On the anniversary of the referendum... fate of Başûr Kurdistan is at stake
Instead of correcting the mistakes, 6 years ago, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) held a referendum, and instead of achieving the gains for the Kurds and preserving what existed, they put them in the wind in the blink of an eye. They demolished what had been achieved with blood over the years in a matter of hours. The Kurds lost what was above. The land and what is within it, and this is what has put the gains in the rest of Kurdistan even at risk.
The Başûr authorities, dominated by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK), insisted on proceeding with a referendum on the independence of southern Kurdistan on September 25, 2017, despite warnings and threats.
What was the purpose of holding the referendum, even though its negative results were clearly visible even before it was carried out?
The referendum produced dire political, economic and military results that disappointed the hopes and aspirations of the Kurdish people, for which the Kurds are still paying the price until now.
On this day 6 years ago, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) organized a referendum on independence and separation from Iraq, on September 25, 2017. Baghdad said at the time that this referendum was illegal and not in accordance with the constitution. The Central Federal Court also issued a decision to invalidate the results of the referendum, but PDK insisted on going ahead with it.
The PDK was looking forward to holding the referendum in 2014, taking advantage of the city of Kirkuk being out of the control of the Iraqi army after the attack by ISIS mercenaries, and the arrival of its forces to the region with great support from the People's Defense Forces HPG, which participated very effectively to prevent the occupation of the city, but the continuous mercenary attacks on the region prevented the referendum from being held. .
By April 2017, after the near elimination of ISIS mercenaries in Iraq, the PDK, led by Masoud Barzani, announced its intention to hold the referendum on September 25, 2017, but it was immediately met with a strong rejection from the countries occupying Kurdistan (Turkey, Iran, and Iraq).
In the face of threats, and to preserve and protect the gains achieved by the Kurds in parts of Kurdistan, the co-chair of the Executive Council of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), Jamil Bayik, affirmed at the time that the referendum is a legitimate right, and that what will make the referendum meaningful and valuable is national unity and the Kurdistan National Congress. .
To confront the referendum, in mid-August 2017, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Mohammad Bagheri, met with the President of the Turkish occupation state, Erdogan, in Ankara, and they agreed on a decisive joint decision against him.
One week before voting on the referendum, the chiefs of staff of the Turkish and Iraqi armies met and refused to hold the referendum, and agreed to hold joint military exercises on the border separating Bakur and Başur Kurdistan.
The strong relationship between the Turkish occupation state and the Kurdistan Democratic Party quickly faded, the day after the referendum, that is, on September 26, and Erdogan said about the head of the Başûr Kurdistan authorities, Masoud Barzani, that he was a traitor for proceeding with the referendum, and warned him: “You will starve when Turkey prevents its trucks from crossing... “Borders,” Başûr Kurdistan also threatened, “all options are available, from economic measures to military, land and air steps.”
For his part, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Başûr Kurdistan, vowed: "The government will impose Iraq's rule in all regions of the region with the force of the constitution."
As a result of this referendum, on October 16 of the same year, the Iraqi army and the Popular Mobilization Forces attacked the cities to which the Peshmerga had returned after ISIS attacks, and thus the Kurds lost Mosul and Kirkuk to the central government.
During the years of their war against ISIS mercenaries, the Kurds made huge sacrifices amounting to thousands of martyrs and tens of thousands of wounded, but within hours what had been accomplished was demolished.
The Peshmerga of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan withdrew from Kirkuk and Mosul without any resistance, and presented them on a golden platter to the central government.
After losing the gains, the authorities of Başûr Kurdistan issued a statement in late October 2017, offering to freeze the results of the referendum and begin an open dialogue with the central government.
This setback showed the extent of the internal disintegration in Başûr Kurdistan, as disputes seemed to gnaw away at the exhausted interior and weaken it, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party tightened its grip on the joints of government with an outsider mentality, and was alone in making fateful decisions.
This is what enabled the Turkish occupation state to exploit the gaps that existed internally, and expand its occupation area in Başûr Kurdistan with the help and participation of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, so that the Turkish military and intelligence bases, which did not exceed 20 bases at the time, became more than 80 bases.
The referendum seemed to be a winning card in the hands of Baghdad, which wants to seize oil and customs revenues, and provided a pretext to achieve these desires of Baghdad, to regain control over the export of oil resources and derivatives abroad, as it wants to reach an agreement with the Turkish side in order to resume the export of oil that has been suspended for 6 months.
The International Chamber of Commerce ruled in favor of Baghdad, and as a result, the Başûr authorities stopped exporting oil to Turkey, which is being pumped through a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast, since March 25, 2023.
The Başûr Kurdistan authorities had been exporting 450,000 barrels per day to Turkey since 2014, after a secret agreement between the Barzani family and the Turkish authorities, for a period of 50 years, without the knowledge of the Başûr government’s parliament and the central government, which sparked controversy.
Turkey has a tight grip on the issue of oil exports to it as a bargaining chip to pay oil compensation, and Baghdad is trying to reach an agreement with Ankara to re-export oil. If the two parties do not reach a solution, catastrophic disasters will inevitably come, as Başûr suffers under the of pressure wrong policies.
Baghdad is exploiting its crises with Başûr Kurdistan by delaying sending funds allocated to pay employees’ salaries.
In the face of this scene, the internal situation is deteriorating, and witnessing hostility that may explode at any moment, in light of the strike of teachers, doctors, and municipal staff from work as a result of the delay in getting their salaries.
The financial distress resulting from the disputes with Baghdad raises serious concerns among the authorities of Başûr Kurdistan, and what explains the disappearance of the gains of the Kurdish people in Başûr Kurdistan is what the President of Başûr Kurdistan admitted in a letter to the US administration in which he warned of the danger of the collapse of the federal model.
The PDK put the gains built by the Kurds to the wind, and they returned to where they started. This referendum generated negative results that reduced the prestige of the Kurdish people.
On the other hand, the referendum affected the gains of the Kurdistan people in North and East Syria, as every project or gain proposed and achieved by the Kurdish people, led by the Kurds, is now viewed as a separatist project.
Instead of overcoming the obstacles and strengthening the internal front, member of the Central Committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Ali Aouni, called on the Turkish occupation state to enter the territory of Başûr Kurdistan, and demanded that it attack thousands of tourists in the Ahmadawa region by air with drones and many other methods and methods under the name of attacking the cadres of the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Recently, the PDK created a crisis in order to return to Kirkuk and open its office there, as the media reported that there was Kurdish-Arab fighting in Kirkuk. Barzani exploited this loophole to show himself as a protector and defender of the Kurds. But observers say that it was an opportunity for Barzani to win Kurdish votes ahead of the local council elections scheduled for next December 18, but his plan failed.
Barzani supports Iran's projects, which described the referendum as "treason and a Zionist conspiracy," after Iran and Iraq concluded an agreement that would remove Kurdish fighters from the Iranian border, after threatening and promising to launch a military attack by September 19 if what was agreed upon was not implemented.
The President of Başûr Kurdistan, Nechirvan Barzani, confirmed his commitment to the agreement between Tehran and Baghdad to disarm the forces.
According to the agreement, Kurdish fighters were transferred from the border bordering Iran to the depths of Başûr Kurdistan and were disarmed. The PDK took advantage of this vacuum and transferred 200 armored vehicles to the People's Defense Forces areas in Bradost on September 13, and attacked their positions the next day, September 14, in participation with army attacks. The Turkish occupation of the mid-range defense areas.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party is launching these attacks under the Iraqi flag and in the uniform of the border guards with the help of the Turkish occupation army, according to information confirmed by the “Roj news” agency, which reported that there is a dangerous plan targeting the Sidkan area in Bradost, and a joint attack will be launched on the areas extending from Mount Bull to Tal al-Hayat , Goroya Senki, Barbazin, and Tal Shamasa for years.
The PDK could have united with the Kurds instead of fighting them, and they could have turned the defeat and collapse into victory, and broken the power of Turkey, which was escalating to attack the Kurds. However, on the anniversary of the referendum, they were now between the hammer of the Turkish army and the anvil of the central government in Iraq, which exposes the achievements of the Kurds, and their gains are threatened and extinguished.