In an exclusive interview with Voice of America, Ahmet Karamus, co-chair of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), discussed several crucial aspects of the Kurdish scene in the Middle East. Karamus said that the greatest threat to the existence of the Kurds is posed by Iran and Turkey, and that Turkey has taken the lead in waging a war against the Kurds.

The biggest threat to Kurdish existence is Iran and Turkey, said Ahmet Karamus, co-chair of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), in an exclusive interview with Voice of America on Wednesday.

Karamus argued that Turkey has taken the lead in waging war against the Kurds. “We saw this in Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan. And now we are witnessing it in South Kurdistan,” he said, referring to the recent intensification of Turkish attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The KNK co-chair believes that Turkey’s attacks aim to occupy northeastern Syria and northern Iraq. He further stated that Turkey plays a significantly different role from Iran and that America and the Western world have, to some extent, turned a blind eye to it.

“Turkey wants to achieve the goal of an Ottoman Empire within a jihadist, Islamist, Salafist, and radical framework. It envisions a world through the Turkish-Islamic synthesis,” he said.

Karamus criticised the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for failing to achieve unity within itself and for not being able to build a single power since 2003. He mentioned that two separate powers have emerged in the region, competing with each other, and each striving to strengthen and expand itself.

Describing the KNK’s mission as “the support of the common interests of the Kurdistani people from all four parts and the promotion of their gains and status as far as possible,” the KNK co-chair called on Kurds to put aside party, dynasty, or tribal interests and unite around national ones, as he believes that they do not stand as an obstacle to national interests.

Karamus acknowledged that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is the most significant force present in all four countries where Kurds live: Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. He suggested that the PKK’s presence could influence other institutions and organisations.

Karamus also emphasised the pivotal role played by the United States. Highlighting the Kurds’ position in the region, he noted that Kurds are also partners in the United States’ presence in the Middle East. “Developing a mutual dialogue with American officials on these matters is crucial for us,” he said.