Kobane and Sykes-Picot: Who will draw the borders this time? - İBRAHIM KARAGÜL

Kobane and Sykes-Picot: Who will draw the borders this time?

The sentence “the issue is not Kobane, it is Turkey” has enough clarity in itself to explain everything. The persistent emphasis placed on this sentence by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his complaint of “haven’t you been able to comprehend this yet” represents a proclamation by Turkey’s highest authority in regard to this ruthless showdown taking place in the Middle East.

Yes, we comprehend this and are aware of it…

During a period when the centenary of WW I is being marked, the masterminds of that world war have new designs on the region and are trying to shape the region with plans to replace ageing regimes with a new status quo.

While doing this they are attempting to keep regional powers out of the equation and wage a ruthless war against those that resist, in order to wear them down and finish them off. We know that all the crises experienced by Turkey in the last few years have been a result of this.

This is the reason why we have been linking everything that has been occurring in the region in recent years to the “showdown of a century.” We are aware that certain clueless people, who just look at their short-term gain; have a mindset where the concept of nation and region has been erased; those who are willing to set the country ablaze for the sake of bringing their community or party to power; and those that join this anti-Turkey alliance with the masterminds of this century-long design, are all on the opposing front in this great showdown.


Calculations are being made for new borders and a redistribution of power through the implementation of scenarios on the pretext of Kobane that seek to tie Turkey’s hands to its back and leave it unable to respond while designs on the future are made using two Trojan horses in the shape of ISIL and the PYD. (Democratic Union Party, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK)

I state clearly that there are two victims in this game: Turkey and the Kurds. These two segments that are actually able to shape the region’s future are being left impotent through the exploitation of Kurdish nationalism. The only reason for the targeting of the reconciliation process by internal and external means is to nip in the bud and destroy the process of these two forces uniting in the future.

When one looks at the assessments made about Turkey in the U.S. and European press, one notices changes in how Turkey is reported upon, how they treat the topic of Turkey differently, and how its internal problems are used to make projections about Turkey and the region’s future.

Instead of analyses and questions on specific domestic political issues, there is an increase in the type of questions along the lines of “What is Turkey trying to do,” “What does New Turkey stand for,” “What kind of message is Turkey sending to the region,” and “How will this situation impact the region’s future.

The Western press, which previously debated about Turkey “based on Turkey only,” now bases its stance on Turkey within a regional and global context. This leads to an attempt to create an anti-Turkey front due to the perception that is formed that “it is not playing by the rules.”

The domestic opposition tries to portray this formation of a front as the result of political incompetency. Whereas this is a situation completely linked to history and geography. The task given to the domestic opposition is to camouflage and erode this truth.


If you have plans to be a great country then you will find the whole world opposing you. Just like was witnessed during WW I and in Çanakkale. The world is witnessing Turkey’s struggle to rise up and put an end to the century-long tutelage, and this is happening in the year marking the centenary of WW I. They know that if Turkey rises up the entire region will rise up. That is why they are trying to bring Turkey to its knees and make it toe the line. That is why they want to keep Turkey in a position where they can issue orders to it. They want to prevent Turkey from raising its head and looking beyond its borders.

This is a major struggle. In one sense it is a new existential struggle. This anti-Turkey front would never have emerged if Turkey had toed the line, acceded to whatever the North Atlantic Alliance said, and if it had implemented its domestic and foreign policy based on orders it received. Turkey, as a result, would have been made smaller and interned in a narrow space. There would be no issuing of a challenge and no historical split.

However, their calculations went awry due to Turkey’s rise. Those that maintained the status quo for a century, and their garrison regimes in the region, were startled by Turkey’s rise. They rediscovered all the weak spots domestically and began heavily attacking these areas. They used all kinds of illegitimate means for this purpose, ranging from trying to topple the democratic system to resorting to urban terrorism.

Despite these efforts, this domestic thought process and rise has spread in waves and reached all the cities, towns and villages in the country. The new thought process and plans for the future were bought into, accepted and internalized by the nation. It won’t be possible any longer to take away this thought process from Turkish society. Those that are trying to establish an anti-Turkey front are not even aware of this much.  

What these domestic political personages -- who haven’t been able to overcome their fear of the Cold War period -- and the political circles influenced by them fail to understand is that this is a historic process that been fed by changes on a global level. They fail to understand the truth that it is now not possible to impede the transformation of the region.


Two questions posed to Erdoğan at the French Institute of International Relations caught my attention. A French journalist asked “why not Çankaya but a new building,” referring to the new building in Beştepe. The journalist was looking for an answer to the question of whether there is “regime change” based on symbols. But even more importantly, the journalist was trying to understand what such a change represents as part of the New Turkey.

French political scientist Gilles Kepel wanted Erdoğan to expand on his remarks that “the seams of the artificial borders drawn up after WW I have burst.” What they are actually wondering is: Are new borders being drawn up, what role does Turkey have in the reshaping of the region, who will define these borders, have the Sykes-Picot agreements been relegated to the bins of history, what role does Turkey have in all this…

Nobody is concerned with routine politics and developments. They want to learn of Turkey’s positions – on a far bigger scale -- on regional, even global matters. Just like the Western press, Western capitals too, debate Turkey on the basis of such a scale now. This is a new development and will continue in this manner. Countries, security strategies and regional designs will all be considered within this framework now, and Turkey will always be considered on the basis of its central role in the equation.

The Western press and politicians have understood this historic trend, split, new situation and great change. Turkish society has understood this. The man on the street in the region has understood this. But Turkey’s intelligentsia and Turkish and Kurdish Ba´athists have failed to understand this. Those of them that have understood this just want to put a dagger in Turkey’s heart due to their lack of emotional notions regarding country and nation, their links to the Fetullah Gülen-led community or the organization [PKK], or because they have received instructions from external sources.


The war being waged between two organizations has taught us just one thing: An anti-Turkey operation can emerge from there as well. This time such an attempt was made by resorting to Kurdish nationalism. This will happen in the future as well. They will seek to exploit every opportunity in this manner.

Both ISIL and the PYD are the Trojan horses in this regional power struggle. They are on the frontlines but different calculations are being made behind the scenes. Calculations that concern the drafting of maps and the division or joining of countries.

All these calculations have only one way of succeeding: By keeping Turkey away from all this.

But believe me they won’t succeed…


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