The War Road Project

The War Road Project

Selahattin Erdem
May 2024

The “Development Road Project”, as envisioned, encircles South Kurdistan…Instead of calling it the “Development Road Project”, it would be more accurate and understandable to call it the “Occupation and War Road Project”.

The war in the Media Defense Zones is escalating. HPG sources state that the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship has launched a new invasion attack against Metîna since April 16. The balance sheet of the war in April was also published by the HPG. There is a noticeable increase in air strikes and the use of banned weapons (chemical and tactical nuclear bombs) by the Turkish state. It has obviously received significant support from the US and NATO in this direction.
Against this, effective guerrilla actions were carried out in late April and early May. It is understood that the guerrilla actions, especially against the occupation forces in Metîina, dealt significant blows to the AKP-MHP fascist troops. HPG spokespersons state that dozens of fascist thugs were hit in every action. It is also stated that a Skorsky helicopter that attempted to land in the new occupation areas was also hit by the guerrillas. It is obvious that the guerrillas heroically resist against every invasion attempt.

In its current form, the invasion attacks are very intense and not at the level they announced during the winter. In this form, the Tayyip Erdoğan administration will not be able to realize the goal it has set for itself by the summer of 2024, namely “the complete destruction of the PKK in Northern Iraq”. Not to mention the “crushing of the PKK”: without the support of the KDP treachery, it would not even be able to hold on in the areas it occupies. If it is able to show partial effectiveness, it is entirely due to the support of the KDP.

So what is the Tayyip Erdoğan administration going to do or what is it planning to do? It seems that he did not get the desired result from his lavish visits to Iraq and Hewlêr. In other words, he failed to realize his goal of forming a “joint force” of Iraqi, KDP, YNK and Turkmen forces under his leadership. As before, he is still accompanied by the KDP and Turkmen gangs. Iraq and the YNK have shown that they cannot provide any military support other than “accepting the buffer zone”. What remains is the increase in trade and the famous “Development Road Project”.

There have been many evaluations on this “Development Road Project”. There were those who said it was an “invasion of Iraq project”. There were those who called it a “trap set for Iraq”. Undoubtedly, all these descriptions have their merits. It was said that many Arab states would participate in this so-called project. However, Kuwait immediately refused and stated that “it will not take part in this project”. In addition to Turkey and Iraq, there is also Qatar. In this respect, it seems unlikely that this project will be a new and alternative energy route project. Undoubtedly, Tayyip Erdoğan wants this to be the case and to become an alternative to the US-Israeli-Saudi road project and instructs his entourage accordingly. However, this is much weaker than the Azerbaijan-Turkey highway project through Karabakh.

So why does the Tayyip Erdoğan administration insist so much on this so-called project? It may have a partial connection with the desire to improve trade. Because Turkey has a great need to increase trade with Iraq, especially oil. But it can fulfill this need without such a project. Therefore, the main purpose of this project must be different. And this main purpose should be considered in connection with the war and the invasion attacks.

It is especially important to look at the background of the so-called “Development Road Project”. The road runs south of South Kurdistan and almost encircles South Kurdistan from the south. If this road is built and operates, it is obvious that the trade through the current Khabur Gate, which is operated by the KDP, will be very weakened and South Kurdistan will suffer greatly. Despite this, it is incomprehensible to many that the current KDP leadership is more eager than anyone else to build this new road. However, this can be done by bribing the KDP leadership and most probably the KDP leadership has been persuaded on this basis. In other words, the Barzanis will get as much cash as they want, while the people of South Kurdistan will lose.

The “Development Road Project” encircles South Kurdistan as envisioned. It is obvious that the Tayyip Erdoğan Administration, which failed to surround the Media Defense Zones from the south with the “Joint Force”, wants to encircle the whole of South Kurdistan from the south with the “Development Road Project” and to compensate for this deficiency in this way. Moreover, the area through which the road is to be built is what the PKK calls the “Central Region”, a region where many peoples live together with the Kurds. From time to time it is discussed that the PKK also wants to develop activity in this region. It is understood that the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship wants to prevent the PKK from developing in this area with the road project in question and to develop its own activity in the area in question and turn it into a new gang territory under the name of “Turkmen region”. For this reason, it is more accurate and understandable to call the project in question the “Occupation and War Road Project” instead of the “Development Road Project”.

It is obvious that the AKP-MHP fascist dictatorship is planning to make this road line a new gang zone like Idlib and the Efrîn-Serekani line. Under the guise of road construction and trade, it will deploy a large number of military forces, intelligence and special forces, overtly and covertly. With these forces, it will not only occupy this area de facto, but will also try to support its ongoing occupation attacks against the Medya Defense Zones with these forces and in this way try to strike a blow to the PKK guerrilla. In this respect, this is an important situation for the people of Iraq and South Kurdistan, and a very important situation for the PKK. These attempts and efforts of the Tayyip Erdoğan administration will escalate the conflicts and war in the region rather than trade and will spread the current war in the Media Defense Z into Iraq. This is how everyone should understand this situation and see this reality.

But can such a process develop? Undoubtedly, this question cannot be answered clearly right away. This will mainly be determined by the developments and the course of the war in the region. Because the Tayyip Erdoğan administration wants to develop this situation. Because there is no other way to prolong its life in power than to develop and spread such a war. After the March 31 local elections, the policies Tayyip Erdoğan wants to pursue are becoming clearer. He clearly wants to pursue a policy of compromise and self-acceptance in Turkey and the world. Because there is no other way to protect and perpetuate the values he has accumulated by stealing and stealing for thirty years. Tayyip Erdoğan is completely consumed by the fear of protecting these stolen assets. This is how his meeting with CHP Chairman Özgür Özel and his political messages to Turkey and the world should be read. In order to achieve this, he needs to create a “common enemy”, and the “Common Struggle against Terrorism” fulfills this need. On this basis, it is making the war against the PKK and the Kurds the main item of its policy. In short, it has to further expand and expand the war against the PKK.

And will he be able to afford it? It seems that this is the main problem facing the Tayyip Erdoğan administration. He is struggling to find more forces to fight at home. The situation outside is even worse. Putin is not paying the expected and announced visit. The US visit and the Biden meeting, which had been propagandized for weeks, turned out to be a bust, and the US Administration announced that there was no such plan. The German President met with the opposition before Tayyip Erdoğan. All that was left for Tayyip Erdoğan was to go to Hewlêr to meet the Barzanis and demonstrate there. It is not yet clear who will benefit and who will harm from this Barzani-Erdoğan embrace. In short, the ‘War Road Project’ may also be the end of Tayyip Erdoğan.

This text by Selahattin Erdem was originally published in Yeni Özgür Politika in Turkish language, 08.05.2024
Translation: Riseup4Rojava Network

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