EMEP Chair Selma Gurkan: “Dialog with the Peoples in the Region, Not Bargaining with Imperialists”

Labour Party (EMEP) Chair Selma Gürkan

Originally published in Evrensel (10 August 2019)

Translated by Tim DRAYTON

Labour Party (EMEP) Chair Selma Gürkan voiced her reaction to Turkey’s operation east of the Euphrates and the “safe zone” agreement it has reached with the US.

Labour Party (EMEP) Chair Selma Gürkan called on the AKP government to abandon its Syria-oriented policy of expansionism and regional design. Noting that war, violence and conflict would not end, either, until the ongoing problem in the Middle East and the region was addressed on the basis of the self-determination of peoples, equality and fraternity with a view to its solution, Gürkan said, “Imperialist powers leaving the region, all the region’s reactionisms desisting and the will for the problem to be solved through the parties’ negotiations rather than arms may be a start for peace in the region.”

Labour Party (EMEP) General Chair Selma Gürkan made a written statement assessing the agreement reached between the US and Turkey on northern Syria.

Indicating that while continuing to moot a fresh armed intervention in Syria the AKP administration has virtually turned the negotiations conducted with the US into bargaining, Gürkan said, “This bargaining looks set to continue in conjunction with developments in the region. However, just as it appears impossible for this bargaining to continue independently of US policies, so Russia’s policies should not be expected to remain excluded from the equation. This bargaining looks likely to continue in line with shifts in the balance of forces in the region.”


Gürkan went on to state the following:

“In its plan it is preparing, the AKP is aiming to enter Manbij and east of the Euphrates and hold certain territory, transport the Tomb of Suleyman Shah to its former place, transport a portion of the Syrians in Turkey and Free Syrian Army forces into the territory it controls, and then, by entering from a number of places on the Syrian border and creating a territory purged of YPG-SDG forces 30-35 kilometres deep on the Syrian side and settling Syrians from Turkey, Free Syrian Army forces and pro-Barzani Kurds here, too, for Turkey to maintain military forces and patrols as an observer. However, apart from the unclarity of the agreement said to have been reached, looking at the points said to have been agreed on, there appears to be an unclearly delineated agreement. It is unclear from the agreement reached either which territory the ‘safe zone’ will cover, or how many kilometres in depth it will be, or which forces will be stationed in this zone.”

Saying the agreement reached was not the AKP administration’s success, EMEP General Chair Gürkan gave the following evaluation:

“The US has brought the Turkish government closer to its own policies. There is no basis, either, for Turkey getting caught up in expansionist illusions and achieving its avowed intention of going east of the Euphrates even if on its own independently of US, Russian and Syrian policies. The US is conducting bargaining that will tie Turkey, as a state that has not solved the Kurdish problem on the basis of fraternity rooted in equal rights, into its own policies in relation to this problem.


Gürkan commented as follows as to the solution of the ongoing problem in the Middle East and Syria:

“For as long as the rights to self-determination of the Turks, Turkmen, Kurds, Arabs and other peoples in the region remain unaddressed on the basis of equality and fraternity, there will be no end to war, violence and conflict and the peoples of the region will not escape death, migration, hunger, poverty, etc.

Initially, imperialist powers leaving the region, all the region’s reactionisms desisting and the will for the problem to be solved through the parties’ negotiations rather than arms may be a start for peace in the region. The AKP administration becoming embroiled in conflict in the region will not only add Syria policy to the internal dilemmas, but will drag an entire country into a quagmire of conflict.

The government must end its expansionist illusions pertaining to Syria and its aspirations to redesign the region.

Categories: U.S. News

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