WASHINGTON – Claiming that many Kurdish towns in Turkey “look like bombed out Syrian cities,” the representative of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party to the United States says Turkey is heading for civil war with the government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a new report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Mehmet Yuksel told G2Bulletin that Erdogan basically has declared war on the Turkish Kurds beyond the already outlawed Kurdish Peoples’ Workers Party, or PKK, and hopes to gain more presidential power and backing from various nationalist groups by attacking the Kurds.
“By April, the fighting will get worse if conditions go on as they are now,” Yuksel said.
Yuksel said full-fledged fighting could “blow up in Turkish cities” by May or June.
He also accused the Turkish government of using tanks and aircraft acquired from the United States to meet its commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to bomb the Kurds.
“You can’t be using this equipment against your own citizens but the United States has been quiet about it,” Yuksel charged.
Turkey, a member of NATO and considered a longtime ally of the United States, in recent months has aligned itself more with Islam and its interests, raising not only eyebrows in the West but concerns for the direction the influential nation is moving. This comes even as Islamic violence has torn apart neighboring Syria and spilled over into a number of other neighboring countries.
Since his election as president in August 2014, Erdogan has been very aggressive in seeking to transfer more power to the presidency, similar to what he had when he was prime minister.
Elections in November 2015 gave Erdogan’s political party, the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, an expanded presence in the parliament, but Yuksel said the slight majority still isn’t enough to gain the needed votes to modify the constitution to shift the powers of the prime minister to the president.
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Erdogan needs two-thirds of the 550 votes, or 367, in parliament to change the constitution, but his party achieved only a simple majority of 316 seats in the November elections.
Yuksel said Erdogan, whom he sees as having become increasingly Islamic, may seek a referendum to acquire that power which he said was less likely than seeking new elections by the end of the year to achieve the needed votes to change the constitution.
Yuksel said there was a likelihood that if Erdogan followed the election route in November, Erdogan could achieve some 400 votes, since the Kurds would be so enraged they wouldn’t come out to vote.
Since some 60 of the Kurdish members of parliament seats would be at stake, “Erdogan is calculating on this,” Yuksel said.
The Kurds comprise about 20 percent of Turkey’s almost 80 million population.