tv [untitled] December 5, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm EST
concern about kurdish nationalism having being host to the largest population of kurds in the world is cry wary of this situation but in particular i think when we talk about potential developments the most immediate case of course is syria and i don't think the situation on the ground there would suggest that there's a clear winner certainly not for kurdish aspirations at the moment the kurds of course would like autonomy in syria and. probably the same in turkey but at the moment there are challenges to that there are internal divisions there is relationship with iraqi kurds who have tried to smooth out the visions so peter for the moment i think it's a complex question well i would rather let me let me put it into perspective let's put it in historical perspective i mean this is the best case they have for autonomy at least maybe even stated since the end of the first world war. well it
depends where you're speaking about the they're the best there kurds of course are a proud population. of thirty or so million perhaps thirty five million who are spread across a number of countries including turkey iraq syria and iran and. the most significant step in terms of kurdish aspirations being met was of course the invasion of iraq which resulted in a. kurdish region in the north which still some would maintain has aspirations of statehood so that was the most significant and i don't think anything since the arab awakening is including in syria have matched that in terms of the boost to kurdish aspirations nevertheless it's true it's quite significant the potential in syria for potentially a time. anomie within syria but that is opposed so far by the syrian national
council that. includes the free syrian army and even within the kurdish community in syria there are some divisions yes and. neighboring iraqi kurds notably in the person of mr parts and he has tried to smooth over those divisions but for the moment peter we have to wait and see it would be rushing to a conclusion to say somehow kurds have won or are winning this if anybody you know in washington you think of the situation with the kurds i mean in historical perspective and they're doing pretty well considering what's been done to them since the end of the first world war well. i pretty much agree with the germans through a situation with what they were set. a it looks like you know the arab spring basically create some sort of a war it where kurdish people can take advantage of it but then. we have to look at
each in an individual case you know kurds in syria kurds in iraq kurds in turkey a totally different story. but there are significant differences between these groups there are linguistic differences there are cultural differences. and. there are differences but they are less if we have been for respite already selected fully oppressed haven't they and that's what brings them together in their identity. well that that may be the case when you look at from outside but i'm not sure to what extent kurdish people rally around that concept all together so and i think i think they tend to think within their nation state their future within that particular nation state you know in syria in iraq in turkey rather than building a larger union or so there are a potential for example
a great example of syria collapses where if star goes to syria collapses what's the fate of the kurds there what do you think. while. now the. kurds are kind of like on the sidelines in the syrian conflict and you know basically they are divided into two one is you know the kurdish national council so they they basically stay watch and see and there are there are allegations that the p y d which is a p.k. carefully it is more in tandem with the assad regime so that's a tension in itself. and given the fact that the second group was not invited to the newly built established syrian national coalition ok that that would prove tension in the future so i think you know they may be after some sort of autonomy
or federalism but there is no there is no consensus within the syrian opposition groups actually they are they are against it as far as i understand at the moment so so we are looking for some sort of our tense situation as in maybe as in iraq between syrian kurds and syrian arab ok edward if i could go back to you it looks like the turks really shot herself in the foot here i mean because kurds are part of the opposition in syria as well. peter you ask a very interesting question and because that's really the party here with the most to lose and who you spoke about the kurds winning so we should keep in mind the party here we are mostly turkey. you're right to highlight this event turkey obviously looks at the kurdish problem with a great deal of anxiety and one could even ask oneself why ankara would
be so gung ho in its opposition to the assad regime for the moment given the potential outcome of what that could mean if it meant if and that is an if here i think we need to underscore that he is quite right there's there's not even consensus within the kurdish community but if it were to mean. a syrian kurdish autonomous region you'd have an autonomous rule region there you'd have an autonomous region of course that has some elements of incipient statehood in iraq and in iran as well and then you do question immediately becomes what would be the impact on kurdish aspirations within turkey which again as i say is the largest concentration of kurdish population and here the situation as you know has not been good over the past oh twelve to fourteen
months there's been quite a bit of confrontation between turkey or security forces and the p.k. k. and. some eight hundred seventy people have been killed and so the potential there for further confrontation and certainly a rise in kurdish aspirations and expectations in turkey is certainly possible now peter we come to the question well how does. turkey handle that and again it's curious about the determination and the zeal to remain in gauged in syria on behalf of the opposition and probably the best estimate of what ankara sees is that they probably believe that no matter what happens their best chance of helping
influence an outcome that suits their interests involves their involvement with the syrian opposition and as i mentioned before the syrian opposition the syrian national council all the free syrian army has not been supportive of kurdish as peroration is in syria has not been supportive of if i go in as the i think it's really interesting here i mean his arms go into syria from turkey how do the turks know it's not going to quote unquote terrorists the kurds could be used against turkey later. well. a while that that may happen you know i don't have specific information about that but some of the things. some of the you know activities if you look at the p.r.i. the activities there military wink and so on they seem to have some kind of like heavy weaponry which may have been transferred to you know from turkey who knows
that so. but but in terms of the larger question is that you know turkey support for the syria's opposition. is when we look at the rest respectively we can judge turkey on like being on the wrong foot or something but at the time it was it was totally humanitarian concern basically the country was collapsing and people were escaping the regime and so on it was. it was more of a like citing people siding with the syrian people rather than the regime itself with which turkey had very good relations at the park in the past so when you look at that way it started it started that way so so so now i mean it is anyway it's too late to think about assad i think we are fastly. going to post assad situation and that in that sense turkey has very close relations with the general syrian opposition which includes kurdish some kurdish elements but not the
p.k. kaleb months or so there's a difference in that and in that sense the seem to be following a constant policy with regard to you know dealing with syrian people and we before we go to the break is there any good outcome when it comes to what's happening in syria for turkey. yeah i think there is i think there is again let's keep in mind the fundamental point here that at the root of these arab awakening is really a more than nationalism going to jump in here we're going to go to a short break we're going to go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the kurds stay part.
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elements from around russia we've got the future covered. live. live live. live. live. live. and if you. listen to. the pledge. welcome back to across the time people go to mind you were talking about the future of a kurdish state. live. in. the fla. ok and we're trying to go back to you in washington it seems to me that kurds are turning into you know
a privileged people in western media and western government because i really would like to see a kurdish state because iran's involved israel's involved the problem is is turkey . well yes and as we were speaking just before the break i was explaining that there is a positive outcome here actually for turkey i believe and and that is but if we keep in mind that the underlying. element that animates this what we call the arab awakening is a desire for democratic aspirations more than it is for some relative advantage of one ethnic or sectarian group over another well i mean i come i get weird i mean i haven't seen a whole lot of democracy in all of this when it comes to the west ok it's all nice ideas ok but a lot of people are being killed in the name of democracy and i think it's a bit hypocritical of western powers to keep pushing that agenda i'm sorry but i think that's true. well peter obviously people can disagree about
that and about who has an agenda for the moment i quite ironic there if you think there's a western agenda is that the united states is being criticized mostly for doing too little in syria not for doing too much and the obama administration has stood to the side and really as you well know know much better than we do here in washington is russia that has played a much more prominent role in syria than it has the united states now today that foreign ministers are meeting that's debatable as well but anyway i mean the everyone seems to forget international law here it's again western powers don't have to a bad day international law but russia has made two and now we're joined by another guest even him and he's in brussels and he is the founder and director of the center for turkey studies and development ok if i could go to you right now if we're discussing the future of a kurdish state and i've asked our two other guests here what are the possibilities
of a kurdish state i mean since the first world war we've never seen this opportunity for the kurdish people. i mean right now the kurds are feeling that there's a greater opportunity for them to have a code a state but if you if you consider regional powers like turkey then you could easily say this is highly likely highly unlikely to result in the near future ok if we go about it if you go back to you in washington i mean it's really interesting here is that we have these countries that were very anti kurdish and controlling their kurdish minority and in serious in distress right now the turks really don't know what to do and in iraq they almost have their own state so i mean it's that there's a lot of variations across the entire region. now that turkey is a turkey's position towards this turks now we have to. probably we have to specify that you know this is another kurdish position kurdish people are the citizens of turkey so there was a general problem this was
a general problem of democratization in turkey and turkey have done a lot for this kurdish minority last last ten years whether we like it or not so it is possible now to enter seriously bates' about anything related to turkey about autonomy federalism whatever easily in turkey and that's a that's a gain in terms of political discourse or right but in the future of it there is a there is a serious doubt and concern and sometime hatred and disgust i got about the p.k. activism in interest and there and there are people tend to differentiate this from general kurdish rights and freedoms ok so expanding kurdish rights and freedoms are not organically relate to demands or peak aspiration to build their own territory and their own rule so these are seen to be different things in turkey and what do you think about that i mean because turkey has
a choice right now can go in either direction ok can absorb it and give more rights the kurds and you know and they will have their own state turkey but will they ever feel that way because of their identity. well i think i would be slightly less optimistic. and perhaps a little less charitable than fantasy about the turkish policy towards. the kurds it's true that under rather one there have been some reforms but still there's a long way to go in terms of what most people around the world would consider are reasonable rights for example to be taught in the kurdish language and things that are well short of what any most people would think would be threatening to the turkish state and so i think that has a long way to go not only sort of in terms of substance but in the way that it speaks to to kurds there's sort of
a high handed attitude of well we did this for you and you should be grateful and at the same time you know as i mentioned there's been quite substantial violence peter so we don't know but again in terms of the outcome. of the dynamics could play out and if with if both sides are enlightened this is how i see a positive outcome potentially for both but i am what do you think about that well turkey before it was forced to change its policy towards the kurds i mean i agree that the current government in turkey has done a lot compared to previous governments in turkey for the rights of kurdish people but as a second speaker say is there's a long way to go and the prime minister the feels that he has given a lot the kurdish people any feel is that the kurds must be quite happy for what they have kids going through right now and they should stop asking them for any further rights or they should stop complaining about their mistreatment and so on as we all know that over eight thousand political kurdish activists including
elected to m.p.'s elected mellows councillors journalist and so on who are in prison who have not been well not been sentenced by the turkish courts yet. only recently they were given the basic right to make a statement or a defense in their mother time so there's a lot of problems still existing in turkey and kurds are not only students of turkey but there are also millions of kurds who are students of iran who are students of iraq and who are students of syria so it's a very complex matter if turkey of the current government of turkey is keen to see it is a good question they need to start thinking regionally rather than only about kurds within turkey you know they always come up with do with the issue of p.k. k. being a fighting force in turkey in iraq or in come to the mountains between iraq and iran and then also the us use that as an excuse to continue in their mistreatment
of kurdish political activists and so on and within turkish territory but that is a problem mr prime minister that has done a lot for kurds which is you know everyone agrees on that but prime minister erdogan needs to think twice before he acts on syria before he deals with these problems and so on with iran and then in his relations with iraq and iraqi kurdistan regional government kurds are willing to be part of the democratic turkey but the to be able to achieve that we need to walk a long long way we have a long way to go i think that if i go back to you in washington there's no substitute for your own state is there. well look we can people can romanticize about a larger kurdistan which includes cures from you know turkey and syria and iraq and iran and so on so and people think that this is this is their right you know for the post world war or world war one you know basically disadvantage them and so on
so forth. while world war one also he said events turkish people very much and they had to basically fight a is you know greek can a greek occupation and so on with the kurdish rebels together so there were some promises that were in egypt by the republic of turkey but in terms of you know if we think of like a larger kurdistan would be representative of turkey and being a kurdish people and being democratic and so we might be wrong in that i mean. it may be it may be possible to keep the territorial integrity integrity of turkey syria and iraq and still address kurdish rights and freedoms ok edward but it seems to me that the the kurds in iraq are already on their own it's just you know it's a fiction it's still one state. to a great extent to a great extent well peter i understand why you would say that but i and i obviously those who live in the in kurdistan in the kurdish region in the
north obviously have aspirations toward statehood but so far they haven't exercised that and i think the real proof there is you look at the attitude of and and others and sunni's who are in the government in baghdad and they don't seem to be. exercised deeply about the kurds are still obviously tensions over kirk but it doesn't seem to be a really aggravating issue to them but it's true i have a kurdish aspirations are to have their own state and people should be surprised about that there are a minority groups within in russia in many countries that have that aspiration it's simply not possible for every. national group in the world to have its own state and the what we look for in. if we can use the term international community as
a solution is basic fundamental rights and reforms and that is suited to each individual case and that's where i think we would hope for a positive outcome but who knows no one really knows what's going to happen in syria first of all how many we have how many of you but i am in the last i want to run i want to go to brussels going to last word is that what is the nature for the kurds are they going to i mean they've waited a long time that they could still wait i mean kurds as the put it clearly aspires to to have the greater rights in the region that they were living in that could be they could be described as a new nation state for kurds or it could be described as cool writes on the coming on to go in the new constitution drafted in each of the countries it is all about turkey. me because turkey has the largest kurdish population in the walt turkey has the largest claims kurdish physical land in the old and turkey this is the main reason for him i wish we had more time for you fascinating thank you very much
gentlemen thanks to my guest today in washington and in brussels and thanks to our viewers for watching us we see you next time and remember the last time. you. see. do we speak your language anything about the will or not a day of. school music programs and documentaries in spanish matters to you breaking news a little tonnage of angles kidneys stories. you hear just see the choice all teach spanish find out more visit eye to eye ball tito's comb.
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