ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – French Writer, Filmmaker, and Philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy has criticized the international community for abandoning the Kurds after their sacrifices in defeating the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.
In a recent live interview from Washington, DC with Kurdistan 24, Lévy condemned the Turkish military operation on the Syrian Kurdish region of Afrin and said the US and the West had previously abandoned Kurdish Peshmerga in Kirkuk Province to the Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militia on Oct. 16 and now Kurdish forces in Afrin to Turkey.
He stated that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is no longer the President of Turkey, “but a Sultan who aims to restore the Ottoman Empire in the region.”
Lévy said that if the US and the West do not stop Turkey’s actions, Erdogan might fulfill his dream of expanding the empire to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Europe which was part of the Ottoman Empire in the past.
The prominent French Philosopher said that Erdogan and Turkey, as a member of NATO, should not act against the principles of the organization.
Lévy, who is also a filmmaker, screened his documentary at the UN General Assembly building in November 2017, highlighting the role and sacrifices of Peshmerga in defeating IS.
He mentioned that he was in Washington to screen the documentary again to the American audience, including US diplomats and Congressmen.
“I try my best with my own means which are movies that I have directed, to convince the American leadership that they are making a huge moral and strategic mistake and that the following generation will judge them and us in the West for such moral mistakes,” he stated, expressing concerns to the international community for turning their back on the Kurds.
He also criticized the US and the West for abandoning the Kurds in Iraq and Syria to Iran and Turkey, “two powers who dream of their imperial past; who think they have a sort of ‘Go’ from the West and America.”
Lévy noted that if the Peshmerga forces did not resist against the Shia militias’ advances in Altun Kipri (Pirde), on the outskirts of the Kurdistan Region’s capital, in October, the militias might have been in Erbil by now.
“This scenario is reoccurring now in Afrin, but this time they are not Iranians, but the Turks. It is not [Iranian] General Sulaimani, but Erdogan. The scenario is the same,” he said.
He mentioned that the withdrawal and silence of the US gave the green light to both Iran and Turkey to restore their historic power and influence in Iraq and Syria at the expense of the Kurdish people in the region.
He also explained that the Kurds now have a few friends who he labeled “inadequate.”
“The Kurds have a few friends: the mountains in Kurdistan, and the public opinion in the West. Probably, the French government with its President is also a friend of the Kurds,” the French Philosopher stated.
Lévy noted that Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani’s recent visit to France was “successful,” but added that France’s support is not enough as it cannot act as a single player in the world “if America, England, and even Russia sell the Kurds to the Iranian militias and Turkey.”
He said that it was unfortunate the West and the international community did not recognize the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence referendum which saw an overwhelming majority favor statehood.
“I hope that the international community will understand its big mistake now.”
Lévy stated that he had a plan and hoped that the people in Washington and New York “would build a memorial for all those who died in Kurdistan for the values of the West, for the values of civilization against barbarity” as respect and recognition to the Kurdish contribution in the fight against IS.
He believes it would be the first step in the right direction.
“To prevent future crimes, the first need is to recognize the crimes, sacrifices, and martyrdom that already happened,” Lévy concluded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany