The world against them: the Kurds’ struggle for independence is hopeless

The world against them: the Kurds’ struggle for independence is hopeless

Last month, what can only be described as a “Kurdish Day of Rage” took place in Paris. The Kurds did not turn Paris just like that – the day before, three of their people were murdered in the city, and the authorities did not rush to declare it a terrorist incident, which caused the Kurds to protest.

This is the largest ethnic group in the Middle East that does not have a state, and probably won’t have one soon. Why? Because even in relation to the sad and painful history of the Kurds, it seems that in the last year they have reached the bottom of the barrel when it comes to their political dreams. So how can it be that tens of millions of Kurds dream of a state but only stay away from it?

According to estimates, there are between 25 and 40 million Kurds worldwide, the vast majority of whom are Sunni Muslims and are scattered from Azerbaijan to Iraq. Their largest concentration is in the four countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey and this is why they have always dreamed of establishing their own independent state there.

In the last decade, it seemed that this dream was approaching – the Kurdish fighters defeated ISIS on the battlefields in Syria and Iraq, and were the spearhead of the international coalition against the Islamic State organization. After proving themselves, the Kurds expected a return, which led the president of the Kurdish region in Iraq at the time, Massoud Barzani, to announce in 2017 a referendum on the independence of the region.

The result was expected, and most of the Kurds chose independence, but in practice it only distanced them from their dream of a state – the central government in Baghdad, which did not recognize the results of the referendum, joined forces with Iran, Turkey and Syria for fear that the Kurds would build a state on their heads.

And that’s exactly the point – today, when ISIS is not really in the picture, the Kurds are seen as the biggest threat to the territorial integrity of quite a few countries in the Middle East.

Want to see how the fear of the Kurds causes exciting and unexpected connections? Look at what is happening between the Syrian regime and the Turkish regime: Erdogan always saw the Kurds as a threat. Nevertheless, they are the largest minority in Turkey. So the Sultan embarks on operations in northern Syria to cleanse his border strip of Kurds under the auspices of the fight against terrorism. In general, Erdogan’s goal is to finally destroy the dream of an independent Kurdish state, and for that even someone like Assad is seen as a legitimate partner.

Assad does not tolerate Erdogan. After he supported his opponents during the civil war and even brought APCs and invaded his territory. But in the end, Assad also does not like the Kurdish settlement in northeastern Syria. He dreams of uniting the country and returning it to the happy days before the Arab Spring .

Last but not least for the Kurds’ troubles comes Iran. In revenge for the hijab protest that came out of the Kurdish areas in Iran, the Ayatollah regime is bombing “terrorist targets” in the Kurdish areas of Iraq. And that’s how we get some big forces in the region, who, even if they don’t tolerate each other, work together to prevent the Kurds from getting a state.

With this mindset, is it any wonder that the Kurds feel persecuted everywhere? Even in Paris? Tens of millions of people still dream of independent Kurdistan today, but in the Middle East there is no place for dreams, only interests and reality that hits you in the face.


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