"Turkey’s ‘Union and Progress’ mentality poses a serious threat"

PYD Foreign Relations Officer Salih Muslim pointed out that the Turkish state has updated the Union and Progress mentality and now poses a serious threat against both Kurds and the Middle East. 

Democratic Union Party (PYD) Foreign Relations Officer Salih Muslim spoke to the ANF about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s threats. Muslim also pointed out the meetings between the US and Turkey and said they “don’t know what goes on under the table”. 

Muslim said Erdoğan’s threats are “a declaration of war against all Kurds” and added that what the Turkish state wants to achieve is “an updated Union and Progress mentality”.

Muslim said: “Erdoğan put his plans in motion after he usurped all authority in Turkey. He developed an alliance with the MHP, Ergenekon, Hezbollah and all the war criminals of the ‘90s. We believe this is an alliance that aims to revive and continue with the Union and Progress structure from early 20th century. That time it was the genocide against Armenians and Syriacs, and the exile of Anatolian Greeks. Now there is only Kurds left, and the Union and Progress wants to put the Kurds through a genocide. We see the war in the South, in North and now in Rojava as a result of these policies. 


Muslim said, “The Kurds are facing a serious threat,” and continued: “This Union and Progress mentality thinks the best Kurd is a dead Kurd. The Kurds have no option but to resist. No Kurd can say they won’t be affected. When it comes to genocide, your party, your views, or another tendency won’t matter to them. 

Muslim also said that Erdoğan called Kurds terrorists and that this was a deliberate choice of words, pointing out that the threat is not just against Kurds. 

Muslim said: “There is a great threat against Kurds but it is not just confined to Kurds. This is a great danger for all peoples. For instance, in Idlib they are oppressing the Arab people. In other places it is other peoples. One of the fundamental goals of this new Union and Progress is to achieve the Misak-i Milli (the National Pact). They want to take over a vast swath of land from Aleppo to Mosul and Kirkuk. This genocide and invasion won’t be limited to Kurds and Kurdistan, it will spread to other peoples. Erdoğan was recently saying they were ‘squeezed into 700.000 square kilometers from 20 million. The man still dreams about the 20 million square kilometers of territory.”


Muslim said Turkey has abandoned the role the country was given in the reshaping of the Middle East and put its own agenda in motion: “As the Middle East was being restructured, Turkey was given a role. But Turkey had secret plans and they stepped outside the role they were given accordingly. Like this dream of the Misak-i Milli. They used all the terrorist groups to this end. They used ISIS, Al Nusra and others. But at some point their secret plan was exposed. Now other countries are trying to get Turkey to abandon this plan. Turkey used ISIS, but ISIS is about to be ended. They used Al Nusra in Idlib, as well as the gangs they brought in from Uighur and Chechnya. Everybody has seen that Turkey is the sponsor and patron for all these terrorists. Kurds fought ISIS and gained influence in the international arena, and Turkey as a response abandoned everything and retreated to the line, ‘don’t let Kurds get anything’. They say they will give anything anybody wants, so long as Kurds have no rights. You saw their approach in Kirkuk, they want to get rid of all Kurds, not just a certain portion. 


On threats against Northern Syria, Muslim said they “don’t know what goes on under the table between the US and Turkey” and added that the peoples of the region rely only on their own strength, nothing else.

Muslim said, “It was NATO bombs that rained down on us in Afrin,” and continued:

“Turkey is juggling several plays to prevent the Kurds from achieving any rights. They are walking a tightrope of pragmatic politics one day with Russia and NATO the next. Turkey is seriously stuck, within and outside the country. They are trying to cover it up with warfare. They wait for approval for their attacks and threats against us. We don’t know what goes on under the table, but we rely on the strength, organization and the resistance of our people. If somebody declares war on you, comes right on your doorstep, what can you do? The only way is to resist. So we don’t rely on anybody but our people. For instance, everybody was quiet about Afrin. It was NATO bombs and weapons that rained down on us for 60 days, which went against both NATO and UN bylaws but nobody said anything. 


PYD Foreign Relations Officer Salih Muslim said the US doesn’t want to lose the Kurds or Turkey, but the same can’t be said about the AKP:

“The US doesn’t want to let the Kurds down, but then there is Turkey on the other hand. Turkey is a NATO member and a partner to the US. The US doesn’t want to lose us or them. Erdoğan and his team take advantage of this. For us it’s not a problem, they could have relations with us and Turkey as well. The only thing we say is that the relationship between the US and Turkey shouldn’t come at our expense. Meanwhile, Turkey is trying to push an ‘us or them’ narrative, in an attempt to force the US to change policy. The US doesn’t want to lose us, they don’t want to lose turkey either. The same can’t be said for the AKP, the US doesn’t want AKP with these policies. We don’t know what kind of middle ground they can find, but Turkey’s policies are not just dangerous for Kurds, but a great threat against all of the Middle East and the world.