For many of us, former Turkish Prime Minister and President Turgut Ozal comes to mind when we hear the word "visionary." And so from there springs the need to scrutinize who exactly it is that deserves the title "visionary."
Earlier this year, in January, Barzani said to reporters, "Kirkuk is a Kurdish city. Neither Turkey nor any other country has the right to say anything about Kirkuk or any other Iraqi city. And so whatever they may say is of no interest to us." And then he came to his real point: "We will form an independent Kurdish state, but when exactly this will be I do not know."
A few days later, he touched on the same topic: "Who is trying to tear apart which country? They (Turkey, Iran, Syria, Iraq) cut Kurdistan into 4 pieces by colonization. We want to reunite our country as Kurdistan. We are not saying we should cut off pieces from Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq to do so however. I want them to be wise though; I want them to understand the reality of Kurdistan. It would be in the interest of Turkey to be softer on the subject of the Kurds, and to extend a hand of friendship towards them. Turkey should choose a policy of friendship." (This was carried on the February 8, 2005 web site Kerkuk-Kurdistan.com.)
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul reacted strongly at that time to these statements. He said: "My advice to all the politicians in Iraq is this: you will not get anywhere with comments like this."
Well, we now see whether or not they have "gotten anywhere" with these statements I guess.
Anyway, let's continue.
Later, in an interview with Aksam newspaper reporter Nagehan Alci, Barzani said "It is a reality that Kurdish lands were divided up....However, we see the sensitivity on this issue these days. Which is why we are searching for peaceful paths for a solution." (This was from an April 2005 interview in Aksam.)
As you can see, what Barzani is clearly doing is waiting for the right moment, and heading steadily towards his goals. We will return later to this subject, but for right now, let's ask ourselves this:
"What exactly is it that our 'visionaries' here in Turkey are doing? Is there anyone out there who is following this?"