Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 25, 2014 9:30pm-11:31pm EDT

9:30 pm
, a referendum is over unified scotland is what we need. [applause] >> ok, i will let you come back to that in a moment, but i want to hear some final thoughts. what about after the vote. yes, in the front row. >> you mentioned about a turnout of about 80%. how can you make sure that they stay engaged in politics regardless of the outcome? a no vote,vent of can mr. darling tell us about the meaning for scotland? >> ok, and the gentleman in the middle. a lot ofk so far that the points have been focusing on the risks and not on the benefits of staying in the union. case being made for
9:31 pm
me to vote no and to stay in the union. mr. darling has been very keen to stress that you should not be relying on oil, but you took our country, scotland, into an illegal war for oil, and scottish men died for that. yes?s, with the glasses, >> i think the fundamental difference is the yes campaign scotland, future of and they are fighting passionately for their jobs. >> i would let you pick it up, first of all. with respect to the lady who just spoke, i will not win you over, because i think you are fairly much on the other side. we need to make the decision,
9:32 pm
that is why it is important that we make the right decision on september 18. there, i amleman passionate about the case because of the jobs, the opportunities, as well as the security that comes with being part of the union. this i could address gentleman's question about how do we sustain that engagement, i think one possibility for that as a yes vote is the formation of a constitution for an independent scotland. you both very much, indeed. we need to move to the final section. we are fast approaching the end of this evening's debate, and time for closing remarks from each of our speakers. make inecision that we three weeks time will define us, this generation and also the future of the nation.
9:33 pm
societies have secured this opportunity to vote themselves to independence. this is an opportunity to do it peacefully at the ballot box and a process that has been agreed and consented. post that ballot in the next few days or go to that polling station, we will be taking the future of our country into our hands. there are opportunities both as an independent country and independents an country, and we have to rise to these challenges to solve them. in contrast, there is nothing positive to say about the future of this country. only oney, there is thing we can guarantee, and this is what a yes vote can guarantee. election, anvery independent scotland will get the government we vote for. the choices that the people of scotland make will affect policy, and that means the
9:34 pm
policies and position of scotland will be placed in scottish hands. not the political parties or the newspapers. this referendum is about the future of scotland, and the future of scotland should be in the hands of the people. believe we can govern ourselves better than anyone else can. to be at need to rise nation again. we only have to believe in ourselves. this is our time, our moment. let's seize it with both hands. >> you know, no country the size of scotland can't compare to what scotland has done, with our successes in engineering, medicine. scotland gave the world the age of enlightenment, and, of course, we can go it alone, but i do not think we will be as
9:35 pm
successful as scotland will be as part of the united kingdom. we will prosper better with building our strengths as well as being part of the larger united kingdom. yes, i raised the issue of currency again, because any country starting out is its currency, just as a household is about its money, and uncertainty about currency can bring a country to its knees. are thinking give independence a chance, but we cannot be sure of the currency, and it cannot be trusted. and i think the health service is with contempt. we now have prime television time that the to of us have debated, and i still have not heard simple answers to a question. he -- you and i do not need to know what the other plan is. yes, we do. we do not need to divide these
9:36 pm
eyelids into separate states in order to assert our scottish identity. the strength and security provided by the united kingdom. i say that we have no option other than to say rightly him respectfully, and firmly, no thanks for independence. are now at the end of our time. we thank our guests and our and wee here in glasgow, thank you for being with us for this debate tonight. it continues across the bbc, on radio scotland, and on radio to scotland. good night. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
9:37 pm
>> coming up on c-span, a discussion on the challenges facing iraq. then, a look at the affordable someact implementation in states. and then later, a series on modern campaigning and congressional fund-raising. on the next washington journal, discussing the threat from the terrorist group isis, and with only 70 days until election day, how the digital age is changing communications and other aspects of the campaigns. washington journal is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter.
9:38 pm
tuesday, president obama will speak to members of the american legion at their convention in charlotte. we will bring that event to you live, starting at noon eastern here on c-span. weekend, special programming on the c-span networks. friday night, native american. then on saturday, a debate on scottish independence. a chief of&a with the second circuit court of appeals. on c-span2, books tv in prime time. in-depth,8:00 p.m., with former congressman ron paul. then on saturday, talking about the book the asteroid threat. another chance to see that program sunday at 9:00 eastern. , friday, astory tv
9:39 pm
nasa documentary about the apollo 11 moon landing. on saturday, lyndon b. johnson's acceptance speech from the 1964 democratic convention. electionght, a look at laws and the legal president of bush versus gore. find the schedule at c-span.org, and let us know about the programs you are watching. 20 2-62 6-30 400. .n twitter, use the # like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. and now, in iraq, the formation of a new government, facing iraq he kurds, and the history of the terror group isis. this event is two hours.
9:40 pm
>> good afternoon. i am christian ostermann, and i'm delighted to welcome you all to this event on turkey, iraq, and the kurdistan regional government. for those of you who are not familiar with the wilson center, we have an overflow crowd of some 300 folks here joining us today, and an overflow rooms as well, and those of you who are watching us on c-span. today the wilson center, as the
9:41 pm
official memorial to president wilson, is a forum for tackling issues through dialogue to inform the broader policy community. we will deal with one of the critical challenges for the u.s., for the world today, the future of iraq, which has been put to the frontlines with an center stage with the recent surge of isis, the islamic state of iraq and syria. there is a large swath of territory that has turned into a conflict zone, and uprising has shaken the political order. the kurdistan regional government initially managed to keep the conflict at bay in the territories it controls in northern iraq. but the fragile security environment has been underscored. the developments also highlight the delicate positions of many ethnic and religious groups, most notably turkmen, yazidis, and christians. that is what we are going to
9:42 pm
focus on today. we have an exceptional panel of experts to address the future of iraq and the krg in the context of the current crisis and a look at turkey's perspectives on krg, minorities, and iraq in general. let me thank our panelists for joining us today. they will be introduced in just a moment. a special thanks to our global fellow, professor aras, a senior academic advisor to the foreign minister. he has been the brain behind this event, and we are extremely proud and pleased and thankful to have had him with us here for the past few months, in fact, to have him with us at the wilson
9:43 pm
center, to strengthen our program on turkey. the discussion will be moderated by professor ali usul. he completed his ph.d. at the university of essex and has taught at a number of distinguished turkish universities. he has published extensively on turkey-e.u. relations, politics, and some different theoretical issues. one of his books was published in 2011. let me also say that this event is organized with the center for
9:44 pm
middle east and strategic studies and our sister program here at the wilson center. before i turn the session over to our moderator, who in turn will provide introductions to the speakers, let me also thank my staff, in particular emily, who has been helpful in getting logistics involved behind this large event. with that, professor usul? >> thank you very much. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. today the hot topics, the recent developments in turkey and iraq and the kurdistan regional
9:45 pm
government. today we have distinguished speakers. before giving the floor to the speakers, i would like to raise some issues related to the topic today. although the official title of the event here is turkey, kurdistan regional government, you have to add syria. from the chemical attack in damascus -- [indiscernible] it would not be right to combine iraq and syria in the framework today. regarding the problem, things that should be discussed in depth, but the strife in iraq
9:46 pm
has come to the fore when isis has started to take over some towns, including mosul, in the region. [indiscernible] carried out more than 90 strikes against the islamic state. it seems that currently the u.s. pushed back to i.s. and the peshmergas -- is the regional dam. the question is whether the i.s. has been contained. the answer is obviously not yet.
9:47 pm
[indiscernible] northern and eastern syria. [indiscernible] but not in syria -- from my perspective, the problems in iraq are more than brutality and atrocities of i.s. and link to what the u.s. did not do in syria. for example, one person is accepting of this fact. journal the atlantic that. this is what turkeys has been saying for the last few years actually. -- what turkey has been saying.
9:48 pm
assad has left them alone. the last point that i would like to rise here before we go to is about the humanitarian disaster in iraq. there was the murder of the american journalist james foley, and other unacceptable disasters , affecting a lot of people in america and all over the world. we have to do everything to stop , butbarbaric savageness you have to realize also that
9:49 pm
local people are in danger. there is a great threat of i.s,cre by was ao days ago, there call to prevent a possible , and it has been under siege. the ethnicities are different .here before we go to the speakers, i would like to express my gratitude to the organizers of and important town meeting also the professor.
9:50 pm
ok. thank you very much, and i am going to give the floor, the to our guest from iraq, the chairperson of middle iraq, and he is basically going to discuss the of iraq and the iraqi crisis. the floor is yours. >> thank you. well, thank you very much. i want to thank the organizers for having us here and creating this time, the opportunity, to look at the latest. there is so much going on that
9:51 pm
life is never boring and iraq. it is an excitement of a different kind, and there are many hot topics in most people's minds, especially in the international community, and this may include the war, the formation of government, the and also arstrikes, possible u.s. administration change of policy. this may include going into iraqis, theyto the are busy dealing with a series of never-ending crises, and there is a war against isis, and the least of which is the criseson, and they face in the presence of a failed political process, and a
9:52 pm
nonfunctioning state that is now divided, and it is on the brink of disintegration, so to update you on a whole range of issues, i think i'm going to leave a lot to the question and answer session, but maybe i should start by giving you the latest on the formation, as you suggested. and then branch out from there. one man was nominated by the president to form the next cap in it, and he has until september 10 two when everybody's trust, to sign off on agreements with sunnis, fellow she is, and kurds, before , and to the parliament
9:53 pm
nothing is easy in iraq. this is by no means certain or guaranteed that he can deliver that, and there is obviously pressure from the united states on the ground, for obvious reasons, for him to form his government. and to say the least, this will probably remove the greatest obstacle to peace, and this is part of the view of the u.s. administration, as you know. and the u.s. administration has made it very explicit that any future military support to conditional, and the
9:54 pm
kurds and many sunnis have made it conditional for collaboration to fight isis on the condition of the removal of mr. malik e. and he has not been resting for the last week or 10 days. and he gave 72 hours to clinical leaders to nominate their so his deadline is actually tomorrow. for him and iraq, failure is not
9:55 pm
an option. it would be disastrous. and there are those who are making it fail? and then there are the difficult conditions and preconditions. the kurdish delegation and the kurdish leaders held a press conference. we are not overoptimistic about the chances of him meeting all
9:56 pm
basically,itions, so he has not had a chance to go down to the nitty-gritty, and he has been very busy trying to bring the conditions down from everybody, so even the government means that. and this is an irreconcilable interests. and this is with the authority. they are by no means united.
9:57 pm
and the power base being occupied by isis, and they are , withperate need of help their weakest partners, but actually, their hand is now stronger than ever, and everybody now strongly believes iraq andating isis in liberating the major towns and the cities of the sunni tribal will need the engagement of the sunnis. that the sunnis political and tribal leaders must embrace this in fully
9:58 pm
support this militarily. this is where they may turn a corner. so the sunnis on the other hand would probably not accept this with a sheer majority. hand,rds, on the other wished they did not have to go back to baghdad, but they are doing so out of necessity and out of lack of trust. and this is during a time of war. arriving in kurdistan by the air. facing genocide.
9:59 pm
and he did not include the hundreds of thousands in the kurdish region. so had it not be for the u.s. estimates, it would be extremely and make progress, as well as the displaced people. over 1000. in fact, if you include the others, it is 850,000 people, so the margin comes down just under 5 million.
10:00 pm
the population of kurdistan suddenly increased by 15%, while not having funds to pay people salaries, and they are still withholding that. .
10:01 pm
>> he should not be?
10:02 pm
>> i see no reason really to reconstruct iraq and for them to rema remain vulnerable. >> to go independent. it remains highly centralize and grossly dysfunctional. and finally, a few words about isis. i don't need to tell you what the isis has done and what it's capable of. however, i would like to emphasize that isis is a real threat to us all. a real threat to the entire humanity and international community and everybody else.
10:03 pm
defeating isis will not be easy or quick. it requires a long-term strategy and international collaborations. it needs radical rethinking of methods and alliances. in the k.r.g. collaboration, if it was a model to go by -- most importantly, it's not just the united states and iraqis. it's the regional powers that
10:04 pm
need to change strategies, rethink their approach to iraq and the middle east. iran, turkey, saudi arabia, the gulf compauntries. anybody who has a say in the events in those countries needs to rethink before we even talk about winning against isis. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> we will next tackle the question of the iraqi crisis of
10:05 pm
the perspective of turkey. the floor is yours. >> thank you, mr. president. i would like to discuss the turkish perceptions of iraq and i would also like to put it in a historical background without any long introduction. i remember last year, the events here from turkey and the middle east. at that time, we were discussing the same question in a different context. this year, it's different. the questions -- turkey's relationship with iraq. we are p ask p
10:06 pm
10:07 pm
this event is organized with the center for middle east and strategic studies, and our sister program here at the wilson center. before i turn the session over to our moderator, who in turn will provide introductions to the speakers, let me also thank my staff, a particular family -- in particular, emily, who has been helpful in getting logistics involved behind this large event. with that, professor usul? >> thank you very much. good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. today one of the hot how flex -- 00:05:12 ? unidentified speaker hot topics, the recent developments in turkey and iraq and the
10:08 pm
kurdistan regional government. today we have distinguished speakers. giving the floor to the speakers, i would like to raise some issues related to the topic today. although the official title of the event here syria. for example, -- seems accepting of this act. she told a magazine that the failure of the credible fighting and rebels has left a big vacuum which the -- have -- so far. this is what turkey has been saying for the last few years, actually. as you know, turkey has been left alone
10:09 pm
by the western states, basically. [indiscernible] i.s. alone, happy to let it -- to moderate rubbles in syria. the last point i would like to raise here before giving the floor to the speakers is about the humanitarian disaster in iraq. basically, the brutality against the american journalist james foley and the unacceptable yazi dis disasters in iraq has effective a lot of people in america and all parts of the world. the world has to do everything to stop this barbaric, heinous atrocities, of course. but we have to realize that other local people are under great danger in iraq. turkemans, under the great threat of -- massacre by i.s. two days ago, -- all for a possible massacre in -- which has been under to mold and siege. turkemans are quite different from peshmergas because they have armed forces. before giving the floor to the speakers come i would like to express my gratitude to the organizers of the very important meeting at the wilson center. . . >> there's so much going on that life is never boring in iraq. and obviously excitement of a different skinned. and there are many hot topics on many peoples' minds, especially the international community. this may include the war against terror. the formation of government. the military air strikes. also possible u.s. administration's change of policy in the region which may include going into syria. but to ask iraqis, obviously they're busy dealing with a never-ending crisis, only one of which is the war against isis. and the least of which is actually the formation of government. and they face crisis in the presence of a failed political process in baghdad. a nonfunctioning state that is now divided and on the brink of disintigration. maybe i
10:10 pm
>> the iraqi politics? >> of maliki around the country and arguing for an alternative government rather than the majority government that maliki is trying to accomplish in the new government. but in advance of june and afterwards, politics on a different page, as i said, but also they did undermine in some mistakes, and they also
10:11 pm
strengthened in other aspects of turkey's position. iran, since june has strengthened turkey's position. they proved the relevancy of turkey's position. also, the american policy of ignoring warnings. so there are some advantages to turkey from the recent crisis. but, especially the hostage situation in mosul. so turkey has to tread very
10:12 pm
carefully. >> actors are popping up and certain actors are -- such as -- in the fight against isis and the isis advance into iraqi controlled areas. >> also, the growing interest of the western actors including the united states into iraq. >> the use of the air force and the military operations in iraq and afterwards, the decision of certain european governments to provide military assistance to k.r.g. this is also changing the
10:13 pm
parliament of k.r.g., the territorial integrity of iraq. this is also pushing turkey to rethink its policy which it has defended so far. and they have also created new challenges for turkey. turkey has been struggling with the overflow from syria. refugees from iraq in terms of -- other groups. but also inside iraq in the k.r.g.-controlled areas. turkey is providing an immense amount of assistance. and then increasingly, you see that turkey is trying to play a role in the government formation process in baghdad. they gave a short background
10:14 pm
about what has been going on. although it is not publicized much, i personally have been trying to argue a piece i wrote that turkey plays a very crucial role in the government formation process. >> especially the sunni leader
10:15 pm
speaker of the parliament. selection of the new speaker of the parliament. and also -- so this was essential in the sense of government policies. today, turkey still stands for a unified iraq but they know the solution has to come from the political process. s. there is a very urgent security challenge because of isis and
10:16 pm
the advance of isis. at the end of the day, it is based on some social political realities. and it should not be reduced to a security challenge alone. it should be understood and tackled with within the border of social dimensions for which the political processes in baghdad to continue and also we need to think about -- in the next stage. and in that sense, again, the new government has to be pace based on power sharing, revenue sharing, and also interpretat n interpretation. i see turkey welcoming the new prime minister designate abadi. turkey also sees that there will be also be a lot of challenges. he has to build a coalition inside his own party. in is very essential because he hasn't managed a lot of -- full
10:17 pm
control over -- this is where you see a major risk here in iraq. sunni groups, the sunni population have been increasing. you find leadership to represent their voices although turkey has different challenges to talk to the sunni leadership. turkey also sees that it's very difficult to identify the leaders to represent the sunni coalition. this is important. again, the negotiations between the kurdish leadership and abadi aron going -- are on going. also the issue of budget. all these challenges will have to be addressed while they are also fighting isis. it will be a very delicate
10:18 pm
matter to transition. in the long term, the real issue will be rethinking about iraq and how to redesign the country's political institutions. another major challenge is the fu
10:19 pm
10:20 pm
>> thank you. thank you very much. >> we have a lot of electronics in the room. if i could ask you to turn off your blackberries and cellphones, that would help with interference with approximate microphones. so thank you for that. >> thank you very much for this. >> should i provide by
10:21 pm
perspective? >> so trying to provide you a snapshot of what's going on in iraq. of course -- general perspective. so my duty is to, you know, to let you know what's going on with the turkmen and iraqi isis situation, whatever you call it. i have been in close -- turkman turk -- >> i'm a little bit older than i seem. well, in the 1990s, the issue
10:22 pm
was half of turkey, iraqi policy. independence. so the whole turkish policy was kind of limited to the northern part of iraq. it was not going to -- but things have changed. and we had, you know, the united states invaded iraq and said two things, i'm going to democratize iraq. i'm not sure about the first one. the democratization of iraq, but he changed the whole landscape. there was -- government. [laughter] >> this crisis -- so change the
10:23 pm
iraqi policy, and they need to go beyond iraq. so that means, you know, the two combinations have significance in the iraqi -- is being replaced as, you know, part of turkey, iraqi policy. well, also, you know, looking at some figures of presentation of turkmen in iraq will give you an idea. in these days, they have been told that there have been 700,000 to 3 million to hamas. and the significant degrees --
10:24 pm
turkish foreign policy. one significance of turkmen in the middle eastern perspective, it is an ongoing process. and in this process, there are two important things. one is empowerment of state actors. and a second one is a sort of close border reorganization. but this empowerment has a relationship with some military powers. you know, northern syria, and of course the islamic state. but here there are some other groups, minorities who has not
10:25 pm
been -- state actors. so the major difference is the absence of military reign. so the turkmen are one of those. what are going to be those kinds of entities. this is also, you know, another important issue and problem we need to, you know, maybe think about. well, let's move to iraqi context. so there are three kinds of territories in iraq. the one is, you know, the k.r.g. territory area. the other is what's called the disputed territories. and the rest, of course, is the rest of iraq. most of us live in part of those disputed territories. so the turkmen area was under control of iraqi central
10:26 pm
government up to the islamic state expansion. so more northern iraq. but now central government is opposing it. so the question here is if iraq falls apart, what's going to happen to us. they're talking about, you know, a minority group, geographically diverse. what comes closest to my mind is the p.i.d., the kind of -- northern syria. but still, they have, you know -- it's -- so what's going to happen? one way or another, they have to
10:27 pm
live with the turks. it's not up to them to decide rather, they're going to live within the turks and the iraqi state. or they're going to live within a kurdish, you know, future state. i can't talk fri can talk freel. i'm no longer the foreign ministry of anything. >> you're also free. >> of course, to some extent, everyone is free. and another difference of the turkmen are they're middle class, urban people. and they don't have a tribal organization. there are some families, but not, you know, like the kurdish presence in northern iraq.
10:28 pm
there are ideological differences. so the picture is not very much promising to turkmen. so they're either going to live, you know, with the kurds, with lack of kurdish understanding of peaceful existence. or -- another option is to live in a wartime geography facing the islamic state with absence of military power to defend themselves. and if they're lucky, they're going to have an iraq government, and a k.r.g. disputed territory issue. this is the optimistic scenario.
10:29 pm
so the policy the often complicated to the turkmen. it is becoming closer. we are going to be in a better situation. there is rather -- to hamas to k.r.g. for oil, et cetera. turkish k.r.g., you know, increased the differences within
10:30 pm
turkmen groups. while turkey is in a position to help them since this is officially declared by policymakers and the new government promised to them, to the turkmen to, you know, first you have yourself and then we will be able to have you. >> a kind of first reconciliation. the second thing is rather than working on those kind of issues, what really matters to them is cultural rights. since the areas they live, the
10:31 pm
demonthigraphy has changed. so what is the optimum solution that can provide the best to them is a kind of, you know, agreement with the kurds that is going to, you know, provide them some kind of -- some kind of, you know, government's rights. with some veto powers. that is going to go beyond discourse of -- okay, they are brothers, they're going to live
10:32 pm
here together. they need a kind of guarantee and a sort of veto power and some government rights will help them to feel better. and then in that case, you know, this turkish k.r.g. and future iraqi government and turkey -- for, you know, taking care of all the future challenges. but, again, you know, going back to what isis started, this is a wartime geography. i'm expecting, like, the islamic state. so it is, you know, really interesting to follow the turkmen as as a military power. while some other entities have been empowered as state actors that are the turkmen kind of entities that are for position
10:33 pm
and having traditional -- to the time. it's, you know, we don't require an expert to say that things will be uglier in the future. so it's just, you know, a matter of time to see whether turkmen will have a kind of reconciliation, you know, a kind of walking towards a better arrangement of, you know, kind of existence and turkey will have external actors to facilitate this and how it's going to -- iraqi -- in this wider, you know, geograpgee, ge. i'm happy to answer questions. this sit is it for now.
10:34 pm
thank you. >> thank you. and before asking your question, please indicate your name and your affiliation and please indicate the person, the speakers to whom you are asking a question. microphone. >> thank you. i'm from the "atlantic council". can you imagine under any circumstances that the krg will give up kirkut. what could the baghdad government possibly promise in return and do you anticipate that there will be -- how can you have any kind of of referendum under the current
10:35 pm
circumstances of instability. thank you. >> i think that i can see two or three fragments of questions within questions from the last one. you can have a referendum, whoever is in control, as long as it's done properly under the kind of legislation that's recognized as constitutional and legitimate. and the question of giving up, i don't think the kurds see it as giving up because they have not seized or occupied. for them, it's kind of regaining control over a territory that kurdish authorities consider kurdistanny territory that has come back to the kurds. let's forget about how it was regained. i do not think that the kurdish leadership are contemplating a scenario where they would hand over the control over to the iraqi army.
10:36 pm
if it's not for the fact that they consider it their right to govern this area, it's just handing it back over to a government that has not yet demonstrated its ability to protect the people and provide security and rule of law. the association with baghdad will be a tough one. baghdad has all times seen kirkut as leverage that will lead to inevitable -- all about making iraq work. if iraq works again, the kurds will sign up to. but the idea is that there has to be a new mechanism, a new arrangement with baghdad where
10:37 pm
the status quo can be maintained amicably. and it's no good to say in the past the iraqi government used to say that the -- therefore, this article is dead. in other words, don't even talk about having kirkut. now with the events of this past june, the reality changed, so suddenly baghdad -- alive and the kurdish state is dead. but neither would be correct constitutionally. they would have to come up with an amicable arrangement where they can actually implement all three components of article number 40 as soon as possible, otherwise, this is a stalemate that could be a recipe for disaster. >> could you remind us of those three elements? one is reconciliation.
10:38 pm
though some people are -- give it a try. but there has to be a free state of reconciliation compensation and referendum and there's an element that the president has to define the areas so maybe people will know more about these three elements. but i think it ends with the word "referendum" that has to be done to decide the fate. so all of these can happen under the curdish control. it does not have to be -- that does that. what has changed is it used to be baghdad controlled, and now it's the other way around. >> thank you. >> yes, please. >> chris rogers. i wanted to ask the turkey analyst. -- sorry. >> go ahead.
10:39 pm
>> i have two questions. i know you said that turkey still prefers a unified iraq. but there's been a lot of confusion recently because we heard from a spokes person from the a.k.b. party that a kurdish state is no longer a cause for instability. that's what he said in an interview with my publication. and so my question is: if push comes to shove, will turkey accept an i understand -- independent kurdistan? my second question, is federalism should happen. what do you mean by that exactly? i know the kurds are calling for more power to the local authorities. and also joe biden wrote an article in the "washington post"
10:40 pm
mentioning a functional federalism. and he also referred to having national guards for every reason. is that something you also want to see, more powerful local government like the kurdistan government. thank you. >> thank you. >> >> the first question, i guess you're referring to -- actually, i was here in d.c. for another conference. then he gave it and that was another question about him. i know what he said. [laughter] >> it wasn't -- the official -- whatsoever. and then what he meant should be put in the context of the teev lucian and transfor -- evolution
10:41 pm
and transformation of turkey. but after 2005, 2006, there was a very bitter period within turkey and it was really critical of some of the policies. but from 2007 to 2008 on, turkey changed its policy. now turkey started accomodation engagements with the k.r.g.
10:42 pm
>> i guess this is what he meant. because i remember when he when he gave that interview -- giving its sort of a concern and the approval to k.r.g. independence because at that time, calling for getting ready for the referendum. so somehow, his statements were taken out of context.
10:43 pm
>> how we can get it done, we don't know. maybe it might be a confederation. maybe sunni areas may be in a new area. we don't know. i don't know personally either. but it is -- so far. there's a perception that the federalism is perhaps -- and -- this is what i see. >> thank you. >> yes, please. >> thank you. >> microphone, could you please? >> yes. >> i wanted to ask whether you see the turkey's policy towards isis as sustainable considering
10:44 pm
that you could say that turkey perhaps looks at isis and syria as a necessary nuisance to removing assad but looks as isis in iraq as a threat to the stability and territorial integrity of iraq. so is there going to be more of a unified policy or is this a dual-track policy continuing? >> okay. well -- >> pull up your microphone. >> there is no dual-track policy. i don't know how you got it. and then before -- >> hold on. you need to have the microphone. otherwise, we can't hear you are. >> alleged air strikes by turkey in northern iraq to protect them whereas, you know, they're certainly not a friend of assad.
10:45 pm
>> i think i understood it. >> i think there's some confusion embedded in the question. i think that turkey has not initiated any air strikes in iraq. okay. this is not something that officials would actually accept. the other is that they would still not accept that they have dual policy because they have not officially supported isis anyway. isis is using open borders because it can cross. if you ask any turkish official, they would not tell you that they have policy towards supporting isis in syria but not in iraq. but what you might know is that turkey might have even turned a blind eye on others but isis, actually a new entity that turkey has not dealt with. so anybody can cross the border. and if you're thinking about funding or supporting whatever,
10:46 pm
i don't think any turk official would support that. i'm actually aware of -- ask that question all the time. so i think this is probably going to be answering the question. but the official line will not accept that they have any policy towards supporting in syria or not supporting in iraq. isis is a terrorist organization. >> yeah. just to compliment what he said. there's no policy. i don't know where you got it. it was mentioned. on a couple of occasions, turkey did see isis in syria. right now we're just focusing on -- in iraq. but isis was -- in the context of syria several times. and then, for instance, isis in regards to the -- there have been attacks by isis fighters, foreign fighters returning from
10:47 pm
syria inside turkey killing several turkish students. they're on the terror list for turkey and there's no way that has been at all a dual-track policy. and your assumption that turkey did support isis, i don't think that makes sense. you might have seen the recent report that there was strong ties in the initial phase of isis between assad and isis if turkey was so keen on getting assad out, they would be the first guys to support. but you know that turkey did support other elements. and you know that --
10:48 pm
>> can i just add one thing? the reason why i chipped in was because this is the kurdistan that we had. not publicly declared. basically, what we had was that most countries expressed support, sent support. but turkey didn't. whereas, we consider it -- turkey as a strategic al lie in this sense and -- ally in this sense and a lot of people expected turkish active intervention, but nothing happened, so people wondered why. then we asked those questions. this is actually a policy. so the only reason i responded was because i thought we may spend some time in trying to understand your question and i thought maybe because i've given thought to it, i could answer it. >> thank you. >> and, yes, please.
10:49 pm
>> >> given the agree of involvement at some level are we on the verge in seeing a shift in the policies of their relationship with those groups or if you prefer to regard them as one, that group. thank you. >> i think the k.r.g. has in a subtle way tried to acknowledge that at the end of the day, p.y.d. became very helpful in the polite of the yazidi. and elsewhere, the p.y.d. helped
10:50 pm
militarily. there are suggestions that p.k.k. directly came in, k.d.p. or maybe the initial government. and i think the general population in kurdistan, they do acknowledge that -- force that is governing -- fighting isis and have been very effective. and if you were to think pragmatically, you can't ignore this rule. for the u.s. and turkey to actually go into direct negotiation with them and forget about history and even public opinion might be ready to accept that. so i think it's in the interest
10:51 pm
of both to rethink that. but i can speak, you can say that. people say that. but officials might find it difficult to do that so rapidly to go too deep too fast. so that's really it. >> yeah, that's a complicated question. >> used to talk about the rivalry for the leadership. the reason why kurdish -- between the sort of -- so i don't know how the rivalry affected now -- international discussions that are in -- many things to -- at the end of the
10:52 pm
day, k.r.g. will be getting most of the information. military assistance altered the balance among the different kurdish factions. i follow the region very closely. create the impresentation that -- against fighting isis would also make -- it doesn't make sense.
10:53 pm
doesn't really -- i think turkey will insist on labelling it so. but you should still keep in mind the ongoing process in turkey in terms of the kurdish issue. the government calls it the resolution process. and as you know, the negotiations are actually through different channels. it is the progress between -- leadership and the turkish government. at one point, what this process -- we don't know but -- policy remains as it was. and providing for the different story. turkey initially is reacting but all of them, as you know, turkey -- but ongoing and the support to p.y.d. in terms of
10:54 pm
assistance is under conditions because of the advance of isis. >> and i want to go back to one point. i'm happy to listen to what you're saying. in terms of military assistance, maybe turkey wasn't there, but in terms of assistance -- and now turkey is also setting a chance inside northern iraq -- last week i spoke to -- contact
10:55 pm
phase to start construction. but i will say -- [laughter] >> just a few sentences on the possible impact on turkey's, what i call peace process. so the whole idea is to have a demilitaryize k.t.k. but here the context is changing. so they're gaining a new meaning with this military power. i think in is going to have a negative impact on peace process in turkey. and i don't assume -- between p.y.d., p.k.k. and -- so this is
10:56 pm
going to change the, you know, the -- so the main issues remain -- so the whole quarterback you know, it's a terrible thing for everything but turkey's peace process is a kind of based on more integration. so any militarization is going to have a negative impact. >> a couple of questions from the overflow room and we want to recognize those who are with us downstai downstairs. a couple of questions on the kurdish issue. >> so you mean there are other people? >> yes. it's a larger group. [laughter] >> how important is it for the fight against isis that the u.s. condone or encourage the purchase of kurdish oil on the free market?
10:57 pm
what is the k.r.g.'s financial situation, and how long can the k.r.g. continue to fight with its current funds? >> well, i think the answer is better than the question. kurdistan region has been suffering, has been having a financial crisis before the war started. and things became much worse with time. the k.r.g. needed to borrow money from even rich people in kurdistan. imagine that. and despite all these attacks and wars and genocide and genocides, the financial situation in kurdistan is very bad. one of the most urgent requests was to actually do something quick, even before he starts forming government to persuade his colleague, mr. maliki to
10:58 pm
send some forms even if it's in the form of grants. so that is deferent. so to fight a major war while not having the sufficient funds to feet people and, of course, the burden of -- >> i'd like to remind people. turkey was there. >> thank you. >> [laughter]. >> cu >>-- kurds never forget. >> the other issue, i think the united states should not -- i think we all want the united states as well as any other country in the world to do what is legal, constitutional. but if iraqis and all these -- between baghdad and -- both sides have an argument and the
10:59 pm
kurds definitely are convinced of this. it should not be the united states in this time of need to delay this process and start thinking about the gramatic break down of the articles. this is desperate. kurdistan needs to flow of cash to get over the current crisis. now, we are convinced that at the end of the day, this issue will be decided between baghdad and arbil where there's a good will and determination. at the moment, what -- not the interpretation of the constitution. it's the lack of political will. >> actually, this has been a very critical case for turkey as
11:00 pm
well. i used to call before -- turkey did sort of hide its gamble here by allowing the export of oil to turkish territory. you know that those that follow will remember the arrangement. there's the pipeline to export iraqi oil through turkish territory. then the k.r.g. attached its own to that pipeline close to the turkish border and this is how it's been possible to export. turkey keeps records day-by-day every barrel of oil exported and sh shares it with both officials in kurdistan and baghdad. as you know, from the oil -- the iraq government has to pay the
11:01 pm
reparations to the u.n. the remaining money is allocated based on the arrangement with baghdad. so turkey, as i said, took a risk by deciding that it's constitutional. the process is ongoing. but the expectation here is that that political solution with baghdad is -- sort of gray area which we are currently in will be legalized. but as i also -- critical risk taken which is very essential to ensure some financial independence. it has been in the current crisis very much the lifeline. so far -- they have been sending
11:02 pm
shipments of oil and a couple of them are still floating on the oceans. but the shipment is ongoing and -- >> [indiscernible] >> to also change this policy as i understand it, it's pushing the american administration. >> would you like to have some comments? >> >> just a couple more. >> yes, please. yeah. >> the role of turkey seems to be so important in this part of
11:03 pm
the world, and having read this article 15 minutes ago about turkey and the nonvictory, i'm wondering if mr. ghoul may play a role in the future or has he been sidelined. >> well -- i don't get the argument in the -- but this is the situation we are in right now. in regards to the position of mr. -- last week, he announced that he will become still a member of our party. he will stay there. but he won't be in the party administration in the short term. but in the long term, all options are open depending on the evolution of turkish domestic politics, the party's performance.
11:04 pm
he's not necessarily sidelined, but in the transition phase, he won't be in the next government but depending on the 2015 elections, i don't see any reason why he should be. but, again, you win the elections, you -- doesn't make no sense to me. >> you may also like to read my piece. [laughter] >> okay. further questions? yes? >> one question that hasn't come up so much was the role of turkey in the formation of the isil in the sense that so many of the foreigners and supplies are alleged to have gone through turkey.
11:05 pm
moreover, the people coming out. when the supplies went through, that's a lot of supplies. and the people coming out, you show up at the airport and your passport indicates you've been around for a year, so, and nobody asks you questions about what you've been doing. so i wonder if the panelists have any insights to offer on that. >> sure. i mean, isis, starting from the -- you know, it has popped up on the field starting from 2012. in 2012, they have grown in size and has affected -- but also some of the foreign fighters in syria, they are more willing to join the ranks than the others.
11:06 pm
partly because of the better financial means of isis. and also better supplies of isis. but as i understand it, then you look at it, the evolution as was mentioned earlier. first, there is a real push coming from the syrian government, syrian intelligence in the initial formation out of the fighters of isis were released from seyrian prison an started it. the big issue here about isis is
11:07 pm
about the issue of the foreign fighters. this is a very complicated issue. it starts with the radicalization, recruitment, flow of people to different channels and their ending up in syria and iraq on the battlefield. you can't just look at one part of this chain of events and say this is the source of the problem. and the way i see it, turkey has been fighting this problem starting from 2012, 2013. then the internnational community together -- international community together realized this issue was becoming urgent. initially, the fighters coming from the european countries, the rest of the intelligence agencies are also very much aware of the extent of the problem. but when it became an issue
11:08 pm
starting from late 2012 to 2013, we see a coordination between turkish and european agencies, as i understand it, according to the -- turkish newspapers, there are about 6,000 no-entry lists. so there are 6,000 people who are alleged to have been or have motivations to go to fight in syria. they're not allowed to entered turkey. and in 2013, around 1,000 people were deported. despite all the people -- people might be floating -- this is hard to control. but as i said, you have to look
11:09 pm
at the process of radicalization. these guys are leaving france, london, they have been already radicalize. western intelligence agencies also do a better job. yesterday or today, there was a story in turkish media where you see passport holders in an airplane in norway. he can easily pass through the security screening. the problem is not just that some people are crossing from turkey into syria but it starts back home in different countries. and i don't think turkey officially did support isis.
11:10 pm
but isis from the very beginning, mostly fought against those groups. the logic doesn't fly. and on many occasions, isis issued threats against turkey. on a couple of occasions, turkish citizens were killed by their attacks. now the true issues are taken together. this is the way i see it personally. >> can i just add something to this instead of looking at the
11:11 pm
whole picture in piecemeal, we should accept that for the united states to win this war is for the international community to get rid of this major spot of terrorism. and a whole new look, as i was saying, is acquired. and the united states will need to engage turkey as well as european countries to address this issue of this network. but they also need to engage saudi arabia and the gulf for funding those extremists in syria. and for iran to actually do what it takes to keep -- so floating elements of extremism cause
11:12 pm
rivers of blood shed. for the united states to be supportive of the gulf and for the gulf to support extremists and then extremists now come back to bite american interests as well as humanity. this triangle should be broken. there should be an overall strategy to look at the consequences of any actions done by the allies. so for the united states to -- what we can't -- let me put it in another way. since the united nations has refused to provide leadership in the region, not just after putting out the military in iraq, it's been this administration's policy as it is explicitly made time and time again to keep a distance from the region. not to be -- not to accept america as the only superpower there and leave these people to
11:13 pm
their own accord. what happened? there was a vacuum. who would fill that? regional powers. iran, turkey, you name it. and then local players pulling the place apart. they're breaking every country, allowing extreme elements, isis, you name it, there are many more who are alien to this region. come in and cause mayhem and have a breeding ground for international terrorism. so for us to actually single out one country will not solve the problem and every country has got a problem. in fact, every place in iraq, even the kurds, everyone has to re -- there are no saints in this game. so let's not fool ourselves thinking that we can actually blame one country or the other. every regional power, every regional country in the middle east is involved by it and have
11:14 pm
a say in fuelling this terrorism. and now for the united states and the europeans and the major powers of this world to come and deal with this problem, they need engagement and policies of every regional power as well as local players and every stakeholder. so actually one -- any tunnel vision or piecemeal approach to this does not do anybody any good. >> all right. -- regarding the international coordination, there's a platform called global counterterrorism which has been initiated in recent years and turkey and the -- are co-chairs of that. recently, they decided to set up a new group to look at this issue of -- this this was just
11:15 pm
ignoring this problem for a while hoping that -- >> can i just add good news? >> [laughter]. >> for the first time ever, forgive me, i should be taking instruction from you. for the first time ever, this latest crisis has imposed a new engagement.
11:16 pm
iran and america are actually together fighting isis now as we speak. they're not admitting it, but i'm telling you now. [laughter] >> the people -- there are people who are actually bombarding isis from above and people fighting isis on the ground. they're not just kurds and not just iraqis. okay. so essentially, this is a new era, a new approach. has to be promoted and open. because everybody needs everybody to fight this and everybody whoever in the past thought this is okay this is somebody else's problem, now they realize this is their problem too. it's not just one, it's everybody. >> another question? >> you answered my iran question. but is the reason that turkey's not offering any military assistance because of the
11:17 pm
hostages and what is going on with -- is it 42 turkish personnel who remain confined in mosul. i know you can't print it in the turkish newspapers but we're not in turkey. [laughter] >> what happened i understand, this is to -- what i understand from you, turkey is still a powerful actor in that region. at the same time, they cannot rescue their diplomats from isis capture. >> yes. i don't have knowledge about it either. [laughter] >> as i said in my presentation, it limits turkey's options, the way we can interact and present our actions. >> there are a lot of behind the
11:18 pm
scenes. doesn't mean lack of assistance or support to the k.r.g. for instance, the assistance to k.r.g. from europe. if turkey were to say no -- >> thank you. let me ask you this: in your remarks, you mentioned that turkey would be within a unified iraq. i'm a bit confused. can you clarify that? also, i have other parts of the question. can -- just for the general panel here. can iraq be saved as we know it? will maliki go away completely.
11:19 pm
and finally, the minorities that you referred to, are they better off under the k.r.g limb or the initial government in iraq? >> yes. i mean, in europe, in different nation states, we have different groups that demand more rights in terms of culture, political representation. in the case of turkey, for instance, the turkish kurds, they're demanding more rights. more rights to -- powers to local administrations. so this is the -- but of course in the case of iraq, it's a
11:20 pm
different story. they will have a federal unit and the recent discussion from the k.r.g. leadership to reflect on their own determination. the way turkey sees it, as i understand it, you have greater decision-making powers, greater control over your own resources. and this is also a way you are actually enjoying your self-determination. i mean, here we did not go into the politics in northern iraq,
11:21 pm
for instance, but -- off the -- you also hear different interpretations of what it means, the right of determination. but you can gain more rights and control over your faith with a unified iraq and the constitution, the federalism that's inherent and protected in the constitution does allow for that. the sunnis certainly have no objection. you'll have to discuss it in the next round but a unified iraq is possible from a turkish point of view. >> well, i'm not quite sure whether it will be -- that has been, you know -- we don't have
11:22 pm
a strong, powerful central administration and everything. my perspective is --
11:23 pm
>> iraqi situation. you know, future state. the problem here to turkmen and other minorities, here, we are talking about the possibly emergens state, a possibly state without -- elements. i would rather >> have this nation -- it will be safer to talk about how those minorities are going to leave the future state.
11:24 pm
i don't see a good picture. that's why, you know, i'm really pessimistic about the future of the turkmen and the other entities. >> the k.r.g. is doing a good job in terms of making efforts to promote multicultural there. but on the other hand, iraqi government, there have been some administration in the iraqi parliament about the turkmen language and other issues. so it's a multicultural understanding of politics. it's all possible. i don't think we need to say either or. but it has to be adapted at both levels. >> again, one has to look at the
11:25 pm
big picture. everybody in iraq is fragmented. the kurds are fragmented just as much. and the turkmens are fragmented just as much. the shiite, the sunni. they are doing well -- all the way down to -- not doing well and they are suffering. the k.r.g. has done a bit, but not enough to invest in this reassuring these people, winning their confidence, bringing them back. the k.r.g. needs to do a lot more and the baghdad government used the turkmen against the kurds and it's been a power and
11:26 pm
voting game as well as fuelling further rivalry. so we really sincerely desperately need help with the nation-building process, with reconciliation. imagine during the fighting, fighting isis over the next couple of weeks, the people have actually inflicted more damage where the very native indigenous natives who prefer to help isis. they own this land. they are not imported as they say in kirkut where they brought -- there are people who have lived there forever. we will have a tough time for this reconciliation bringing people together and healing these wounds. and it is a process we're not good at. we're not done that well before. others in south africa africa
11:27 pm
where they have had civil wars, we need help with that as well. i think the k.r.g., and my institution is -- we haven't -- kirkuk. many of the things that he was saying are actually true, to give them guarantees that iraq was never happy to give to the kurds. they should be accepting -- therefore, checks and balances, guarantees, power of veto, anything that will protect their identity, their culture. they are people who are rich, diverse, and they own the place. it's not that they're guests. turkey can play a major role in
11:28 pm
supporting them and putting pressure on k.r.g. to do what it takes to do that. at the moment, we're living in a crisis, a war. nobody is thinking right. when the dust settles, we need to do all of the nation-building process and start in earnest. >> thank you. we will honor two more questions. yes, please. the microphone. >> i was just wondering what role islamic development bank can have in countering isis and other extremist groups. >> sure. >> to the panel, whoever. >> >> do you want to -- >> well, i know -- islamic
11:29 pm
development bank supports kind of some community programs. so they support, you know, islamic bank system in different parts of -- and i heard they're also doing it some in western countries. so this is a struggle at the moment but the organization -- organization of confidence, certainly may play a role in terms of, you know, the fight against radicalization, just, you know, the -- there's
11:30 pm
certainly a need for more projects. >> okay. yes, please. >> i can't hear you. thank you for a terrific panel. two quick questions. is there an estimated 10 million kurds that live in iran. are they coming or do you expect them to come to help defend the k.r.g. and second, the "new york times" is now reporting via email that egypt is bombing libya. do you expect a similar action from them in iraq, syria? >> egypt and emirates. i'm glad they're doing something to their next door neighbor. we need a lot more in iraq and syria to win this war.

33 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on