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Turks and Kurds

Reader comment on item: Forty Years after the Invasion of Cyprus
in response to reader comment: Minorities and the Kurds included and the West

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Sep 30, 2014 at 10:32

All the Turks I've ever met are fine people; but Erdogan seems like a creature from hell. His physical resemblance, in addition, is uncannily like Adolf Hitler -- which doesn't help his image.

Concerning the Kurds, let's face it: They're land-locked; and as such, they are prone to be subservient to their big neighbors such as Turkey, Iran and whatever becomes of Iraq.

For the readers not familiar with the Kurds, they claim to be descendants of the Medes. In the time of the Medo-Persian Empire, they were once powerful; but note that in those days, they had a seacoast. They also had a seacoast in the days of Saladin, a Muslim Kurd who ruled from Egypt.

I don't see the Kurds playing more than a transient role in the coming years. They may carve out an independent state for themselves; but it is sure to be a client of either Turkey or Iran. Iraq is already, for all practical purposes, an Iranian client state (as are Syria and Lebanon). Turkey was the de facto puppeteer of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, with the Sunni rebels in Syrian and Iraq serving Turkish interests. When ISIS turned malignant and began attacking its host, that upset the applecart.

Turkey's latest ploy is to create a "Safety Corridor" in Syria, which seems amazingly similar to the one they put in place in northern Cyprus in 1974. These efforts can be most simply and truthfully seen as a Turkish invasion. Ultimately, this is the sort of thing I see happening in the Fertile Crescent. Southeast Iraq will then more likely than not become bound even more closely to Iran, and Kurdistan is a toss-up between the two regional powers. Bashar al-Assad's Syria is metastable, as are the other Iranian clients in the Levant, Hizbullah. At some time, I expect Iran to direct them to attack Israel, in which case Israel will likely come out on top and occupy the area. That's one possible scenario, which would set the stage for Turko-Israeli confrontation.

If it sounds like I'm swayed by the prophecy in Ezekiel 38-39, I admit that I am. There are no fundamental factors in the Middle East today that are pointing towards anything other than increasing chaos followed by some sort of local imperial venture(s). The ISIS Caliphate is one such venture; but it is doomed to failure. An Ottoman Caliphate has more going for it, in that they already have a prosperous, Western-backed core in the form of Turkey.

With Erdogan, Turkey has a real Hitler wannabe; and the Iranians are not unlikely to ally themselves with him, with the pretext of fighting Israel, in order to get a piece of the action (Read, "Kuwait and Saudi Arabia). There is a historical parallel here, with Hitler's alliance with Stalin; and I don't expect the Turko-Iranian alliance to have any more staying power than the German-Soviet one did. Ezekiel 38-39 says they will turn on one another in the middle of the campaign.

The Middle East has seen plenty of empires come and go; and with such a wild, seemingly unpredictable situation as we have today, any outcome seems possible. The prophecy-based scenario I've laid out here is probably more likely than any other. For decades, the Middle East has been the scene of Big Power rivalry. I don't think that will be the case in the near future; because the Big Powers are, at the moment, very much pre-occupied elsewhere.

Noş

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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