PKK & "Kurdish Spring"
Trend Middle East Desk Head Rufiz Hafizoglu
The increasing tensions in Syria and the international community's inability to actively intervene in these processes suggest that the instability will persist in the region long enough.
One of the main causes why the international community does not interfere in events in Syrian, unlike in case of Libya, lies in the geographical location and ethnic composition of the country. That is, if Libya's ethnic composition consists of Arabs and Berbers, Syria's ethnic composition includes Arabs, Kurds and other ethnic minorities. Moreover, in terms of religion and belief, there is not too quiet in Syria.
On the other hand, any military intervention in Syria means a collision with Iran, which does not meet interests of the West, which pursues own interests and is a supporter of relative calmness in the region after the Iraqi events.
Therefore, the West stands for Ankara's greater activity resolving the Syrian problem. This meets the interests of Turkey, which seeks to fix its leadership in the region and also keens to leave behind Iran, with whom Ankara has friendship relations at first glance,
It was necessary to distract Turkey's attention with its internal problems so that to prevent Ankara's active intervention in the Syrian events, which Turkey regarded not only an internal affair of Damascus.
Therefore, it would be wrong to link the increased number of terror acts committed in Turkey with the relations between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Turkish authorities. Some do not exclude that the activation of the PKK is a response of the Syrian government to Ankara's policy towards Damascus.
It is not secret that President Bashar al-Assad's regime uses the Iraqi and the Syrian "Kurdish terrorists" against Turkey, so Ankara fears that the "Arab Spring" may turn into the "Kurdish Spring" with the help of the PKK.
Of course, Ankara, which gained political benefits from the "Arab Spring", will do its best to prevent the alleged "Kurdish Spring" within the country.
However, not Syria, but the PKK residing in Iraq, is a real threat to Ankara and Turkey seeks to maximum weaken the terrorist organization prior to the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Iraq. Ankara worries that following the withdrawal of the U.S. troops, ammunition remaining in Iraq will pass into the hands of the administration in northern Iraq and the PKK.
Even Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier demanded to took away all the weapons and military equipment when the U.S. troops will leave Iraq. Following a meeting with his Iraqi Counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey would not tolerate if the PKK would threaten Turkey from the Iraqi territory.
However, the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq, which is "powerless" against the PKK, has immediately responded to the Turkish officials. Prime Minister of the Kurdish Administration in Northern Iraq Nechirvan Barzani stated that Turkey cannot combat terrorism effectively by conducting military operations in northern Iraq. Barzani urged both sides to lay down arms and start negotiations.
Ankara is unlikely to accept this 'call for a dialogue' by Iraq, which has not ever took a serious measures against the terrorist organization, as on the PKK would benefit, win time from this dialogue.
The ongoing events give grounds to say that the PKK and its political branch in Turkey-Kurdish Reconciliation and Democracy Party (PPD) will do their utmost to realize the "Kurdish Spring" in Turkey in one form or another.