Kurdish Peshmerga on the frontline against ISIS. ©Enno Lenze

Convicted Turkish General Says ISIS is a Hoax

Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan – Ilker Basbug, former Turkish army chief, was quoted in Turkish newspapers on Friday, saying that Tehran and Ankara should continue to oppose a Kurdish independence and that the so-called Islamic State is just a trick to strengthen Kurds.

“As long as these two countries are opposed to an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq, the United States will not support any Kurdish independence aspirations,” the former General said.

Ilker Basbug speaks to family members of convicted and jailed army officers in Ankara, 2014.

After the Islamic State took over most Sunni regions of Iraq and Syria, Kurdish President Masoud Barzani openly suggested a Kurdish referendum on independence. The fact that the Kurdistan Region has a longer border to ISIS than to Iraq speaks for the Kurds’ aspirations.

Basbug said that a Kurdish statehood is not in the interest of neither Turkey nor Iran, and therefore, the United States will never give the green light for independence because Tehran and Ankara would oppose it.

The former general, who served 26 months in jail for building up a racist terrorist organization in Turkey, also believes that the war against ISIS is just a hoax to give the Kurds more power. He says: “ISIS captures an area and later gives it back to the Peshmerga which is all groundwork for a Kurdish state.”

“That guy is out of his racist mind,” says Alan Qaradaxi, a Kurdish Peshmerga on the frontlines against ISIS. “We have lost more than 1500 Peshmerga, and he talks about Kurds and ISIS working together. He rather should give the world an honest statement on his own connections to terrorists.”

Kurdish Peshmerga in a joint training session with German Bundeswehr soldiers in March 2016.

Ceng Demirtas, a German-Kurdish student, says: “Basbug still thinks that he and his thugs can stop the Kurdish liberation. For 1200 years have we suffered from brutal dictatorships. For the last 100 years have we experienced uncountable brutal wars without even one year of peace. He is right about one thing; we will take back our land from ISIS and declare independence.”

The ex-general's statements also staggered politicians in Europe. German liberal politician, Tobias Huch, says to Corduene: "Basbug's tangled utterances speak for an excessive consumption of raki or other drugs. One can't say anything else to this nonsense."

The Kurds are currently fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. With the Iraqi and the Syrian armies fleeing from Sunni and Kurdish regions in their respective countries, Kurdish forces became dominant players in the Middle East. The Kurdish referendum on independence is to be held next October and could lead to the split-up of already fractured Iraq.

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