Assistant Dr. Boyko Marinkov: The map of New Turkey is for internal use22 April 2013 | 22:02 | FOCUS News Agency
FOCUS : Mr. Marinkov, what is your comment on the map of the so-called New Turkey that was published by the Turkish media?
Dr. Boyko Marinkov: This map is entirely for local use within the frames of the Turkish political life. It is addressed inwards rather than outwards.
FOCUS : Why do you think that way?
Dr. Boyko Marinkov: At the moment Turkey is going through very interesting period. Chronology until 2010-2011 was even and comparatively clear. Domination of the Party of Justice and Development was undoubted. Its results grew in percentage rate during the elections in 2002, 2007 and 2011. Respectively confidence in the ruling party grows. Starting from 34%, passing through 45% and reaching 49,9% votes in favor of the Party for Justice and Development. This is the superb period in the 10-year term of Erdogan. Only one Turkish politician Adnan Menderes has completed a full ten-year term and won three elections. This happens from 1950 to 1960. Erdogan turns exactly ten years as Prime Minister on March 13, 2013.
FOCUS : Why do you say this map looks for internal support?
Dr. Boyko Marinkov: It is obvious that Turkey faces two gigantic problems. The first problem is Kurdish issue. Erdogan has used a whole range of behavior and policies on the Kurdish issue: from battle against the resistance of the formations of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), attempts for most active leaders to be derived from Turkish Kurdistan, passing through attempts to be suppressed, including through prohibitions, the political legal Kurdish opposition, which is represented in parliament since 1921 (since then there are members of the Kurdistan Workers Party, though independent, or - close to it). He came to the negotiations with the symbols of the Kurdish political movement in the face of one of the symbols of this legal movement of the political wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party - MP Leyla Zana. He held this conversation in the summer of 2012at that after being alerted namely by the Kurdistan Workers' Party.
Meanwhile in Oslo were held secret negotiations for eight months in between the leaders of the PKK and the government i.e. secret services. This process has already been tested once. When at the end of last year and the beginning of the current year three Kurdish MPs, with the agreement of Erdogan walked to contact with Ocalan and paid three visits to the island of Imrali - where the trial against Ocalan was held and where he is serving a sentence of life imprisonment. The same island is connected with the trial of Adnan Menderes, where Menderes was hanged and Erdogan himself has claimed to be the son of the conceptual ideas of Menderes.
When we talk about political life in Turkey, you should know that it is about gestures and ideas running very strongly through history. Imperial ideas are not born in the head of a professor, a former adviser to the Prime Minister and current Foreign Minister.
FOCUS : You are talking about Davutoglu ...
Dr. Boyko Marinkov: I'm talking about Davutoglu, who generally is the man; the English-language spokesman for the neo-Ottomanism. He is the one who needs to make the bridge between Turkey and the outside world, advocating these ideas. But they themselves are deeply into the Turkish politics in the tradition, in continuity, where they are very strong.
FOCUS : Let’s return to the Kurdish issue ...
Dr. Boyko Marinkov: Well if we back to the Kurdish issue –it is not by chance all these things were prepared exactly in this period: it was forthcoming the celebration of the most holy feast of all Kurds - Navruz, 21 March. By this date it was seeking an agreement and a call from the leader of the PKK to its political and military supporters, some of whom are based in Iraqi Kurdistan, another in Turkish Kurdistan. This call is to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis.
Part of the Turkish leadership considers talks with the PKK as talks with terrorists. This type of agreement does not give power to the Nationalist wing of the Party of Justice and Development it rather empowers the Nationalist Movement Party. Simultaneously, there is a very ambiguous and peculiar position of the heirs of Kemalism or – Neo-Kemalism in the face of Republican People's Party. Their undisputed and interesting leader Kemal Kalachdaroglu, who himself is a Kurd, made a series statements on the Kurdish issue. These statements were in support to the search for a peaceful outcome in the Kurdish crisis, but at the same time they asked the Government clarification of the arrangements. Full public control over this process that concerns, as it turned out from official statements of the Turkish Statistical Institute a week ago - 17.5% of the Turkish society, or about 14.5 to 15 million people from 76 to 77 million people.
FOCUS : Why do you pay so much attention on this process?
Dr. Boyko Marinkov: This process will not be completed, although probably the call by the Kurdish opposition will be met and a part of the armed Turkish troops will be withdrawn from Turkey. We have a period of seeking a political solution. If you open the same map you will notice with amazement that there are included parts of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is a paradox. Parts of that territory are included, which covers the five counties that control the Syrian Kurds. This is the second moment which makes me think that the map is for internal use – the Syrian crisis drama and Turkey's behavior in it. When the crisis occurred before 25 months, no one suggested that the Assad government will endure that very strong military, political and international pressure. Nobody could imagine that the forces of the government, the Alevi community, joining them others, including Sunni parts of Syrian society will clearly realize that if they bring the 'Arab Spring' in Libyan or Egyptian version the Syrian state has no future. It was formulated in the first year of the battle for Syria as follows: "There is no Syria without Assad."
Turkey has not entered this Syrian crisis, without thinking – just the contrary. The Syrian crisis was rethinking by the Turkish political leadership for nearly half a year. Davutoglu personally held talks with Assad, at that, eight-hour talks, in August 2011, trying to find some way out of this Syrian crisis. For Turkey and the Turkish leadership it was absolutely clear that if they are looking for some option for a barrier to the invasion of any units, but - from the Turkish border to Aleppo to Damascus, they can walk only through the five Kurdish areas. Until the moment when administration of Assad was standing in the Kurdish areas, there were elements of the Kurdish resistance. At the moment when the administration left the Kurdish areas it began self-organization of Syrian Kurds with the help by Iraqi Kurdistan, through staff training, with the revival of the idea of Greater Kurdistan - Turkey then realized that the problem is no longer in Syria, the problem is already in Turkey.
I can say as a hypothesis that most likely the idea of autonomy will not be foreign to the Turkish Kurds. All possible ideas to counter this were use like the fate of the Turkmens, or - who will use the oil in Kirkuk. These are all attempts by the Turkish leadership to take the fight to any other territory. In fact the battle is there within Kurdistan – in these 18 provincial capitals of Turkey.
FOCUS : What should be Bulgarian attitude?
Dr. Boyko Marinkov: We have to make a very precise analysis on two things: First - what is the trend and what is the pace of the processes that are currently running in the Greater Middle East? How these processes, if not met an intellectual, political or any other form of resistance can be transferred to Azerbaijan, Tatarstan, Turkmenistan and the countries of the former Soviet Union. All these attempts at multilateral combinations, structures, representations, must be cleared from its characteristics.
Second - it should be clear that Turkey's Kurdish problem is not resolved by the call for the withdrawal of 5,000 guerrillas and commandos of the PKK. This process would go on a political plane. During the celebration of Navruz in Diyarbakir it was noted that there were over 500 000 people who raised only flags of Kurdistan. As Prime Minister Erdogan noted there was no one Turkish flag. This process forces the Turkish leadership to seek out new solutions. I fear that the most nationalist parts will seek elements of clashes; of establishing another type of regime in 18 Kurdish areas. Cessation, murder and all the ways in which a political process can be halted. This process has many long-term basis and is linked to the fate of the separate parts of the great Kurdish nation. This process is crucial to the Middle East.
At this point, we have an extremely vulnerable Greece. We do not have any chances to rely on a combination of counteraction from Cyprus and Greece. Orthodox axis is in serious retreat. This element should be considered by the Bulgarian geopolitics.
And the last point that should be considered is the agreement that was signed on 19 April in Brussels between Kosovo and Serbia. This agreement, according to all analyzes that emerged thus far, only in the two and a half days, was consulted with Russia, where Ivica Dacic paid a two-day visit to Moscow, ostensibly because of a loan to Serbia.
All these processes are part of something bigger. If Bulgarian diplomacy is not ready for this process, if it does not have the resources, if it has no options, I fear that we will fall under the pressure of several processes for which we are not ready.
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