Mina Janab and Rawa Anwar met and conducted an interview in Zagreb city with Jerko Vukas, former Croatia ambassador to Iraq and current ambassador to Kuwait.
The interviewers stated that they have founded lots of common points between Kurdistan and Croatia, and they talked about Kurdish issues in the Middle East.
Although by the time the interview was held, the government as well as the parliament were unformed; in other words, there was no government nor was there parliament in Croatia, yet the country was being run very well because everyone was respecting the laws and they were not careless in their duties.
Bellow is the full text of the interview with Jerko Vukas in Croatia:
“Jalal Talabani is the most influential and important figure.”
What is your opinion about the Kurdish politicians?
-It is not easy to be politicians in the region, but I am really impressed by Jalal Talabani, and I believe that he is the strongest figure, who has been trying to work for Kurdish question. He is my friend, and he invited me several times, and I know him very well.
It is impossible for a nation of roughly 50 million people without a sovereign state. I from my side, support establishing a Kurdish state, and I believe it their basic right to have a state.
“Parliamentary system best suits the KRG.”
What kind of governmental system best suits Kurdistan?
-The most important thing is having a rigid system and the courts should be independent so that the state as well as the people would feel secure. I believe that parliamentary system best suits the Kurdistan Regional Government.
“There is corruption in Kurdistan.”
Do you think the system is going to work out in Kurdistan?
-The system is not going to be democratic unless the courts as well as the constitution are independent. Kurds should also protect what they already have and Kurdistan has its own resources to live by. Although there is corruption in KRG and the people disagree and angry at the government, they should work hardly to make the courts independent, because as long as the courts are independent, the state would be safe.
However, the problems are essentially within yourselves; for instance, why should there be tensions between Sulaimani and Erbil (Hawler)?! It hurts the Kurdish case fundamentally, and so the Kurds should ask themselves why they have not been able to make progression; you should answer it yourselves.
“Liberating Kurdistan will start from Iraqi Kurdistan.”
Which part of Kurdistan do you think is going to get independence first?
-Surly, it is going to start from the Iraqi Kurdistan, yet the fundamental Kurdish question would be resolved after Syrian crises. The strong countries are using Iraq and surrounded countries as well as Kurds to resolve the issues in the region, and after resolving Islamic State crisis, Kurdish issues would also be resolved. For instance, America and Europe were against Iran, yet they were with Iran in the case of fighting IS.
“There is no reason to keep Abdullah Öcalan in prison?
Why is Abdullah Öcalan still in prison?
-Abdullah Öcalan has been kept in prison for 17 years without any legal reason. Also, Kurds have no rights in Turkey, yet Europe wants to keep Turkey calm and does not want Turkey to be missed up, that is why it is said that Europe supports Turkey.
“It is not the right time to declare independence in Kurdistan.”
Is it the right time to declare independence in Kurdistan?
-It is true that Kurds have scarified a lot, and they deserve to have an independent state, yet it is not the right time for them to touch upon this matter.
“The world does not recognize the Kurdish rights justly.”
Are the Kurdish case and identity given enough attention by the International Community?
-The Kurdish problem is that it is surrounded by several countries in which their governmental systems are undemocratic and they do not accept liberty for others, and that has made the case very difficult to resolve. Resolving Kurdish issues depends on overcoming Syrian crises which is not an easy objective to achieve. Yet, the world generally does not work justly for Kurdish rights, so the Kurdish problems would be resolved after the changes in the region and the Kurds then can demand for their rights to declare independence.
“Turkey wanted to convince Kurds to have independent state in Syria in exchange for a favor.”
Do you think what happened in Iraq and Syria would also happen in Turkey and Iran?
-If it happens in Iran, it benefits the Kurds there because the Western countries would not support Iran. However, they really care about Turkey, and they do not want Turkey to become missed up because it is the way to transfer oil and gas to Europe. Turkey wanted to topple Bashar Assad regime in Syria and convince Kurds to run their own independent state. Turkey wants to have influence in all the surrounded countries and Iran has the same objectives.
“Syria is also important to transport oil and gas.”
Do you agree with the Swiss foreign minister about Syrian war?
-Yes, I do agree with him. Syria is very important for the Western countries and they want to keep Syria safe for their own interests. Also, Russia considers Syria as its own country and told the Western countries not to get involved in Syria. Russia gets two billion dollars annually from Syria by providing them with military training and commerce.
“The tensions among the Kurdish politicians have negative consequences on Kurds generally.”
What is your last comment?
-I would say that having tensions among the Kurdish politicians would not serve Kurds and eventually they would pay the price for it. Therefore, they should resolve their issues at home to go a step forward for independence.
Translated by Rizgar H. Qasim