Salih Muslim: We are stronger and more organised, our resistance will be greater!
The best way for the Turkish government to ignore its political and economic bankruptcy is to go to war. PYD politician Salih Muslim describes the threatened invasion of northern Syria as the last twitch of a crumbling war coalition.
Salih Muslim, board member of the PYD, spoke to ANF about an impending Turkish invasion of northern Syria.
While the whole world is discussing possible ways to achieve lasting stability in Syria, the Turkish state is once again threatening an invasion. How do you assess the Turkish approach to a solution for Syria?
The pronouncements of the fascist regime in Turkey are the exact opposite of what is envisaged worldwide. We have been saying this since the beginning: Turkey does not want peace in Syria. It is a constant obstacle and thinks only of its own interests. The whole world knows today how many terrorists have been dispatched from Turkey. Many delegations from the Autonomous Administration held talks in Moscow and Washington. These talks went well. The answers to the questions asked were very optimistic. All have made commitments to a solution in Syria, for the stability and territorial integrity of the country.
Turkey does not see stability in Syria as an advantage. It is also said by all sides that Turkey and other foreign forces in particular should withdraw from Syria. Turkey must withdraw its troops. It didn't win anything anyway; its plans fell through. Idlib in particular is a catastrophic problem for Turkey. Because of the promises Ankara made to Putin, it must fight and eliminate the terrorists there. Otherwise, it faces another war. In order to get out of this situation, Turkey constantly threatens to invade.
Is there a connection with the current economic crisis in Turkey?
It looks like the problems of the Turkish state have now crossed all borders. Domestically, too, the state has gone bankrupt. Due to the war that has been waged since 2015, the economy has collapsed. There is nothing left, the population is doing really badly. Inflation continues to rise and the currency is devaluating every day. It all means that Turkey is economically bankrupt. In order to get out of this situation the regime needs to distract the people, to find a different issue towards which directing the people’s attention.
This is best done through war. The alliance between AKP, MHP, Ergenekon and other gangs is a war coalition anyway. This means that there has to be war and new conflicts every day. This coalition lives from this. When the war ends, it will fall apart. The current threats are aimed at maintaining this coalition and manipulating the Turkish people.
In your opinion, what effects would another occupation operation have on Turkey?
At the moment it looks like the whole political economy is not favourable for this coalition. Should it really dare to try that, it could be its last strike. It could mean collapse for Turkey. Fascism would collapse because of this war, economic bankruptcy and wrong politics. It's not just about Syria, the Turkish state also boasts of interventions in Libya, in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. This policy was wrong and therefore it does not look good for Turkey's near future. Something is going to happen.
Border security and alleged attacks on Turkey are once again used to justify an invasion. This brings back memories of the testimony of the MIT officer Hakan Fidan, who said in a 2014 audio recording that a cause for war can be created at any time by firing rockets at Turkey from the Syrian side. Can an intervention in Syria be legitimized again at international level with such a pretext?
At the time, Hakan Fidan had spoken of the fact that he could send people out to fire grenades at Turkey from Syrian soil in order to create an excuse. Now he doesn't have to send anyone out because his mercenaries are on this side of the border anyway. You can fire grenades at any time. So it is very easy to create an excuse.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have already commented on this. They have withdrawn thirty kilometres from the border in accordance with the agreement reached and in any case there is no interest in such an attack because the SDF affair takes place here and not on the other side of the border. There is no reason for them to fire grenades. They have clearly denied the allegations.
The people whose villages and towns have been occupied have the world-wide recognized right to self-defense. Tens of thousands of displaced people are holding out in camps. At Washokanî Camp, for example, they get up in the morning and look in the direction of Serêkaniyê. They keep wondering when they will be able to return. They have relatives there and they have the right to resist. Nobody can deny this.
Two members of a Turkish police force were killed in Azaz. What can you say about it?
They were killed on Syrian territory and it is not known who is behind the killing. There are many forces here, including the SDF, the Afrin Liberation Forces (HRE), Russia, Iran and Syrian troops. Somebody fired a grenade and two Turkish soldiers were killed. That is legitimate, because what are these troops doing on foreign territory? They should be withdrawn, then it would be better for all sides.
Syria has the right to sovereignty. If Syrian forces are behind this incident, then they have defended this sovereignty. If it was the YPG, then they defended their villages and their people. The population continues to resist the occupation. Actions against the occupying power take place every day, especially in Afrin. This is a legitimate right that cannot be denied. If you occupy another country, you have to face the consequences. In the meantime, the Turkish machinations are already well known. Everyone knows what Turkey is doing and what policies it is pursuing.
What will the population do about the threats or a possible invasion?
What can we do? We will continue to resist in line with our tradition. We resisted and won in Kobanê. In Afrin, we resisted Turkey's NATO weapons for two months. We are continuing this resistance. We have given thousands of martyrs. Hundreds of civilians have been killed. Still, we didn't surrender. As in Serêkaniyê and other places, we will be resisting everywhere again today.
Turkey is in a difficult position. If it tries to do something anyway, we can only defend ourselves. As different population groups in the region, whether Kurdish, Christian, Turkmen, Arab, we will defend ourselves. We have no other option.