Bashur intellectuals and politicians: Turkey is replacing ISIS

Intellectuals and politicians from Southern Kurdistan attending the ISIS forum organized by the NRLS said ISIS has been defeated but the Turkish state is now taking its place with the same goals in mind.

Politicians and intellectuals from Southern Kurdistan who are attending the international conference on ISIS organized by the Rojava Strategic Research Center (Navenda Rojava a Lêkolînên Stratejîk-NRLS) in Amude said ISIS has been dealt a great blow in the military sense but the Turkish state is looking to take its place, especially with their invasion attacks in Southern Kurdistan.

The intellectuals and politicians from Southern Kurdistan said Turkey targets all of Kurdistan, not just one particular place or only a portion of Kurds, and suggested a National Movement where Kurds can have one united voice as a response. The intellectuals and politicians spoke to the ANF and said, “The peoples of Kurdistan must have one united voice, one united heart and one common position against these attacks.”


Revel Ibrahim from the Communist Party of Kurdistan attended the forum and said: “We have achieved certain gains through a great price paid. Now it is time to translate these gains into political gains.” Ibrahim continued to speak about the threat the Turkish state poses: “The Turkish state, as per its historic character, has always been hostile to Kurds. It’s not just Bashur, Rojava or Rojhilat, the Turkish state is targeting all Kurds. At this point, rather than looking at them, we must focus on ourselves. We must think how we can fight and find a political solution to all this.”


Another forum participant, Communist Party Kurdistan Central Committee Secretary Dr. Kawa Mehmud said an extensive struggle for the post-ISIS era is needed and that the military gains must be translated to political gains. Mehmud said Turkey’s attacks against Southern Kurdistan is “a continuation of ISIS’s goals” and added: “Rojava and Bashur, and indeed the other two parts, are not independent from each other. No attacks against any one part will develop independently from the others. Could we consider the occupations of Kirkuk and Afrin independently? There we must stop and think.”


“Looking at the Turkish state’s attacks in the Behdinan region, realpolitik orders us as Kurds to come together on common ground,” said Mehmud and added that Kruds need a national movement to encompass all four parts: “I see that we need a common National Movement for all of Kurdistan. Bakur, Bashur, Rojava and Rojhilat may have their own particularities, but we need a National Movement to put forth a joint stance against the attacks and occupations in question.”


Forum participant journalist Hiwa Seyid Selim said the ideological prsence of ISIS continues still, in the form of the Turkish state: “The Turkish state, as the occupying force in Kurdistan,  objects to any and all gains by the Kurdish people, and attacks them. Looking at Turkish state attacks against Bashur today, we see them as a continuation of ISIS attacks. Yes the Kurdish people have paid a great price and eliminated the threat of ISIS to a certain degree, but now the Turkish state is moving in with the same goals.”


Selim stressed that Kurds must have a united voice against attacks in all parts: “AKP and MHP want to deepen the war against Kurds to hold on to their power after losing control of the biggest cities in Turkey. What they want to do here is a continuation of what ISIS did. The peoples of Kurdistan must have one united voice, heart and position against all these attacks.”