December 12, 2012
The US National Intelligence Council latest report claims that a possible formation of Kurdistan, including territories of Syria, Iraq and Iran, may affect Turkey’s unity in the upcoming years. This is a well-founded estimation that somebody should take into account and interpret in a relevant manner in terms of geopolitics and regional stability.
Since its independence and the establishment of the Kemalist secular system in the 1920s, Turkey has been faced with one major issue: the one accommodating the Kurdish communities in its Southeastern borders. The Kurds are spread all along the region and there are plenty of times that the question of the creation of a Kurdish state has publicly concerned mainstream politics. Therefore, for almost a century, the Turkish administration put emphasis on the means of absorbing the culture and the self-determination of the Kurdish people in order to control any inclination towards separatism.
The US has repeatedly assisted Turkey on accomplishing this goal in any possible manner. From supporting Ankara’s oppressive policy in the Kurdish areas, to impeding any retaliation from the Kurdish communities of the Middle East against Turkey. The case of post-war Iraq and the power-sharing in a decentralized model that favors the Kurds is considered as a major strategic move that ceases down any broader plan for the creation of the Kurdish state, including the Kurdish areas of Turkey.
The neo-Ottoman strategic doctrine that Ahmet Davutoglu has launched since his positioning as Minister of Foreign Affairs is the most definite expression of Turkey’s effort to re-trigger the once-established power of Turkey in Middle East. And the goal behind is to solidify Turkey’s role in the region and implement the limits of its geostrategic leverage. If Turkey is to accomplish and re-itinerate the mission of playing a pivotal role in the region, and especially in the Arab states with strong influence in the area, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt, and therefore create a network of support in case the Kurdish issue is underway to reach a final resolution, then Ankara could have achieved to freeze or block any official discussion about the fate of wider Kurdish state.
Yet the report of the US National Intelligence Council is considered to be a road map for further developments. If the scenario of a united Kurdish state is to see the light in a 20-year scale, then we should include in this analysis additional variables that determine stability or instability in the region. These variables are the states of Israel and Iran, as well as Syria and Iraq. The creation of an independent Kurdish state will affect the composition of Iraq, Iran and Syria, and there are well-established predictions that Israel, being in the middle of these developments, will equally get affected. This is the scenario that the US report does not take into consideration and we can therefore express our firm skepticism upon what the scope of this analysis really is.
To my opinion, one is sure: that Turkey will hardly allow any instability in the region to burst out unless other, more striking issues are already resolved, like the nuclear question of Iran or the Palestinian issue. Turkey still has the upper hand in future developments, but nothing is to be certain if the US decides to unilaterally bring its foot in the region through military intervention. And the first step will most possibly be in Syria.Dimitris Rapidis