Enis Berberoglu: The PKK pawn in Caucasian chess game, once again

Hürriyet Haber
12 Ağustos 2008 - 10:39Son Güncelleme : 12 Ağustos 2008 - 11:39

Some could find the headline odd, I respect them. However I did not want some other expression given the fact that the PKK is being used as a Russian pawn once again against Turkey in the Caucasian chess game after a decade.

The first accurate diagnosis for the mine blast in the Kemah town of eastern province of Erzincan was made by Fatih Cekirge, the editor-in-chief of hurriyet.com.tr. He said, "It is clear that our nine soldiers were not killed in a simple terror attack. This is a by-product of an international war on energy security which directly affects Turkey's future."

 

He is absolutely correct, and recent history is the best proof of this analysis.

 

Georgia's territorial integrity, political and economic stability, is of vital importance for Turkey, because the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline could only remain open under these circumstances. Turkey can offer a secure energy route to the West by-passing Russia.

 

* * *

 

It should not be said that this pipeline route would changes only the fate of Turkey.

 

Two different news analyzes took place in this column 10 years ago.

 

On February 10, 1998, the leader of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, was the target of a rocket attack. "The forces that want to block the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline could be behind this attack," Shevardnadze said in his first remarks after surviving this assassination attempt.

 

Eight months after this attack, an attempted military coup emerged in Georgia that was suppressed by government forces. Azerbaijani’s experienced president, Heydar Aliyev said immediately that, "They want to block Baku-Ceyhan pipeline."

 

***

The Georgian opposition leaders were in Russia at that time. In fact it is the same today.

 

It was clear that the usual suspect, Russia, was not in favor of the pipeline.

 

But a press conference held in August 1998 was seen as an open threat against the project. Mahir Welat, the CIS representative of the ERNK, the so-called military arm of the PKK, spoke to the media in the sidelines of a conference at the Russian-American Press Center in Moscow.

 

In fact, he was sending a message to foreign oil companies, not Turkey.

 

The terror spokesman of the PKK demanded money for all the pipelines running through Turkey, and suggested major companies should meet with PKK representatives; otherwise, the PKK would block all the projects, including “Baku-Ceyhan”.

 

It is interesting that the same threat was voiced in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on October 13, 1998. The spokesman of the PKK-favored organization gave foreign reporters the message that they would block Baku-Ceyhan line.

 

***

 

The message that Russia sent at that time to Turkey through its subcontractor, the PKK, was clear.

 

It was reacting against the Turkish government which tolerates Chechens’ activities. Ankara carried out some fine tuning of its foreign policy. It realized a project of hope, agreeing with both the United States and Russia.

 

Was the PKK, which was left out of this equation, brought to the fore again because of the Georgian war? Or is it following its own lead and benefiting from the situation? It is not known and not very important anyway.

 

Because erecting a gravestone for the PKK will not be forgotten once all the stones are put in place in the Caucasus.

 

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