News / Europe

Kurdish Gains in Syria Rattle Turkey

Kurdish Gains in Syria Rattle Turkeyi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
August 06, 2012 11:28 PM
Kurds in the north of Syria say they have taken control of most of the region's major towns and cities from government forces. And as Henry Ridgwell reports, Turkey fears the twin threats of the Syrian civil conflict spilling over the frontier along with a potential escalation of its internal war against Kurdish separatists.
Kurdish Gains in Syria Rattle Turkey
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey — Kurds in the north of Syria say they have taken control of most of the region's major towns and cities from government forces. Turkey fears the twin threats of the Syrian civil conflict spilling over the frontier along with a potential escalation of its internal war against Kurdish separatists.

Climbing up to his fourth-floor balcony, Mehmet Bervan, a Kurd from Ceylanpinar in southeast Turkey, has a frontline view of the conflict playing out in Syria. His house lies close enough to the border fence to shout at family members on the other side.

Bervan hoped this large villa would provide somewhere to live out a peaceful retirement. Week by week, he has watched the Syrian uprising descend into civil war.

"Often we would see explosions, bombs going off, smoke rising into the air. It was very scary for us here, terrible," he said.

Bervan echoes the feelings of Kurds across the Middle East.

"Of course people would like to live together. These fences were not here before. We were all one family. Then they put up the fence and it separated us all... some families are divided, we have uncles over there, brothers over there on the Syrian side," he said.

The Syrian side of this town, known as Serekanye in Kurdish or Ras al-Ayn in Arabic, is now under the full control of Kurdish forces.

With government forces stretched as they fight the Free Syria Army rebels for control of the Syrian heartlands around Aleppo and Damascus, the Kurds now control vast swathes of the northeast adjacent to Turkey.

Turkey's fear is that the Kurds in Syria will give sanctuary to Kurdish separatist fighters, known as the PKK.

Origins of the Alawi and Kurds of SyriaOrigins of the Alawi and Kurds of Syria
x
Origins of the Alawi and Kurds of Syria
Origins of the Alawi and Kurds of Syria
In recent days Turkey has launched assaults on PKK strongholds, killing at least 11 militants and six soldiers. Tanks and heavy weapons also have been deployed along the border in the Kurdish region.

Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan has warned Turkey will strike PKK fighters in Syria.

"While the Assad regime commits cruel massacres in Syria, activities in northern Syria should be watched carefully," he said. "We can never overlook such developments threatening our security."

While Syrian Kurds have not fully joined the uprising, Kurdish political factions recently agreed to unite. Hafiz Abdurahman is a Syrian Kurdish human rights activist who fled to Turkey last year. He says Turkish fears are misplaced.

"Kurds are not demanding their own state in Syria, they want a free Syria, and for a free Kurdish people to have their own rights after being under this totalitarian regime for such a long time," said Abdurahman.

In Syria, the Kurds are celebrating newfound freedoms. For Turkey, the Syrian crisis brings new complexities to a long-standing conflict.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yavuz from: Turkey
August 11, 2012 6:25 AM
Turks and Kurds share the same rights in Turkey. Both are equal citizens and Turks never fight agains Kurds because there is broterhood relations between them. Turkey's fight is against PKK since it is a terrorist organization.


by: GeneralSherman from: USA
August 08, 2012 2:44 AM
Humana, Turks have never committed genocide. I think you have us confused with christians who are the only people who have committed genocide in history.


by: moderateGuy from: NV, USA
August 07, 2012 12:05 PM
Another option would be for Turkey to withdraw its army of occupation from "turkish" Kurdistan, and all parts of Kurdistan to form an independent country.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 07, 2012 8:09 AM
Recip Tayyip Erdogan is a tyrant. That Turkey is admitted into the EU has emboldened him so much that he feels killing Kurds with impunity is the national right and pride of Turkey. Somebody must correct that impression. Erdogan must realize that Kurds have their choice of belonging and association. If he is a true European citizen, he should stop worrying the Kurds and allow them to make their choice. Turkey should not be like China that wants half of the world for its territory but cannot give them basic necessities of life. The Kurds are tired of being treated as base citizens anywhere in the Middle East.


by: Humana from: Germany
August 07, 2012 2:07 AM
the Turkies are starting another genocide... ugly chickens


by: suleyman tosun from: london
August 06, 2012 5:34 PM
Dear Editor Ilike you to know some thing beocause this kurdish issue in the west is blured and it needs to be looked into under microscope,:
1)that is who are Kurds and who is PKK and is pkk similar to al qaeda ,IRA ,ETA ?
PKK was funded and formed in Syria 1984 and regularly attacked turkey has the advantage using the border mountains to come night and attack the turkish army post this occurs every year as august is pkk aniversary of its formation.
2)how turkey as a country is governed ? pre 1959 and 2004.
2a IS Turkey frends with Kurdish Northern Iraq? Yes so much is done and mesut barzani is doing his best to cool things between Turkey and Kurds and so much is done .but PKK comes suddenly and does its work like a breeding mouse.
3)Before ottoman empire collapsed was there a kurdistan and where did Kurds live?
4)those from the west that want KURDS to have a homeland ,I like them to investigate this too: I like to quesation the western presss
A)what happened to TURKS that lived in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania , Greece serbia, Iraq Kurdestan , AlJazeera ,Syria ,Palestine, transjordanian empire ,Egypt ,Hejaz,Yemen ,Armenia Georgia after Ottoman empire collaped in 1914?therewas this lozan and geneve convention what happened to all that which the siignatories was france britain russia italy etc..

What I am trying to say is when the empire collapsed the western powers divded and rule method divided so many communities away from each other.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid