Kurdish public figure and activist of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Roni Youssef has answered questions of an EAD correspondent. Youssef was born in the Kurdish-inhabited Al-Qamishli city in Syria. He has lived in Bulgaria for the past 35 years. Yusef graduated from the St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia with a degree in Bulgarian Philosophy.
Were you surprised at Turkey's breach of the reconciliation between the Turkish state and the PKK?
— No, I was not surprised at all. Turkish President Erdogan is displaying hypocrisy, the way he usually does. Actually, he keeps defending his personal interests and the interests of his party. On the one hand, he sees that the elections went wrong for him. His positions in the domestic policy of Turkey are weakening. 4 parties crossed the threshold into the Mejlis, with the Kurds and other minorities having scored 13%. Earlier it was almost impossible to do that. Erdogan realized that he was losing the Kurds' votes. Even the democratic part of the Kurdish public did not vote for his Justice and Development Party (AKP), delivering a blow to his big ambitions.
On the other hand, Erdogan sees that bigger and bigger problems arise with his NATO allies. Washington and Brussels have taken a political decision to support the PKK because they realize that they can rely on nobody in Syria, except Kurds. Bashar al-Assad's army and the so-called “Islamic State” are also strong military structures but both are unacceptable to the West. The so-called “Free Syrian Army” is very weak in military terms despite the fact that it receives military aid from Turkey.
Therefore, Erdogan initiated a provocation involving assassination of two Turkish officers for further bombardment of the PKK camps in order to leave us on the list of terrorist organizations and enjoy the Turkish nationalists’ support. He has no longer anyone to rely on during the elections. So, he will try to take away the votes from Devlet Bahçeli's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Maybe, he will manage to do this. But even if he does, it will be a short-term achievement and no good will come of it.
What do you think will happen next: new Turkish-Kurdish reconciliation or conflict escalation?
— That’s a complicated question and it needs an even more complicated reply! All the forecasts may prove to be wrong, after all. Anyway, I am not an optimist. What is going on in the Turkish part of Kurdistan is an attempt to “renegotiate” the Kurdish political representation in the Mejlis. Actually, we are observing a common process for the present-day Republic of Turkey. One thing is clear: nothing good will come of the provocation initiated by Erdogan. The situation in the Turkish Kurdistan will be getting more and more complicated.
Will the PKK supporters and other Kurds worldwide respond to this anyhow?
— I have heard no serious response so far. Like Kurds, Arabs and Christians, the citizens of Syria have enough problems in the world, so they do not want to have new ones. Certainly, the problem is much spoken about. My fellow citizens are discussing it but they do not initiate any organized steps. If the tension in the Turkish Kurdistan runs high, it may trigger a chain reaction among the Kurdish communities worldwide. And Turkey will suffer heavily.
Interviewed by Georgy Kolarov, EADaily analyst in the Balkans region