By Shalaw Fatah
Ankara- On Ankara’s street, police were asking for IDs from the Turkish citizens, not the foreigners. Sayid, a young Kurdish man from Turkey, was talking to me. He had a curly and long hair. He was tall and had dark skin; very similar to Indian Bollywood celebrities. He had a khaki jacket on, quite similar to the PKK fighters’.When we were having a good time at a cafe with Sayid and his girlfriend along with my friend, I have never felt that Sayid has a joyful smile. I was trying to tell him that “why do you think without you, Kurds are not going to realize their dream?” But then I realized that it would have hurt him a lot.
One day, we were walking together, having a cup of Turkish coffee in hand and talking about politics, as usual. Sayid said: “Once he appeared, I realized that Erdogan will become the prime minister.” I asked him: “How did you know?” He said: “Well, Erdogan is a person who works on emotion and popular statements.” Populism and moving people emotional is something that Erdogan is expert in it. If he does not know anything, he is great in populism.I can say that many Kurds who still vote for Erdogan are those who appeal to him emotionally and are under Erdogan’s populistic statements, not for his leadership skills.
Although this article is not about Sayid, the anti-Erdogan Kurdish man. It is about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In Erdogan’s populist rhetoric technology plays an important role. It was Erdogan who made headlines by launching Çanakkale promo. It was him who used Hologram as a platform for political promotion. He has successfully reversed a failed military coup by using Facetime.
To win the referendum on the amended Turkish Constitution and become a powerful president, Erdogan needs more votes than the ones the polling centers showed. What I have received from my source is that for over the last six months, Erdogan’s team are working on a new shocking promo which involves three nations; Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. My source said that “Erdogan needs a promo to move people and lead to a majority vote for the constitution.” The new promo is about Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its stronghold Mount Qandil. The idea is to conduct a strike on five different parts of Qandil and in one of the five spots Turkish flag will fly. But even PKK does not know which point [territory] will be targeted. My source told me that the PKK is aware of that and made preparation for any threat, “even an atomic bomb attack,” the source confirmed.
For many in Turkey, putting the Turkish flag on Moun Qandil is like Armstrong’s landing on the moon. It will move a lot of people and will be attached to the number of nationalistic and religious songs. It will be very effective and collect a lot of votes.
Turkey wants to get the PKK busy on all fronts to distract the PKK leadership from upcoming Qandil operation. It is expected to escalate confrontations against PKK in Sinjar and Makhmour, Erbil. Couple weeks ago, fight between Kurdish National Council in Syria (ENKS) armed units called Roch battalion, and PKK affiliates Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) abrupted in Sinjar. On March 11, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) mobilized its forces toward Makhmour where PKK fighters deployed. There is a possibility that Turkey may launch new attacks on the PKK affiliates in Syria the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Turkish chief military commander met with its American counterpart in Antalya, Turkey, on Turkish concerns about YPG’s outsized role in Syria. In a US Senate hearing on March 9, General Joseph Votel expressed his concerns about Turkey’s possible clash with the YPG in Syria. One day, we might wake up and realize that the war is launched on all fronts.
The source told me that Iran is aware of the Turkish military moves and it is unhappy with them. Iran does not like PKK either, and it is mindful of PKK’s wings and sleeper cells inside Iran. But Iran does not want to see Turkish flag raised closer to its border. If the intelligence reports are accurate, we are days away from it.
If the intelligence reports are accurate, we are days away from the new political promo and an escalated war.
Washington’s role is controversial. According to the “intelligence reports,” the United States might keep a blind eye on Turkish moves for 15 days. It is not hard for Washington to do so. What is easier than this that State Department spokesman Mark Toner to come out and say: “We are concerned by what is happening in northern Iraq. However, we have not received enough report about that, and I cannot further elaborate on that.”
Shalaw Fatah is a freelance journalist with a degree in international studies from AUIS. He has worked as research assistant at the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies, in Ankara [ORSAM] and published various articles concerning the affairs of the Kurdistan region. He is now working as monitor and analyst at Insight Iraq Ltd, where they focus on the political, economic and security situation in the Kurdistan region and Iraq.