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Kobani and the solution process.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- When it comes to Turkey's Syria policies, we are in the midst of a period during which we are seeing that Kobani has brought about a series of unexpected and unpredicted results.

While Ankara believes that without toppling the Bashar al-Assad regime no real results will be achieved solely through the defense of Kobani, the international coalition of powers that have come together to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) does not believe that there is currently any reason to intervene against the Assad regime. In the meantime, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which has not received much support in its battle against Assad, is now showing more effort in fighting ISIL.

In fact, leaving behind the conflicts it has experienced with Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces in the past, the FSA is now preparing to send a 1,300-man group to Kobani to help defend the city from ISIL.

The fact is that Kobani has been transformed into an arena for clashes between international forces. And thus the Syrian opposition forces do not want to be left out of this arena nor on the sidelines of the main battle itself. The Syrian opposition is counting on gaining the advantages it wants in general if it contributes support to the battles under way in Kobani.

Kobani to be defended by peshmerga and FSA

It doesn't seem likely that the PYD is very pleased with this obligatory sort of partnership it has formed in defending Kobani.

What the PYD believes is happening in Rojava -- which refers to the Kurdish region of Syria and means "West" in Kurdish -- is a revolution as important as the 1789 French Revolution or the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution; they believe it will stand as an example for solutions throughout the Middle East. The one thing that PYD revolutionaries certainly do not like, however, is the idea that this revolution of theirs is becoming a multi-partner revolution. The PYD does not wish to owe anything to anyone in the future for their "Rojava Revolution." But what we are now witnessing is that, apparently, Kobani is strategically vital for ISIL as well, which means that ISIL forces are approaching Kobani with the same level of resolution as the PYD forces. And this puts the PYD in a difficult position. Had air strikes not rained down bombs on ISIL forces, it is quite possible that the PYD may not have been able to hold off against ISIL for as long as it has.

In the meantime, Turkey has tried to stake out a new position for itself in the face of this multi-dimensional, multi-actor clash, without rubbing other interested international parties the wrong way.

But at this point, it is now clear that Ankara stands in a different position from the international coalition forces when it comes to the topic of Kobani. At the same time, though, on the humanitarian front, no country has helped the people of Kobani as much as Turkey. Right now, there are some 200,000 people from Kobani in Turkey. And let us not forget that Turkey already paid a heavy price for what's happening in Kobani, for two days on Oct. 6 and 7. Over 40 people were killed, and cities were burned and looted. Kobani may fall, or perhaps it won't. But either way, the fact is that the Turkish people will have paid the first heavy price for the events there.

And so it was that while the Ankara government was thinking of ways to strengthen the democratic foundations of the solution process in the run-up to the 2015 elections -- with talks happening between officials and imprisoned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Eucalan, Turkey is suddenly facing completely unexpected Kobani provocations.

So now the real question is how to make progress with a counterpart, a solution partner, who insists that the key to the solution process now lies in Kobani.

Recent statements made by a variety of figures involved in the Kurdish political movement show us that without guaranteeing the future of Kobani -- or more to the point, Rojava in general -- there is a widespread and deeply ingrained belief that there can be no success in the works for Ankara's solution process.

But I suppose the truth of the matter is that the situation in Syria today provides no guarantees of safety or strength for any peoples.

I fear that for the Kurdish side to tie the future of the solution process to Syria -- saying in essence "Without a solution there, there can be no solution here either" -- will mean nothing other than the Kurdish side abandoning the talks table. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, while quite rightly accepting the situation in Kobani as being important, is resisting connecting the situation in Kobani to the solution process itself.

This difference in perspectives taken by the various parties to the solution process is turning into a serious barrier blocking progress.

ORHAN MyROy[currency]LU (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Oct 25, 2014
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