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A Turkish perspective: Kurdish groups exposed

The proverb ‘every coin has two sides’ becomes ‘three sides’ when we are talking about the Middle East – the good, the bad, and the inconceivably ridiculous

Ceylan Ozbudak

Published: Updated:

Ever since ISIS started to crush the Democratic Union Party (PYD) guerillas in their self-designated cantons in northern Syria, the international community set off a campaign to appoint Turkey as the scapegoat for badly failing U.S. foreign policy.

Suddenly, the only country which stood by the U.S. in 2013 when President Barack Obama decided to intervene in Syria, the country which is shouldering the burden of refugees with almost no outside financial support, the only Muslim country in NATO has started to be seen as the villain.

A majority of the intellectual community has been convinced with an inconceivable narrative that the PYD, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are entirely different bodies of Kurdish resistance in the region.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is currently designated as a terrorist organization in the EU and the U.S. because of its apparent militant communist actions and goals. Just last year, the U.S. even announced that the PKK was the deadliest terrorist organization in Europe.

Still on the list

Despite the worldwide media campaign, several officials, both from the U.S. and Europe, have said that the PKK will remain on their lists of terrorist organizations. To the benefit of Turkey, the social media frenzy to whitewash the PKK do not seem to have an effect on the world of diplomats when it comes to the PKK.

The proverb ‘every coin has two sides’ becomes ‘three sides’ when we are talking about the Middle East – the good, the bad, and the inconceivably ridiculous

Ceylan Ozbudak

The proverb “every coin has two sides” becomes “three sides” when we are talking about the Middle East – the good, the bad, and the inconceivably ridiculous. While Turkey can be a trustworthy ally for the West about the PKK, just one step aside, an offshoot of the PKK (according to the HRW report), the PYD, is being served to public opinion on a golden tray as if it is something entirely different. The PYD was formed in 2003 by followers of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, who was sheltered by Syria.

Oppressive regime

Leader Salih Muslim was often photographed along with Öcalan. While the PYD has been documented to be more oppressive than the Assad regime in the northern Syrian towns under its control, brutally suppressing all dissent, the group has been carrying out an impeccable PR campaign to show itself as a protector of Western values of democracy and liberty.

In reality, the PYD grimly punished those who opposed them in the Kurdish populated areas of Syria. 150,000 Kurds from Syria were forced to seek refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2013, reporting that the PYD took their children for fighting forcibly and called the PYD “Assad’s men.” In 2012 the first batch of Syrian refugees to Turkey was Kurds, who were fleeing from the PYD, long before an ISIS presence in the vicinity.

The PYD is also a militant communist terror organization just like the PKK. If some Kurds today are not critical of the PYD, it is because they are simply afraid.

The PUK is no different than the PKK. Founded in Damascus in 1975 during the Hafez al-Assad era, the initial supporter of this group - led by former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani - was Soviet Russia. The ideology of the group remained the same over the course of the years. Currently, the chief executive body of the PUK travels with the PYD leaders and supports the same message.

Unapologetic cooperation

The KRG, on the other hand, tried to completely isolate itself from PKK/PYD malice, and has been unapologetically in cooperation with the Assad regime. The PYD/PKK and the Assad regime coalition has been a known phenomenon since the beginning of the civil war. While the KRG had been quite Turkey and U.S. friendly over the years, Turkey also proved to be a reliable ally for the Kurds in the region. Let’s not forget that Turkey was the KRG’s main partner in trade and even exported the first batch of Iraqi oil to Israel. However, when times got tough and the KRG had to make a choice, they chose the side of the PKK under pressure. In the end, one foot cannot stand on two boats.

Let’s remember Mustafa Barzani - father of Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani - was given asylum in the Soviet Union in 1964. Recently Mesrur Barzani, Massoud’s son, announced that they have never seen the PKK as a terrorist organization. Is this their sincere stance? The PKK kidnapped five people from the Barzani family in 2012, which doesn’t leave the KRG much room to speak. This was the reason I have been advocating that they will all have to bow down to the PKK mindset and turn the Kurdish region of the Middle East into a satellite Soviet republic since the militant communist group is aggressively dominant in the fight for a Kurdish-only state.

Some will ask, “So what if Kurdistan turns into a PKK-istan? What's wrong with that?” The PKK’s PR machine has been vocal about accepting Western values and the Israeli state as an ally, which is a ridiculous lie, waiting like a time bomb to explode. Of course the melon seller does not announce that he sells bitter melons, but the smell gives them away.

By its very nature, the PKK is anti-religion and is built on an ideology which never let any religion flourish – communism. Therefore, it will inevitably betray the capitalist West and religious Israel. Of course it rests on propaganda just like Stalin, who took pictures with children happily offering him flowers while millions of children starved and were murdered under his rule.

Ill feelings

PKK leader Öcalan has never hidden his ill feelings about Israel and even went on to blame Israel for creating ISIS saying, “ISIS is an Israeli project.” This is the man all Kurdish militant factions bow down to and this is the real ideology of the PKK/PYD/PUK/KRG.

Many analysts in the West will keep believing in the deception that the PKK/PYD/PUK are only benign forces in the Middle East: Sometimes we prefer to be pleased rather than be informed. I’d like to warn those who assume these groups could be controlled and moderated. There is an old saying that when evil is in the picture, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation. It is a shame to reduce the Kurdish people to these groups.

Just like my hero, the great Kurdish scholar Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, Kurds are brave, trustworthy, and honorable individuals deeply rooted in religion. The Kurdish people deserve the best of everything. Surely, being stuck in a country led by these militant groups is not to their benefit as well.

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Ceylan Ozbudak is a Turkish political analyst, television presenter, and executive director of Building Bridges, an Istanbul-based NGO. As a representative of Harun Yahya organization, she frequently cites quotations from the author in her writings. She can be followed on Twitter via @ceylanozbudak

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.