Vivian Salama at PostGlobal

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. She has also appeared as a commentator on the BBC, France24, South African Broadcasting Corp., TVNZ, NPR and as a reporter for Voice of America radio. Her byline has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the National, Jerusalem Post, and the Daily Star. Salama has an MA in Islamic Politics from Columbia University and she previously worked as a lecturer of international journalism at Rutgers University. Close.

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award-winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. more »

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Kurdish Minister Says Turkey’s Attacks Are Self-Defeating

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir condemns Turkey’s attacks on Northern Iraq in an interview with PostGlobal panelist Vivian Salama.

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All Comments (4)

Baqi Barzani:

Iraqi Kurdistan is none of Turkey's business. Turkey is incapable to resolve its own internal issues and continues to blame it on the Kurdish administration in North of Iraq. Dropping bombs on farm animals and innocent human beings on the other side of border shows how weak and barbarous this country is.

Turkish president has repeatedly and openly stated that Turkey will not allow the creation of an independent Kurdish state in Iraq as well as ensure that Kirkuk does not fall under the control of Iraq's Kurds. What is more direct and open interference than this?

The US knows that Turkey continues to interfere into the internal affairs of Iraq, arms and funds the terrorist Turkmen groups in Kirkuk and does everything possible to hinder the implementation of article 140 of the Iraqi constitution to take place (future status of historical Kurdish city of Kirkuk).

The double-dealings of the United States is also to be blamed.

On one hand the US talks about democracy and human rights. It supports the Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Iran. On the other hand, it only persuades Turkey to observe the rights of 25 million Kurds in that country, but also aids and provides Turkey with WMD to carry out genocides. What disparity is there between the Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Iran compared to the ones in Turkey?

Basat Tayfun:

Let us not beat around the bush. The PKK stands for secession, not human rights, etc. This is why they said they got started and have not given anyone any reason (unless you accept cheap words as proof) to believe otherwise.

As for producing "constructive results", life is not without maintenance. PKK is garbage Turks have to take out every so often...

Anyway, since we are talking secession, let's look at the sticky details and facts and pose some questions:

So, if a "Kurdistan" is established on Turkish territory:

1. Do the Turks get to send the Kurds outside of "Kurdistan" there? For example, do Turks get to call the rest of Turkey, Turkistan and kick out the Kurds? Or, do the Kurds keep their villa in Istanbul and summer places in Antalya while booting out Turks from Diyarbakir?

2. If we are not talking creating a pure "Kurdistan" or a pure "Turkistan", then will "Kurdistan" create autonomous regions for Turkmens, Alevis, Yoruks, Assyrians, Arabs, etc. out of fairness, or will they do what the KRG does in Northern Iraq?

3. Will the Kurds finance their organization or do they expect Turks to finance them, as is the case today?

If I am wrong and Kurds want only "rights", then let's apply the American model: Do-it-yourself diversity, not government-sanctioned/-imposed/-programmed diversity. Clearly, the US has one official language, which is de facto imposed on groups. Each group is *free* to pursue maintaining their own culture *as long as* they do it themselves. African, Jewish, Irish, Mexican, Greek, Turkish, etc. -Americans are for all intents and purposes left to their own devices for keeping their identities. Otherwise, the American "melting pot" would neither be "melting" nor would it be a "pot". It may be the "American drawers", each "drawer" containing a separate, homogenized community firewalled from others...

Under the Ottomans, the Kurds had (or could have had) a system that would have welcomed autonomy. However, as far as decades before the nation-state of Turkey was established, Kurds under feodal leadership began to agitate and resorted to violance. So, for some "Kurds", autonomy was not enough then, and it would not be now...

Baqi Barzani:

Waging war against PKK for three decades has not produced any constructive results so far except for more damage. PKK has survived under the most difficult circumstances and the recent joint US-Turkey operations are a waste of time, as well.

PKK issue is a political one and can only be resolved by negotiation.

Iraqi Kurdistan has nothing to do with this carp. PKK is only a sham and the United States is well cognizant of this fact.

Turkish main fear is an independent Kurdish state and Kirkuk.

The US should stick to its democratization pledge and stop equipping dictator regimes with WMD to be utilized for the sole purpose of perpetrating mass murder against civilians. It is truly a shame.

Human Rights, Civil liberties, democracy, freedom for all !

Basat Tayfun:

History will repeat as long as there are suckers who are ignorant of it. Before I get into that larger issue, I like to pose a simple question:

What would the US or EU do if a neighboring country knowingly harbored Al Qaeda and did nothing. Would the US or EU give a damn about that neighbor's sovereignty?


KRG is technically/literally (and spiritually) engaged in terrorist harboring. By allowing the PKK to have set up shop so comfortably for so long, the KRG has overseen the training and organization of terrorists. The one question Salama, therefore, should have asked is: When will the KRG kick out or apprehend a organization recognized by the USA and EU as a terrorist one.

I did not hear Iraqis complaining about:

1. PKK camps being set up on *Iraqi* territory. There are only two possibilities: Either Iraqis/KRG are happy to have the PKK on their turf (hence, a perverse/dishonest agenda) or are deaf and dumb (and should be ignored).

2. PKK cross-border attacks into Turkey. Iraq is obviously is unwilling or unable (or both) to stop unchecked terorist activity based out of Iraq. So much for their respect for Turkey's sovereignty. What goes around comes around.

3. The claim that KRG has no collaborative ties with the PKK is laughable (in a cynical sort of way). So, how does PKK feed itself or obtain supplies? Do they graze like sheep or wave a magic wand whenever they need something?

Anyway, back to history repeating...

The long term solution is, indeed, political, but also educational, even more so.

Kurds have been pawns in a "Great Game", and they better recognize it, like the Armenians and Abhazians serving Russian interests. The name Kurd and Kurdistan did not appear until Turks appeared on the scene ("istan" is not a Kurdish suffix-word). Kurdish "nationalism" is rooted in feodalism, which is not a model for societies in the 21st century. Just take a careful look at the way KRG is organized: One half Talabanis, the other half Barzanis. Two clans. Two one-party dictatorships. Feodal to the core and similar to the way Saddam organized his government; around the Tikriti clan. This is the way Arabs organized traditionally; the Allies exploited this to powerful affect with TE Lawrence. The same powers stoked/promoted Kurdish nationalism -- through feodal lords that were promised glory and riches. Arab and Kurds were used and discarded in the end of each episode where they served their "use" against the Turks, Persians or any other regional power.

These days, the US had a change of heart. Russia's growing alliance with China, India and other Asian states is a long-term concern. The Kurds offer no obvious advantage in dealing with this challenge. The Turks do. So, I suspect Kurds will be left to fend for themselves while Turkish war planes go after PKK camps... A price the US is willing to "pay" to secure Turkey's strategic location for another century, esp. at a time Pakistan is faltering.

History will repeat as long as there are suckers who are ignorant of it.

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