BUENOS AIRES (Agencia Prensa Armenia)—Giran Ozcan works for the Kurdistan Solidarity Committee in Latin America; he arrived two months ago to Argentina and on Tuesday, Oct. 21, he was one of the organizers of a rally in front of the Turkish Embassy in Argentina to support the resistance of the Kurdish people in the Syrian city of Kobane, which is currently battling the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Turkish government.
“We are trying to raise awareness of the resistance in Kobane. The Islamic State for the past forty days has been attacking a little town called Kobane. The fighters of the city have been defending themselves,” said Ozcan in an interview with Prensa Armenia. On Nov. 1 there will be a global demonstration in solidarity with the Kurdish people.
“What we are asking the Turkish state is to remove the blockade they have been putting on the city. They are not allowing Turkish people to enter or help defend the city, and they are not allowing for supplies to enter the city. In other words, they are objectively aiding ISIS in trying to occupy Kobane,” he adds. Prensa Armenia’s full interview is below.
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PRENSA ARMENIA: Has the Turkish army been helping ISIS?
GIRAN OZCAN: There are a lot of reports on the ground. Maybe they are not directly helping them. There are reports of the Turkish army helping directly, but I don’t have any proofs of that. But I do have proof of the objectively way they have stopped the Kurds from carrying help, and there are a lot of videos of ISIS members crossing the borders.
P.A.: The same thing happened a few months ago in the Armenian town of Kessab. Do you think this is a policy?
G.O.: Definitely. ISIS is an organization that is closed to anyone other than itself. It is trying to make anyone believe what they believe, so anyone that doesn’t share the values that they share, I mean, if you could call them values, will either be killed or forcibly assimilated into their beliefs. This is true for the Armenians, the Kurds, the Yezidis and any other ethnic populations in the area.
P.A.: The United States launched a series of missile attacks last week. What were the targets?
G.O.: They have been hitting ISIS targets. The YPG [People’s Protection Units, a Kurdish military force fighting ISIS], which is the Kurdish force resisting ISIS in Kobane right now, has confirmed that the attacks in the past 10 days were against ISIS. But you can’t read this without the context. A lot of people have been saying that ISIS is the result of the US foreign policy in Middle East. So, America suddenly bombing ISIS doesn’t change the dynamics, their policies and politics in Middle East. They were forced to bomb ISIS in Kobane because of the resistance there. The first three weeks, America didn’t do a single thing. But when they saw the resistance in Kobane they were forced to do it. As John Kerry said, it would be stupid not to get involved, because the resistance raised awareness in the whole world.
P.A.: What happened to the Kurds that took to the streets in Turkey to protest about this?
G.O.: Thousands were arrested, forty people lost their lives. The police killed a lot of civilians that were protesting in the streets. For the Kurdish people there is no difference between the Kurds in Syria and the Kurds in Turkey, or the Kurds in Iran or the Kurds in Iraq. We are all one people. So if someone is attacking the Kurds in Syria, they are attacking at the same time the Kurds in Turkey. And the Turkish State is acting against the Kurds in Syria, so the Kurds in Turkey can’t just sit there and watch, they tried to push the government to, at least, stop helping ISIS. They didn’t ask for the Turkish State to help the Kurds. They just want Turkey to stop attacking the Kurds, because if the Turkish State is helping ISIS, it means it is attacking the Kurds as well.
P.A.: Do you think this could lead to another PKK-AKP conflict in Turkey?
G.O.: Well, the tensions have been rising. Turkey is officially in the coalition against ISIS, so everyone was expecting them to fight ISIS. But last week, the Turks bombed PKK positions and airplanes. So everyone was shocked. The Kurds are fighting against ISIS and Turkey is supposed to be in the coalition against ISIS, but Turkey is bombing the people who are fighting against ISIS.
P.A.: Do you think the international community will do something about this?
G.O.: I think the international media has now seen Turkey’s mask fall off. Now, a lot of reports in the western media are saying that Turkey is not an ally anymore. Turkey is not an ally to the West against ISIS, because Turkey changed its priorities. Everyone has seen the two faced policies that the Turkish State has been pursuing in the Middle East: on one hand, looking like a NATO ally for the West, and on the other hand, they have been supporting radical extremists and inhumane gangs in the Middle East.
P.A.: What could the Latin American countries do about this situation?
G.O.: I think the responsibilities of the Latin American States is to see the game that is being played by NATO in the Middle East. Rather than criticizing this from far away, they have to put their own alternative. The Latin American States like Argentina, Brazil or Chile have to see that there are people resisting against both NATO and the Islamic State. And these people need allies, because the forces on the other side are very strong. The responsibilities of the governments such as Argentina is to side with the people of the Middle East.
P.A.: And how could they help?
G.O.: Right now, for example, the first need is humanitarian. At the very least, the governments here could give humanitarian aids to the Kurdish people, to the people that are suffering for the games of NATO and ISIS.