKK. Given the fact that the PKK is active in all parts of Kurdistan, if both, Iran and the PKK reach an agreement it means all parts of Kurdistan will have become a part of this alliance.” With such alliance, the PKK hopes to gain regional recognition from Iran. Ziyad argues, “As a precondition of such an agreement Iran should recognize the status of Kurds in the region.” Given the fact that this and many other similar analyses which appeared in the pro-PKK press were published at the time when Iran and the PKK had reached an agreement on a cease-fire, indicates that the Iranian victory against PJAK was not a military one. It could be indicative of further complications and an increase of PKK activities in Turkey toward destabilizing Turkish domestic politics to serve the interests of Iran.

I hope the AKP government also realizes how Iran does politics in the region…

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 17 Oct 2011 22:32

Turkey continues to try hard to curtail Kurdish separatism...

First university level course in Turkey to be taught in Kurdish language about to begin

برای نخستین بار در ترکیه، اولین دوره کارشناسی که مفاد درسی‌اش به زبان کردی تدریس خواهد شد، در یک دانشگاه در جنوب شرق این کشور ارائه شده است.

"For the first time in Turkey, the first specialization course for which the substance of the course will be taught in the Kurdish language, has been offered in a university in the south-east of this country..."

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Samudragupta » 19 Oct 2011 13:13

In the mean time Kurdish rebels 'kill 24 Turkish soldiers'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15363865

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 19 Oct 2011 20:25

Posting this here for reference: A friend's attempt to summarize events and theories around Kurdish factions, their internal politics, and which external players control them...

Most of the fallouts in the PKK happened in the late 1990's and early 2000's (especialy after Abdullah Ocalan's capture). Most factions not loyal to the central leadership were wiped out and then Murat Karayilan, Bahoz Erdal and Cemil Bayik took over. There have been rumours of links between the PKK, or factions of the PKK (and other guerillas), with the Turkish deep-state for decades. But until now these are unconfirmed conspiracy theories, although Ocalan did acknowledge there was a certain faction that had ties to the deep-state -- and this faction had tried to seize control of the PKK during the 9'0s but was destroyed in the in-fighting. Some of these conspiracy theories have been more unlikely than others.

This year there have been rumours floating of sectarianism among PKK leadership, and that Cemil Bayik along with Duran Kalkan and several Alevi commanders have been plotting an internal coup d'etat in the PKK against Murat Karayilan, with the help of Iran. These rumorus gained momentum after the alleged capture of Karayilan by Iranian forces recently, and his subsequent release back into the 'game'.

What we know is that Bayik and Karayilan are the only two members of the PKK's original party leadership who are not either dead or in jail. But what do we know about these two? Well, Karayilan has been on the run from the Turks for decades. They launched the largest military operation in post-WWI Turkish history to try capture him while he was the PKK's local military commander in the Botan region. That's when he fled into Iraq and took over as commander of PKK forces there after Ocalan's brother Osman was sacked as Iraq chief of the PKK. Karayilan became of major importance after the PKK was expelled from Syria in 1998 and withdrew from Turkey in 1999. For the rest, he has been a relatively quiet and somewhat mysterious figure who has remained hidden from public eye for a long time.

Cemil Bayik was Ocalan's right-hand man and he was the head of the PKK's armed wing (after it's founder was killed by the Turks). However, he has a rather questionable record, including the fact that he led the purges inside the PKK against spies -- which led to executions of hundreds of PKK fighters, some without much evidence. He's also said to have killed 17 of his injured comrades in cold blood in order to escape Turkish authorities back in 1992. His skill as a military commander has also been questioned by many including Ocalan, epsecialy since it was under his leadership that the PKK took it's heaviest casualties, the Kurdish struggle suffered it's biggest set-back, and Turkish offensives were the most succesful. The fact that Ocalan has blamed him for most of the PKK's brutalities of the 1990's also hasn't done his rep much good.

Now after Ocalan's capture in 1999, a power struggle occured between "moderates" against "hardliners" that eventualy split the PKK. The so-called "moderates" were in charge until February 2004. Under their rule they had disarmed the PKK and were turning it into a political organisation; however, Bayik and Karayilan together managed to rally the support of a majority at the party congress in Feb 2004 and seized control. Then they re-launched the insurgency in June because they believed military pressure had to be put on Turkey to get a politcal process going. The organisation split up and numerous high level leaders including Kani Yilmaz, Hakki Karaer, Shahnaz Altun, Osman Ocalan and Nizamettin Tas were kicked out of the organisation. Kani Yilmaz was even assasinated by Cemil Bayik. There was also this Syrian commander whose forces went to war with the rest of the PKK, and he was captured and imprisoned by Karayilan. Anyway, Bayik was replaced as military commander by Bahoz Erdal, a Karayilan loyailst, and he has been further marginalised since then, although these three guys together form the organisation's "executive council" which leads the organisation.

Cemil Bayik may not be a good commander but he is a good diplomat. Therefore he was put onto the most important diplomatic mission of the PKK: Iran. For the last 7 years he has been going in and out of Iran (note: although they detained him a once, they never permanently held him or extradicated him to the Turks, despite this so-called Turkey-Iran cooperation going on). He's said to even have a house near Lake Orumiyeh (NW Iran), and he has been trying to get Iran back on the PKK's side, albeit with very limited succes. He is however seen mainly as Iran's man in the PKK, or otherwise as the most pro-Iranian PKK commander. Now could he be at the heart of an Iranian conspiracy with Alevi Kurds to seize control of the PKK and dispose of his rivals? Possibly. But let's first see what happens...

As for Kalkan and Karasu, they are the senior-most commanders in the organisation, after Karayilan, Bayik and Erdal. Note that in 1999 after Ocalan's capture, the council that took over control of the PKK consisted of: Riza Altun, Cemil Bayik, Duran Kalkan, Mustafa Karasu, Murat Karayilan, Osman Ocalan and Nizamettin Tas.

Now Mustafa Karasu and Duran Kalkan are known as hawks within the PKK. While Karayilan is more moderate than Bayik, Bayik is more moderate than Karasu and Kalkan. Still, Karasu is said to have been in charge of negotiations between the PKK and Turkey's MIT secret services. He is also a member of the KCK's "executive council". Note: The KCK is the government body of Kurdistan which includes a parliament, called the legislative council which is led by PKK political leader Zubeyir Aydar (who is the chairman or speaker of parliament, and due to this position he is one of the emost powerful members of the PKK). The KCK consists of representatives of the PKK and numerous other Kurdish organisations, including violent and non-violent groups. The KCK's executive council (which is like the government) is lead by Murat Karayilan who is the President and Cemil Bayik who is the Vice President. Mustafa Karasu and Duran Kalkan are both members of the KCK's executive council, which only has 12 members.

Now Karasu was imprisoned by the Turks in the 1980's and after his release re-joined the PKK and led their popular front in the 1990's. Kalkan split with Ocalan in 1988 and left for Europe, were he was arrested on Turkish-American pressure and imprisoned in Germany. Once released he returned and re-joined the organisation.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 25 Oct 2011 03:09

Iraqi Kurdistan President Due in Tehran Saturday
TEHRAN (FNA)- President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Massoud Barzani is due to pay an official visit to Iran on Saturday.


During the three-day visit, Barzani will meet with senior Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

During the meetings, the Iranian and KRG officials are slated to discuss bilateral ties and regional developments.

Barzani will be accompanied by two of his ministers and two KRG governor-generals during the trip.

The KRG president's visit to Iran comes after terrorists used Northern Iraq - most of which is governed by Barzani and his local government - to stage attacks on Iran and Turkey.

The Kurdish rebels have used vast stretches of land in Iraq's Kurdistan region as their headquarter and a secure hideout for their terrorist activities against Iran and Turkey.

A June 2011 report of the Iranian Armed Forces said authorities of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have granted 300,000 hectares of land to the armed opposition of the Islamic Republic in a bid to help the group set up a new headquarters and training camp and organize and intensify its terrorist operations against Iran.

The report by the information center of the general staff of the Iranian Armed Forces quoted an informed source as saying that the field has been gifted to the terrorist PJAK group.

PJAK, a militant Kurdish nationalist group and an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) with bases in the mountainous regions of Northern Iraq, has been carrying out numerous attacks in Western Iran, Southern Turkey and the Northeastern parts of Syria where the Kurdish populations live.

The separatist group has been fighting to establish an autonomous state, or possibly a new world country, in the area after separating Kurdish regions from Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria.

The outlawed group has been staging attacks across the border in Iran since 2004 in an attempt to establish an independent Kurdish state.

The June 2011 report of the Iranian Armed Forces kept the identity of its source highly confidential, but said that he is a high-ranking official in the Iranian government.

The official added that the move by the KRG authorities, its President Massoud Barzani in particular, was a treacherous act against the Iranian and Iraqi people since it has been done in collaboration with the US and without the knowledge of Iraq's central government.

The official added that the move "has granted PJAK a free hand to blackmail the Iraqi people" as it can now rule the territory.

The same month, PJAK terrorists, who are based along the rugged mountain border, started ferrying across the Iraqi Kurdistan border with Iran on a routine basis and staged several terrorist operations, killing scores of Iranian civilians and military officials.

Iran responded to the terrorist group heavily and pushed them back to their hideouts kilometers away from the border, but cautioned the KRG government to establish a buffer zone and tighten security along borders with Iran.

Following the PJAK clashes with Iran, the Kurdistan Workers Party known as the PKK also intensified its terrorist operations against Turkey and killed 24 Turkish soldiers in an operation earlier this month.

Turkey responded heavily and launched an air and ground offensive into Northern Iraq to take revenge from the PKK. Ankara asked for Iran's support and cooperation after it started the attack and received Tehran's positive response as Northern Iraq has become a safe haven for both PKK and PJAK terrorist groups.

Both armed groups, labeled as terrorist organizations by much of the international community, have been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in their respective countries.

After Ankara launched its attack on Northern Iraq with over 14,000 troops, Nechirvan Barzani, a former prime minister of the Kurdish regional government, paid a surprise visit to Ankara on Thursday

Following a meeting with Turkish foreign minister, Barzani said after meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, "We strongly condemn this attack."

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby shyamd » 26 Oct 2011 13:55


He's going there to take orders to cooperate against the PKK and PJAK. Iran and Turkey will both launch major operations. Turkey already has. Tehran and Ankara have an alliance as of 23rd Oct.

And I'm sure tehy will be talking about US bases there. Tehran will guarantee that he will get no trouble from Baghdad. Tough times for the Barzani's.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 26 Oct 2011 20:18

^^^ Shyamd ji, what about speculation that Iran is using the PKK against Turkey, esp because of Turkey's moves in Syria? Iran seems to have already cleaned up the PJAK problem for themselves.
This year there have been rumours floating of sectarianism among PKK leadership, and that Cemil Bayik along with Duran Kalkan and several Alevi commanders have been plotting an internal coup d'etat in the PKK against Murat Karayilan, with the help of Iran. These rumorus gained momentum after the alleged capture of Karayilan by Iranian forces recently, and his subsequent release back into the 'game'.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby shyamd » 26 Oct 2011 20:36

PKK was a Syrian hand. PJAK Is different even though they tried to merge a few years ago.
Don't believe the iranians are telling the truth on PJAK. They have a limited truce I think but didn't finish the job. Iran wants to launch a major operaton soon.

As for PKK, syria iraq iran turkey share an interest in keeping the kurds at bay and not seeking independence.
Iran knows that its over for Assad and the PKK can only do so much. Pkk attacks wontprevent the fall of assad nor will it prevent the turks from havIng a cordone sanitaire.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby shyamd » 26 Oct 2011 22:51

^^ FYI, just told that Turkey will conduct an operation against Kurds in Iranian territory with Iranian agreement! There MAY be limited Iranian army involvement in the joint operation! Watch everyone get worried! This is basically to keep Irans hands clean probably and not piss Bashaar off.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Ramin » 27 Oct 2011 06:17

it's always funny to see desis (especially indians) bringing up their 'aryan' links...

plz dont bring that up here to spread mis-information. It's immature.

and why should india go on a confrontation course with countries like Iran or Turkey (2 powerful and influential countries in the region)


that is unwise, but it's good to dream i guess

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Ramin » 27 Oct 2011 06:21

shyamd wrote:

He's going there to take orders to cooperate against the PKK and PJAK. Iran and Turkey will both launch major operations. Turkey already has. Tehran and Ankara have an alliance as of 23rd Oct.

And I'm sure tehy will be talking about US bases there. Tehran will guarantee that he will get no trouble from Baghdad. Tough times for the Barzani's.


their military and mil-int services have been coordinating for quite some time --since PKK and PJAK respectively are a clear threat to both countries

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 27 Oct 2011 14:18

Ramin wrote:it's always funny to see desis (especially indians) bringing up their 'aryan' links...

plz dont bring that up here to spread mis-information. It's immature.

The "Arya" concept has to be understood in its right context, when we speak of India. One can understand it in racial terms, in linguistic terms, in dharmic terms, in historical terms.

The concept of "Aryan Crescent" is based on a shared sense of prehistory and history, a shared sense of civilization, a shared sense of roots!

Ramin wrote:and why should india go on a confrontation course with countries like Iran or Turkey (2 powerful and influential countries in the region)


that is unwise, but it's good to dream i guess

These may be "powerful" and "influential" countries, but they are only third rate powers today, and one need not be overwhelmed by them to an extent where we cease to look after our national interests. It does not mean, India leaves the power politics of West Asia as the exclusive zone for these two countries.

India would proceed according to our own sense of interests.

As far as the question of wise or unwise is concerned, that will be determined by Indians too after thought and deliberation. Bangladeshis are free to join this process. If however it is meant as some threat, then obviously Bangladeshis have still a lot more to learn about Indics.

Anyway welcome to BRF!

However I don't know how long you would last with your attitude to "show" Indians their "place"! :roll:
Last edited by RajeshA on 27 Oct 2011 14:36, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Rahul M » 27 Oct 2011 14:30

he probably thinks of aryan race and hitler when he hears the term aryan. for a start people should look up the origin of the word iran.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 27 Oct 2011 14:38

Rahul M wrote:he probably thinks of aryan race and hitler when he hears the term aryan. for a start people should look up the origin of the word iran.

And he probably also thinks that Indians being SDREs have no claims on the term "Arya"! :lol:

Happens easily with people who on the one hand buy into the crap of the white race about their racial superiority and sole claims on "Arya" and on the other hand buy into Pakistani propaganda about their racial superiority over Indians due to their being "touched" by the "Muslim Master Races" like the Turks, Persians and Arabs!

The Pakistanis did such a good work on the Bangladeshis with the racial superiority BS brainwash that Bangladeshis have probably inherited the same inferiority mentality and try compensating it with Pakistani bull about the racial superiority of the "Muslim Master Races" over Indics, and in fact feel that being somehow connected to the Pakis give the Bangladeshis also a "racial superiority" edge over Indians, but when they look at themselves in the mirrors they are not really convinced of their self-hypnosis. Some try to talk Indians into feeling just as "inferior" as themselves, just so that they are not left alone at the bottom of racial ladder!

The Bangladeshis too have to understand that there is NO such racial ladder! For some time some outsiders could talk the Indians into considering the outsiders as "racially superior" but that thrall is gone or on the way out! Neither the Pakis nor the Bangladeshis will be able to hold back Indian confidence in themselves.

In Europe, the term "Arya" was juxtaposed against the term "Semitic" and the Nazis did use the appropriated term "Arya" to mean racially superior to the the Semites, the "Jews". Most Muslims outside Iran, Tajikistan and Pushtuns are a bit allergic to the term because sometimes they fear the European dynamic of considering Semites inferior to Aryans could get mirrored in the Subcontinent as well, and Indics, if they feel "Aryan", could feel superior than the "Semites" - the Muslims. So partly because of fear the Subcontinental Muslims do not want Indics to reclaim "Arya".

Secondly as the term "Arya" has been historically burn-marked with superiority - in European context through Nazism and in the Indic context by referring to Nobility (though not necessarily political, but can mean in thought as well), the Subcontinental Muslims think the Indics should not use the term at all. It negates the Islamic (and EJ) proselytization narrative which is based on convincing the others of their inferiority - racial, martial and belief-system wise.

Thirdly the Subcontinental Muslims too have tried to appropriate the term "Arya" for themselves as well, by racially juxtaposing Indics against Iranians and Afghans, and claiming that Indics have nothing "Aryan" to them, that "Aryan" is indeed a racial concept and only the Iranians and Afghans in the region can lay a claim to it, as well as those who were "touched" by these people in the past, thus enriching their gene pool by this "touch" - something that happened in the times of Muslim rule over India. They put Iranians and Afghans high on the racial ladder and by the virtue of their touch, the Subcontinental Muslims put themselves just underneath them and try to force Indics to the bottom. If Indics lay claim on "Arya", their model of racial superiority of Muslims over Indics built with such efforts start breaking down.

The Muslims would rather allow the crown of racial superiority based on term "Arya" to sit on the white man's head than allow the Indics to claim the term, even if it means that Subcontinental Muslims invariably also develop inferiority complexes because of it and their historical conversion out of an "inferior" race. The Paki propaganda states that once the Subcontinental converts and feels as part of the Ummah, he too would be able to stake his claims on racial superiority over the Indic, as theoretically it would allow him cross-racial marriages and procreation with the "racially superior races" like the Turks, Iranians, Arabs, Afghans, etc.

For Indics, "Arya" is not racial. It means "Noble" - noble in dharmic thought. It was used earlier for ruling elites, as it was claimed that ruling elites would be particularly dharmic in their behavior and outlook. In whichever distant past the Iranian and Indo-Aryan people separated and Iranians ventured into Central Asia and Westwards to form their own kingdoms, they took some of the that Aryan nobility with them and with historical memory of "Arya" as their foundation they built their own nations. Or perhaps later on, when the Iranians and the Indians came into contact, and Iranians adopted the ways of the Indians, they were honored by the Indians by addressing them as Aryans - as now noble in thought and action. Isn't it true that the Iranians started calling us Hindus because of the Sindus river?! So why is it strange to consider that in a time even more ancient, it was the Indians that gave the Iranians their name - Aryans - because they started living by the values of Dharma! The important point is that "Arya" is an Indic-origin term and Indians would use it, whether Pakis and Bangladeshis like it or not!

And based on these ancient "Aryan" connections, India would proceed to build relations with Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Baluchistan and Kurdistan - building slowly the "Aryan Crescent".

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 27 Oct 2011 18:50

shyamd wrote:^^ FYI, just told that Turkey will conduct an operation against Kurds in Iranian territory with Iranian agreement! There MAY be limited Iranian army involvement in the joint operation! Watch everyone get worried! This is basically to keep Irans hands clean probably and not piss Bashaar off.

Shyamd ji, I guess I'll wait to hear reports about this operation, but I find it very hard to believe that Iran would allow Turkish jackboots into their territory. At this point it does seem to me that Iran has been using the PKK against Turkey, not in the hope that it will save Bashaar, but to show the Turks their limits in the region. Consider this: Turkey was preparing with NATO to launch an invasion of Syria. Then suddenly, out of nothing, the biggest PKK attack in 18 years -- 5 synchronised attacks killing and injuring over 42 Turkish soldiers. Now they are drawn into an all out war with the PKK. Surely Syria and Iran had something to do with this?

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Rahul M » 27 Oct 2011 19:02

>> The Pakistanis did such a good work on the Bangladeshis with the racial superiority BS brainwash that Bangladeshis have probably inherited the same inferiority mentality

that is very true, the whole snake oil factory is implicitly accepted without question. a year back an ex bangladeshi cricketer went on record that they do not produce good cricketers because they are not aryan ! :lol:

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby shyamd » 27 Oct 2011 19:28

Carl wrote:Shyamd ji, I guess I'll wait to hear reports about this operation, but I find it very hard to believe that Iran would allow Turkish jackboots into their territory. At this point it does seem to me that Iran has been using the PKK against Turkey, not in the hope that it will save Bashaar, but to show the Turks their limits in the region. Consider this: Turkey was preparing with NATO to launch an invasion of Syria. Then suddenly, out of nothing, the biggest PKK attack in 18 years -- 5 synchronised attacks killing and injuring over 42 Turkish soldiers. Now they are drawn into an all out war with the PKK. Surely Syria and Iran had something to do with this?

Highly plausible... I agree with you. But even then, the PKK attacks can't prevent them from launching operations in Syria. At teh minimum Turkey (as was confirmed eysterday by Davutoglu) will start a cordone sanitaire process (exactly what I have been saying all along). I think it was Iran's missile exercise that got Turkey worried. But even then Turkish military has all the support to take on that threat. No one took it seriously elsewhere. I have a feeling, that Turkey thought, lets wait for the crisis to become worse, start the cordone process, then tell Turkey - we all have to intervene to prevent Kurdish independence. Then remove Bashaar. Besides, Turkey is using intelligence to approach the Turkish colonels and get them to defect and conduct a coup (similar to Egypt).

Turkish SF is already on the ground, the Turkish drones are in operation adn are monitoring the border areas.

If the Syrians were going to invade, you'll find GCC militaries, TSPA etc be deployed there to cover the iranian border.

The Turks won't do anything rash, as mucha s the GCC wants them to. They live there and are in that region. So I think what Erdogan did - i.e. kick up the Israeli issue to buy time and cover for inaction in syria. Then wait for Syria to slowly become paralysed. Create a cordone sanitaire. Then use the SF of NATO, GCC etc to support the "rebels" as a last resort. But before all this try and get teh colonels to conduct a coup (this is the stage we are at the moment).

I'm quite surprised that Iran will allow it too. Lets see if it happens. Don't hold your breath.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 27 Oct 2011 20:25

Ramin wrote:it's always funny to see desis (especially indians) bringing up their 'aryan' links...

It seems "funny" when there's a misunderstood word. Check the meaning of "Arya" in the Veda, because that's where it comes from. That's where Westerners and wannabe neo-Nazi Iranians stole it from. You see, at one point we Indians annointed Tibetans and Chinese as Arya, and demoted the Iranians and Afghans to "mlechha". The name "Afghanistan" is an Arabic mispronunciation of Sanskrit "Avagana sthaana" - Land of Fallen Tribes. As you can see, "Arya" is a cultural and philosophical term, with none of the silly racial connotations that Westerners have superimposed on it. We Indians are just trying to restore sanity.

You know what's really funny? Its when a Bangladeshi like yourself walks around with an Iranian name like "Ramin", and a Zoroastrian one at that! :lol: Or an Arabic name for that matter.

Ramin wrote:and why should india go on a confrontation course with countries like Iran or Turkey

India has no interest in needless confrontation. We're not a bunch of adrenalized nutcases like the middle east, nor do we have such a historical track record of oppressive despots and tyrants who come in the guise of kings or god-men. India does not seek confrontation, only useful engagement. That may just entail a bit of elbowing into, which we are not averse to.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 31 Oct 2011 21:49

Shyamd ji, RajeshA ji and others,

What evidence exists that at least some Kurdish factions are controlled and manipulated by the Israelis? The PKK has supposedly had skirmishes with the Israelis, and meanwhile Mossad kidnapped Abdullah Ocalan and gave him to the Turks. So which factions are likely influenced by Israel or the US?

I am also posting below an Iranian's view on the Kurdish situation w.r.t. Turkey. Thought it would provide an interesting perspective.
---------------------------------

There is no evidence at all of any Israeli ties to Kurds, although it is an open fact that such ties exist between Israel and Turkey. Both Iranian and Turkish media have been guilty of twisting truth for political objectives here. For instance (Iran's) PressTV often likes to include a sentence under in articles about how Israeli firms are active in Qandil (Iraq), while the actual fact was that American companies had used Israeli employees in certain Iraqi cities (including Arbil), without knowledge of Iraqi (and Kurdish) authorities, because these people had double nationality (as many Israelis have).

Then there was a report some time ago about how American private security contractors had hired Israeli citizens (amont others) for training of aiport security personel in Arbil and this was picked up by the Turkish media and blown up and twisted. This started with "oh are these Israeli citizens just here to make money, or is there some secret government involvement, Israeli interests in supporting Kurdistan region", but then because Kurds are all the same to Turkish media (like Muslims are all the same to Fox News - though infact it is worse than that, because according to the Turkish constitution anyone who identifies himself as a Kurd can officialy be trialed as a member of the PKK) it eventualy turned into "Israeli government supporting PKK", which is an outright lie.

Another example is when Murat Karayilan released a statement condemning Israel for it's ties with the Turkish regime in which he, among other things, said that he was amazed that Jews, who had suffered genocide at hands of facists themselves during the holocaust, of all people, were supporting a genocide being commited by facists against Kurds. This was then spun in the Turkish media (and picked up by Iranian media) as him calling for an alliance with Israel, which is completely the opposite of what they were saying.

Also note that unlike Saudis, Iranians, Turks, Egyptians, Libyans, etc., Israelis were never caught in Iraq as part of an insurgent force. Not one Israeli has ever been killed or captured in Turkish operations against the PKK, which is strange, since they are supposed to be all over Qandil, right? And aside from claims of having secret evidence, the MIT has never released a single file showing PKK links with Israel.

Also, why would the US be supporting an insurgency against a country which they have a military alliance with, on whose soil they have been requested to place troops for protection and whom they supply of almost all their weapons? Why would the CIA give the MIT information on PKK (as is admitted in Turkish sources) and why would they open up Iraqi airspace to the Turks for strikes if they were infact supporting these rebels? And do you think that if Israel was actualy investing millions in the PKK, America wouldn't be protecting the PKK 100% like they are protecting the MKO? In reality it is just Erdogan who's massive ego just does not let him see the flaws of his own administration and why people would be against him, so that's why he has to turn to conspiracies to satisfy himself.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 11 Nov 2011 01:02

X-posting from West Asia thread:

Assad to play ‘Kurdish card against Turkey, report says
Syria is looking to destabilize Turkey by providing greater autonomy to the Arab republic’s Kurdish population in the wake of Ankara’s demands that Damascus heed the demands of the country’s opposition, French daily Le Figaro has reported.

The Bashar al-Assad government has begun to support the Kurdish people living in Syria’s north, which is reportedly home to 1.9 million Kurds, in an attempt to pose a threat to Turkey in its fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), daily Hürriyet quoted the daily as saying yesterday.

Assad has taken advantage of the current crisis in the country to establish a “Kurdish autonomous region” in Syria in the event that he falls from power in a similar fashion to Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Libya.

The president has been preparing the ground for a Kurdish autonomous regional administration by opening Kurdish schools in the country’s north, reported Le Figaro, adding that the language of instruction was Kurdish and that the Kurdish anthem was sung every day.

The daily also claimed that Assad permitted Kurdish politician Muhammad Salih Muslim, the head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is seen as a PKK affiliate, to return to Syria as a message to Turkey. Muslim was in exile in Iraq until the protests against Assad began in Syria earlier this year.

The PYD is reportedly organizing local elections in the north, the daily said.

The newspaper said accepting the Kurdish politician into Syria must be seen as an action to “punish [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan for harshly objecting to Syria’s crackdown on its dissidents.”

“It is no coincidence that Muslim has been elected as the deputy head of the Democratic Change Committee Coordination, which was founded by the Syrian regime, shortly after returning from exile,” said the daily. “The PYD is staying away from the Syrian National Council [SNC] which was founded in Istanbul because it believes that the SNC is backed by Western powers and is against the PKK.”

The assassination of Mashaal Tammo on Oct. 7, a Kurdish opposition leader in Syria, was also a message to Syrian Kurds that a “good Kurd” was one supported by the regime, according to Le Figaro.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 28 Mar 2012 08:35

Issue affecting the Alevis and Kurds of Turkey.
Majority of Turks support education in mother tongue
The majority of Turks believe that as long as they learn Turkish, all school students should be able to access education in their mother tongue, a survey conducted by the Ankara-based MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center in February has revealed.

The survey, which involved 1,174 respondents across all 39 districts of İstanbul, aimed to examine public opinion on a wide range of issues, such as accessing education in one’s mother tongue, the state granting legal status to Alevi cemevis [places of worship] and the Uludere incident.

When asked about their views regarding children receiving education in their mother tongue on the condition that they learn Turkish, 61.7 percent of respondents said they supported the proposal, while 35.8 percent did not. Only 2.6 percent either refused to give an answer or said they did not know.

Public support for providing education in citizens’ mother tongues was the highest among the supporters of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) at 94.7 percent, followed by Justice and Development Party (AK Party) supporters with 62.2 percent, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) with 59.6 percent and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) with 50 percent.

The use of languages other than Turkish in the public education system has long been debated in Turkey. The BDP and its predecessors have been calling for the right to an education in one’s mother tongue for a long time, while the majority of Parliament opposes it. Participants in the survey were also asked about their views regarding Alevi demands for state recognition of cemevis as places of worship.

A full 54.9 percent of respondents said they support state recognition of cemevis as places of worship, while 35.6 percent said they are against it.

For many years, Alevis in Turkey have been demanding that the state legally recognize cemevis.

The killing of 34 civilians smuggling goods from northern Iraq in December 2011 by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) warplanes after they were mistakenly identified as members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was also among the issues examined by the survey. When asked who they think was responsible for the Uludere incident, 14.5 percent said it was the state, 11.5 percent said it was the people of the region or the smugglers, 9.5 percent said it was the PKK, 5.4 percent said it was the prime minister or the government and only 4.9 percent said it was the General Staff.

In response to another question asking whether the government has fulfilled all its responsibilities regarding the Uludere incident, 45 percent replied in the affirmative while 38.1 percent said “no.”

The government has paid compensation to families of the victims of the Uludere incident. Only one regional commander was removed from his post following the attack. There are still a number of ongoing investigations to find out who is responsible, but civil society groups are demanding that the interior minister and the air forces commander resign.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 23 Oct 2012 23:32

Interesting tidbit.

Kurds Open Zoroastrian Temple in Sweden
...According to Hawezi, the number of Zoroastrian Kurds has risen from four to more than 3,000 people in Sweden alone.

For the Kurdish people, Hawezi argues, the revival of Zoroastrianism is important.

“The historic and cultural language of Kurds was taken away from us,” he said. “We know we are the most ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia and the Zagros Mountains."

Hawezi added, “But back then, we didn't know where the roots of our language had come from. What was our culture and history? Because it was hidden from us, we didn't know our dances and customs; all seemed strange to us."

Hawezi believes Kurds must return to the Avesta in order to find themselves.

“It has our language and customs; we can find our identity in it. The Kurdish identity is in the Zoroastrian religion,” he said.

Some critics of the Kurdish Zoroastrian trend say followers promote nationalism in the guise of religion. But Hawezi dismisses this argument.

“If I don't know anything about myself, I can't make a claim about other things,” he said. “I'm not saying that we are teaching Kurdish nationalism. Kurdish nationalism has always existed. We are saying that we can add knowledge to Kurdish nationalism, moving it forward.”

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 23 Oct 2012 23:49

Carl ji,

does this mean that Kurdish Nationalism is going to ride Zoroastrianism? :D

The thing is with Zoroastrianism, nobody can really say, that the Zoroastrian Kurds are under the influence of foreign ideologies or even foreign interests! That gives the Kurds a lot of leeway to look for distance and still show themselves as rooted.

If the whole Kurd nation tilts over to Zoroastrianism, it could make a new real center of power in the Middle East. Even the Kurds in Iran can demand independence on this basis, and in fact shame the Iranian nation, while doing so!

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby devesh » 24 Oct 2012 00:01

the fact that it's happening in Sweden should make us think. these "sub-national" "supra -national" projects always seem to get a lot of impetus in Scandinavia. in India's case, UK and Canada have also played a part in the past.

is this another experiments ala "good taliban". like Islam digesting Zoroastrianism and pretending "enlightenment"?

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 24 Oct 2012 00:17

devesh ji,

it is most certainly a West-sponsored project. But it may still be in India's favor. Let's not forget that India's profile will rise with time and India would be better placed to build bridges to a Zoroastrian Kurdistan, should it happen!

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Prem » 24 Oct 2012 01:21

RajeshA wrote:devesh ji,

it is most certainly a West-sponsored project. But it may still be in India's favor. Let's not forget that India's profile will rise with time and India would be better placed to build bridges to a Zoroastrian Kurdistan, should it happen!


Over all, good news as Kurds dislike associating with Arabs and their religion. Contrary to general impression , they hate Sala-hood-in whom they hold responsible for bringing the curse upon Kurdish people. Asur Maazda might be the sacred fire to finally do Holika to finally consume the brutal blood letting Arab imperialism under the guise of religion.The game has the potential to free half of Iraq`plus Kurdistan and whole Persia as well putting the Paki non existent nuts in vise.
BTW, sad truth is GOI dont want to promote economic relation with Kurdistan because of Iraq and Iran.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Rony » 07 Nov 2012 02:02

It's Time for an Independent Kurdistan

Had the course of history taken a modest swerve, the United States and Kurdistan might have celebrated their independence on the very same day. It was July 4, 1187 -- 825 years ago -- that Saladin, Islam's greatest ruler, defeated 20,000 outmatched Crusaders at the bloody Battle of Hattin. The victory ultimately delivered Jerusalem into the hands of Saladin, the crown jewel of an Islamic caliphate stretching from the shores of Tunis through Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus.

If the Kurds' most famous son had bothered to identify himself as such, it may well have been the beginning of a Kurdish empire to rival the Ottomans or the Persians. But Saladin fought for God and not for country, leaving his hapless compatriots at the mercy of Ottoman chieftains, British cartographers and malevolent Arab strongmen.

Today, the 25 million Kurds clustered at the contiguous corners of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria are the largest ethnic group on earth without a formal homeland. As the U.S. abandons Iraq to its own devices and Iran rattles uranium sabers, as Turkey cracks down on its Kurds and Saladin's Damascus descends into the unrestrained slaughter of Bashar Assad's, the millennium-long dream of an independent Kurdistan could be the answer to this unfolding Middle Eastern nightmare.

As with many conflicts in the region, the Kurdish dilemma has its roots in the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Guaranteed self-determination by the Allied powers, the Kurds signed the 1920 Treaty of Sévres, only to watch the Europeans stand passively by as the Ottoman army officer Mustafa Kemal Atatürk cobbled together a country of his own, forming what is now Turkey out of the Kurds' promised land. In the years since, the Kurds have been massacred by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, gassed by Saddam Hussein and forgotten by the rest of the world. In Syria, their language is banned; in Turkey, a Member of Parliament with the temerity to pledge an oath "to the Turkish and Kurdish peoples" was released from a decade in jail -- only to be re-sentenced this year.

With the Assad regime now crumbling, tensions between the Kurdish minority and their many tormentors, always tragic, are becoming a major geopolitical threat. Desperate to crush the Syrian revolution in its infancy, Assad has transferred troops away from the Kurdish provinces to the north, leaving a power vacuum into which two Kurdish political parties have stepped. If Assad falls, Syria will splinter into religiously or ethnically homogenous mini-states, one of which will almost certainly be under Kurdish control. Coupled with the recent emergence of a relatively independent Kurdish region in Iraq, this would create something of a league of semi-autonomous Kurdish states between the northeast regions of Syria and Iraq.

This combustible state of affairs greatly alarms Turkey, which has waged a bloody, three-decade civil war against its 14 million Kurds, claiming 40,000 lives. Although it has supported regime change in Syria, the Turkish government has "an almost pathological fear" of a greater Kurdistan, and can be expected to strenuously resist any attempt at Kurdish unification. Turkish tanks now patrol the shared border with Syria, intent on preventing any activity from spilling over into its borders.

Should that powder keg ignite, Turkey -- a NATO ally -- could very well drag the U.S. into a cross-border shooting war with Syria, with Russia quite possibly propping up its Syrian proxy. Meanwhile Iran, boasting an infamously brutal history with its own Kurds, remains a regional wildcard spinning nuclear centrifuges as fast as possible.

The dispossessed have become dangerously destabilizing. The overlooked can no longer be overlooked. And what was once a Middle Eastern flashpoint may yet become a safety valve for spiking regional tensions.

It will not be easy, but the uncertainty and plasticity in the region today offers an opportunity to secure a Kurdish homeland and remedy the capricious map-making of the early 20th century. Iraq is threatening to split into the pre-Iraq Sunni, Shia and Kurdish divisions of the Ottoman Empire, with the Kurds semi-independent and the Iran-allied Shiites ruling the Sunnis. Iran's economy is in free-fall. Syria will soon have no central control and no choice. And while no country is eager to surrender a fifth of its population, Turkey would do well to get ahead of this issue -- ending the vicious, ongoing war with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), saving countless lives and positioning themselves to reap the benefits of a long-term strategic alliance to counterbalance Iranian influence. Not to mention, membership in the European Union will forever be out of reach for a Turkey at war with itself.

For proof of what's possible, look no further than Iraqi Kurdistan, a pro-American, pro-Israel and semi-autonomous parliamentary democracy most Americans have never heard of. Nurtured by an American no-fly zone in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was established under the Iraqi Constitution in 2005, a stunning testament to the success of Muslim representative government. Of more than 4,800 American soldiers killed in the brutal battles for Iraq, not a single one has lost their life -- and no foreigner has been kidnapped -- within the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan. Boasting two international airports, a booming oil industry and a dawning respect for the rights of women, this 15,000 square-mile territory of nearly four million Kurds is the one part of President George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" that was actually accomplished.

Building on this unanticipated success, the U.S. should rethink its previous opposition to an independent greater Kurdistan and recognize that the advantages of a friendly, democratic and strategically-positioned ally far outweigh the outdated assumption that the Kurds' national liberation would result in regional conflagration. At this point, inaction is far more likely to provoke continued regional conflict. Whether that means calling for U.S.-brokered talks with Turkey or a temporary UN peacekeeping force, sanctions or scaled up foreign investment, the U.S. should make every effort to incentivize the consolidation and emergence of a single, stable, secure Kurdish homeland.

After a thousand years of turning a thousand blind eyes, the world can't keep kicking the Kurdish can down the road. Somewhere along that bloodstained road to Damascus, the region needs to experience this epiphany -- and soon. The first major protests in Syria began outside the Ummayad Mosque, Islam's fourth-holiest site and the location of Saladin's tomb. Saladin's descendants, it seems, are on the march once more. These Kurds want to be heard. Will the U.S. - - and the world -- listen?

Stanley A. Weiss is Founding Chairman of Business Executives for National Security, a nonpartisan organization based in Washington. The views expressed are his own.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 14 Nov 2012 01:52

Six Kurdish representatives in Turkey's parliament join protests

Six Kurdish representatives in Turkey's parliament have joined Kurdish political prisoners in their fast that had begun 2 months earlier. There are over 10,000 Kurdish political prisoners languishing in Turkish jails. Their main agenda is to fight for the right to use their own mother-tongue in schools. Lots of Kurds in cities are protesting on the streets too.

The link above has video of protests and police crackdown.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 26 Dec 2012 13:29

Iraq's northern Kurdish region stops oil exports
An Iraqi Kurdish official said on Tuesday that the country's self-ruled northern Kurdish region has suspended oil exports over a payment row with Baghdad, a development that could add to already souring relations between the Kurds and the Arab-led central government.

Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, the Kurds have unilaterally struck more than 50 deals with foreign oil companies, even though Baghdad says they have no right to do so. In 2011, the two sides reached a tentative deal by which the Kurds send the oil to Baghdad, which sells it, and pays 50 percent of the revenues to the developers to reimburse the development costs.

In April, the Kurds halted exports of around 100,000 barrels a day, saying that Baghdad had made only two payments under the agreement and had failed to pay $1.5 billion they say they were owed.

[...]

Iraq sits atop the world's fourth largest proven reserves of conventional crude, about 143.1 billion barrels, and oil revenues make up 95 percent of its budget.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby RajeshA » 28 Dec 2012 18:49

Posted by devesh in "West Asia News and Discussions" Thread

Spinoff: The Syrian Crisis and the Future of Iraq: The American Interest

There is an unremarked paradox in the tumult of the contemporary Middle East. Syria is an economically impoverished country of a little more than 20 million people that has been politically stagnant until 23 months ago. Egypt, by contrast, never socially at rest and with its ancient energies newly bestirred, is at 80.5 million people more than four times larger. Yet it is the carnage in Syria, not the continuing multiparty political tightrope act in Egypt, that is more likely to unleash a torrent of violence and instability throughout the Middle East. Before it has run its course it could undo multiple existing regimes and even alter the region’s post-World War I territorial boundaries.

This is because as a consequence of the Syrian uprising the fate of Iraq now hangs in the balance and, with it, the fate of the Middle East. The overflow of Syria’s civil war into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and even Israel (via the Druze in the Golan Heights) has been often noted, but, surprisingly, the mainstream Western press seems to have forgotten that Syria also shares a border with Iraq. Iraq’s strategic location and its cross-sectarian and cross-ethnic fault lines make its implosion a great threat to the long-term stability and well-being of the region. The shock waves—unbridled sectarian and ethnic violence, possible interstate interventions and warfare, and much higher oil prices—could also jolt the international economy, sparing no one.

It is helpful to contrast the Syrian crisis with the 2011 Egyptian revolt and its aftermath. Only a few years ago, the suggestion that a Muslim Brotherhood government would one day replace the solidly pro-Western Mubarak regime in Egypt, through elections no less, would have sent shivers through most regional as well as Western capitals. Egypt’s military-backed regime collapsed without grave effects or a dramatic shift in the regional balance of power, at least not yet. Iran, which had assumed that Mubarak’s demise would herald a new anti-Israeli and anti-Western power center in Cairo, has been sorely disappointed. Egypt’s new President, Mohammed Morsi, has demonstrated that he can be an adept realpolitiker in regional politics, particularly during the December 2012 edition of the Gaza crisis.

Only a few years ago, too, the notion that the Syrian police state would be brought to its knees by a profoundly under-armed and disorganized opposition movement would have been dismissed as fantasy. But it is happening now before our very eyes, and the consequences of the Assad regime’s downfall are unlikely to be to be as tame as those that have emanated so far from Egypt. Three reasons help explain the differences.

First we must consider blood and time. The Egyptian transformation, unlike the uprising in Syria, has been relatively bloodless. Fewer than 1,000 people died in Egypt; the count in Syria is at least 40,000 and mounting. Mubarak’s fall was also swift: Protests began on January 15, 2011, and he was gone by February 11. Assad’s regime has weathered more than 20 months of first civil unrest and then very violent civil war. All indications are that the Ba’athi regime in Damascus will continue fighting for as long as it can. One ought not be too surprised if a year from now it is still clinging to power, albeit it perhaps in a rump state distant from Damascus. However, the length and extent of the bloodletting will permanently stain Syria’s body politic. The longer the insurrection takes to resolve one way or another, the worse will be society’s future divisions.

Second, the Egyptian state did not collapse with Mubarak’s demise. As cranky, inefficient and inept as the Egyptian state and bureaucracy may have been in the past, they remain a principal source of stability and employment. These institutions were for the most part untouched by the events of 2011. The Muslim Brotherhood, as a result, has inherited the structures of a state that has remained largely intact—though it is not yet clear how loyal those structures may be to a new leadership that differs in kind from that under which those structures took shape. By contrast, the highly sectarian Syrian state is unlikely to survive the civil war. This is partly because the Alawi core and its co-opted Sunni partners will no longer be physically secure in what has been, compared to Egypt, a personalized and under-institutionalized arrangement. But it is also because of the sheer physical destruction the country is experiencing. Assad’s policy of leveling towns that have fallen into rebel hands destroys not only physical infrastructure but also the tools and institutions of state power, from police stations to municipal offices and all kinds of bureaucratic records. Worse is that there still is a great deal more violence and destruction yet to come. If the fighting culminates in an onslaught on Damascus, then the remnants of the Syrian state are bound to suffer from terrible physical and psychological violence. There will be no state left to inherit.

Third, Egypt, in contrast to Syria, is fairly homogenous. It has a substantial Coptic minority that has been rendered powerless after years of discrimination, but the Copts have no political ambitions, kindred regional connections or territorial claims. They constitute a strictly Egyptian phenomenon that exhibits none of the cross-boundary characteristics of many minority groups in the region. Syria, however, lies on two important sectarian and ethnic fault lines. The ruling Alawis, whose religion is a heterodox offshoot of an already heterodox Shi’a Islam, enjoy support from Shi’a-dominated Iran and the Lebanese Shi’a paramilitary group, Hizballah. In the region’s burgeoning Sunni-Shi’a conflict, which pits Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries against Iran, Syria is a significant prize. Its importance has been even more enhanced since the ascent of Shi’a power in Baghdad. We should remember that in the 1980s Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf countries financed and supported Saddam Hussein’s war on the Iranian revolution. Those sectarian animosities continue to haunt the region.

Syria is also on the cusp of Arab-Kurdish, Persian-Kurdish and Turkish-Kurdish divisions. Emboldened by the current civil war, Syrian Kurds have been swept by a nationalist euphoria. They had been brutalized by Damascus; many were also denied citizenship and with it access to schools, hospitals and other government services. Untrusting, too, of the rebel Free Syrian Army and the political groupings that constitute the political opposition, they have remained on the sidelines looking to consolidate their power. The Syrian Kurdish strategy for the time being seems to count on the civil war weakening both the opposition and the central government, leaving them in a better bargaining position when the carnage comes to an end.

The developments in Syria’s Kurdish region are alarming for both Turkey and Iran. Were Syrian Kurds to win significant autonomy in a post-Assad Syria, akin to the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (the KRG), then two of the region’s Kurdish territories will have achieved a modicum of self-governance and no doubt will coordinate to some extent. The demonstration effect on Turkey and Iran would be hard to contain. Turkish Kurds are already demanding the devolution of central government powers to all of Turkey’s regions. Long-dormant Iranian Kurdish formations are also showing signs of waking from their slumber. The emergence of a Syrian Kurdish enclave is also putting pressure on Massoud Barzani, the president of the KRG, who has developed a careful and harmonious relationship with Ankara.

The waves created by sectarian and ethnic discord in Syria, however, will be most harmful to Iraq. Syria’s intrinsic power, role and influence in the region are vastly overestimated. The belief that Syria is the “heart of the Arab world” reflects the dramatic magical thinking that permeates the region. Hafez al-Assad, the current President’s father, played on this to successfully marshal Syria’s meager resources into what appeared to be a winning diplomatic strategy. He understood that Syria’s importance was directly tied to Israel, so he crafted a spoiler’s foreign policy in part by nurturing both Hizballah and Hamas (although Israeli missteps had much to do with the emergence of both) and employed them to fashion a “rejectionist bloc” that included Iran. This more than anything else made Father Assad and Syria actors of consequence on the international stage. In turn, this bought him time and peace at home not just to consolidate his and his family’s rule but to also bat away criticisms of mismanagement and the lack of economic progress. In one sense at least, little has changed: The current President’s defensive narrative on the Syrian civil war emphasizes only one issue: Syria’s critical role in the rejectionist front against Israel, whose supporters are claimed to be the real source of opposition to the government.

Damascus was once the seat of Islam’s first great empire, the Umayyad Dynasty. Under the Ottoman Empire and since, independent Syria has stagnated. With its poorly managed economy perpetually in shambles, Syria has been barely getting by. Its agriculture remained underdeveloped despite the country’s relatively abundant hydrological riches. Syria’s centuries-old sophisticated Sunni trading class plies its wares mostly outside of its homeland. The authoritarian Syrian state has stifled its agricultural and industrial/trading sectors alike with an omnivorous and burgeoning class of crony businessmen.

For these reasons as well as those of geography, Syria pales in comparison to Iraq when it comes to regional political significance. Iraq, a nation of nearly 33 million, is first and foremost a major oil producer. Its relevance as a producer will only grow with time because so many new fields and hydrocarbon sources are in the process of being discovered and brought online. Global oil demand, especially because of the growth in emerging economies such as China, India, Turkey and Brazil, will continue to increase while new oil becomes more expensive and more difficult to find. Iraqi ambitions, even if exaggerated at times, are likely to make that country a pivotal state in the global and regional oil equation. Already Iraqi oil production has overtaken that of neighboring Iran.

Both Syria and Iraq are situated on the Sunni-Shi’a fault line. As contentious the current sectarian-driven conflict may be in Syria, the Shi’a offshoot there, the ruling Alawis, constitute a small minority, maybe 12 percent of the total population. The Alawis owe their privileged position to Hafez al-Assad, who as an Alawi general went about systematically embedding fellow Alawis in senior positions throughout the security bureaucracy. The security agencies also became a source of jobs and upward mobility for poor Alawis, as well as allied minorities like Druze and some Christians. The state assumed a sectarian character. The Syrian uprising, if successful, will result in the Sunnis toppling the Alawi-dominated state.

In Iraq the situation is different. The Shi’a majority (some 55 percent) has finally assumed power thanks in large measure to the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. It has been difficult for Iraqi Sunnis to accept the rise to power of the Shi’a majority after having enjoyed unrivaled power throughout Ottoman rule and since Iraqi independence. Many Sunnis in the region, not just in Iraq, perceive themselves in a Manichaean struggle with the Shi’a and their powerful patron in Tehran. For these Sunnis, the probable collapse of Shi’a offshoot Alawi rule in Damascus is a potential sign that the pendulum is swinging back in their favor. Change in Syria, given the porous borders between the two countries, especially in the Sunni-controlled provinces of Anbar and Nineveh, is likely to give further impetus for Sunnis to resist the Nuri al-Maliki government in Baghdad. It is for this reason that the Iraqi Prime Minister has supported Assad’s beleaguered regime. His policy is likely to earn even more enmity from Sunnis who see him acting on sectarian impulses. After all, Iraqi Shi’a had been the victims of Assad’s policy of facilitating the flow of foreign jihadis into Iraq during the American occupation, for the sole purpose of killing Shi’a.

Today Iraq is held together by a shoestring. Violence is on the upsurge, and Maliki is increasingly demonstrating his authoritarian tendencies as he pushes forward with an agenda that has not won him any friends in the region. The Saudis have not given him much quarter and would like to see him go. He has made an enemy of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as each accuses the other of putting sectarian interests ahead of regional interests and stability. Turks provided refuge to the Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, who escaped following his indictment on charges of helping Sunni death squads to operate in Baghdad. This increasing regional rift may be music to the ears of many Iraqi Sunnis, who have been heard saying, in effect, “the Ottomans are back in Istanbul, the Umayyad are about to re-conquer Damascus, and next Sunni Abbasid power will return to Baghdad.”

A Sunni victory in Damascus will necessarily mean a shift in the regional sectarian balance of power. Sunnis in Iraq have also revived the idea of seeking autonomous arrangements like the KRG, something they had violently suppressed earlier. What is at stake is the 1916 Sykes-Picot Anglo-French-drawn regional boundaries. Having “lost” Syria, Iran’s natural reaction will be to double down in Iraq, where it already has a great deal of influence. It will want Iraq to provide strategic depth. It is even conceivable that Tehran will create a Shi‘a analogue of the Brezhnev Doctrine—once a government is Shi‘a, it stays Shi‘a, even if we have to send expeditionary forces to keep it that way. Will the neighbors stand idly by if this were to occur?

Iranian behavior even well short of a military intervention can mightily complicate matters in Baghdad as Maliki tries to navigate treacherous waters: He will not want to appear to be in Tehran’s pocket while trying to extend a branch to Sunnis, something that will be extremely difficult in any case. Iraq will therefore become the new front line in the Sunni-Shi’a war, and one naturally expects the Saudis and other Gulf countries to pour resources into this conflict even beyond those they are already putting forth.

The intensification of the Sunni-Shi‘a conflict in Iraq also has repercussions for the KRG. Buoyed by increased oil earnings, the KRG has done well but has found itself increasingly at odds with the central government in Iraq. The exploration and sale of oil and gas, as well as the federal competencies and disputed territories, mainly those claimed by the KRG, are among the issues that divide the governments in Erbil and Baghdad. The Iraqi government has threatened international companies doing business in the petroleum sector in KRG territory without its permission. Still, several big international oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total, have decided to risk Baghdad’s wrath as they elected to expand their investments in the KRG, sometimes by abandoning or selling their assets in southern Iraq.

The KRG has also pursued a policy of rapprochement with Ankara despite the latter’s deepening problems with its own Kurdish minority. Ankara, long opposed to Kurdish ambitions in northern Iraq, has made its peace with the KRG, hoping that under the careful leadership of Barzani Iraqi Kurds will cooperate with Turkish efforts to contain both the Turkish Kurdish insurgent group, the PKK, headquartered in the mountains of northern Iraq, and Turkish Kurds’ increasingly bolder demands. Turkish companies have found a welcome haven in the KRG; from banks to consumer durable makers to construction firms, hundreds if not thousands of Turkish companies are now doing business with Iraqi Kurds. Turkey, with its expanding need for energy, is also eyeing the KRG’s carbon resources for both its own needs and for shipment into Europe. In the struggle between Erbil and Baghdad, Ankara is increasingly siding with the Kurds. Strengthening the KRG is a way for Ankara to weaken Maliki.

Although the KRG has no intention at the present time of initiating a process that would lead to de jure independence and hence the formal territorial breakup of Iraq, it will not shy away from declaring independence were Iraq to fall victim to centrifugal forces emanating from the Sunni-Shi‘a conflict. Reluctant to antagonize its Turkish ally, KRG leader Barzani has been careful not push the independence issue. Tensions with Baghdad are mounting beyond the oil and gas issue. KRG claims to Kirkuk and other parts of northern Iraq not formally under its federal sovereignty lurk behind all questions; these were supposed to have been resolved through a referendum that kept being postponed. In November 2012, a skirmish between KRG military forces and the Iraqi police risked flaring into a major confrontation until cooler heads on both sides prevailed. Complicating matters further for Iraq is the precarious health of its President, former Kurdish leader, Jalal Talabani, who has not only managed to get Maliki and the Kurdish leadership to compromise but has also worked hard to contain sectarian tensions.

The Kurds of the region are not united, and therein lays the greatest challenge for Barzani. The Syrian uprising has brought that country’s Kurds to the forefront. Biding their time, they have so far remained largely on the sidelines of the Syrian civil war, mistrustful of both sides. Syrian Kurds are themselves divided by geography and political allegiances. The largest and most powerful organization is the PYD, the Democratic Union Party, which is affiliated with the PKK. Barzani has tried to bring the PYD and its much weaker opponents, the KNC, Kurdish National Council, together on a number of occasions, but with limited if any success. The PYD’s brand of Kurdish nationalism is at odds with that of Barzani’s: The Syrian group, while not participating in any violence against Turkey, nevertheless has declared its allegiance to the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

In effect, there is a clash between two forms of nationalisms. One is pan-Kurdish, leftist and militant, the other is prudent, centrist and privileges the interests of the KRG above all else. The PYD’s resistance to Barzani is curious considering the Iraqi Kurdish leader’s political and economic assets: He is, after all, in control of a territory that is welcomed in many capitals, including Washington, and possesses significant oil-derived resources. The pragmatic thing for Syrian Kurds in the aftermath of the Syrian uprising would be to gravitate toward the KRG in search of resources and protection. But the slow but forceful gathering momentum of the Turkish Kurdish nationalist movement and its transformation into a autonomy-seeking one is casting a long shadow. The Turks had hoped that both Barzani and Talabani, would exert a calming influence on Turkish Kurds; both leaders have indeed counseled Turkish Kurds to settle with Erdogan on account that he is the most likely and capable Turkish Prime Minister. So far, feeling the winds of change at their backs, the PKK and its supporters in Turkey have appeared most reluctant to take this advice. This reluctance and Erdogan’s mismanagement of the situation have led to increased tensions and hostilities. All this puts Barzani and the KRG in an impossible situation, and were the Syrian uprising to end with an all-out Arab-Kurdish clash in that country, the region could be faced with a new ethnic conflagration, and its first casualty would be the tenuous stability of Iraq.

Perhaps few countries today are as susceptible as Iraq to the meddling of outside powers. The Iraqi government has to fend off the encroachment of states that fear the implications for their own domestic politics of developments in Iraq. Outside meddling is not always motivated by expansionary or grandiose goals but sometimes by defensive ones. Saudi Arabia, most of the Gulf countries and Jordan fear the consequences of Shi’a power; Iranians, Turks and Syrian have eyed Iraqi Kurds with a great deal of consternation because of the demonstration effects of their successes. That said, the complexity of Iraqi domestic politics also means that different internal groups seek the patronage and meddling of the outside powers. Turcoman groups have closely aligned themselves with Turkey and have occasionally entangled Turkish authorities in their dangerous plans.

Even the United States, by virtue of its long occupation of Iraq, has a stake in that country that exceeds its traditional regional interests, whether in balance of power or stability. The descent of Iraq into civil war and chaos would be particularly damaging to Washington’s self-image, domestic politics and, of course, its international standing, precisely because it has invested so much blood and treasure there.

Following the most recent Iraqi parliamentary elections, the United States, Turkey and the Iranians were heavily involved in influencing the composition of the governing coalition. The unavoidable proliferation of outside actors in Iraq does not bode well for the future of Iraqi cohesion. It may be that Iraq is destined to break up, but, if this is the case, the significance of the Syrian crisis is that it can certainly hasten the process.




the whole thing reads like someone had a vision of the future and decided to put it down on paper. the author is saying that Assad will go, come what may, or however long it may take. and then goes on to say Iraq will be the real piece of contention.

if the Oil companies are so boldly investing with the KRG, then they might know something that the rest of us don't. Kurdistan seems like a surety now. but what about Turkey and Iran? will it mean that they will be shrunk too? the Iraq Kurds seem to be an independent state, for all practical purposes.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby devesh » 29 Dec 2012 02:32

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origina ... amist.html

New 'Party of God' Will Divide Kurdish, Turkish Islamists


A new party was established in Turkey, called Hur Dava Partisi, on Dec. 17. Its abbreviated name is more interesting, made up of the first syllables in the Turkish words hur (free), dava (cause) and parti to read "Huda-Par.” Huda is Persian-origin word used both in Turkish and Kurdish meaning "God." You can therefore think of this party’s name as the “Party of God,” just like Hezbollah.

Of course, when we say Hezbollah here we are not talking of the Shiite Hezbollah of Lebanon, but the Sunni Islamist Kurdish Hezbollah of Turkey.

Huda-Par and Hezbollah sharing a meaning is not a coincidence, but design. Huda-Par, now a legal political party, is a successor of the obscure and cruel organization of 1990s, the Sunni Islamist Kurdish Hezbollah. Huda-Par is the final phase of the evolution of the armed Islamist Kurdish movement since the beginning of 2000s.

We must note, however, that though this Hezbollah is Sunni, its establishment was influenced heavily by the Islamic Revolution and was very close to the Iranian regime in 1990s.

Here we have to add that 700 people were killed in the clashes between the mainstream Kurdish movement, the PKK and Hezbollah. Hezbollah was merciless against Islamist groups that were not a part of it.

Following security operations against Hezbollah in 2000, the Turkish public was shocked to hear that the organization had abducted more than 100 rival Islamists, tortured and buried them in what was dubbed a repugnant “houses of graves.”
Turkey knows Mehmet Huseyin Yilmaz, the founding president of Huda-Par, as the president of the former Association of Solidarity with the Mustazafs. (Mustazaf means “downtrodden, oppressed.")

Until closed down last May on grounds of “acting in concordance with the objectives of the Hezbollah terror organization,” the association popularly known as Mustazaf-Der provided the linkage and continuity between Hezbollah and Huda-Par.
For the Kurdish Hezbollah, the transformation to establish a legal political party called Huda-Par is a significant development that has to be considered in relation to Turkey’s Kurdish question and its implications for the region.

Let’s analyze why.

First of all, this Islamist Kurdish movement, after putting together the minimal structure required to participate in elections, will primarily be cutting into the votes of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the mainstream Kurdish political organization, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), in the 2014 local elections in the southeast. Huda-Par is likely to be more effective in some townships and cities than in metropolitan municipalities.

The Turkish public did not know about the support base of Hezbollah until the mid 2000s. In 2006 when Hezbollah, under the guise of Mustazaf-Der, organized mass meetings that gathered at least 50,000 people in Diyarbakir, it became clear that the organization had public support and had to be taken seriously.

In this situation, it can be assumed that in the southeast, Huda-Par will be plucking the most votes from the AKP’s constituency. After all, the AKP constituency in that region is made up of roughly the civil servants, security personnel, a weak Kurdish middle class and conservative Kurdish voters. We have to assume that within the conservative and religious AKP constituency, Hezbollah has a certain share and that under normal circumstances there people will be voting for Huda-Par.

In the emergence of a legal Islamic Kurdish party from within Hezbollah, as much as its distinctive and independent dynamics, a major trend also plays a substantial role. This can shortly be summarized as rapid divergence of the paths of Kurdish and Turkish Islamists.
An interview by journalist Rusen Cakir, an expert on Islamic movements who has been following the evolution of Hezbollah, with journalist Ali Akel, who is an Islamist Kurd, offers an insight to this trend.

Until last May, Ali Akel was a columnist for Islamist and AKP-supporter Yeni Safak. He was fired from his newspaper because he criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayypi Erdogan for not apologizing for the massacre of 34 young Kurdish smugglers in Uludere village by bombing from Turkish planes.

In the interview, published in VATAN on Nov. 30, this is what Akel said: ‘’Until the beginning of the 2000s, the prevailing notion was that the Kurdish problem would be solved when Muslims become the government. But the 10-year AKP governance proved that the Kurdish problem would not be solved with Muslims in power. Developments of last three to four years steered the religious segment of the Kurds to look for other options. This is based on two reasons: First of all, there is a general reaction to the AKP and it policies. Second, there is a reaction not only to political institutions but also to Turkish Islamists. According to Kurdish Islamists, the AKP and Turkish Islamist groups are equally statists.”

Everyone, including Ali Akel, who closely follows the evolution of the Kurdish issue in Turkey, agree that the Uludere massacre caused an emotional upheaval and a mental disassociation in the Kurdish opinion. Akel sees that as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Meanwhile, the AKP’s suspension of the “opening to Kurds” and their hardening attitude to the mainstream secular Kurdish movement also negatively influenced the thinking of the religious Kurds. Here we must mention the arrests of 7,000 unarmed Kurds, including elected mayors, municipal council members, BDP staff and supporters on charges of membership in terror organizations and efforts to revoke the immunities of Kurdish members of parliament.

As a result, the number of religious Kurds who voted for the secular Kurdish BDP increased partially because of major changes in the tone of approach of the secular Kurdish movement toward Islam and religious Kurds.

One example of this new approach is the “alternative Friday prayers” organized in the southeast, where sermons are given in Kurdish by Kurdish clerics. Huda-Par will most likely recover the votes of the religious Kurds who have been voting for the BDP there.
But Rusen Cakir thinks the votes Huda-Par will get from religious Kurds will be limited. According to Cakir, one reason for this is that Hezbollah has yet to give persuasive explanations for Hezbollah’s murders of other Islamists in 1990s. Moreover, Hezbollah has not given any assurances that it has given up arms.

The reality now is this: Unless Huda-Par is closed down by the Constitutional Court as being a disguise for Hezbollah, it, along with the BDP, is likely to fill the Kurdish vacuum created by AKP’s hard-line policies.

This all means the debate over whether Islam would be enough to keep Turkey together is likely to escalate.




Kurds might not be as free from the Islamic virus as we'd like to believe. in a repeat of the previous few decades of history in many Islamic countries, while the "militant fight" is carried on by leftist elements like PKK, the Islamics are gathering strength in the background. this is what happened in Bangladesh and Iran. same might be repeating with Kurds too. the "leftists" are the ones putting their lives on the line, but the underlying Islamic networks are organizing, coordinating, and entrenching in their strongholds.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 29 Dec 2012 04:24

devesh wrote:Kurds might not be as free from the Islamic virus as we'd like to believe.

The genocide of Armenian Christians was ordered by the Turkish Ottomans but executed largely by the Kurdish Moslem subjects, who were rewarded with traditional Armenian lands around Van, etc - all of which are now Kurdized. Salaheddin Ayyubi (Saladin) was supposedly a Kurd. Throughout history, Kurds have sometimes been either the fiercest tribes on the Islamist bandwagon, or its most stubborn and mystical apostates, differentiating themselves from Islam and taking in Zoroastrian and other outside influences. In some ways they are like the sardars of the Islamic world.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby AbhiJ » 30 Dec 2012 19:37

I have been living in Bangalore, India for about 13 months. I am here to study Masters. India to me, as it is, is incredible. I feel as if I am at home. People here are friendly. My teachers and colleagues are just great. I have to confess that, a student leaving his home for the first time for such a long time, certainly, will face many difficulties. But no difficulties have hurt me as much as a question from Indian people: “Where are you from?”

I am from Iraq, but Iraq is not my country. I cannot speak Arabic which is the official language of the country. Luckily three more Iraqi people are with me who have helped me to manage my Arabic. My culture is different from Arabs. I don’t want to look like a nationalist, because I am telling the truth. I am a Kurd! My mother tongue is Kurdish. My homeland is Kurdistan.
So, who are the Kurds?

Kurds are the original inhabitants of the Middle East. They are the biggest stateless nation around the world that they are still struggling for freedom and independence. They have been forgotten by the world.

Yes, Kurds are a forgotten nation of 40 million people. In India, few people know who the Kurds are. I am really surprised when some Indians ‘love’ Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president. Saddam killed more than 300,000 Kurds. He used poison gas against Kurds and killed 5000 Kurds in just one hour in Halabja, which is known as Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s sister! He mass murdered more than 182,000 Kurds in Anfal (Genocide) operations. The Anfal case is going to be an international case. Sweden’s Parliament has just decided to recognize it as a genocide act against humanity. In the UK, Kurdish people have started a huge campaign to make pressure on the UK parliament to recognize it as Genocide.

Kurdistan is the land of more than 40 million Kurds which was divided in 1514 for the first time between Turks and Persians in the Battle of Caldiran. In the aftermath of the First World War, Kurds were promised independence in the Treaty of Sevres (10 August 1920). But later, in the Treaty of Lausanne (24 July 1923), they were deprived in their natural, political, human and national rights.

Now, Kurdistan is divided into four neighboring countries in the heart of the Middle East. The biggest part of Kurdistan (Northern Part) is under the occupation of Turkey, the smallest (Western Part) is under the occupation of Syria, the Eastern part is under the occupation of Iran and the Southern Part has got freedom as a part of the Federal Republic of Iraq.

For the first time, Kurdistan announced a short-period independence in Mahabad (January 22, 1946), a city in Eastern Kurdistan in Iran which ultimately collapsed under repression by the Shah’s regime. The president of the Republic of Kurdistan, Qazi Muahammad was executed, along with the massacre of hundreds of other Kurds (on March 31, 1947).

After Kamal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, came to power in the post-First World War period in Turkey, Kurdistan was promised a kind of federation within Turkey, but soon Ataturk started killing Kurds. Kurdish people struggled against the new Republic of Turkey, but they were defeated by using the harshest modern technology of arms. The dictatorship of Turkey has been using all kinds of oppression against Kurds. Till the beginning of the 1990s, even speaking the Kurdish language was banned. Now, over 20 million Kurds are living in Turkey, but they don’t have any human rights. Kurdish is still not a recognized language.

In Turkey, Abdullah Ocalan, the legendary Kurdish leader who is now in prison (arrested in February 15, 1999 in an international conspiracy by the Turkish Intelligence Establishment, American CIA and Israeli Mossad), started a revolution under the name of the Kurdistan Workers Party, PKK, an armed force founded in 1978, which started its armed struggle in 1984. The freedom fighters are now in the mountains struggling for the rights of the Kurdish people.

In Southern Kurdistan (Iraq’s part), the scene is a bit different. Kurds have got freedom, but they have faced all kinds of atrocities at the hands of the former Saddam Hussein regime. Kurds struggled against the invasion of the British but they were defeated during the First World War. Kurds struggled for their rights till they got Self-Autonomy in March 11, 1970, but soon Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, withdrew his agreement with the Kurds. Again the revolution of the Kurdish people started. In the peak of the Kurdish revolution in Iraq, Saddam Hussein used chemical poison gas against Kurds in March 16, 1988 in which about 5000 innocent men, women and children were killed. And then, the Anfal (Mass Murder) operations started by Saddam Hussein in which 182,000 Kurds were mass murdered by the former regime.

In March 5, 1991, Kurds struck against Saddam Hussein in what is known as the March Uprising in which they were able to liberate Kurdistan during the invasion of Iraq. Soon Saddam sent forces to crackdown on the uprising, but people of Kurdistan left the cities and headed to the neighboring countries in a mass departure in which thousands were died because of the cold and hunger.

In Syria, 200,000 Kurds still do not have the identity to be known as Syrian citizens. The revolution has started. Bashar Assad’s regime has killed more than 10,000 innocent people so far. Syrian opposition parties have held some conferences in Turkey, Tunisia and Europe to discuss about the post-regime situation. Kurds have been promised of a kind of self-governance after the fall of the regime. Now Kurds have liberated some cities, but still it takes time.

During Saddam Hussein’s massacres against Kurds, people had no chance to leave their cities and villages. The thugs of the regime were going to the villages in the middle of the night. They would take all the men and women and children.

The regime’s thugs and soldiers were coming into the cities with lorries and military trucks. They would not differentiate between anyone. Basically, for them, it was only important to take Kurds and pick them up on the back of trucks to the lands of Southern Iraq to bury them while they were alive.

My uncle was a Kurdish freedom fighter. He was moving from mountain to mountain and place to place to attack the regime’s outposts. My father was living in his hometown which is on the border between Iraq and Iran in the north. He had no chance to leave the city, because he had family including five children. When the Kurdish revolution ended in 1974, my father and thousands of Kurdish people fled to Iran. My uncle was martyred in 1982 but my father had not the right to mourn and manage a funeral for him, nor had he the right to gather with his family to receive other people who wanted to express their condolences.

When Saddam Hussein arrested 8,000 Kurds in Erbil province from the Barzan tribe, they were sleeping in their homes. They were not aware of the plot. Suddenly there were caught and found themselves in the deserts of Iraq to be mass murdered.

Those who wanted to struggle to escape from massacres, left the cities and joined the freedom movement on Kurdistan’s mountains. In Iraq, the Kurdistan region is mostly a mountainous area. The highest peak in Iraq is in Kurdistan. That’s why Kurds have a well-known saying “Only mountains are our friends.” To be honest, mountains are the main reason that Kurds still exist!

The above mentioned are only few fact files in the Kurdish history which I want all Indians to know. I approach Indians in this article because I am here and it hurts me to see that they don’t know about Kurds!

What links Kurds and Indians?

[googlevideo]
There are some connections between Kurds and Indians. Perhaps there are older connections. There are many words in common between the Kurdish language and Hindi. I think, this is the main reason Kurds love Indian movies, culture and films.[/googlevideo]

Recently, a very close friend of mine, called me to say that I had to send him back a beautiful Indian Sari for his fiancée. I went to the market and bought two kinds of Indian clothes. She wore them in the most famous Kurdish festival, Newroz. I later realized she has been influenced by Indian movies and film stars.

When I was a young boy, my cousin had a video. He used to invite us every night for an Indian film. He had all kinds of Indian films. I still remember those days when we used to gather calmly to watch an Indian film. Now, Bollywood films are widely watched in Kurdistan. Some Indian TV stations are available in Kurdistan that people watch; apart from that, in the film stores, anyone can find Indian movies.

I was recently met a Kurdish student here in Bangalore who studies pharmacy. I was really amazed by the huge information he has about Bollywood stars. Later, another friend told me that this student even can speak some Hindi and his love to India is the reason he has come to India to study.

Nowadays, India is a destination for Kurdish students to study masters and bachelor degrees. It can be estimated that there are more than 500 Kurdish students here. They are spread all over India. The cities that Kurds are studying in are Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, AurangAbad, Allah Abad, and Heyderabad. In Bangalore, Kurdish students are about 80 in number.

Kurdish people love Indians. Indian films are widely watched in Kurdistan. I was told that one of my neighbors in my hometown can speak Hindi now since she has been addicted to Indian movies. I have heard some stories of people who can speak Hindi. Whenever any friend from Kurdistan calls me, or chats with me, his or her first greetings is for Amitabh Bachchan, or Aishwarya. If you look at Kurdish Facebook users’ accounts, you will see tens of Kurdish youths have put Mahatma Gandhiji’s photo as their profile pictures. Gandhiji’s quotes are translated into Kurdish and you will see them in the youths’ status updates on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Apart from that, tens of Indians are working in Kurdistan now. So, there’s a love of Kurdish people for India, and Indians. In response, we want love from your side for Kurds and Kurdistan, a forgotten nation. India has started investing in oil fieldS in Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It is a good step to invigorate our friendship. The media should play its role. Hopefully in the coming years, we will have better relations.

Kamal Chomani is a Kurdish journalist currently studying Masters in English Literature in India. He can be reached at: kamalchomani@gmail.com

Kurdistan India Relations

What makes People all over the World attract to India? Is it re-attraction towards Dharma?

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 17 Jan 2013 02:36

6 days ago:
Kurdish activists shot dead in Paris
Sakine Cansiz, a PKK co-founder, among three women found dead in office building with bullet wounds to neck and chest.
...Another victim of the Paris shootings, Fidan Dogan, was part of the Kurdistan National Congress, based in Brussels. The third was a young activist.


Today:
Suicide attack in Iraq kills 10 outside Kurdish party office
At least 10 people have been killed in a bomb attack on a political office in northern Iraq, officials say.

More than 90 people are reported to have been injured in the attack on offices of the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) in the city of Kirkuk.

The KDP is led by the president of the largely autonomous Kurdish region, Massoud Barzani.


-------------

The Kurdish women who take up arms
...how did women from such a conservative society rise to prominence in a paramilitary organisation?

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby ramana » 17 Jan 2013 04:05

AbhiJ, Ask the guy to join the forum.

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Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 22 Mar 2013 00:06

For some reason I felt like X-posting thsi here, from the Islamism and the West Asia threads:

More US-engineered Islamism? A good example of why the GOTUS keeps the Muslim Brotherhood so close.

Last stop Dallas, next stop Damascus? Ghassan Hitto - the IT executive who wants to govern Syria
Just last year Ghassan Hitto was an IT executive in Dallas whose focus was probably lines of code or how to deliver a project on time. But today he was giving a speech in Istanbul in which he insisted his new priority was to utilise “all conceivable means” to topple President Bashar al-Assad and provide desperately-needed aid to the beleaguered people of Syria.

The bespectacled 50-year-old, who was elected the new head of the opposition transitional government in the early hours of Tuesday, now has the daunting task of building legitimacy for his fledgling administration, despite lacking the support of many high-profile members of his own coalition.

Mr Hitto, who was born in Damascus but left Syria in the early 1980s, will need to garner support both from the international community and on the ground if the transitional body is to have any chance of success. After more than 20 years outside Syria, where he has next to no public profile, that presents a significant challenge.

“I have backed the idea of an alternative government for a long time,” said veteran opposition figure Haitham al-Maleh. “But I put my ballot in without a name because there were no candidates from inside Syria. I want a prime minister from inside Syria.”

In his speech, Mr Hitto ruled out negotiations with the regime until Bashar al-Assad stepped down, which will disappoint Western nations – including Britain – which had been pushing for a more pragmatic stance. :wink:

Mr Hitto, who has Kurdish roots, left his job in Dallas late last year and moved to Turkey where he has been co-ordinating relief efforts as director of the coalition’s Assistance Co-ordination Unit. His eldest son, Obaida, a former football player, has also been actively involved in the revolution, sneaking into the country last year to assist the rebel forces.

Alongside the legitimacy issues caused by the expatriate nature of the opposition, the coalition has also been beset by divisions between Islamists and liberal members, and Mr Hitto’s election was no different. And despite being touted as a “consensus candidate” that could unite both sides, former Syrian National Council head Burhan Ghalioun and prominent dissidents Walid al Bunni and Kamal al-Labwani were among those who abstained from the vote.

Mr al-Labwani told The Independent that outnumbered liberals could do little to get their voices heard and said he planned to resign from the coalition.

“The government is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Qatar government,” Mr al-Labwani said. “We will be against this government and will not give it legality. Democracy is from the land and from the people not from a council that is composed by the government of Qatar.”

Known for being religiously pious, Mr Hitto had been an active member of the Muslim community in the US. He headed the board of the largest Islamic school in the country and was also a board member of the local chapter of the Muslim American Society, according to friends. The society was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood but now downplays its links to the organisation.

Dallas-based security adviser Mohamed Elibiary, who has known Mr Hitto for the past 10-years described him as “more of an intellectual Islamic activist than a rank and file Islamist type”. “He is broadly respected amongst various segments of the Muslim community including by Muslim Brotherhood members,” he said, adding that he was a “consummate hard negotiating diplomat.”


Agnimitra
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Joined: 21 Apr 2002 11:31

Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 03 Apr 2013 22:42

X-post from Turkey thread:

Economist:
Turkey and the PKK: The war may be over
ABDULLAH OCALAN, the Kurdish rebel leader and sole inmate of a Turkish island prison since 1999, should by now “have become a perfect irrelevance, the living dead, a Kurdish Ariel Sharon. And yet he had not. His every delusional sally, every spasm of self-pity and promotion was greeted by his supporters as evidence for an ability to outsmart his jailers.” Thus wrote a puzzled Christopher de Bellaigue, a British author (and a former correspondent for this paper) in “Rebel Land”, a tale of eastern Turkey published in 2009.

^^ Just one indicator of what is wanted by UQ.
On March 21st, in a calibrated message read out by members of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy (BDP) party to over a million Kurds gathered in Diyarbakir, in south-eastern Turkey, Mr Ocalan heralded the dawn of “a new Turkey”, saying it was time for “the guns to fall silent and for ideas to speak”. Assurances followed that the Kurds no longer had designs on Turkey’s borders. Turks and Kurds ought to “unite under the banner of Islam”.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s mildly Islamist prime minister, :lol: called Mr Ocalan’s prose “positive”. Murat Karayilan, a senior PKK commander in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, swiftly declared a ceasefire. The pro-government Turkish media were awash with triumphalism. “The war is over”, assorted screeds declared.

Agnimitra
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5150
Joined: 21 Apr 2002 11:31

Re: Kurdistan - An Indian National Interest

Postby Agnimitra » 08 Apr 2013 22:57

X-post from syria / Islamism threads:

Independent Catholic News:
Syria: Christians flee rebel areas as fatwa authorises rape of non-Sunni women
The conquest of the Cheikh Maksoud district in Aleppo, by the anti-Assad militia, could mark a turning point in the battle for the city, a priest has reported.

Father David Fernandez, a missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, said the neighbourhood is located in a very strategic position on a hill overlooking central Aleppo where there are many government buildings.

Fr David said many downtown streets have been closed and noboby can pass through them, because snipers hidden in the buildings are shooting at everything that moves.

"In Cheikh Maksoud, Christians once represented the majority. In recent years the Kurdish population had become dominant, but many Christian families were still gathered around the Armenian Catholic and the Greek-Orthodox Church." Fr David said. Lately, he added, more than three hundred Christian families have fled the area captured by the rebels. "At least 120 Christians have found refuge in the house of the Marist Brothers."

Among the fugitives, there are many stories circulating about murders and the rapes of women from families linked to the army or government circulate.

Fr David said: "Yesterday, Yasir al-Ajlawni - a Jordanian Salafi sheikh, resident in Damascus, released a fatwa on Youtube, declaring that it is lawful for opponents of the regime of Bashar al-Assad to rape "any Syrian woman not Sunni. According to the sheikh, capturing and raping Alawi or Christian women is not contrary to the precepts of Islam."

From the Kurdish-Turkish entente, its becoming clear that the dominant Kurdish trend is to align with Islamism. The Islamist Turks and their American backers seem to have convinced the Kurds of this. The Zoroastrian/Yazidi heritage of the Kurds will only be used as a distinguishing ethnic factor, that's all. The Kurds have lent themselves as ghazis of Islam earlier also, against Christians in the ME/Asia Minor. the Armenian genocide was perpetrated by Kurdish tribes at the behest of their Ottoman masters, in return for being allowed to expand and settle in the lands of the Armenians. Today, all traditional Armenian areas such as those around Lake Van, etc are Kurd populated.


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