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September 25, 2011

Is a Kurdistan possible?

Kurdishaspect.com - By Mehmed Husedin

One of the questions I receive from many people when I speak about the independence of Kurdistan is whether a Kurdistan possible? Following my argumentation and excitement on the issue the question will, in most cases, start by asking whether I believed Kurdistan would be united and independent one day. Well, yes, I definitely believe to that but I would rather be cautious in saying when in time it would be a reality. Up to five years ago the approach in questioning my enthusiasm would be different. I was, rather arrogantly, asked many times if why I would insist on calling myself Kurdish, not Turkish. The argumentation would be mentioning the passport I had to carry… or pointing out the fact that there was no Kurdistan on the map or on any international document, etc. Today these arguments are not being told any more. Seems like there is progress on the Kurdish side in convincing the international community for the Kurdish cause. WHY IS THERE NO INDEPENDENT KURDISTAN?

Talking about the independence, I see two obstacles Kurds have to overcome if they want to free their land from the occupying states, get united, and become independent. These two obstacles are:

 1.Coming together  2.Convincing the world powers for a Kurdistan The first one is the internal phenomenon of the Kurds and the second one external. Addressing these two, however, is the problem of Kurds themselves; a problem the Kurdish politicians need to address. In light of this understanding the Kurds need to redef?ne their cause with new terms as the way forward. IS A KURDISTAN POSSIBLE

Well, if the Kurds are a reality, and if ‘-stan’ simply means land, then the KurdLand, Kurdistan, the land of the Kurds should be real. This means questioning of the possibility of a Kurdistan is rather questioning the possibility of a Kurdish state ruling Kurdistan. Then, looking at the KRG example, the Kurdistan Regional Government of Northern Iraq, we can answer the question with a strong “Yes! A Kurdistan is possible”. Kurds can come together, establish a state of their own and govern themselves while very well establishing their own international relations. The big question, then, is whether a United Kurdistan is possible. Well, if the Kurds can manage to come together under a Kurdistan National Congress, build a Kurdish economical development plan and continue their diplomatic efforts then the world powers and the rest will very likely be convinced for a Kurdistan. The answers to the problems lie almost always in the questions arise and this is true for Kurds and Kurdistan. These are all true but internal explanations. The rise of Kurdistan cannot be explained solely by the dynamics of Kurdistan. It either has to create itself a meaningful space in the current relations of the region and the world, or redefine the map to create a new world where it will have its own meaningful space. This new world must be within the logic of possibilities of what is today, what will be in the future. HOW WRONG IS THE GEOSTRATEGY MAP WITHOUT KURDISTAN

 Firstly, the people and the statesmen of the world have to be made to see and understand that Kurdistan itself in its current situation is a cause of instability for the region. Although the Kurdish fighters seldomly attack the pipelines passing through and around Kurdistan, the possibility of such attacks are already being considered behind, for example, drawing illogical routes for a pipeline. Look at the picture below of a pipeline carrying oil from the Caspian to the Mediterranean. It would be half long and 100% secure if there was an independent Kurdistan.

The Kurds’ struggle for independence is clearly the reason for such a stupid pipeline. However, the pipeline is still insecure if the Kurds are not recognized in their homeland (note: the map very poorly reflects the real Kurdish populated area; it’s far wider to the west than seen here)

HOW CORRECT WOULD THE GEOSTRATEGY MAP BE WITH KURDISTAN

 Of course what a United and Independent Kurdistan can offer to the world is not only the security of one or two pipelines. However, the example given here is the picture of a world where Kurdistan is pushed out of the table. To understand what the Kurds can offer we need to look to another map, one that needs redrawing of the current one.

Kurdistan on the left and Iran’s demographic map on the right. In the North and Northwest of the Iranian map Kurds are in yellow and the Azeris in purple. The alliance of these two neighbouring people would mean a direct and secure path to the Mediterranean for oil and gas of the Caspian and Central Asia

In such a new map the whole energy reserve in Central Asia and the Caspian reaches to the international markets securely by bypassing the Russian dominance as well as the insecurity the current political instability creates. BACK TO UNDERSTANDING OF THE EASTERN STATUS QUO

I should write here that when analysts write or talk about the current status quo, the one which the Kurds should not fit in with an independent state is in fact a false term if we were to read the history of the Middle East. In this history we would see the rise of the Persian Empire within the Median Empire, the push of them by Alexander the Great, the rise of the Romans to balance them, and this continuing with the Byzantines and their perverted child, the Ottomans. If this can be understood, then the current status quo would be put in its place as a temporary balance of this part of the world until it recreates its own natural balance with its own dynamics. Before going any further, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the current status quo is false, temporary and has to fade away with the political rise of the people that inhabited this part of the world for more than five millenia. Below is a quick summary of the Western part of this historical and now dead status quo:

  • Almost all the Eastern Mediterranean coast was inhabited by the Greeks before the rise of the Persians, including almost all of the Anatolia, which is the central, northern and western parts of modern Turkey today. Greeks and the Phoenicians (today’s Lebanon) were doing the trade in the Mediterranean seas. After the rise of Persians to power and conquering of the ancient Hellenic geography, Greeks could never return to a similar bright era.
  • Persians were pushed back by Alexander the Great. His empire could not last long after his death but created a new world.
  • Romans took the stage and conquered Egypt and connected it strategically to their empire. The borders of the Roman state excluded Kurdistan but included Armenians in their North. The balance between the Western powers and the Persians was created at this time.
  •  The falling apart of the Western and the Eastern Romans did not change the strategy map. Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt were ruled by the Eastern Romans, which later became the Byzantium Empire.
  • The Byzantiums left the stage to the Turkish tribes coming from the East, from Central Asia. Ottoman strategy map was almost identical to the Byzantian one, which was a continuation of the Roman one. Basically it was still the same power balance between the West and the East. The Turks and the Persians concluded to the same status quo shortly and this lasted until the end of the Ottomans.
  • In the beginning of the 20th century, neither the Turks nor the Persians were powers of the old. They both left the stage to non-regional powers, the British initially, then the USA. This was the end of the Grand Status Quo of more than two and a half millenia.

Even after the division of the empire, the power balance occurred between the Persians and the Romans has been the status quo between the west and the east for more than two millenia, from the early centuries of the Roman Empire until the beginning of the twentieth century, the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

On the grand scale mentioned, it looks like the current mini status quo of the last century we talk about today seems to be a result of not knowing what to establish when the real owners of the land did not rise to power. Remember, the current political map is not the creation of the current ruling states, they are rather creation the British Empire at the end of the World War I. However, Kurdistan emerges and its emergence should be analyzed and understood together with the mentioned history of the region. PROBLEMS OF THE CURRENT MINI STATUS QUO AND THE WAY FORWARD

Now, if one reads the events around Islamic Republic of Iran in the last two decades, it can be said that the fight of the Persians today is to regain power to declare dominance on what was once a Persian Empire, which seems very unlikely. The balancing power for them was the occupant of Anatolia, and modern Turkey is far from being such a power as the Romans, Byzantians or the Ottomans. It can be said, then, that the Persian rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran has a point in dreaming so. Thankfuly and for the good of the Kurds, this is wrong. Wrong for several reasons. Firstly, Persian Empire had its economical strength coming from the Eastern trade routes. Very few people know today that the Persians came to power within the palaces of the Median Empire, which belonged to the ancestors of the Kurds and which once united all the Arian people under one flag (Arian = Iran, same word). The Persians established their Empire on the political and economical unity this empire created in the region. The ancient map connected Persia with India, Afghanistan and all the way to China today. This is not the case today. Secondly, in the past status quo, it was the luck of the ambitious rulers of the Persians that the Greek were not united and could not stand against such a strong state. Whether modern day Turkey can be compared to the ancient Greeks of the time, I am not sure. Not in the sense that the Turks are united and strong. No, Turks are not militarily strong enough to challenge the rise of a powerful Persian state. They have no air defense system to give an example. Then, are the Persians right in dreaming of a reconquer? No. The real point to make about the Turks is that it is not Turkey that would defend against such a rise, but rather the power behind Turkey, the power that gives Turkey its power: the NATO, the USA. Iran, if compared to USA is like a domestic cat compared to a tiger. In short, I see no possibility for the rise of a Persian State as it emerged from within the Median Empire. Also, remember, in the current map Iran is sieged by the USA. Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Turkey, Georgia are all under American dominance. WHAT ABOUT THE KURDS THEN?

 Well, here I should write again about the Median Empire, which once upon a time made a Union of the Arians. The word iran is the word arian transformed in time. We do not care about using the word if Hitler perverted it. It is our history. Arians = the Iranian people of today. This includes the Kurds, Persians, Balloch, Tajik and the Pashto. Their map is roughly Eastern Turkey, Northern Iraq, Iran excluding its North which is South Azerbaijan, Afghanistan excluding its Turkic Northwest, Pashtonistan province of Pakistan and Ballochistan with its parts in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.

I do not claim that Kurds will unite all these people, but can trigger a new vision that will inevitably affect the struggles of these people. The world and the Kurds are used to think of Kurdistan as a problem of Turkey or Iraq. Those who are a little bit interested in the subject know of about 2,5 million Kurds in Syria and about 11 – 12 million more in Iran. What I am trying to say is that Kurds are more than they appear to be in regards to the impact their independence can create in the region. Kurds should not be thought in regards to their problems with Turks, Arabs or Persians. It has to be said that this is a perverted look at the Kurds. The Turks do not live in the Kurdish land nor have a historical relation that makes up the Kurdish dynamics. They are quite outsiders to Kurdistan. Same goes for the Persians or the Arabs. The Persians however, even though they are one of the troublemaking people for the Kurds, have their place in the dynamics I have mentioned, as do the Balloch or the Pashto. In a future article I will write about the Arian people, the Iranian people of today which once formed the Median Empire under the lead of the Kurdish tribes, Magu being the significant one. The Magu, which is the root word for the word ‘magic’ in modern day English.

First published on  ajansamed.com

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