Yasar Yakis, a former foreign minister of Turkey and founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has urged Turkey to negotiate with the Syrian Kurds, rather than attacking them in Afrin.
“A military operation in Afrin is not a remedy for the threat that Turkey perceives from there. It will be only a painkiller treatment,” he said.
“The best course would be to negotiate a deal with the Syrian Kurds, persuade them not to attempt to change the ethnic composition of the region, and establish — preferably in cooperation with the Syrian government — a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional democratic administration within Syria,” Yakis wrote in a column for Arab news.
“This would solve Turkey’s problem with the Syrian Kurds; it will facilitate a solution to Turkey’s problem with its own Kurds; and it may prove a breakthrough in the deadlock in relations between Turkey and Syria,” he concluded.
Sihanok Dibo, a senior official in the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), told ARA News: “In the case that the former Turkish foreign minister talked about the need for Turkish openness on the Kurdish project, this is a logical and practical view.”
“But we do not believe that Turkey today is ready to hold a peace process with the Kurds in Turkey or the Kurds in Syria. Especially that its parliament issued a decision a few days ago prevent and hold accountable anyone who uses the word Kurdistan,” he said in an exclusive interview with ARA News.
“Turkey sees neighboring countries as its backyards, acting in accordance with the Ottoman mentality towards the entire region,” the Kurdish official said.
“For our part, and based on our democratic project of democratic federalism, the primary objective and foundation lies in achieving security and stability in the whole region and consolidating the principles of coexistence among the peoples of the region,” Dibo told ARA News.
“Everyone knows that the Kurds and the People’s Protection Units [YPG] did not fire a single shot at Turkey; on the contrary, it has turned and still its territory to the positions of mobilization and training and an attack on northern Syria and Rojava and all of Syria,” he said.
“In the interest of all and in preparation for the aspirations of peoples It is not too late to open an honorable page worthy of the history of the region and to create the future of history,” he stated.
Speaking to ARA News, Aydin Selcen, the former Turkish consul general in Iraqi Kurdistan four years ago, and now a columnist for Duvar online news paper, said that the “Syrian Kurds are in need to find a balancing act between the Russian Federation and the US for Afrin perhaps agreeing at the end, given Russia guarantees for a post-IS Syrian constitution, relinquishing its administration back to Damascus – at least on paper,” he said.
“Ankara, saw an opportunity when tensions between Russia and US ran high making a move towards Afrin with a limited enlargement strategy for the Euphrates Shield pocket to further increase pressure on Syrian Kurds and to try full isolation of Afrin,” he added.
However, now the former diplomat says that it seems unlikely that Russia will give a go-ahead to a Turkish move towards Afrin.
“This move for the moment seems to have backfired as Russian Federation and US found a renewed modus vivendi in the background. Without Russia extracting political approval of Damascus and giving the military go-ahead a Turkish move towards Afrin (even if a limited on targeting Tel Rifat and Minnaq military airfield) remains impossible,” Selcen told ARA News.
“At the end of the day, depending on the new presidential race profiling at the horizon and the repercussions of Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum, Ankara can change the sequence and use PYD/YPG/YPJ dominated Rojava as a quid pro quo against cessation of hostilities. This deal remains a possibility albeit a very very distant one for the time being,” he concluded.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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source: ARA News