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The fiasco of Turkey once we committed

Dr. Kalim Ullah KhanTurkey is unfortunately under the wrath of terrorism and last night, Istanbul flared with abhorrent saboteurs’ bombing. This despicable attack left heavy casualties and fatalities. We are in immense grief due to this torment of our brotherly country and our cordial condolences and sympathies are with the Turkish people.

It seems that after inception of Syrian civil war, such abominable activities in Turkey hiked, even though, the skirmishes and grudges of Turkish authorities and Kurds are too historical. The reason for the current wave of terrorism is an active involvement of Turkey in Syrian civil war which is corroborating a quagmire for Turkey. The position of Turkey is quite naïve and resembles the situation in Pakistan and a blunder once we committed in 1979 against Afghanistan at the behest of the West.

There are several aspects in which Turkey portrays an even picture like Pakistan. Like Pakistan’s neighborhood with Afghanistan, Turkey also borders Syria. In 1979, there was a communist regime in Afghanistan, similarly, Syria have a family dictatorship which roots back to Arab Socialist Ba’ath party of Syria. At that time, NATO, Arab world and Pakistan conglomerated to overthrow afghan government. Pakistan harbored global militants and criminals, provided them safe havens, trained them for holy war and after sending them to Afghanistan, provided them an unceasing supply of arms.

Turkey more or less played the same role in this case. As a part of NATO, Turkey became a brisk partner of this war, strengthened bonds with Arab countries and ignited infernal blazes of civil war in Syria. Amazingly, Pakistan was ruled by a far rightist military dictator Gen. Zia Ul Haq at that time, while today Turkey is also ruled by a right wing political party, Justice and Development party (AKP), favoring radicals against Asad’s regime.

The most aesthetic chapter of this similar story is those nations which reside in both regions. Pashtuns are residing in such region which is fractioned by Durand line (Pak-Afghan border), in the same way, Kurds also dwell in such region which is fragmented in four parts within four different countries: Turkey with major portion of this region, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iranian and Syrian Kurds’ regions while their traces can also be sought in Armenia. Kurds in all these countries share same physical, facial, cultural and social anatomy which consequently, fuels this war.

Turkey is unable to demarcate among Turkish Kurds and Kurds from other countries; like in Pakistan and Afghanistan it’s an uphill struggle to identify Afghan or Pakistani Pashtun. Kurd belt is also a region of huge fumes for long period and is heavily infested by militancy like Pashtun homeland. Such situations breed a known unknown enemy; Pakistan and Afghanistan are victims of such known unknown enemies.

Pakistan and its allies took benefit of this state of this known unknown enemy and enormously used Pashtuns, first against communist regime of Afghanistan and then against Mujahideen’ government there, using religion as tool in both scenarios finally creating Taliban. Taliban with support of Pakistan became denizens of throne of Kabul.  After 9/11, Pakistan switched sides and the ball bounced back; Taliban are ferociously reacting against that decision of Pakistan and targeting Pakistan since that time.

Turkey and its allies, in the same way, aided rebels against Bashar Al Asad’s government and name of Islam played a pivotal role to entice this war, but when Syria cum Iraq fell in the brutal hands of Islamic fanatics, then Kurds were used against the new threat called Islamic state (IS), which cradled in the lap of this civil war. IS swiftly expanded and occupied major portion of Syria and Iraq including strategically and economically Mosul city.

IS has ambushed Europe and is cited now a global threat, thus Western world has declared war against IS. IS and other Islamic radicals in Syria and Iraq also consider Turkey being ally of western ally as their enemy and mostly suicide bombings are backed by these fanatics. In last Istanbul bombing, Islamic state is a prime suspect.

To counter panic of these radicals, USA and NATO on the other hand, are empowering Kurd Peshmerga forces both in Iraq and Syria by supporting them with every possible mean. Due to heavy air strikes against Islamic state conducted by Anti IS alliance yielded in Kurds’ foothold in Syria and Iraq. The recent decisive Kurdish victory in Syrian Kurdish city, Kobani depicts a strong support to Kurds from the West.

It can also be certainly projected that Kurds will definitely use this supplied ammunition against their Arch enemy Turkey, a major impediment in their dreams of United Kurdistan. These situations converge that Turkey has jumped into a quagmire. The recent Kurdish rebellion in Turkey affirms these propositions.

Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) impeached Turkey for Kobani fall and marked it ally of Islamic state. The advantage of the known unknown enemy will markedly favor Kurdish resistance in Turkey as well as their fresh experience of entanglement with IS. On the other side, Turkey being a part of NATO is considered a nemesis by IS. This draws that Turkish dilemma is deep in its gravity.

Now like Afghanistan, Syria is too a center of a hegemonic proxy war between Anti Asad and Pro Asad titans, combusting Syria into ashes and gradually the blazes of this war are crossing the Syrian-Turkish border and anguishing Turkish people. I personally reckon Turkey as Pakistan of the Middle East which will remain in a huge loss in victory of both Peshmerga and IS while Syria is Afghanistan of Middle East. There are a lot of people who think in the same way by keeping these similitudes in mind. Their feelings have aptly coined the terminology of Pakistanization of Turkey and now this terminology is a subject of global analysis in media.

I wish my anxiety about Turkey prove wrong but Turkey has committed same fiasco which has tremored our political, social and economic foundations and has engulfed our whole nation (Pakistan). Turkish establishment should now deduce that playing with a wild fire is perilous game. A prompt and wise decision regarding this war may reduce their morbidity but still, the naïve Turkey has solicited an everlasting proxy war just like we did four decades ago.

Writer: Dr. Kalim Ullah Khan

The writer is a doctor by profession and working as a lecturer in a medical college in Peshawar. He can be reached at



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