Turkish MP to ST: Syrian government-Kurds agreement will prevent imperial powers from intervening in Syria

The Deputy Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party of Turkey (HDP) and the Member of Parliament Dr. Hişyar Özsoy has asserted that reaching an agreement between Syrian government and the Kurds will prevent all imperial and regional powers from intervening in Syria, politically as well as militarily.

He has clarified that Turkey has been unable to resolve its Kurdish issue through peaceful and democratic means and now the Kurdish issue is a regional and even global one, underlining that Turkey alleges that the Kurds pose a threat to its national security in order to undermine any kind of political status for the Kurds in Syria.

In an interview with the Syria Times e-newspaper, Dr. Özsoy said: “Unfortunately Turkey views the Kurds, regardless of where they live, as a major national security threat for its existence. The Republic of Turkey was built upon the denial of Kurds and other ethnically different peoples their cultural and political rights in Anatolia and Mesopotamia. It has militarized the Kurdish issue not only at home but also in Syria.”

Therefore, the Kurdish Member of Parliament in Turkey underscored that the Kurds and the Syrian government and all other peoples living in Syria should negotiate their differences and reach an agreement towards establishing a democratic, egalitarian and inclusive Syria.

“If the peoples of Syria can develop a democratic solution, then we will have a stable future in the country. But a violent conflict between the Kurds and the Syrian government will not only destabilize Northern Syria in particular, and Syria in general, but also will give excuse to and will pave the way for imperial powers to interfere into Syrian matters in more violent ways and to turn it into a much bigger and bloody battlefield for proxy wars to promote their own interests. So, we think any violent conflict between the Kurds and Damascus should be avoided at any cost; both sides should be very careful, refrain from pressing for unrealistic demands and try to impose their agendas unilaterally,” he said.

US pursues its own interests 

Dr. Özsoy commented on the American president’s announcement to withdraw US troops from Syria by saying: “From the very beginning the US was pursuing its own national and regional interests in Syria. They did not come to Syria because the Kurds wanted them to do so and they have not asked what the Kurds think when Trump made the decision to withdraw troops. The interests of the Kurds in Syria and the US overlapped in the fight against the ISIS and the two parties developed a tactical military alliance during the siege of  Kobane- Ayn al-Arab- by the ISIS.”

From his viewpoint, the US may withdraw its troops and this can provide an opportunity to facilitate the peace process and reconciliation in Syria, but the American establishment and its global and regional allies will look for ways to interfere in Syria and the broader Middle East.

“Trump had promised to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan during his election campaign. In late March 2018, he also said he would withdraw troops from Syria. So, withdrawal of troops is not surprising, but its timing is. The pressures of the Turkish government to launch another invasion in Syria seem to have facilitated the process,” the MP stated.

He went on to say: “Trump is pretty much alone in his decision; other institutions of the United States as well as European allies of the US in the International Coalition against the ISIS will try to find ways to undermine Trump’s decision. Even if American troops are withdrawn, the US and the West will find ways to influence and shape Syrian politics by various means. This of course is not to help the Kurds, but to pursue their own interests in Syria and the broader Middle East.”

Turkish regime’s plans

Asked about the current plan of The Turkish regime and the cards it has in its hand in the light of rapid developments in the north of Syria, the politician replied: “ If there is an agreement between Kurds and Damascus, then Erdoğan will not have many significant cards in his hands. He does not have any plans other than a reckless and brutal attack on the Kurds; but his plans keep changing almost on a daily basis. He is trying to protect the groups he has supported against the Syrian regime over the last seven years, and if possible he wants to reposition and use them to attack the Kurds in northern Syria. Such an invasion will surely further complicate and militarize the situation, obstruct or delay a possible peace process and reconciliation, and give the ground to global powers to stay in Syria for a longer period of time.”

Dr. Özsoy stressed that all Turkish policies in Syria have failed.

“From the very beginning the People’s Democratic Party has criticized Erdoğan’s ambitious, aggressive and dangerous policies in Syria. Unfortunately he supported many extremist groups in Syria, helped to militarize the conflict, providing various groups with weapons, intelligence, money, and all kinds of logistical and diplomatic support,” he said, pointing out that Turkey has been the gate for many foreign jihadists to enter Syria and commit all kinds of atrocities in the name of Islam.

The MP added: “We have repeatedly asked Turkish government to change its policies. We have also asked president Erdoğan to develop friendly relations with the Kurds and help to rebuild Syria and contribute to the efforts at peace building,”

He explained what the Turkish regime was trying to achieve in Syria.

“When the war in Syria started, Turkey had two objectives: toppling President Bashar al-Assad and creating an Islamist regime compatible with its own regional interests, and preventing the Kurds from achieving any political status in Syria and the broader region. The first objective is no longer realistic; the Syrian government is not going to anywhere; President Erdoğan has to digest this reality and adapt to it. It may take time but this will happen. But Erdoğan still thinks that the second objective, which is obstructing a political status for the Kurds in Syria, is still possible. That is a big mistake. All Turkish policies in Syria have failed.”

Everybody should focus its efforts on ending war in Syria 

The HDP urged the Turkish government to be reasonable and use its regional power and influence to help the peoples of Syria, including the Kurds, to rebuild and stabilize their country, rather than destroying it.

“The HDP, the third biggest party in Turkey, is willing to contribute to such efforts for peace and reconciliation in any way we can. Syria belongs to the peoples of Syria; all foreign powers should have only one task; help the peoples of Syria to repair the damage of war and rebuild their own country.” Dr. Özsoy said.


Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour