KCK's Altun: Erdoğan is also the ideological financier for ISIS

KCK Executive Council Member Rıza Altun said Turkish President Erdoğan provided the ISIS-Al Nusra gang activities with economic, military, political and ideological financing.

KCK Executive Council Member Rıza Altun stated that the Erdoğan-led Turkish state is the fundamental force that caused the unleashed the trouble of ISIS-Nusra gangs on to the Middle East and continued: “Although this is known, Europe, the US and Russia don’t have a corresponding approach towards Turkey. Their strategy is unclear, one can’t tell what they foresee in the Middle East and their tactics are hard to understand.”

ANF spoke to KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) Executive Council Member Rıza Altun about the situation centered around the Raqqa operation, the possible outcomes and the parties’ positions.

What is the goal behind hitting the headquarters for SDF’s main constituent and leading force YPG, while the Raqqa operation continues?

The outcome of the Raqqa operation will determine the fate of Syria. Breaking ISIS here will mean their ultimate defeat. It will open the door to a democratic, free and federal Syria. This is the foundation of the operation SDF carries out.

Regional and international powers build their politics on top of this. Turkey isn’t a part of this operation, they were stopped at Manbij. The operation continued with the SDF bothers both Turkey and Russia. They both are not part of this process but the process continues in that front.

When the SDF liberates Raqqa, it will be a strategic outcome for the SDF and their alliances, and a not good outcome for the Regime, Russia and Turkey. Actually, underneath Turkey’s last attack, there is also a wish to intervene with this, to make the YPG and SDF forces retreat from the Raqqa front, thus preventing Raqqa’s liberation and the SDF and the US from achieving a strategic result. “Everything will fall apart and when the deck is reshuffled, I can reinstate my politics to force myself as a stronger force. I can break this alliance apart and instate an alliance that is based on me,” is their tactical thinking.

The first and last Shengal attacks are also connected to sabotaging the Raqqa operation.

They will let ISIS live, ISIS will have a longer life, they will have sabotaged the victories to be achieved in the fight against ISIS and the results that would bring, and they will have deepened the chaos. In a deepened chaos, many forces will be hopeless and will reshuffle their hands. Politics and alliances will be reshaped and thus fortune will smile upon Turkey and the KDP once more.

While all this is happening, where do the US, Europe and Russia, as well as regional forces, stand?

Especially for the last 5 years, after the ISIS-Nusra gang structure flourished in Syria and Iraq, Turkey’s stance was clarified. The fundamental force that caused the unleashed the trouble of ISIS-Nusra gangs on to the Middle East is the Erdoğan-led Turkish state. Erdoğan is the main actor who provides them with economic, military, political and ideological financing.

What do you mean by “ideological financing”?

Constantly using Islamic arguments when he’s speaking is ideological financing. He is coming to the point where he is the ideological financier of ISIS. Even him saying Daesh instead of ISIS shows an ideological approach. He is constantly feeding ISIS in ideological, political, military and economic areas. His Iraq and Syria politics are also focused on opening up space for ISIS. He did this to pave the way for the state formation of the ISIS mindset and to generalize his hegemony over the Middle East through these centers.

Isn’t there a counter approach that corresponds to this?

Although this is the situation and everybody knows this, there is still no approach that could correspond to this. It’s the same for Europe, the US, and Russia. Strategies are unclear, one can’t tell what they foresee in the Middle East, and their tactics are hard to comprehend. In general, they say a democratic Middle East, that’s it. You can’t express a demand and an order by only saying “A democratic Middle East”.

Can we go over the actors one by one?

Sure, let’s look a little closer. These are all long discussions in themselves but I will briefly talk about them.

- The US wants to keep Turkey in a balance, to bring Turkey to a position to serve US interests and to refrain from erasing it even at the point of erasure, despite all challenging approaches displayed by Turkey. They accept the allegations about them by the policies they follow.

- Europe’s approach is worse. The EU, led by Germany, took all of Erdoğan’s allegations lying down. The EU reiterated their desire to see Erdoğan on their side. Erdoğan called them fascist, he put them down ideologically, politically, system-wise, culturally and morally. He did these with bells on. By saying “We won’t sever our relationship with Turkey, we want to continue our relationship, we want to see Erdoğan on our side”, Europe both legitimized the dubious referendum results and legitimized all that Erdoğan said. These politics feed the Erdoğan government to become more fascist. In this form, it is impossible to put the brakes on Erdoğan. If Erdoğan is encouraged, he will deepen his hegemony over the society and his attacks on all ethnic and faith groups in the region will be more violent.

- Russia is in an unclean tactical relationship with Turkey, on the basis of the conflict they have with European and American presence in the Middle East and Russia’s alliance with Syria and Iran. They are also thinking of integrating the SDF into the regime by Turkey’s force. In fact, I don’t think the latest attack was carried out without Russia’s knowledge. I think Russia allowed such an attack. Like the US hit the regime, Russia could have hit the YPG headquarters via Turkey and taken their revenge.

Can you give details on the Russia matter?

For now, this is what I can say: There is only one reason behind Russia’s tactic and them pushing Turkey into Rojava. They want to use Turkey’s enmity towards Kurds to condemn them to Asad’s rule. That is their policy. This is a very dangerous policy and Russia definitely needs to give up on it.


Let me explain:

First, threatening Kurds with Turkey is a great delusion. They won’t achieve any results other than exposing themselves. Like they fought for the last 40 years, the Kurds will continue their fight against the Turks from now on as well.

Second, strategically it’s a big mistake. The Kurds want a federal and democratic Syria. The Kurds who have this demand are a native people, they are not an external force or an extension of one. They brought Turkey in and made them enter Jarablus and Bab, and now they say they will do the same for Efrîn. So, will Turkey offer them their gratitude and just go back? When one thinks of it strategically, we are faced with a horrific thing. Unfortunately, pragmatic and tactical politics can lead to destruction of strategy for short term interests. There is such a danger right now.

What is expected of those who applaud Turkey’s attack, those who paid the way for it and those who condone it?

They may be greatly disappointed in the future. Bringing Turkey in is deepening the crisis, the chaos and the insolubility. Turkey stepping in like this may risk Syria fragmenting even deeper. Russia’s role is also key here. When they say they want to hand the Kurds over to the regime, they have to risk losing themselves, along with the regime.