‘If the Kurds fall, then Assad will fall as well’
Hundreds of people marched through London on October 7 with banners “Turkey stop supporting ISIS,” and “Support Kurds resisting ISIS harassment in Kobani,” in solidarity with Kurds in the northern Syrian city of Kobani. The demonstration followed Monday’s occupation of one of London’s busiest underground stations, Oxford Circus.
RT:What exactly are you and other activists like you demanding from the British government?
Mehmet Aksoy: We are demanding that the British government pay attention to the plight of the Kurds in Syria, the resistance in Kobani, and to provide them with weapons to fight ISIS on a level field. Those are our main demands. We also have other demands for the UK and other European countries; to recognize the autonomous Kurdish regions in Northern Syria, and also to provide humanitarian aid to the people who are there and living in refugee camps, the people who fled from Sinjar in August, the Yazidi Kurds.
RT:Some people showed up with banners calling on Turkey to stop supporting Islamic State. Explain what they mean by that?
MA: The President of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan, was wringing his hands together yesterday and saying “Kobani will fall very soon.” Turkey has been playing a two-sided policy towards the Kurds, trying to stall the Kurds by saying that there is the peace process, the solution process, going on to the Kurdish issue in Turkey, but at the same time underhandedly supporting ISIS and other jihadi groups in Syria, most notably Jabhat al-Nusra, who was also a part of the Free Syrian Army. What Turkey doesn’t want is for Kurds to gain a foothold in Northern Syria, to gain self-governance in that region, because they think that would have an adverse effect on the Kurds within Turkey. So now we are calling on Turkey to stop supporting ISIS because Turkey allows, in broad daylight, these fighters to cross the border. We know that Turkey got their 14 hostages released by releasing ISIS militants. We know that Turkey as recent as September 17 provided ISIS with tanks, this were documented. Trains took tanks and military missiles to ISIS.
RT:We know that the Kurds were fighting for some time for their independence. If the Kurds get weapons to fight ISIS, isn’t there a fear that those weapons will be used in their push for independence afterwards?
MA: The Kurds aren’t pushing for independence; they are pushing for autonomy within all the regions of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. The Kurds want autonomy and self-governance, and this is a legitimate right. The Kurds deserve to speak their own language; they deserve to have their self-governance and the right to determine their futures. Now there are protests in 500 cities across Europe and the majority, the main protests are in the Kurdish-populated regions of Turkey. So Turkey has to recognize Turkish Kurds as a community, as a nation, as a separate identity and break the prevailing discourse in the Turkish state.
Defense consultant Moeen Raoff on the Turkish Kurds: “If they [Turkish authorities] allow the Turkish Kurdish personnel to enter Syria, they will become armed and trained; they will return and could cause a problem for Turkey itself. The other reason is that Turkey wants the situation in Syria to get worse, so that would compel the self-appointed international community to intervene in a huge humanitarian problem that is growing across the border. So they are allowing the so-called IS to carry out atrocities.”
RT:Don’t you think that weapons will be used for other purposes than are stated at the moment? For an independence fight, for example?
MA: We can’t really give this reason when the lives of hundreds of thousands people are in imminent danger. If the weapons did fall in the hands of the PKK, the PKK would use them for the legitimate right to defend the Kurdish people. I mean millions of people support the PKK across the world and support the Kurdish leader Ocalan who has now said that there is no such a thing as the peace process, solution process. The Kurds in any guise are fighting for a legitimate right – the right to live as themselves, the right to have self-governance.
RT:Ankara is now pushing its tanks to the border with Syria. Do you think it will intervene?
MA: Ankara wants to intervene because it doesn’t want Kurds to push for their rights. But also Ankara wants to bring down the Assad regime. Ankara wants to invade and create a buffer zone in Northern Syria, but they are calling on the international community to do something about Assad as well as the Kurds in Northern Syria and ISIS. So they are playing a very complicated game. I would like to call on the Russian government and the Russian people to support the Kurdish people and provide the Kurds in Syria with weapons because if the Kurds fall, then Assad will fall, and also the Sunni corridor will open in the region and that will not benefit any of the nations, any of the ethnic or religious groups in the region.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.