Kalkan: Global powers approve and support Turkey’s genocidal sovereignty over Kurdistan
According to PKK Executive Council member Duran Kalkan, the Turkish state’s colonialist-genocidal sovereignty over Kurdistan is not opposed by the US and NATO, but, on the contrary, is approved and supported.
Duran Kalkan, a member of the PKK's Executive Council, spoke to ANF about the role of the global powers that accepted the establishment of a genocidal domination of Kurdistan by various states while ignoring the Kurds. According to Kalkan, the existence of a Kurdish question enables the US, NATO member states, Russia and other global powers to obtain economic and political benefits. It also weakens Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria and makes them more reliant on external support. Consequently, the US and NATO are in favour of such a conflict and do not want a resolution of the Kurdish issue, as they would lose out economically and politically. Hence, these forces do not want the Kurds to completely disappear.
Kalkan pointed out that these powers viewed the founding of the Turkish Republic as appropriate for their own security. Consequently, they offered disproportionate support to the Kemalist movement and the Turkish state. They ignored the collaborationist stance and genocidal reality of this state and its hostility to the Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians and Greeks.
In fact, the US and NATO are very happy that it is the Turkish state that divides Kurdistan and subjects it to a colonialist genocidal hegemony, Kalkan noted. He said that is why they provide support to uphold the current conditions. They have agreed to the Turkish state establishing itself as a colonialist-genocidal power in Kurdistan.
Kalkan also commented on the founding of the Turkish Republic after the Ottoman Empire, saying, “The goal of annexing once again the former territory of the Ottoman Empire, especially Rojava and South Kurdistan, is a defining element of the mentality and politics of the Turkish state.”
We publish the first part of the in-depth interview with Kalkan below.
What is the agenda or strategy of NATO, and the United States in particular, with respect to the Turkish invasion of South Kurdistan, and in relation to the KCK (Kurdistan Democratic Communities Union)?
The Turkish state’s invasive attacks on Rojava and South Kurdistan cannot be taken separately from its colonialist and genocidal sovereignty over North Kurdistan (East Turkey). Consequently, the genocidal attacks in question have the objective of destroying the existence of Kurds, as in the North, and carrying out a Kurdish genocide. This is definitely their primary and fundamental aim. The Turkish state and its current AKP-MHP fascist government have seen clearly that unless a genocide is carried out in the other parts of Kurdistan, first and foremost in South Kurdistan and in Rojava, to eradicate Kurdish achievements there, it will not be possible to achieve a successful outcome from the genocidal attacks carried out in the North. This is because democratic developments in one part of Kurdistan affect awareness, organization and practical actions for the struggle for freedom and democracy in other parts.
In that case, if Turkey wishes to complete its Kurdish genocide, it has to direct its attacks against the existence and freedom of Kurds in all parts of Kurdistan and abroad. This is the conclusion that the Turkish state and its governments have reached after more than 40 years of attacks on the PKK aiming to destroy it or force it to surrender.
The Turkish invasions of Rojava and South Kurdistan have two main goals. Of course, a closer look reveals many more goals, such as the use of the Turkish occupation attacks as a tool in the context of regional and even global conflicts of interest. But we can consider the following two basic goals as crucial.
Firstly: to perpetrate a Kurdish genocide. In short, the most important goal of the occupation attacks is to eradicate the free Kurdish consciousness, will, organisation and gains and to destroy the existence of the Kurds. This does not mean just a military force, a political, economic, organisational structure, but the intention is to not leave anything left that is Kurdish, even at the level of spirit, feeling or idea. They want to destroy everything that constitutes the Kurds.
Turkey is already doing all it can to carry out a cultural genocide and physical massacres in North Kurdistan. It is changing the demography of the region, forcibly displacing Kurds from their homeland and applying a policy of assimilation. Everything that constitutes the Kurds is being subjected to cultural genocide: Kurdish history, language and culture is being Turkified, and the Kurdish existence has become a raw material for Turkish nation-building, the intention being to leave nothing left in this world that is Kurdish.
The same aim is behind the invasion of Rojava and South Kurdistan. It is vital to know and understand this. Because we are dealing with facts here. Its purpose is to destroy Kurdish gains, remove the status gained in those two parts and carry out a Kurdish genocide. Hence, what has taken place in Efrîn, Girê Spî and Serêkaniye, is no different than what has been done in North Kurdistan.
It is clear that the Turkish state and the fascist AKP-MHP government are committing genocide in the occupied areas. It is also apparent that the attacks in the South Kurdish areas of Heftanin, Metina, Zap and Bradost have the same purpose. Consequently, it is necessary to view the attacks on Rojava and South Kurdistan as part of the genocide being perpetrated against Kurds. The attacks on the PKK are being carried out with the same aim, as the PKK is the fundamental force that represents and develops the existence of Kurds. In order to eradicate the Kurds, that is, in order to commit genocide against the Kurds, it is first necessary to destroy the PKK, which is why the PKK is the primary target.
The second objective behind the invasion is to occupy Rojava and South Kurdistan, i.e. to put the whole of Kurdistan within the borders of the Turkish Republic, just like during the former Ottoman Empire. This is part of the Turkish state’s ‘Neo-Ottoman’ policy of expansionism in the Middle East. Whereas in the past this was something whispered behind closed doors, it is now being openly expressed by some circles. This Committee of Union and Progress (tr: İttihat ve Terakki), or Enverist policy, and the policy of the Kemalists, show that, apart from some nuances, in essence there is no difference between them.
The way Tayyip Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli are handling this expresses a combination of the Enverist and Kemalist way of doing things. The goal of annexing once again the former territory of the Ottoman Empire, especially Rojava and South Kurdistan, is a defining element of the mentality and politics of the Turkish state. While the Committee of Union and Progress and Enver Pasha did this openly, the Kemalists tried to do it in a more covert way. For instance, the taking of Hatay. We are aware that Mustafa Kemal bequeathed the ‘National Pact’ (tr: Misak-ı Millî) ambition to use every opportunity to retake these lands for the Turkish state. Consequently, Turkey aims to annex territory and pursue expansionism to further its objective of becoming a regional imperialist force.
However, since the implementation of this requires suitable conditions, it is not always openly mentioned or undertaken. When conditions permit and there are opportunities, efforts are made to take steps in this direction. Generally speaking, they are cautious and prudent and do not state their aims brazenly.
Now that NATO and the US are supporting the Turkish state and AKP-MHP fascism’s invasion of Rojava and South Kurdistan, it is necessary to evaluate this strategy in light of the aims of Turkey mentioned above because Turkey takes as a basis and protects the borders that came into existence after WWI and were consolidated after WWII, and of which NATO and the US approve. We are aware that these political boundaries divided Kurdistan into four parts and accepted the establishment of a genocidal domination of Kurdistan by various states while ignoring the Kurds. Consequently, the Turkish state’s colonialist-genocidal sovereignty over Kurdistan is not opposed by the US and NATO, but, on the contrary, is approved and supported.
In fact, the US and NATO are very happy that it is the Turkish state that divides Kurdistan and subjects it to a colonialist genocidal hegemony. That is why they provide support to uphold the current conditions. They have agreed to the Turkish state establishing itself as a colonialist-genocidal power in Kurdistan. Their approval was demonstrated by making Turkey a member of NATO following WWII. Thus, they assumed responsibility for the security of the country. Therefore, today they support the genocidal mentality and policies of the Turkish state. Turkey has taken advantage of this by mounting attacks on both South Kurdistan and Rojava in addition to its ongoing campaign in North Kurdistan. It is continuing its efforts to occupy and annex Rojava and South Kurdistan, demonstrating a unity of mentality and politics between the US, NATO and Turkey.
So, are there no differences? Undoubtedly there are. For one thing, there are disagreements from time to time regarding the practical implementation of the policies described earlier. Then there are the contradictions and conflicts over economic and political interests. The US and various NATO members benefit from the results of the Turkish state’s colonialist-genocidal policy towards the Kurds; that is, the difficulties that Turkey encounters because of it. The more Turkey seeks an open confrontation with the Kurds, the more it becomes dependent on the aforementioned states. This allows them to get even greater access to Turkey’s resources and thus increase their profits. Hence, they encourage Turkey as it suits their interests. Of course, we are aware that this is a conflict of interests between capitalist states.
However, there is a difference in perspective in that the mentality and policy of the Turkish state is to eradicate everything that belongs to the Kurds, whereas this is not the case for the US and NATO for there is no benefit to them. Let us suppose that Kurdishness was completely wiped out and assimilated, with the Kurds being Turkified, Persianized and Arabicized. In this case, there would be no Kurdish issue as no Kurds would remain.
In such a situation, what would happen? No conflict would remain between the Kurds and Turkey-Syria-Iran-Iraq. Therefore, the possibility of the US and the other NATO states benefiting economically and politically from the conflict would disappear. The existence of a Kurdish question enables the US, NATO member states, Russia and other global powers to obtain economic and political benefits. It also weakens Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria and makes them more reliant on external support. Consequently, the US and NATO are in favour of such a conflict and do not want a resolution of the Kurdish issue, as they would lose out economically and politically. Hence, these forces do not want the Kurds to completely disappear.
So, what do they want? They neither want the Kurds to be completely annihilated, nor do they want the Kurds to establish a unified, free and democratic system in the whole of Kurdistan, as the environment of conflict between the Kurds and regional states would vanish. This goal shapes the policy of these powers towards the regional states, but also towards the Kurds.
The US and NATO’s ‘KCK strategy’ is based on this and continues, with its priority being support for Turkey. Consequently, all manner of Turkish colonialist-genocidal-occupying-annexing assaults are supported.
Secondly, they do not share the Turkish goal of entirely eradicating the Kurds. What they want to see disappear is Kurdish forces that have organisation and actions promoting a free, democratic will and the corresponding ideas. In other words, they do not want the KCK, as it expresses free Kurdish will.
So, what do they want from the KCK? They want it to become like the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party). Since they are opposed to the KCK, they fully support Turkish attacks on the PKK and KCK. While Turkey wants to entirely destroy the PKK and KCK, forces such as the US and NATO wish to see it transform into the KDP.
What does it mean to become like the KDP? It means acting in the interests of family, clan and region rather than that of Kurdish national unity. It means implementing a self-interested policy of collaboration and surrender instead of one based on the free existence of the entirety of Kurds, their unity, community and their own willpower. That is, it means having a mentality and politics that accepts the relationship and alliance between the KDP and AKP-MHP. It is apparent that to be in an alliance with AKP-MHP fascism today is to be opposed to Kurdish unity, Kurdish freedom, Kurdish democracy and to relations and an alliance with other democratic forces.
What does it represent? To mobilise all the resources of the Kurds in the interests of its own family and dynasty, to sell the national democratic values of Kurdistan and to establish relations and an alliance with a genocidal force like AKP-MHP fascism, which is the most reactionary, dictatorial, genocidal and hostile to the Kurds, for its own interests. That is what it represents. This is what the US and NATO agenda for the KCK consists of. To endeavour to make the KCK a collaborationist entity like the KDP, with a mentality and policy that rejects Kurdish freedom, democracy, existence and unity. Their objective is to transform the KCK so that it acts in the interests of the US and NATO. It is evident that this is their strategic and tactical plan which they are trying to implement.
What is the agenda of Europe, and in particular of Germany, both as members of NATO and as an independent bloc, with respect to Turkey and the Turkish state’s invasion of South Kurdistan?
First of all, let me state that it does not seem realistic for Germany to be an independent bloc. Even if such a thing were true it would be weak. It would be more accurate to say it endeavours to act in its own economic interests and tries to prioritise its economic interests and exploitation over everything else.
We are not alone in saying this. Only recently, Chancellor Merkel stated: “Our political position is based on economic interests and exploitation.” Additionally, Germany is one of the states that is in most need of NATO. In this way, it resembles Turkey. In the same way as the Turkish state overcomes many of its weaknesses by relying on NATO, ensuring its security through NATO, a similar thing may be said for Germany. Therefore, it is absolutely not true, although there may be contradictions on account of certain differences over economic interests, to say that Germany is keeping its distance from NATO and has set up a separate bloc. This is definitely not the case.
If we define Germany’s stance in this way, it becomes easier to comprehend Germany’s attitude to Turkey’s occupation attacks on South Kurdistan. Just as with everything else, this explains its approach to the occupation of Rojava and South Kurdistan, based as it is on its economic interests and its policy of exploitation.
It was Germany that was the first state that made a positive response to the investment project presented to the UN with a map by Tayyip Erdoğan, which envisages the removal of all existing forces from Idlib all the way to Derik in Rojava, and the settling of refugees there. Germany said such a project could be evaluated and that it would participate in the preparation and investment. Its approach to the occupation of South Kurdistan is the same.
We are aware that Germany has taken every opportunity to develop its economic and financial relations with Iraq. We also know that Germany has a close economic relationship with Iran, despite that country’s problematic relations with the US and NATO. Today, these relations are much stronger than they used to be. Germany also has similar relations with the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government; South Kurdistan) and is one of its main backers. Hence, Germany addresses Turkey`s occupation of South Kurdistan on this basis.
Since the governments in Iran, Iraq and Hewlêr do not oppose the Turkish occupation of South Kurdistan, on the contrary, support it, it is evident that Germany, too, will be supportive. Its economic interests lie behind this supportive stance.
Germany has always been in favour of the Middle East being ruled by Turkey. In history, Germany constructed its economic, political and military interests on the framework of Turkish supervision, developing its relations with the Ottoman empire in this way. While on the one hand, it wished to exploit the resources of the Middle East, on the other, it calculated it would be able to reach India via the Middle East, which was necessary as part of its struggle with Britain. Consequently, its relations with the Ottomans continue on this basis with the Republic of Turkey. Germany has always supported Turkey’s expansionist policies towards the Middle East, because it calculates that in this way it will be able to reach and exploit more resources. Hence, Germany will not oppose the Turkish state occupying or even annexing different regions of Rojava, South Kurdistan, or even other parts of the Middle East. Perhaps it will act as if it opposes such acts when there is general opposition expressed, but it will continue to offer support covertly. This needs to be understood, as this is the historical strategic positioning on which the German state and its system of capital are based. Therefore, neither the US nor Germany is opposed to Turkey’s occupation of Rojava and South Kurdistan. On the contrary, they are supportive. When they are unable to express it openly, they do it covertly. Their policies regarding Iran and South Kurdistan necessitate this, as do their economic-political relations with Turkey and their strategic proximity. As long as the German capital pursues this hegemonic policy, there will be no question of a change in Germany’s political stance in this matter.
In what ways does this policy manifest itself? In what kind of relationship and alliance does it continue in a covert way and with what kind of organisation? Of course, in order to answer such questions, research is needed to reveal the truth, because some things are carried out in a clandestine way and do not find their way into the press or public arena. Regarding these secret relations and alliances, in particular, how Germany supports the Turkish state’s occupation should be revealed.
There is also a need for the open support given to Turkey to be better exposed. Let us not forget that the weapons Turkey uses in its attacks from Afrin to Avaşîn, Zap and Xakurke are NATO weapons, US weapons or German weapons. German armoured vehicles are being used to carry out these occupations. German tanks are on the streets in Afrin perpetrating a Kurdish genocide. This is not something that is unseen or not known about, but the media does not cover it sufficiently. The support Germany provides to such a genocide is not sufficiently exposed and revealed. It is, first and foremost, up to the German media and German democrats to expose this, for such a thing damages German democracy and freedom most of all. It strengthens the German capital, consequently weakening the German people and leaving German workers in a weaker position. It makes Germany a supporter of fascism-colonialism-genocide and undermines German democracy and freedom. This is clear. In that case, everyone must see this reality. In particular, German revolutionaries and democrats must expose these policies and wage a more effective struggle against them.
Can you tell us about the key developments in the transition from the Ottoman empire to the modern Turkish state; what were the key transformations made in this period, and what of the Ottoman state was preserved in the new Turkish Republic? What role did the Turkification project and the genocide of other peoples play in this process?
Firstly, you have the 1839 Tanzimat Fermanı (Imperial Edict of Reorganisation/Edict of Gülhane). This edict set out the first principles and programme for the transition from the Ottoman empire to the Turkish nation-state.
The second key development was the Declaration of the First Constitutional Era in 1876 (Birinci Meşrutiyet). The founding of a Chamber of Deputies (Meclis-i Mebusa) was the second step towards the founding of a nation-state.
The third key step was the declaration of the Second Constitutional Era in 1908 (İkinci Meşrutiyet). The Chamber of Deputies was reopened, the Ottoman system was completely superseded, and the way was opened for the Committee of Union and Progress to take power, creating a speeding up of the process of forming the Turkish nation-state. Based on these central developments, the foundations of the Turkish Republic were in fact established by the administration set up by the Committee of Union and Progress.
We may also say that the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) government was formed as a proto-type Turkish Republic. What remains is to correctly understand and evaluate the CUP government and its later transition to the founding of the Kemalist Turkish Republic. This transition took place during and after WWI, taking shape around the defeat of the CUP administration.
Let us not forget that Mustafa Kemal was a member of the CUP, a general, and the Kemalist clique was part of the CUP. It was definitely not separate from it. But Mustafa Kemal Pasha’s political stance was not the same as that of Talat, Enver and Cemal pashas. The difference between them may be expressed thus: while Talat, Enver and Cemal followed more open imperialist policies and had expansionist aims for the Ottoman empire to embrace the Turkic peoples of Central Asia, Mustafa Kemal considered such policies adventurist, having a political approach that we can call more concrete or realistic, envisaging the protection of the existing Ottoman state. Apart from that there was no difference between them.
Following the Sivas and Erzurum Congresses, the first thing Mustafa Kemal did was open the new parliament in Ankara on 23 April 1920. This shows clearly how much his policy was based on the Tanzimat Fermanı and the 1st and 2nd Constitutional Eras.
While such a parliament was being founded in Ankara, the cadre of the CUP were gathered in Istanbul and played no part in that opening. However, a significant number of those who attended the congresses in Sivas and Erzurum were CUP members, hence it is beyond dispute that those involved in opening the Ankara Parliament were part of the CUP movement.
Moreover, while the parliament was being opened in Ankara, Istanbul was under foreign state occupation, meaning the CUP cadres there could play no role in the new government. As it became clear that the authority of the Ankara parliament would grow, these cadres made their way to Ankara, some openly and others in a clandestine manner. Consequently, we know that the CUP cadre from Istanbul played a predominant role in the formation of the Turkish Republic in Ankara. There is continuity. It is an indisputable fact that almost all the leading figures involved in establishing the Turkish state, first and foremost İsmet İnönü, were members of the CUP. Only Talat, Enver and Cemal were left out. In fact, they established sovereignty over the new state, hence we may say that the Turkish state was a continuation of the CUP government. The transition was from Istanbul to Ankara and the coming to power of the formerly weaker clique, the Kemalist movement. ‘The Turkish Republic’ replaced the Ottoman Empire. These were the fundamental changes that took place.
Apart from that, in reality the mentality and policies of the Committee of Union and Progress continued. With Talat, Enver and Cemal pashas gone, Mustafa Kemal pasha took over, with the difference in political understanding outlined above being realised. In particular, by rejecting the adventurist, expansionist, imperialist projects of Enver Paşa, who sought to bring the Turkic peoples of Central Asia into the Ottoman fold, a more practical and realistic line was adopted whose goal was to exploit any available opportunities. This is the essence of Kemalist policy. In fact, this policy did not result from Mustafa Kemal’s opposition to the ideas of Talat, Enver and Cemal pashas. Rather, it stemmed from the fact that these policies could not possibly be implemented. Mustafa Kemal did not think that Enver Pasha's ideas were wrong. He just did not see how they could be implemented. He did not consider the political-military conditions of the time favorable enough for this policy to succeed. He therefore considered them to be mistaken, erroneous and dangerous.
Hence, it was Mustafa Kemal who was proved right. Despite all his efforts, Enver Pasha suffered shattering defeats. First, he destroyed the Ottoman empire, then he carried himself away to calamity, whereas it is evident that Mustafa Kemal acted in a more realistic and objective way when establishing today’s borders of the nation-state, that is the Republic of Turkey.
While the Kemalist administration of this new state rejected Enver’s adventurist policies, it adopted in full the mentality and politics of the CUP. It based its policies on war, nationalism, hostility to other peoples and cultures, genocidal tendencies, refusal to grant rights to any ethnic community apart from the Turks and engagement in expansionism whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Let us not forget that the Turkish state stood behind the Armenian Genocide. Following that, it carried out the Assyrian and Syriac genocide in 1924. It carried out a genocide of Asia Minor’s Greeks. It is the Turkish state that started the genocide of Kurds during WWI and, making it the basis of all its policies, has continued it until the present. It has adopted all the racist, chauvinist, Turkish nationalist, Pan-Turkist and Turanian ideas of the CUP and implemented a Turkification policy towards all the communities of Anatolia and Mesopotamia, putting them through cultural and linguistic genocide, slaughtering them and subjecting them to assimilation.
It has used massacres, displacement and demographic change in a most effective way to further assimilation. The Turkish state has completely adopted the CUP’s genocidal mentality and policy. It has even developed it further. The policies pursued today by AKP-MHP fascism, the hostility to Kurds and the continuing genocide, and the hostility to Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians, demonstrate this clearly. This can also be seen in the official state discourse, its ideology and propaganda, and education and commerce.
Furthermore, whenever the opportunity presents itself, particularly in the other parts of Kurdistan, it has a policy of gradual expansionism into former Ottoman territories. The taking of Hatay, the invasion of Cyprus, occupation attacks on Rojava and South Kurdistan, even intervention in Libya and in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia and its relations with Qatar and similar powers illustrate this policy clearly.
Mustafa Kemal found Enver’s expansionist policies adventurist, but when conditions were right, he implemented them, step by step. Although he gave the impression of respecting borders and made declarations of peace, he followed the secret agenda, creating opportunities to invade other territories. Mustafa Kemal’s ‘Peace in the country, peace in the world’ was in fact nothing more than a saying made up to conceal the expansionist annexationist policy and the clandestine genocidal war being waged against the Kurds and other peoples. Today, AKP-MHP fascism is implementing this policy very efficiently.
In fact, Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that he does not consider it correct for the Kemalist movement to have followed such a policy in a clandestine way, declaring it should be done overtly. His opposition to the Treaty of Lausanne, his ambitions to invade other parts of Kurdistan and the Middle East and his mention of ‘Neo- Ottomanism’ clearly demonstrate this truth.
If we look closely, we will see that the period from the Tanzimat to the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship is a continuum, with various stages. Tanzimat is the first stage, then the 1st Constitutional Era is another, as is the 2nd Constitutional Era and the CUP. Another stage is the founding of the Kemalist Turkish Republic. The most recent stage was the fascist-military coup of 12 September 1980 and the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship it engendered. It is abundantly clear that such a republic is a CUP, Turanian, genocidal and belligerent one, as evidenced by its genocidal attacks on the Kurds, the Armenian genocide, its continuing hostility to Armenia, its sending of troops to Libya and its participation in the conflict in Qatar and Yemen. It is apparent that the policy is the same as that of the CUP during WWI and that the objective is in fact, to regain what was lost during that conflict.
Can you discuss the agenda of international actors in the formation of the Turkish Republic, namely both of Europe, specifically Germany and the UK, as well as the Soviet Union?
We know very well that Germany and Britain were primarily responsible for the establishing of the Turkish state. It is an undisputed reality that contradictions and conflict between these two states and the German and British capital brought forth the Turkish Republic. In the last quarter of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, the dispute over the Ottoman empire was between Germany and Britain. The Ottoman empire collapsed after WWI, which was a war between Germany and Britain. The Turkish Republic was constructed on the ruins left by this war. Although Germany appeared to lose the war and consequently to have no say in the post-war world and the Middle East, this is a superficial perspective. Britain and Germany exercised great influence on the developments at that time.
In the re-configuration of the world and the Middle East, and also of the founding of the Turkish Republic, the influence and power of the German capital, and, consequently, German politics, was present and paid attention to.
Undoubtedly, in the process of the acceptance of the Kemalist movement and the formation of the Turkish state, France and the Soviet Union also played significant roles. France, in partnership with Britain, participated in the establishing of the Turkish Republic. It was France that first reached an agreement (Ankara Agreement) with the Kemalist movement, and, consequently, officially recognised it, as early as 1921.
It was Britain and France that were principally responsible for the division, sharing out and shaping of the Middle East after WWI. The two states both had an alliance and waged a war to share out the spoils. The French capital always wanted a share of the resources in the Middle East.
As for the British, they were principally concerned with protecting the Ottoman Empire as a bulwark against Germany reaching India. When they realised this was no longer possible at the beginning of the 20th century, they developed a strategy that envisaged the partition of the Ottoman Empire and their taking over control of the Middle East. The English state went so far as to wage an open war over the division of the region, i.e. WWI. Along with France, Britain set forth the political developments that shaped the Middle East in their own interests.
Here we also have to mention the role of Soviet Russia. Czarist Russia had been in alliance with Britain and France. Following the October Revolution, although Soviet Russia did not participate in the alliance that Czarist Russia had made with France and Britain, in order to protect the interests of Soviet Russia, under the ‘Strategy to Protect the October Revolution’, it was involved in many political developments in the Middle East and South Asia, including the founding of the Turkish Republic. In this context, Soviet Russia was one of the states that gave the most political and practical support to the success of the Kemalist movement and the establishing of the Turkish state. This was carried out as part of the so-called strategy to protect the security of the southwest of the Soviet Union.
They viewed the founding of the Turkish Republic as appropriate for their own security. Consequently, they offered disproportionate support to the Kemalist movement and the Turkish state. They ignored the collaborationist stance and genocidal reality of this state and its hostility to the Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians and Greeks. The development of the racist, chauvinist and genocidal state of Turkey was supported politically and practically because Soviet Russia considered this beneficial to its own interests. Although the Kemalist movement and the Turkish Republic were shaped within relationships and conflict with powers such as Britain, France, Germany and others, it is an indisputable fact that, in the process of transition from the Ottoman empire to the Turkish republic and the development of the Kemalist movement into the state, Soviet Russia was one of the states that provided the most concrete support.
In essence, Soviet policy prioritised its own interests. This narrow policy had little to do with ideological principles and took form through the relations it established with the Kemalist movement and the Turkish state immediately after the October Revolution. By turning a blind eye to the genocides perpetrated by the CUP, Kemalist movement and Turkish Republic against the Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians and Greeks, it in fact abandoned socialist principles and the principle of self-determination of nations developed by Lenin. This principle was implemented when it suited the interests of the Soviet Union, but abandoned when it impinged on its interests. At that early time, the principles of socialism were sacrificed to political principles that prioritised the interests of the Soviet Union. It is known that the ideological turn, transition into revisionism and collapse of the Soviet Union took place on this basis.
Essentially, the reality of the Soviet Union, which prioritised hegemonic state interests above everything, began to manifest itself from the early 1920s onwards in the policies it followed in relation to Turkey. Its supportive stance towards Turkey against the struggles of, first and foremost, the Kurds, the Armenians, Assyrians and Anatolian Greeks, proved that it was not applying its own principles, and that when they conflicted with their political interests they would sacrifice them. It is therefore apparent that Soviet Russia was one of those responsible for the formation of the Turkish Republic and that, with its support, genocides have been carried out in Anatolia and Mesopotamia, the centre of the world, until the present day. This mentality and policy has been able to maintain its sovereignty until today.