Our Statements

april 22, 2024

Erdoğan’s Aim is Legitimization of Occupation and New Attacks

The Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan plans to visit Baghdad and Hewlêr [Erbil] on April 22nd. Although the official purpose of this visit is the promotion of trade and economic relations between the two countries, Turkey’s real aim is to gain legitimacy for its 87 military bases on as well as its occupation of Iraqi territory and to legitimize its planned new attacks. Based on this and under the pretext of ‘security’, the Turkish state thus wants to broaden its occupation of Iraqi soil.

Erdoğan’s government violates Iraq’s sovereignty and uses the country’s territory and airspace as it wishes. Every day, dozens of times Iraqi villages, houses and cars are bombed and civilians are massacred by Turkey. The Turkish government carries out these reckless attacks with the open political, military and logistical support of the KDP. The Kurdish people and Iraqi society are against the collaboration of Turkey and the KDP and against the Turkish occupation. Erdoğan, who is aware of this situation, wants to both save the KDP from its current difficult situation and make the occupation in Iraq permanent by gaining the Baghdad government over to its own side.

Turkey spreads instability in all the areas it enters and creates instability by provoking the clash of different ethnicities, identities, and beliefs. Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus, the chaos it is trying to create in Kirkuk, its deployment of military forces in Libya and its ongoing support for the spread of ISIS in Iraq and Syria are concrete and clear examples of this policy. Another characteristic of Erdoğan as the head of the AKP government is that he is hypocritical and inconsistent enough to say ‘no’ tomorrow to something he says ‘yes’ to today. The Kurdish people and the Iraqi society need to know very well that Tayyip Erdoğan has a bad mentality and that he is trying to make the occupation in Iraq and Syria permanent.

The 21-year-old AKP government led by Erdoğan suffered a major defeat in the March 31st elections, becoming the second-ranked party of the country for the first time. The deep economic crisis in Turkey has directly affected politics. Therefore, it has become clear that Erdoğan’s rule is not permanent. The Baghdad government needs to also acknowledge this reality and should not enter into long-term engagements with the Erdoğan government.

At the same time, a new attack and occupation is being prepared using the PKK guerrilla forces as a pretext. Since the 1980s, our movement has been in friendly relations with Iraqi society and the Iraqi state on the basis of mutual respect, without any tensions or conflicts. On the contrary, during the last major ISIS offensive in 2014, the Kurdish guerrilla fought on the same front with the Iraqi people for the defense of Mosul, Kirkuk, Hewlêr, Şengal [Sinjar] and Maxmur and suffered hundreds of martyrs while defending Iraqi territory. While this war was taking place, Turkey supported the gangs of ISIS, not the Iraqi people.

The only Iraqi force that promotes and supports Turkey’s permanent settlement on Iraqi territory is the KDP leadership. The KDP must immediately end its sinister relations with the Erdoğan government, which today finds itself in a process of collapse, and should not cooperate with Turkey on issues that are to the detriment of the Kurdish people and Iraqi society.

Iraqi society, the Kurdish people, political parties, civil society organizations, intellectuals, writers and the Iraqi press need to oppose Turkey’s occupation of Iraqi territory and its plans for new attacks. A clear stance needs to be taken against the current occupation and the renewed attempts of the Erdoğan government to expand its occupation under the pretext of projects like theDevelopment Road’, new water agreements, or joint security agreements.

KCK Foreign Relations Committee