United States President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Tuesday in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, to coordinate their efforts in suppressing the Kurdish resistance movements currently struggling for freedom from Turkish occupation.
The two leaders, in their public comments to reporters, focused on two daring attacks in Turkey on Tuesday that they agreed underscored the need for “cooperation on counter-terrorism.”
“This reminds us that terrorism exists in many parts of the world, and Turkey and the United States are going to be strong partners in preventing terrorism,” Obama said in reference to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed by both Turkey and the US as a “terrorist organization.”
An explosion from a suspected car bomb ripped through a street in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Tuesday, killing three people near a neighborhood housing government buildings.
Also on Tuesday, Kurdish guerrillas staged a daring attack on a police academy in Turkish-occupied northern Kurdistan, reportedly killing four people in a passing vehicle.
Erdogan said Tuesday that the US and Turkey needed to “work together in planning, use technology so that we can continue to take more steps in trying to fight against terrorism.”
Turkey is currently in negotiations with Washington to provide a base for a fleet of US Predator drones now stationed in Iraq. Ankara is believed to want surveillance drones to carry out operations against PKK rebel fighters based in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
The Obama administration is seeking to preserve close ties with Turkey, an increasingly assertive economic and military power in the region that has until now been a major ally of US imperialism in the Middle East.
In addition to aiding US forces currently occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, Turkey backed Western efforts in Libya that led to the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi.
Obama praised Erdogan for “great leadership” in “promoting democracy” in the region, praise that angered critics of Ankara’s occupation of northern Kurdistan and brutal suppression of the Kurdish culture and language.
“Turkey is both a tool of Western imperialism and a local imperialist power in its own right,” said Benny Katz of the Semitic Action movement. “Washington uses Ankara in the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq while ignoring the atrocities committed by Erdogan against the Kurdish people struggling for their freedom.”
Katz asserted in an interview with Indy News Israel that Washington’s Middle East agenda is primarily determined by the interests of globalization in the region.
“The Western powers appear to want a homogenous Middle East undisturbed by troublesome small nations like Kurdistan and Israel, who only exist as obstacles to globalization in the region. Washington’s definition of terrorism is hypocritical and subjective. It has nothing to do with level of violence or targeting civilians but has everything to do with which groups aid or oppose the interets of global capitalism.”