Why can’t we stay calm? Why are we enslaved by emotional outbursts? When we are in a period where we are supposed to think a thousand times on each step we will take and every word that we will speak. Such periods are the testing times for the government, politicians, authors and opinion leaders.
That is why, it is time to move with a state mind. Because we are swimming in dangerous waters.
FROM SECTARIAN CONFLICT TO ETHNIC IDENTITY CONFLICT
As I wrote before (24.08.2017), the conflict paradigm in the region has changed. The Shiite and Sunni based conflict is over; we have shifted into a Kurdish-Turkish-Arabic based ethnic identity conflict. This is exactly what is happening in Syria and Iraq. That is, it is the most ideal situation for the U.S. and Russia to settle in here.
That is why, you must take notice of the provocative campaigns carried out on social media to destroy the nationalist subconscious. It is not an easy job to prevent an extreme emotional outburst.
These are the impacts of the fire ignited by the independence referendum in Northern Iraq. The Kurdish people in Iran, Iraq and Syria cheerfully gather in squares. The celebrations with Israeli and American flags in Erbil horribly disturbed us. Most of us feel cheated, betrayed and stabbed in the back.
DANGEROUS IDEAS UNDERLYING THE SUBCONSCIOUS
All the problematic ideas underlying their subconscious have started to emerge.
“Traitor Kurds, separatist Kurds, fascists Kurds, tent states, tribal state…” As opposed to this, those who say “racist Turks, fascist Turks” have started emerging.
Not long ago, we saw some people who chanted “dirty Arabs, traitor Arabs, Arabs who stabbed us in the back, aberrant Shiites” back when daggers were drawn at the Baghdad government.
Today, we are carrying out a joint military exercise in our own territory with the Baghdad government, which had said the harshest words from the highest state authorities, and we are becoming allies.
It is the same thing with Israel, too. No matter how harsh and strong words was said in the past, we eventually sat down and signed an agreement. The same situation applies to Russia and Iran, too.
Hostilities and friendships change fast in this geography.
So, the state mind should carefully plan every word which will be said and every step that will be taken. Nobody can guarantee that we are not going to make peace tomorrow and organize a joint concert again in Diyarbakır with Barzani with who we are at loggerheads today. And nobody should not guarantee that either since it is against the nature of politics.
THE REAL DANGER IS TO DISCUSS ETHNIC IDENTITY
The real danger here is the fault lines of the extreme nationalism which is triggered by all these discussions. When people say Kirkuk, they are labeled as “Turkist” and Erbil as “Kurdist.” Protecting the rights of the Turkmens means “hostility towards Kurds” while defending the right to live of the Kurdish people means “hostility towards the Turks.” It is like a state of madness. This is a drift that can drive even the calmest of people out of their minds.
Extreme nationalism has already pervaded the world. In Germany, the Nazis have entered the assembly; Islamophobia cannot be stopped; xenophobia is sharpening the opposing identities. It is very dangerous for Turkey to be captivated by this trend.
Because our structure is very sensitive to this issue. As terrorism, which PKK has been executing for 40 years using the Kurdish identity as an excuse, is still going on and the pain of the solution process could not be eased yet, pushing the discussion toward that way is a huge danger.
WHAT IF TURKMENS WANT TO ESTABLISH A STATE, TOO?
It is a mistake to read the referendum carried out by the obstinacy of Barzani through ethnic identity and accordingly criticize it in the same way. Even though Barzani makes this mistake, we should not.
Defending the Kurdish nation-state is a big mistake. When someone comes forward and says “A Turkmen nation-state should be established,” we cannot find a solution.
However, there is an obvious problem that Kurdish and Turkmen people are facing. We should solve this. The state mind should come into play here. Our problem regards tens of nations - Kurdish, Turkmen, Arabic, Keldani… - who are in trouble in Iraq.
This emotional move of the Barzani government, which will turn all geopolitics upside-down and cause a huge conflict in the region, fueled the flames instead of solving the problems. We should not fuel the flames. The state mind should interfere in this with a policy to be determined with even-tempered, calm and long-term plans.
A STATE MIND IS NECCESSARY
When pressed by Baghdad from south, Iran from the east and Turkey from the north and all the doors are closed, Barzani will not be able to find an egg; correct. Then, what will he do under this pressure? Won’t he go toward the west, Syria - the only open door - and become the toy of the U.S. and the captive of the PKK/PYD? Isn’t this what the U.S. wants?
2. What will we do if Hashdi Shabi, who waits at Kirkuk’s doors like a hungry wolf, enters and captures Kirkuk and Barzani loses his power? Will we say “It is better for the Turkmens to be ruled by Hashdi Shabi instead of the Kurds?”
3. Why would we punish the civilians in Northern Iraq, who hold a love for Turkey in their hearts, with our discourse and actions? Why would we push them away and make them our enemies? What will it do?
Was I able to explain why we should be even-tempered and calm? Because the matter is very complicated.
Therefore, instead of people like us who obtain information from limited sources and act with their emotions and impetuously the state should act with intelligence, information, strategy and reason, and govern the public.
The emotion of extreme nationalism is severely rising. There is no a better opportunity than this for those who want to set Kurds, Turks and Arabs against each other. Our president and government in particular must interfere in this immediately.
There is a need for a strategy, a policy and a communication plan. This must be done before the Barzani crisis turns into Kurdish-Turkish and Arab-Kurdish crisis.