The PKK & Hamas…A Tale Of Two Terror Camps
by Gerald A. Honigman
Increasingly, the Turks appear to have visions these days of once again spearheading the forces of Islam as it confronts the West and those whom they see associated with it.
The focus of this essay will not be on why or how modern Turkey’s transition from Ataturk’s officially secular state to one closely aligned with the Islamists has occurred, but rather on recent events which Ankara has been closely involved with which are the result of this transition…the Gaza/Hamas flotilla incident, in particular.
For quite some time now, Turkey has wanted to have it both ways with Israel.
It has sought economic and military ties, and has especially expected Jerusalem to help it in its own matters of “internal security.” In turn, Israel obtained a powerful Muslim, but non-Arab, neighbor which was not looking to have it for dinner and with which it could have somewhat reasonable relations. Additionally, Jerusalem was also expected to allow Ankara to dicate the terms of this relationship
Not mincing words, the cost has been too high–for Israel.
Specifically, it has had to engage in shameful behavior to assist its alleged Turkish frie
nds in the suppression and subjugation of another entirely different people, the Kurds. Israeli intelligence and weaponry have indeed helped Ankara in these matters, and –for a number of reasons–this must finally come to a halt.
I have written about the analogy between what Arabs face vis-a-vis Israel and what Kurds face vis-a-vis Turkey elsewhere (Between Ankara and Jerusalem http://www.north-of-africa.com/article.php3?id_article=556 and State Department Math http://www.krg.org/articles/detail.asp?smap=&lngnr=12&rnr=77&anr=6589 for example), so won’t elaborate on this here. Please open those urls above, however, to see some information very relevant to this discussion.
My aim now is to showcase the differences between what Israel faces relative to its terrorist enemies and what Turkey faces regarding those whom engage in terror against it as well.
The assorted Arab enemies which Israel faces among “Palestinian” Arabs (most of whom were newcomers into the Mandate themselves)–Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and so forth–have one goal…the destruction of both Israel and its Jews. Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah plays relatively nice now simply to milk dhimmi nations for $$$ billions while building up his own modern military, courtesy of Uncle Sam. His dead boss’s Swiss bank accounts are legendary. Hamas is simply more honest. Look at both of their websites and such in case you think there really is a difference in their plans for Israel.
An Arab state emerged after World War I on almost 80% of the original April 25, 1920 Mandate of Palestine. In 1922, most of the original territory–all the land east of the Jordan River–was handed over to Arab nationalism by Great Britain. So, right from the start, and contrary to Arab storytelling, most of the land was given over to them–not to the Jews. Had Arabs accepted the 1947 partition, they would have wound up with almost 90% of the total area. They rejected it, because, in Arab eyes, no one except themselves had any rights at all in what they call “purely Arab patrimony” and the Dar ul-Islam.
Since those days, the Jews (one half of whom who were refugees from the so-called “Arab” world) have made repeated attempts to reach peace via additional land-for-peace measures.
Palestinian Arabs (and most others as well) have rejected all such efforts to reach a modus vivendi with their Jewish neighbors. So, that brings us to where we are today…
Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad & Co. have been engaged in continuous efforts to eradicate Israel and its Jews…blown buses, restaurants, teen nightclubs, shopping malls, ice cream parlors, schools–civilian targets have been the most sought out.
How has Ankara dealt with its alleged “friend’s” attempt to deal with this violence?
By expecting Israel to simply put up with it.
On more than one occasion, it has withdrawn its ambassador and has taken other measures in rebuking Israel for its retaliation.
While Israel has dropped thousands of leaflets, made phone calls, and the like to try to avoid civilian casualties, when Arabs deliberately use non-combatants as human shields (a common tactic that they deploy), this is hard to do. And when Arabs fire at Israeli civilians from behind Arab civilians, they are committing a double war crime according to the Geneva Conventions–which no one seems to care about.
The flotilla backed by Ankara and sent to Hamas-ruled Gaza was sent to break Israel’s legal maritime blockade of a enemy sworn to its destructions and which acts on its pledge repeatedly. Faced with such an enemy, the Turks would have never given back Gaza to their own enemies if the situation was reversed. No doubt here…
So, given this stance, it’s time to examine problems the Turks themselves have with another people…Kurds.
Kurds predate the Turks’ arrival in Turkey by literally thousands of years. Like the Jews in Israel, they were there long before an Arab or Turk ever invaded and conquered their land.
Some thirty-five million Kurds live in the Middle East, and about one-fifth of Turkey’s population is Kurd. The first Kurdish nationalist revolts in the area dated from the 19th century. Others would come as well.
The emergence of powerful Turkish and Iranian rulers after World War I wound up leaving tens of millions of Kurds stateless in the new age of nationalism in the region.
After Great Britain won a favorable decision from the League of Nations in 1925 tying the oil of Mesopotamia’s predominately Kurdish north to the new Arab state of Iraq, promises earlier made in support of Kurdish independence were aborted. The Kurds have been used and abused by many players ever since–including America and Israel.
Being a mere remnant of the former great Ottoman Turkish Empire, Mustapha Kemal’s (Ataturk) Turkey was determined to see no further geographical losses from its territory.
That being the case, what was there to do with millions of non-Turkic people who already predated you on the land?
Well, in the Turks’ eyes, you could just rename them, outlaw their culture and language, intimidate, murder, and subjugate them–etc. and so forth.
Bingo!!!!! That was the ticket…
And they have been all “Mountain Turks” ever since… not Kurds.
The violent, originally revolutionary Socialist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (the PKK), was born amid this subjugation of the Kurdish people.
Unlike Arabs, with twenty-one states to date (carved out largely from non-Arab peoples’ lands), Kurds are a truly subjugated, stateless people. They have suffered horrendously because of this condition, and long before Saddam Hussein’s Arab Anfal Campaign slaughtered over a hundred thousand of them in Iraq.
The 22nd state Arabs are striving for would be, as we have seen, the Arabs’ second one in Palestine (the name the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, bestowed upon Judaea after the Jews’ second revolt for independence in 135 C.E.), not their first. Today’s Jordan has that honor. And, much later, renaming themselves “Palestinians” instead of Arabs fools no one except those who want to be fooled in this game….Unfortunately, many folks fit into that category.
Thus, we see the whole world clamoring for the birth of that Arab 22nd state, have Turks themselves support it knowing full well that neither a Hamas nor a Fatah Arab state will accept a Jewish State of Israel as its neighbor; etc. and so forth. And now we also have Ankara threatening war with Jerusalem over this as well as it gets cozy with Syrian Arab butchers and Iran’s mullah maniacs.
What compromises did Turks make with their own national competitors, the Kurds?
Unlike Ankara, which outlawed the Kurdish language, Israel made Arabic the second national language of the state. By the way, the proportion of Jews to Arabs in Israel is the same as Turks to Kurds in Turkey…80% to 20%. About thirty-eight Israels would fit into the land mass of Turkey–for a little perspective.
Did Turkey agree to a partition with its fourteen million “Mountain Turks?”
Jews accepted repeated partitions with Arabs, resulting in Arabs getting most of the territory–despite their lies.
The answer, of course, to all of this is a glaring “no”!
Unlike Hamas & Co., the PKK was born out of this total denial of Kurdish rights.
And whatever its bloody sins are, the PKK has never sought the destruction of Turkey nor of its people. It has merely sought rights for Kurds, not “Mountain Turks,” which the Turks refuse to grant…ironically, those very same rights that the Turks expect Israel to grant to those who would indeed destroy it if given but half a chance.