Our Statements

september 07, 2023

Conflicts in Deir ez-Zor and Kirkuk in Relation to the Visit of Turkish FM to Iraq

Iraq and Syria, have gone through a major upheaval after the attacks of IS and still have not been stabilized. They are being drawn into a new conflict in Kirkuk and Deir ez-Zor. It is clear that the simultaneous tensions in these regions are not spontaneous or coincidental. This tensions and conflicts are directly related to the visits of Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan to Baghdad and Hêwler [Erbil] from August 22-24. Indeed, Tayyip Erdoğan and Hakan Fidan’s statements on both regions also show the intentions and expectations of the Turkish state.

While Hakan Fidan stated that the PKK started the clashes that resulted in the death of 4 people in Kirkuk, Erdoğan, on his return to Russia, described the tensions and clashes in Deir ez-Zor as timely, very good and appropriate developments, thus confessing his support for the gangs that started this clash.

The Turkish state, which violates the sovereign rights of both Iraq and Syria and occupies both countries, wants to make its occupation of Iraq and Syria permanent by spreading it over time, just like the occupation of Cyprus in 1974. Hakan Fidan, who resorted to all kinds of dirty war methods and all kinds of provocations, extralegal executions and massacres in Kurdistan when he was the head of Turkish intelligence (MIT), continues them in the name of diplomacy, this time with the title of foreign minister.

Hakan Fidan and Tayyip Erdoğan, declared Kirkuk, where Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens, Assyrians and Armenians are living together for centuries, a “Turkish homeland” and a “Turkmen city”. They use the KDP and the Barzani family to hide their occupying and expansionist ambitions. In recent years, Kirkuk is being tried to be turned into the center of the MIT with all sorts of spying, creating provocations, legitimizing its occupation and positioning itself in South Kurdistan. Kirkuk, which since ancient times has been home to many ethnicities, beliefs and different cultures, is being turned into the center of a new conflict with Turkey’s provocations.

The Iraqi Turkmen Front [right wing political organization claiming to represent the Turkmen people in Iraq] and the KDP administration, are working directly under Ankara and MIT’s command, trying to provide legitimacy and credibility to the Turkish state and the dictatorship of Erdoğan, which has no credibility in the eyes of the Iraqi society and the Baghdad government. Turkey is trying to put pressure on the Baghdad administration with the support of some Turkmen personalities and the Barzani family, whom it has ganged up and taken under its control. The fascist-occupying Turkish Republic and its stooges who want to turn this magnificent city Kirkuk, which is rich in history, sociological reality and the experience of coexistence of different cultures, into a tool of power and of their administration. The people of Kirkuk have to organize and struggle to turn Kirkuk into a stronghold of freedom, democracy, brotherhood, and peace on the basis of self-governance and strengthening the grounds of common life by taking a stance against all kinds of foreign interventions and occupying policies that want to make the peoples put a knife on each other’s throats.

Turning Kirkuk into a bargaining ground over the sharing of land and districts, dividing it into ethnicities and beliefs, population and calculations of getting a share from oil revenues is synonymous with turning Kirkuk, and thus Iraq, into a permanent crisis area and destabilizing it.

The will of the peoples, of the communities belonging to different ethnicities, different religious and belief groups, of the women and the youth of Kirkuk to establish a life together and in common, to live in peace and well-being in Kirkuk, and the capacity for self-governance is more than enough.

On the basis of these facts, the first thing that everyone, who wants peace and tranquility for Kirkuk, has to do is to oppose the Turkish state occupying Iraqi territory. The 90 Turkish military outposts on Iraqi soil must be dismantled. It is to oppose the increasing political, cultural and economic hegemony of Turkey over South Kurdistan, which has turned Hêwler into its backyard. Only when the Turkish state unconditionally ends its occupation of Iraqi territory and withdraws its hands from Syria and Libya can peace generally prevail in the Middle East.

KCK Foreign Relations Committee