US wants to maintain alliance with Turkey: Analyst

Youngsters watch Turkish police use a water cannon against protesters during a demonstration against government-imposed curfews in Diyarbakir, in eastern Turkey, February 21, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Press TV has conducted an interview with William Beeman, a professor at the University of Minnesota, about the attacks by the Turkish government forces against the Kurdish population of the country.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: The Ankara officials keep telling us, the international community and for the consumption of news organizations, that the people that are being pounded are none but Kurdish fighters. This is at a time when what we hear from the news is that, on a daily basis, average ordinary people, who might be from the Kurdish origin, are being killed. Now, what more needs to be done or to happen basically for the Ankara officials to differentiate between Kurdish people, average people on the ground, and Kurdish fighters?

Beeman: Well, they clearly are not differentiating between the Kurdish fighters and ordinary people. The mayor of Diyarbakir declared a state of emergency, a curfew, on December 14. And the people of Diyarbakir have been under this curfew all this time — nearly two months now — and their situation is really quite desperate. These are just ordinary people.

And the mayor and the Turkish officials have done this in order to try to rout out actually a very small number of individuals who declare themselves independent; they dug trenches in the Sur district; and these individuals are... they’re not able to locate them well, and in not doing so, they’re making the rest of the population suffer.

And it’s not just the Sur district; there are other cities in Turkey. Cizre and Idil and Yuksekova that have also had curfews declared on them. So, it’s well beyond Diyarbakir. The whole southeast Turkey is really under siege by the government. And of course what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to prevent a unification of the Kurdish troops in northern Iraq that are fighting against the Daesh or fighting against ISIL and the Kurds in Turkey. They’re really afraid that there’s going to be a unity of Turkish opposition to the Turkish government and so they’re trying to quash any kind of Kurdish opposition in their own country.

Press TV: In your opinion, what will be the future of Ankara… let’s say… US relations as well as NATO relations given the spate of attacks that Ankara’s pressing ahead with on the Kurdish population?

Beeman: This is a very confused situation because Turkey and the United States both belong to NATO, and the United States wants to maintain Turkey as a NATO ally. They’re hoping that the Turkish troops will eventually be used against ISIL, against Daesh.

At the same time, the United States is supporting the Kurdish troops in Iraq, and Turkey is afraid that the strong Kurdish troops in Iraq are going to ally themselves with Kurds in Turkey in order to threaten the Turkish government.

So, you see this is very very confused. And the United States, for the time being, is not doing anything to the Turkish government because they want to maintain that alliance. And so, the United States is ignoring the atrocities that are taking place in southeast Turkey.

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