WHY KURDISH FORCES CAN NOT CONSOLIDATE FOR JOINT RESISTANCE?
ALVINA SAHAKYAN


Nowadays Kurdish nation is the most numerous nation without its sovereign state, that's why the national-liberation idea has always been extremely important for "Kurdistan" locals. "Kurdistan" includes parts of territories of modern Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria, where Kurdish people step by step try to achieve worthy for them international status through establishment of social and political structures: parties, councils, organizations etc.

At first sight, it seems illogical that this multimillion nation still remains living on others' territories and the "Kurdish problem" hasn't been solved yet. Why even now, when international law has become more powerful means for resolving such kind of problems, when international system has become so flexible and unpredictable, Kurds cannot consolidate their forces for the joint fight? But there are many reasons for that, including ideological controversy, even ideological opposition between political and social forces within the Kurdish nation.

SYRIA
"Syrian Kurdistan" (Rojava) has become the place for the clash of world actors' interests within the Syrian Crisis, i.e., Kurds living on the North of Syria nowadays attract the world's attention. There is no ideological leader of this national minority here, but as the main political forces act The Democratic Union Party (PYD) and The Kurdish National Council (KNC). Established in 2003 PYD differs from many Kurdish parties by its moderate views on Rojava's future: PYD isn't based on radical separatist views, so it supports the increase of the Kurdish Autonomy, but within Syria. Party members believe that the idea of the Kurdish Sovereignty is not topical now, that's why worth fighting for the creation not of the Kurdish State, but of the Kurdish civil society, which should be based on the national social structures. To achieve this goal PYD creates autonomous self-government structures on the territory of Rojava (courts, law enforcement authorities, national schools, women's rights' movements etc.). KNC was founded in 2011 and at the beginning consisted of 11 Kurdish parties, which supported the idea of the Kurdish Autonomy within Federative Syria. Also The People's Protection Units (YPG) are Kurds' military forces in Syria. They are also claimed to be the military wing of PYD, but de jure the Units act separately from any political organization. The Units also interesting by the fact that they include other ethno-confessional groups' representatives. In addition, a great number of women fight on the YPG side.

In 2012 the Women's Protection Units (YPJ) became the part of YPG. YPG is a democratic socialistic organization that plays a great role in the aspect of the "Kurdish problem" not only in Syria, but also abroad: YPG repeatedly helped the Iraqi "Peshmerga" to achieve their liberation goals.

IRAQ
Talking about the political structures of "Southern Kurdistan" in Iraq, worth to mention that here Kurds have achieved the greatest autonomy: the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) was founded in 1992 in Erbil, the capital city of Iraqi Kurdistan, whose president is Massoud Barzani. Democratic and liberal views can be traced in the government, and it has been reflected in the first prime minister's policy - Nechirvan Idris Barzani, who moderated serious social and economic reforms, including those relating to the violence against women, the infrastructure's improving, as well as the foreign investment. As to the modern policy of the head of Iraqi Kurdistan, in 2016 Massoud Barzani willfully decided to prematurely retire and to hold presidential elections earlier, what indicted that freedom, the freedom of choice is one of the fundamental values of the "Southern Kurdistan".

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) are the main political forces here. Established in 1946, KDP is considered to be more conservative, traditionalist and right than PUK, which was founded in 1975 by Jalal Talabani as the union of leftist organizations. "Peshmerga" may be called the Iraqi analogue of the Syrian YPG. Since 1890 they are the Kurdish armed forces in this part of "Kurdistan".

TURKEY
The majority of Kurds live in Turkey, but here the most powerful Kurdish structure - The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - is recognized as a terrorist organization , whose leader, Abdullah Ocalan in 1999 was sentenced to life by the Turkish government. PKK was founded in 1978 on the ideas of socialism, and it has a formal military wing with partisan orientation - The People's Defense Forces, 1/3 of its members are women. Here no military conflict de jure takes place, but the relations between Kurds and the authorities are dangerously tense.

IRAN
In general, Iranian Kurds do not attract as wide attention as do Kurds in other countries. Here the "Kurdistan Free Life Party" (PJAK) is the main political actor with its armed wing "Eastern Kurdistan Defense Units" (YRK) and women's division HPJ.

The party is based on the ideals of democratic socialism and separatism.

INTERRELATION
Learning more about the subject, we can notice that the political forces in different parts of "Kurdistan" do not act completely uncoordinatedly. PJAK (Iran), along with PKK (Turkey), admit Abdullah Ocalan as their supreme leader. Also PKK is considered to support the Party of the Democratic Union of Syria. As to the Syrian forces, worth to notice that Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, has played the great role in the establishment of KNC (Syria), and he may be claimed to be the ideological inspirer of organization, therefore there is nothing strange that KNC, together with the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party wants "Syrian Kurdistan" to become the separate unit of the Federation in Syria.

THE MAIN PROBLEMS
Thus, there can be identified two main leaders, who influence on almost all the organizations in "Kurdistan": Abdullah Ocalan and Masoud Barzani. Partly the problem of consolidation of Kurdish forces may be explained as the ideological fight between these two leaders: each of them wants to become a symbolic "father of the nation", who can unite the separated nation. But none of the parties agrees to accept the primacy of its ideological opponent. Here the opinions may differ: some people consider that nowadays it is inappropriate to talk about uniting all Kurds by any single political organization, because the fragmentation is already too deep in the political sphere of this question. So, the most realistic option is a continuation of the struggle of each part of "Kurdistan" for its independence, not the hopeless attempt to unite all Kurds in the ideological sphere. In contrast, a bit utopian idea of creating a "Great Kurdistan", which is kind of a sacred idea for Kurds all over the world, also finds its supporters.

However, the problem of consolidation of Kurdish forces may come from outside: there may be a great number of Kurds in the world, but still they are too weak in the sphere of international relations to make the great actors seriously acknowledge the "Kurdish issue" and stop using it to achieve their own geopolitical goals. So, Kurds may create their state only if it would be beneficial for the main powers in international relations. But now not only regional governments (Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria) are not interested in it, but also the West, too powerful West does not see any beneficial prospects in the creation of the Kurdish Autonomy.

Thus, the "Kurdish problem" is so multifaceted that nowadays it depends on too many international relations' actors to be solved. The impossibility of consolidated struggle of the Kurdish forces for independence of "Kurdistan" comes from internal ideological problems of Kurdish social-political forces and its leaders and external disinterest of other states in giving Kurds the right to create their own Kurdistan, for which they are fighting for hundreds of years.
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772 reads | 15.02.2017
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