Press TV has conducted an interview with Gordon Duff, senior editor with Veterans Today, from Ohio, to discuss Turkish officials adopting a bill to revive peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: How do you see the situation when it comes to the PKK and Turkey? Isn’t this relationship a kind of odd in the sense that Turkey is trying to create peace with it but is encouraging the Kurds for example in Iraq to export oil for example through it?
Duff: I remember I was in Erbil in 2007 when the Turkish army had moved in. I was sitting in my hotel, listening to the artillery, sitting with my wife on Skype. She thought I was in combat.
One of the issues with the Kurds of course is they are not particularly wild about the PKK. The PKK shares nothing as a political entity with the current government of Kurdistan where the Turks seeking a relationship with the Turks. The Kurds are far more closely aligned with the government in Erbil than with the PKK themselves.
There is also going to be no discussion about the Kurds controlling any oil. The only oil that Kurds control were a few oil wells with very high viscosity, high sulfur, low-value oil.
Now, the Kurds are currently in a dispute with the government in Baghdad over control of the city of Kirkuk and the massive oil fields around it based on the instability in the region tied to the ISIS. I believe that relationship, on certainty that conflict is driving this and it’s really a double game that Erdogan is playing.
Press TV: Is this a smart game do you think Erdogan is playing, especially nationally speaking, will that definitely increase his chances for presidency. Are people in Turkey willing to create peace with the PKK?
Duff: I think it’s the right thing to do in particular he’s got the fifth of the population that will accept this at face value but additionally in the long run, it’s going to be in Turkey’s interest to peel Kurdistan away from Iraq. That process is well along. The Kurds in Turkey see themselves living in an autonomous zone tied to a Kurdistan in the south that if Erdogan has his way, he is going to control.
Press TV: Do you think the Kurds will allow that, will the Kurds allow for anybody to control them especially Erdogan?
Duff: There has been de facto control of Kurdistan for some time. They are really, even the food, there is no food of getting food into Kurdistan other than by plane or to Turkey. All the oil that comes out of the Kirkuk fields goes into the Turkey on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The Turks have long been the connection to the West for the Kurds. The Kurds have no strong connections to Baghdad at all.
It’s going to be a natural transformation and they will trade that off with, considering the advances they made in taking control of autonomous zones in Syria, the Kurds believe they are going to gain by gaining partial control of Turkey. I believe they are going to lose that game, we’ll see.