Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

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 3 Kasım 2007 Saat : 6:30


The assaults and the terrorist attacks on innocent Turkish people and the Turkish troops’ steady orientation toward the southeastern region of Turkey force us, the academics, to dig deeper into fact and reason.
The deeper we go, the more we’re faced with interesting docu-mentation and realities.

Just until a few years ago, Massoud Barzani, the current leader of the Iraqi Kurdish region, was just a tribal leader. The only way he could travel abroad was with a diplomatic passport issued by the Tur-kish government. Saddam never issued him a passport, nor was he treated as the leader of Iraqi Kurds by the then Iraqi government.

Taking into consideration the ongoing civil war and the backup given by the occupying power in Iraq — the US government — he is dreaming of an independent Kurdish government.
To fulfill his dreams he even drafted up a “Constitution of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region” on April 19, 2004, only three-and-a-half years ago.

The size of this constitution is 15 single-sided pages in a 10-point font, single spaced.
The most interesting part of this constitution is the “Preamble” or the “Foreword,” which naturally comes at the very beginning. The rea-soning of the constitution and the facts on establishing the “the Iraqi Kurdistan Region” are detailed in this preamble.

It reads as follows:
“The Kurds are an ancient people who have lived in their homeland of Kurdis-tan for thousands of years, a nation with all the attributes that entitle it to practice the right of self-determination similar to other nations and peoples of the world. This is a right that was recognized for the first time in Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points issued at the end of World War I and the principles of which have since become en-trenched in international law.
Despite the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres that recognized the right of self-determination in articles 62-64, international interests and political expediency prevented the Kurds from enjoying and practicing this right. In contradiction to what that the Treaty had offered, Southern Kurdistan was annexed in 1925 to the newly created state of Iraq, which had been created four years earlier in 1921, without consideration of the will of its people, although it was stipulated that officials of Kurdish origin should be appointed to the administration of their own land and that Kurdish should be the language of education, the courts and for all services rendered.”

The date and the treaty described — the Treaty of Sèvres, Aug. 10, 1920 — is a non-valid World War I treaty, which was never put into effect. This treaty was never signed or certified by Vahdettin, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire of that era, and never ratified by the par-liaments of the drafting states: France, the United Kingdom and Italy.
Barzani is taking into consideration this notorious treaty and re-lying on the occupying power in Iraq, the United States. He never thought of what would happen the day after United States goes home.

Just couple of days ago he dared to utter the very delicate ex-pression in diplomacy, “casus belli,” which means “cause for war,” if Turkey attempts a cross-border operation, without taking into consid-eration his position, arms, troops, economy and possible sanctions he could be forced to withstand.
“Casus belli” is considered a one-way street and doesn’t offer the option of backing down from the cause. Of course, this diplomatic condition is valid for strong and principled countries, not comedians.
Of course he had to retract it only 24 hours later, claiming that it was released by the press following a mistranslation.

Now he is playing rather an innocent game, which in the end may force him to abandon his clan by calling on the PKK to leave the region and to solve their dispute with the government of Turkey within Turkish territory.

The most interesting part is that if one day Barzani visits the ter-rorist leader Apo (the nickname of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan) in the same cell, although they claim they are of Kurdish origin, they won’t be able communicate.
The two Kurdish languages, Zaza and Kurmanji, are like Chinese and Spanish, meaning they have no common background; a Zaza-speaking Kurd cannot understand a Kurmanji-speaking one.
But the most interesting part is that Apo speaks none of them except Turkish. He even cannot speak Arabic. Some allegations say that he is of Armenian origin, named Artin Agopyan and not even a Kurd.

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