Blog on Kurdistan & Kurds

For a United and Independent Kurdistan

Is there a future for Kurdistan with Russia?

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One thing many Kurds do reactively at desperate times when they lose hope from the West is looking to the Russians for help. Their mind tricks them into thinking that Russia “will support the Kurdish cause because of its antagonist stance with the west”. Many Kurds almost always automatically assume the Russians to be their ally. This thinking is wrong and where this thinking comes from is very clear: from having no understanding of the geo-strategy map Kurdistan creates.

Russia is preparing to stretch its arms once more with a dedicated nationalist leader. The new tsar has nothing to offer but a re-secured reputation for his once-proud Russians. Whether this is good news for the Kurds, I do not think so.

First of all, Russia has to start a new rise by reclaiming what it lost with the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Since Eastern Europe is very unlikely a territory the Russians can do so in the current power balance US follows there, there remains not much but the Central Asian plateau and the Caspian, the vast energy fields these territories promise.

There will of course be much more to do in the house than the geographical dominance Putin’s leadership will pursue and promise. An industrialization campaign is very likely. A re-modernization of the industrial infrastructure, investments in war machinery, etc. These are all to be seen. One thing however, is for sure, and it is that Russia’s leadership must show its citizens that it is once again a reputed global power. This will require to show some muscle here and there. And this is not good news for Kurdistan.

Dr Ismail Besikci, one of the few important people in the modern history of Northern Kurds, Kurds in Turkey, repeatedly asks one question in the last few years: why did the British and the French decided to erase Kurdistan from the map and deny the Kurds existence by parting Kurdistan into four between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Difficult question to answer, since, for example, the British open all their archives of the World War I, except the ones concerning the Kurds and Kurdish policy of the time!

We do not know why the British decided to design the Middle East in a way that the Kurds would get nothing in the end and lose everything, including their land, identity, culture and history. Whatever the reason was, it still affects the Middle East and Kurdistan policy of the Britain.

We know that the Americans did not agree to the Lausanne Treaty of 1924, they were late to take part in the dealing. The treaty effectively erased the Kurds from the maps. Americans made their comments by defending the rights of Kurds for a land and also remarking on the borders the treaty drew. That was it, and modern Turkey came into presence.

We can assume by analyzing the American policy at the time that, whatever the British and the French agreed for, the Americans did not benefit from it. What was the deal then? What should it be? What was the big benefit in denying Kurds their identity and erasing their land from the maps? What benefit did the west of the time had from such a brutal deal?

I rather suggest looking at a broader picture rather than seeing only the western powers of the time. Bolshevik Russia under Lenin’s rule promoted self determinism all over the world, except the Kurds! Isn’t this interesting?

Here I remember the Odyssey and how Odysseus chose to sacrifice some of his men to the six-headed monster Scylla for the safe passage of most, instead of risking losing all at the whirlpool of Charybdis. Lenin must have made a difficult choice of either promoting the same rights for the Kurds and getting into an unending war with the ‘imperialist’ west or giving up the Kurds, keeping mute on them and securing his Soviets. How was the map in front of him and different alternatives it proposed, we do not know. But one thing we know, the Bolshevik Russians were not friends with the Kurds. Kurds continued to receive this no-friend approach from the Bolshevik Russians under Stalin’s rule, when Qazi Muhammad, president of Mahabad Kurdish Republic, what is Eastern Kurdistan under Iran’s occupation today, was supported for independence by the USSR and left to the Persians to be crashed when whatever deal was reached with the West, again the British. Sounds like the ever repeating stupıdity of the Kurds in their modern times in ‘finding’ an ally in the west or the east…

I know, many Kurds reading this article quickly remember the criminal treason of Henry Kissinger. He was orchestrating a Kurdish uprising in South Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, from behind the Shah in Tehran.. Kurds, led by legendary pehmerga leader Mele Mustafa Barzani had hope for a grand federation and trusted its ally, the US, only to be left alone in the fields against the Iraqi Army with immediate effect when in Algeria Kissinger could broker the deal he was after, between Shah and Saddam. It was 1974, 28 years after the Soviets’s treason of Kurds in Mahabad to a similar faith.

However, I do not think Kissinger’s crime had anything to do with what we are trying to understand in this article in relation to Russia’s Kurdish / Kurdistan policy: how and why was Kurdistan divided? What was Russia’s role?

My mind tells me that agreement to “bury Kurdistan in Kurdistan” was how the Russians and the West could conclude their peace deal to leave what was once Russian Empire soil to the new communist rule. Why, then? What was the importance of Kurdistan?

A true Kurdistan map will stretch in the west to reach the Mediterranean and not that much in the North to reach Black Sea

In a strategy map, Kurdistan is

  • either the road to Central Asia from the Mediterranean via Caspian,
  • or the road to the Mediterranean from Central Asia via Caspian.

It is either of these depending on where you stand. Now, Lenin would not want the western imperialists to gain access to its Central Asia and the west would not want the communists to have direct access to the Mediterranean, would they? The agreement to conclude this strategic deal has to be the one signed in Montreux, few kilometers to Lausanne, on the rights to passage to Bosphorus and Dardanel. Once the access to and from Black Sea was secured between the West and the East with this treaty, Kurdistan was sealed in its tomb.

Returning back to Russia and the assumption that the Russian bear will have to stretch its muscles with the renewed presidency of Putin; Kurds should understand their position for Russia.

Turkey took side in the Black Sea with Russia by continually opposing US navy presence there. Turkey and Russia are the only countries opposing to such demand, and in opposition Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria and even Ukraine invites the Americans there. All the countries coasting the Black Sea, even the non-NATO members, want the Americans in the Black Sea, except Turkey and Russia. And yet this does not affect Turkey’s relationship with its ‘strategic ally’. Hmm..

This means one thing to me, that there should a bigger strategic agreement elsewhere that gives Turkey such a great power in going against the US. It has to be related with the deal that resulted in the agreement between the west and the east to bury the Kurds alive in Kurdistan.

Despite what that great and undisclosed deal was, Kurds are alive, claim their land and are looking for opportunities to come back to the world stage.

Will Russia be an ally for the Kurds, I do not think so. If the deal between the west and the east was to bury the Kurds alive in Kurdistan in order to deny access to each other to each others’ territories, none of the parties to such an agreement will dare to change the ‘status quo’ it created. Noone will want to open Pandora’s box to uncertainty. Russia will not. Besides, Russia is not looking for any allies. Why would they get into any trouble at all to support the Kurds? What is the benefit, forget the potential and unncessary headache it will bring.

Supporting Kurds for independence will mean for the west that Russia looks for access to the Mediterranean and in exchange they will not hesitate to show hostility to the bear elsewhere. So is the deal and Russia will respect. It is also a deal the Europeans follow dearly. Kurds can march in millions in Amed (Diyarbekir), the Kurdish capital or gather annually in hundreds of thousands in Cologne, in Germany but there will be no mentioning of them in any important newspaper. Kurds are not to be covered but rather ignored. They are buried, remember? Such is the shame for Europe.

One point here is the Americans. They do not benefit from such a deal between the West of the time, Europe and the Russians. We shall write about this at a later article.


Written by M. Husedin

02 October 2011 at 8:04 PM

One Response

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  1. The following are copied from an article published at Time in 1952. I rather find these supporting to what I draw as the geopolicy curse surrounding Kurdistan.,9171,822479,00.html

    1) Kurds may prove a powerful explosive in any coup the Communists may try in the unstable Middle Eastern nations, particularly Iran and Iraq (last week, in addition to his other troubles, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh faced a Kurdish uprising protesting against land reforms which the Kurds consider contrary to their tribal system).

    2) Kurdistan is Russia’s natural entry into the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean, the Middle Eastern Arab states.

    3) In case of a Russian attack on Turkey, the best invasion routes lead through Kurdistan, at Maku in Iran and Ruwan-diz in Iraq.


    05 October 2011 at 7:40 PM

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