‘Arab Spring’ and new players in the region

‘Arab Spring’ and new players in the region

Trend Arabic news service head Rufiz Hafizoglu

The 'Arab Spring', which has become a cause of serious political changes in the Arab world, has been supported by the regional powers of Turkey and Iran.

Iranian officials stated that the 'Arab Spring' which began in Tunisia and later covered Egypt and Libya, takes its origins in the Iranian Islamic Revolution. With regard to the 'Arab Spring' in Syria, both Syrian and Iranian officials unanimously have stated that it serves the interests of Israel.

As for Ankara's position on this matter, according to Turkish officials, the 'Arab Spring' is a political process relating to the Arab countries and caused by the necessity for the democratisation of the region.

It is not excluded that after the Syrian 'Arab Spring', the unrest will spread over to neighbouring countries, especially Lebanon.

If you take into account the region's diversity in ethnic and religious terms, then against the background of the events one can see the emergence of new 'players'. This means that due to the delaying of the Syrian conflict, the Kurdish issue has become more heavily exaggerated. With the appearance of the Kurdish issue on the agenda one can see a demonstration of political activity of the Kurdish administration in Northern Iraq.

At the same time one can observe that the PKK terrorist organisation became more active in Turkey, as well as a more open display of ideas from the Peace and Democracy Party (PDP) in the political arena.

Despite the fact that the Turkish government launches military operations to kill the PKK terrorists and carry out propaganda work, one can say that this is not effective enough. One of the most interesting moments in the background of the activation of PKK terrorists in Turkey is a statement made by Salahaddin Damirtas, leader of the PDP, which acts as a guarantor of political interests of the Kurds that the fight against the PKK will continue also after 100 years.

Indeed, there is no doubt that the 'Arab Spring' in the region sooner or later will begin to develop in a different way. Even former Turkish intelligence analyst Mahir Kaynak in an interview with the country's press said that the 'Arab Spring' will also have an impact on Turkey.

And PKK leader Murat Karayilan said in an interview with Qatari TV channel Al Jazeera that he hopes there will be 'Kurdish Spring' inspired by the 'Arab Spring' in the region. Karayilan also said he is concerned that the Turkish Kurds are part of the changes in the region.

Although Ankara is seen as the driving force in the on-going process in the Middle East today, assumptions give grounds to say that a new player in the north of Iraq is the Kurdish administration and it will try to use its power within its means.

One of the most interesting moments is the discussion of situation in Syria and common interests of the sides by the Muslim Brotherhood movement leader Riad Al-Shaqfeh, who is considered author of the 'Arab Spring' in Syria, and the leader of the Kurdish administration Massoud Barzani on Oct.20.

One of the important factors is the desire of the Islamic Unity Movement (Yekgirtoya Îslamî), functioning under the Kurdish administration of Iraq, to serve as a bridge between the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Kurdish organisations.

Time will show in what direction the attempts of the Muslim Brotherhood will make to create a union with the Syrian Kurds and how it will develop. What is happening in the region, delaying the Syrian conflict, the activation of the PKK terrorist organisation, as well as the arming of Iraq gives grounds to say that Ankara faces a threat of becoming not a leading force in the supposed changes, but their part.

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