Aurélie Gaudron "He wants to re-equilibrate between structural adjustments and reforms and growth". That's only one point of view. I don't think that others, such as the French right, would agree with your statement...
Aurélie Gaudron Good article on the topic published by The Daily Star: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2011/Nov-21/154676-dialogue-is-a-responsibility-for-turkey-and-its-kurds.ashx#axzz1eK1QBAoS
Aurélie Gaudron I agree with you when you say that Britain, Germany and France do not want to cede political influence over the EU to Turkey - a bit in the same way as the UNSC veto members are against any reforms which will take away their veto rights. Those who have power want to keep it. And the EU is using quite conveniently the fact that Turkey needs to do many reforms regarding human rights to be able to enter the Union. However, human rights, liberties, freedoms, etc., are basic values of the EU and if Turkey cannot respect that it is totally normal then that it is denied its admission at the EU.
Aurélie Gaudron Hi Michael, I'm talking about the votes by Turkish Kurds during June's last elections (and not Iraqi Kurds). According to the ICG, the AKP "has won half of the Turkish Kurds' votes" during these elections.
Aurélie Gaudron Hi Hamma, thanks for your comment. I understand the fight the Kurds from Turkey and the PKK are fighting. However, is it the good strategy for the PKK to attack innocent civilians in order to obtain more rights and autonomy from the Turkish government? Ocälän should callthe PKK fighter to refrain from attacking civilians: it is further alienating Turkish people but above all Kurdish people too. Apparently, in the last parliamentary elections, more and more Kurds voted for parties which were not Kurdish.
Aurélie Gaudron Hi Jacinda. Thanks for your comment. I disagree with your statement saying that if the EU accepted Turkey it would solve the Kurdish problem. To be able to join the EU, Turkey has to fulfill some obligations among which solving the Kurdish issue and recognizing the Armenian genocide. Turkey cannot be a member of the EU if it keeps denying the Armenian genocide by saying there are "two sides of the story", as a Turkish ambassador declared. However, I agree with the fact that Turkey might be pushed to play a greater role in the region given that the EU makes it quite hard for the country to enter it. Nevertheless, Turkey must respect the EU criteria if it really wants to be a member of the EU.
Aurélie Gaudron True. I just put here what was relevant to the Kurdish issue. However, the creation of a "greater Kurdistan" was one of the major element of dispute between Turkey and the Western countries involved in the two treaties.
Aurélie Gaudron Hi, I was exagerating a bit. No wahabi per say but they would be in favor of a rather Muslim Iraq rather than secular, I think, and rather Sunni to counter Iran, like you said. Regarding Turkey, of course there is a distinction between the two types of influence you mentioned. However, the economy, and especially food, can be used as a pretty harmful weapon against Iraq.
Aurélie Gaudron ...and I think that somehow they are playing a positive role, but only at the margins. Changes and improvements are not going to happen anytime soon and both Iraqis and Afghans are calling for the U.S. withdrawal. Therefore the U.S. should at some point consider pulling out of both countries and let them handle themselves.
Aurélie Gaudron Going and working here is actually more interesting and can contribute to building a new a prosperous Iraq (alreay worked there). Frankly, in my opinion, the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan is pretty similar: the U.S. intervened there but has not managed to create a situation stable enough and hand in the reins to strong new governments. It is bogged down into two countries where it cannot improve the situation. The U.S. might believe that by staying there it can help...
Aurélie Gaudron The Iraqis are indeed very angry at the U.S. soldiers and private military contractors who benefit from immunity in Iraq. It is "one of the most contentious issues" between Iraq and the U.S. regarding the extension of the U.S. troops' stay in Iraq past December 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/panetta-us-troops-who-remain-in-iraq-after-drawdown-must-have-immunity/2011/10/06/gIQAPD5EQL_story.html
Aurélie Gaudron Haitham, I'm very curious about your statement which says you would like to change the people who are currently trying to govern Iraq. Who do you think should replace them? I cannot think of other politicians who might be able to do a better job...
Aurélie Gaudron Actually, Iraq's Kurdistan Region is one of the places to be in the Middle-East. The region is developing quite fast, attempting to play the democratic game, while enjoying a relative stability. I would definitely recommend you to work/visit it. However, the rest of Iraq is, according to me, far too dangerous.
Aurélie Gaudron As for Iraq, Turkey already has a huge influence in the country: 80% of Iraq imports come from Turkey. However, I think it is unlikely they would invade Northern Iraq. It would create a major crisis involving all the major actors in the region. Quite surprisingly, Ergodan declared yesterday that the Kurdish issue could not be solved by "raising the Turksih flag in the Kandil mountains (Iraqi Kurdistan)": http://www.todayszaman.com/news-259009-you-cannot-end-terror-by-raising-turkish-flag-in-kandil-pm-tells-bahceli.html
Aurélie Gaudron Thanks Michael and I apologize for the late reply. It's true that Saudi Arabi and Turkey are both on the U.S. bench, however, given that Turkey is a country praising modern Islam, I do not think that it would be pleased to see the rise of a Wahhabist Iraq under Saudi influence. Turkey has rather an interest in keeping a balance between the different religious and ethnic groups in Iraq. Therefore, it would not also be in favor of Iranian influence in Iraq, like you said. It is clear that Turkey is trying to play a much bigger role in the region, notably in the countries which have experienced the Arab Spring. Some people are indeed saying that we are witnessing "neo-ottomanism".
Aurélie Gaudron Well it's a bit more complicated than that: the Kurds are a people who asked for the creation of their own state while the Ottoman Empire was collapsing. The Western powers granted them an independent state in the Treaty of Sèvres. However, when Kamal Atatürk took over Turkey, he refused the treaty and brokered another one , 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, with the same countries. It cut Kurdistan between Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. All the governments in these countries have led repressive policies against the Kurds. The Iraqi Kurds consider Saddam's military attacks against them as genocide (Anfal campaign, etc.). You can find more info with this link (under "Kurdish issue" in the article): http://www.kurdishglobe.net/display-article.html
Aurélie Gaudron Thanks for your comment Dillon. Yes it is weird to see how Turkey adopts a double-standard stance: I attended yesterday a discussion about Turkey's "zero conflict policy" (!), in which a Turkish ambassador declared that Turkey fully supports democratization and calls for more human rights and all kinds of freedoms in the countries which have experienced the Arab Spring. He also urged Syria to implement democratic reforms as soon as possible, while some minorities in Turkey, such as the Kurds, are still waiting for these reforms...This Turkish policy has no credibility.