Assad: Kurdish State Is Possible

Welati reports that Bashar al-Assad said after his meeting with the Turkish opposition party CHP on Friday said that it’s not unlikely a Kurdish state will be established in the coming period by the Kurds of Iraq and Syria. Welati claims his statement is meant to pressure Turkey. His talked before about Kurds in April. Earlier Rudaw report on Assad’s statements:

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey is negotiating peace with its separatist Kurds because of the conflict in Syria and cannot be trusted to keep its promises, Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad said.

Assad, whose regime is battling against an uprising that is in its third year and has claimed an estimated 70,000 lives, added that he opposed the idea of Kurdish independence anywhere in the region, claiming that only a small minority of Kurds favored independence.

Assad said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government is engaged in historic peace negotiations for the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to end three decades of armed struggle, cannot be trusted to keep his promises.

“I do not trust this person. I doubt that he will fulfill his promises,” Assad told Turkey’s nationalist Ulusul TV channel and the Aydinlik newspaper, which oppose Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
I do not trust this person. I doubt that he will fulfill his promises

“All the steps he has taken are temporary measures to win support. Here again we ask the same question: Why didn’t he take these steps a few years ago?” he asked, adding that Turkish talks with the Kurds were motivated by the conflict in Syria.

Erdogan’s party began indirect talks this year with the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who last month called on his fighters in Turkey to disarm.  If the peace process succeeds, it would end a three-decade internal conflict in Turkey that has resulted in an estimated 40,000 deaths.

The Syrian president said that his government supports any steps to solve the Kurdish issue in Turkey.

“Since the initial steps taken in Turkey a few years ago to solve the Kurdish problem, our declared position has been to support any solution between the Turks and Kurds,” he said. “We do not want to see more bloodshed in Turkey, which will no doubt have a negative impact on the region.”

He also admitted that Syrian Kurds are not newcomers to the region.

“Any genuine solution in this direction has our support because the Kurds are a natural fabric of the region. They are not guests or new immigrants. They have been living in these lands for centuries, for thousands of years,” Assad said, seemingly apologizing for decades of injustice.

Since in 1962, 20 percent of Syria’s estimated two million Kurds were deprived of their citizenship, with the state arguing they were illegal immigrants from neighboring countries. Human rights groups have said Syrian Kurds have long faced discrimination from the Arab government.

Assad admitted to past mistakes toward Syria’s Kurdish citizens, saying that the Turks and Arabs had not been inclusive.

“The problem with the concept in the past was perhaps that the adopted mentality was one of rejecting and eliminating other cultures,” Assad said.  “I believe that the most beautiful aspect of this region is its diversity, and the most dangerous aspect for us is not to see this diversity as enriching and empowering,” Assad said.

Asked about the control of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) — the Syrian arm of the PKK — over Syria’s northern Kurdish areas since the start of the uprising in 2011, Assad said that was natural.

“When there is chaos in any state, as is the case in Syria at the moment, certain groups are bound to appear in order to fill the vacuum,” he said.
Any genuine solution in this direction has our support because the Kurds are a natural fabric of the region.

Assad said he believed that, although there are small Kurdish groups seeking separation in Syria and who favor a “greater Kurdistan” created from the Kurdish regions of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, most Kurds do not support this notion.

“Most Kurds are patriotic people who want to live in Syria,” he said.  “This notion of separation is completely rejected by the Syrian people and the Syrian state. No sovereign state accepts a part of its territory to be cut or separated from its mainland.  This position is categorically unacceptable and is not subject to any discussions with us in Syria,” Assad stressed.

He said that Syria, Iran, Iraq and Turkey would never accept secession by their Kurdish populations, and any contrary attempts would lead to wars.

“If we accept the notion of separation this means we have to live with the consequences, namely the fragmentation into small mini states based on ethnicities, and sects,” he said. “This creates a dangerous situation that would precipitate wars in the future.”

Although he rejected Kurdish nationalist demands, Assad still said that the four countries with large Kurdish minorities should do their best to let their people feel they are first class citizens, with equal stakes in their state.

“When a citizen feels he is second or third class he is bound to think of separation or act against its own state,” Assad said.


Q: Seems that Turkey is going to a crisis with the Kurds problem, and there’s a talk that Erdogan might give a state to the Kurds, and maybe also a concession in regards with some demands, also reaching to dividing the country Turkey, giving ‘rights’ to the Kurds, there would be a state (for the Kurds) in exchange of him getting to presidency. What is the situation in Syria, particularly about the Kurds?

President Assad: For Erdogan he’s ready to present his entire country for himself, that’s right, the first part of your question and you already gave the answer within it, but as for the Kurds in Syria, I want to always reiterate about this subject the Kurds in Syria are a natural and basic component of the Syrian fabric and they are in this area since many and far centuries like the Arabs, Turks, Persians and like others existing in this region, they are not guests and they are not incidental most of the Kurds in Syria are patriotic Syrians, but like in each society, there are always opportunist individuals they tend to use certain banners for their personal interests that’s why we saw some gatherings which called itself Kurdish parties in Syria and it was always bidding on the so called Kurdish cause or Kurdish oppressing in Syria and this is absolutely untrue, they were talking about naturalization of Kurds about 110,000 which was done nearly two years ago, they were considering it a cause naturalization was done, they moved to another issue, the language subject the state approved, months ago, the Kurdish language & Kurdish literature as a class in faculties of Arts in Syria among other procedures, but they will keep looking from time to time for something that can be used to find a place for them on the national arena, this case we see from time to time, of course, this is not a matter of concern, the majority are with the Syrian nation to avoid talking virtual talks, I will not mention their role in the Syrian revolution & their struggle against the colonialism in different stages I will talk about the current events, many of the families of martyrs I met were Kurds I don’t know they are Kurds or Arabs or.., we don’t care about this matter, but through their talks with us they tell us we are the family of the martyr and we are Kurds so is it possible for someone who does not believe in a nation and seek secession as claimed from time to time, to sacrifice his life or his sons lives for this nation? This is not logical.

Q: Mr. President, but when we talk about this very sensitive point, the Turkish government recently used many cards, but it is said that the Kurdish card might be the last cards in the hands of Erdogan, precisely, which he will not be dropped easily he will be meaner, at least to achieve a result in Syria, and at this very time seeking a settlement to which extent the Syrian leadership eye is on this point? And what did it prepare to face such a thing against this state?

President Assad: This is an important issue, it’s not a simple one, it’s not possible to simplify it, Erodgan has an internal goal and an external goal, the external goal as you mentioned is Syria to embarrass Syria in this matter, taking in consideration that the Kurdish issue in Syria totally differs from that in Turkey in regards with the history of the relations, we did not commit massacres against the Kurds we did not oppress the Kurds as what happened with them since the collapse of the Ottoman state, in Syria the issue is totally different, there is harmony and real fraternity what was presented as the Kurdish matter in Syria was presented since few decades only through some of the opportunist forces, and our relation with the Kurds is always good even with the parties which were struggling for its rights in Turkey as for the other goal for Erdogan, it’s an internal one, after his political losses inside Turkey on the background of his failure in what’s called Zero Problems policy and the zero problems turned into zero politics, zero vision, zero friends, zero credibility and zero ethics zeros in all other directions but in problems, so he lost a lot even among his loyalists so there was a need to use the Kurdish issue to benefit from the large Kurdish bloc in Turkey in order to get votes, maybe in the coming constitution he seeks through to become the president of Turkey with powers that’s why we care about this issue, because whatever happens in any neighboring country will affect us positively or negatively, without being concerned besides Erdogan’s credibility in this subject towards the Kurds, which we learned recently, days ago via friendly Kurdish forces working in the Turkish or Syrian arena that they do not trust Erdogan.