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 Iraqi Kurdish MP lambasts agitators Turkish media

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Iraqi Kurdish MP lambasts agitators Turkish media  1.2.2012 

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Dr. Mahmoud Othman is an Iraqi Kurdish parliamentarian, represents the KDP and PUK- dominated Kurdistani List in Baghdad. Photo: Facebook
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February 1, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Iraq is in the grip of a political storm and a prominent Kurdish politician has accused Turkish media of stirring things up even more.

The sky above Baghdad crackles with tension as the political crisis that engulfed the country late December continues unabated. Politics in Baghdad is stymied by the rift between Iraqiya and State of Law Coalition.

Erbil is on the road to a transition of power, the prime minister's office is shifting from PUK man Barham Salih to KDP man Nechirvan Barzani - nephew of Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani. There is little trust between the political factions and the strain is making this more evident by the day.

Dr Mahmoud Othman, a leading member of the Kurdish Blocs Coalition, believes Turkish media is taking advantage of this to stir up trouble between the Kurdish leadership and between the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG in Erbil and Iraqi federal government in Baghdad.

Othman is part of the KBC, a caucus of Kurdish parties in Baghdad. He believes Turkish TV is maliciously broadcasting allegations of a gulf between the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK, the two constiuent parts of the coalition running the KRG.

Furthermore Othman accuses broadcasters north of the border of reporting on deteriorating relations between the governments of Baghdad and Erbil.

On Monday the Turkish newspaper Ledenlk reported: "The President of Kurdistan region Massoud Barzani decided to announce the establishment of an independent Kurdish state."

The newspaper claimed to have information indicating the rebel group Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the PKK, supports Barzani completely. But Ledenlk said leader of the PUK and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani "objected to the announcement in the current climate".

"I think talking about the declaration of independence at present is only intended to create problems for us," Othman said, scorning what he sees as Turkish agitators.

"Half of what the Turkish press publishes about the Kurds is false," added Othman. "It is within our rights to announce the formation of a Kurdish state tomorrow."

"Talabani and Barzani's positions about the right of the Kurds to declare independence are 100% identical. All Kurds are as one about this ambition. The problem is whether it can be achieved or can not. [Talabani and Barzani's] differences may be about the timing of announcement, but not about the substance."

The ambition of an independent Kurdistan is a dream stretching back over many decades. Kurds have had glimpsed such a utopia like in the 1920s when Kurdish nationalist declared a Kurdish state. They were brutally suppressed by the British army.

Othman asks: "But where is this state and who will support us making a declaration? The legitimate right to declare it is one thing, whether or not it will become a reality is something else."

He continues: "The declaration of the Kurdish state is not in our hands, and if we announced it who will recognize it? The first country that will stand against us is America."

Othman cited the disputed territories and the failure to implement article 140 as examples where despite semi-autonomy, Kurdistan still is not master of its own fate. "How can we declare the Kurdish State?" he demands. "We have our Region and we still suffer from problems."

By Khudr Khallat
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