Kurds are the largest stateless people on earth. 30 million kurds were dispersed into 3 separate states without moving an inch from their homes. The end of the Ottomans gave the British and French colonizers to play chess on the political map of the Ottoman lands. Kurds ended up becoming unwanted toys for Syrians, Turks and Iraqis. For decades they were marginalised through political deprivation at best and at times heavy firepower from aircrafts and fighter jets. what do the Kurds want, an independent state of their own?
Actually they never pressed any such demand. The PKK of Iraqi Kurdistan, and quite possibly the equivalent of being the PLO of global Kurds, staes:
Kurds on both sides of the Syria-Turkey border say they’re not seeking an independent Kurdistan, but instead to establish autonomous and fully recognized Kurdish regions along the lines of Iraq’s KRG, which remains under the sovereignty of a federal Iraq. These regions would nonetheless also share in some version of an open-border supra-Kurdish federation. That’s a perspective long espoused by jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who believes that the nation state is an outdated model unsuited to the needs of the Kurds.
“Of course, whether or not a federation emerges depends on so many other determinants, like the international community, not to mention how events in Damascus turn out,” says Altug. “But this is a political coming of age for the Kurds. They are pursuing a pragmatic and politically astute strategy.”
Asked whether the region was ready for an independent Kurdistan, Barzani was fairly open. “It’s a natural right of the people. But when and how it will be ready is a different question,” he told al-Jazeera last week.
Turkey’s problem is that events in Syria could force its hand in dealing with its domestic Kurdish challenge — and not just militarily. Erdogan has seesawed between conceding more democratic and cultural rights to Turkey’s Kurds, and adopting a hawkish militarist stand — thousands of Kurdish politicians and activists are currently under arrest for allegedly belonging to a political offshoot of the PKK. “That’s the most essential question,” wrote Birand. “What effort are we making to solve our own Kurdish issue, to comfort our own citizens of Kurdish origin?” Regardless of the answer, that question is now increasingly central to shaping Turkey’s responses to the rebellion next door.