Kurds break their promise to Washington to stop struggling for an independent state of their own
Representatives of Turkish largest Kurdish groups set forth a very unusual ultimatum to Ankara. They demanded the Turkish government should officially recognize the People's Movement of Kurdistan – a separatist organization that conducts subversive activities in the south of the Turkish republic and in the north of Iraq. The Kurds threatened that they would perform new acts of terrorism in the region otherwise.
The People’s movement of Kurdistan is a strange organization. Having come into conflict with the Democratic Party of Kurdistan, which was chaired by Abdullah Ocalan, activists of the People's Movement of Kurdistan pronounced their objective: to establish the independent state of Kurdistan under the USA's patronage. Unlike Ocalan's followers, the movement's leaders said that the direct dependence on the Western capital was the only way for the new structure to develop. Probably, that was the reason why a lot of commanders believed the movement's ideas and took part in seizing Tikrit, Fallujah and other towns in northern Iraq during the operation in the Persian Gulf. The Turkish government has repeatedly warned Washington and London against establishing close contacts with the Kurds.
The Turkish government's concern was not groundless. Activists of the People’s Movement of Kurdistan were inspired with the victory over Saddam Hussein's regime, who had done his best not to let the Kurdish separatism develop in Iraq. They announced that they had a right to count at least for a broad autonomy, if not for an independent state. Moreover, they said that an autonomy was supposed to take a larger territory than just the north of Iraq.
The Turkish government stated in this respect that the Kurds were playing on the emotions of the world community, trying to strengthen their separatist movement in the south of Turkey. Turkish President Ahmed Necdet Sezer stated at a press conference in Ankara that Turkey would preserve its integrity by all means for the sake of the nation's prosperity. The president emphasized, if someone was going to call the prosperity into question, the government would order to take adequate measures in return. In Sezer's opinion, the Kurdish separatism poses a potential threat to the national security of Turkey, so any acceptable methods will do to struggle against it.
During the time of Saddam Hussein's regime, the Turkish army periodically raided Kurdish bases in the north of Iraq. It has now become impossible to do so for two reasons. First of all, the north of Iraq is controlled by the American army at present. US servicemen will not let any raids to happen. Secondly, Kurdish commanders in the north of Iraq are considered to be national heroes. In this connection, local people would perceive any aggression against them as an infringement upon democratic values.
Apparently, Kurdish separatists have already used such sentiments. Kurdish students arranged a demonstration of protest in the south of Turkey, claiming their support for the People's Movement of Kurdistan, and asking the Turkish government to make considerable concessions about the so-called new Kurdistan. The majority of protesters do not have a precise notion of the perspectives to set up a state of their own. The Kurds previously promised the US administration, a Turkey's ally, not to go on with their subversive activities in Iraq and in the south of Turkey. However, the Turkish press reports that they have already broken their promises. It is not known, what new methods they might use.