Friday, April 22, 2011

Comments on an article on the "Kurdish Issue" 

My comments on an article by Sonia Roy, titled "The Kurdish Issue: The Impact on the Politics of Iraq and Turkey and Their Bilateral Relations Regarding Kurds Post-Saddam Hussein Regime." The article was published at the Foreign Policy Journal website.

There are so many factual and spelling errors throughout the article, which make it difficult to take its main argument seriously.

- Firstly, as mentioned by another commenter, it is a gross error to state that "90% of the Kurds live in Iraq."

- In another sentence, the author claims "Kurds are the largest ethnic group in West Asia after the Arabs." Even if we suppose the author considered Turkey to be "in Europe", hence did not take into account the Turks, how about the Iranians? Isn't Iran in West Asia?

- Turkey's application for EU membership was not on 12 September 1987, but 14 April 1987.

- The author argues Turkey's treatment of its Kurds constitute a "barrier" towards entry to the EU because it violates the Copenhagen criteria. However, complying with the Copenhagen criteria was a preliminary condition for a country to be officially accepted as a candidate for EU membership. Turkey was given the status of EU member candidate in 2004 only after the European commission's report found that it indeed satisfied the Copenhagen criteria.

- When describing how the "no-fly zone" north of the 36th parallel came into force, the author fails to mention that hundreds of thousands of Kurdish refugees took refuge in the Turkish-Iraqi border, and the "no-fly zone" was established after the recommendation of Turkey's president Turgut Ozal. Turkey also allowed the "Poised Hammer" combined task force to use the Incirlik airbase in Turkey. Throughout the 1990s, there were serious concerns in Turkey that this task force was secretly aiding the PKK terrorists, yet in the face of any other alternative to protect the Iraqi Kurds from Saddam's wrath, Turkey continued to permit the task force's operations. Without Turkey's support, the task force could not operate, and hence the "no-fly zone" could not be enforced. Furthermore, the "no-fly zone" was not a unilateral declaration of the US, as the author implies, but the outcome of a UN Security Council resolution.

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