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VICE News on the Kurdish uprising in Turkey

PKK Flag

For months the “mainstream” media has been telling us that “pro-democracy, progressive” Kurds are fighting ISIS in Iraq. The Western media has falsely billed the conflict in terms of political/religious ideology. The media also falsely claimed for months that the Kurdish Peshmerga had seized all of Kirkik, to protect it from ISIS when the Iraqi army fled.

A more realistic description of the situation is this. Kurds are involved in a race war with Arabs. ISIS is simply capitalizing on that war. Kurds only control the Kurdish half of Kirkuk. There are Arab and Turkmen quarters that do not want to be part of Kurdistan. ISIS has shown the world that they are active in the Arab sector in a very dramatic way. They held a public parade, with 17 Kurdish Peshmerga prisoners in cages.

The Kurds accuse Turkey of helping ISIS by blocking Kurds from going to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS. The president of Turkey says that the Kurdish militias are “as bad as ISIS.”

Emboldened by armed Kurds fighting in Syria and Iraq, Kurds are rising up in Turkey.

Kurds are an Indo-European speaking group. They are spread out across Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Iran. The last time they had a homeland was a short-lived Soviet Satellite nation after WWII. The Peshmerga became the official national army.

The main Kurdish political party in Turkey is the Kurdistan Worker’s Party [PKK]. Until the late 90s they identified as hard-line communist. They have since downplayed their communist past for a more racial platform. They removed the Hammer and Sickle from their party flag in 1995. In 1999, they dropped the term “Marxist-Leninist,” to describe themselves. The leader of the PKK was put in prison in 1999, but continues to run the group from prison. They have a militia called the People’s Defense Force [HPG].

As ISIS agitates a race war between Kurds and Arabs in Iraq, a race war between Kurds and Turks is heating up in Turkey.

VICE NEWS went to Eastern Turkey to get video from the front lines of what could spiral into another huge civil war.

VICE NEWS also went to the front lines of the fighting between Shiite militias and ISIS. For many of the Shiite militias, the war against ISIS is treated as a war against all Sunni. Some of the same militias carried out mass murders of Sunni after the US invaded. There are widespread claims that Shiite militia are destroying Sunni villages in Shiite regions.