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An Independent Kurdistan under U.S. Protection?

Independent Kurdistan

Independent Kurdistan on the territories of Iraq and Syria.

In 1991, Iraqi Kurds secured a de-facto independence they have defended against the  Arabic dictatorship of Saddam Hussein (1991-2003), Maliki’s Shi’a dictatorship (2013-14) as well as the Sunni Islamic State (since 2014). Similarly, Syrian Kurds have retained self-rule of their three cantons Jezira, Kobani and Afrin against the Islamic State and Assad’s regime since 2011 and they have liberated another one, Shahba, recently.

It is important to note that so far, Kurdistan has proved to be the only element of stability in the region and it is the only entity that can guarantee the survival of the Middle Eastern minorities: Turkomans, Yezidis, Faylis, Shabaks and Christian Assyrians.

It is the Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan that separates Turkey from the territories inhabited by the Sunni Arabs. The only place where Turkey and the Sunni Arab areas meet is Azaz district north of Aleppo and west from River Euphrates. Here Turkey has been installing its buffer zone.

As suggested in “Turkish and Egyptian Occupation in Iraq and Syria“, Turkish and Egyptian occupation zones should be established in the Sunni Arab areas of Iraq and Syria. In order to provide efficient occupation, the Turkish army has to build several safe corridors. These corridors can only be built through Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan. However, there are two risks here.

First, in case of any deterioration of relations between Turkey and the Kurds, as is the case in the last couple of months, there is a threat of Kurdish blockade of the Turkish military corridors and eventual attacks against them. This could also happen in case of a democratic change in Kurdistan’s orientation and its effort to change the course of the Turkish occupation. The blockade of the American corridor from Pakistan to Afghanistan via Khyber Pass after the democratic victory of the PTI party in the elections of the Pakistan’s Pushtu state of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa can be a good example.

Second, since the Lausanne Peace Treaty (1922) defining the current Turkish borders, Turkey has been continuously claiming the former Vilayet of Mosul which partially corresponds to contemporary Iraqi Kurdistan. Currently, Turkey has its units in Baashiqa area of the Nineveh Plains. The Turkish military located both north of Kurdistan (in Turkey) and south of Kurdistan (in the Turkish occupation zone of Iraq and Syria) would surround Kurdistan from two sides. Its compulsion to overrun Kurdistan and to solve the Kurdish problem once for all could be irresistible.

US Protection Zone in Kurdistan

As suggested in “Sunni Areas Post-ISIS: Occupation by Sunni Powers?“, post-war arrangements should be based on a principle of minimum necessary foreign occupation: where state structures do not exist (i.e. Sunni Arab areas), occupation regime should be established. Where state structures exist (i.e. Shi’a and Kurdish governments), only protection zones are needed.

Kurdistan Regional Government (Iraqi Kurdistan), on one hand, has friendly relationship with its key neighbor, Turkey. Government of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), on the other hand, has hostile relations with Ankara as its ruling YPG is an affiliate of PKK in Turkey. Any stable solution of this uneasy problem should, therefore, include integration of Rojava to the Erbil-based government of Kurdistan with friendly relations to Ankara.

It was also mentioned that the U.S. and Russia should be excluded from the occupation regime in the Middle East. However, protection regime, where the local government is the sovereign power and external powers only provide security for a transitional period, cannot be secured without those global powers.

Kurds are, with the exception of Israel, the only element in the Middle East where the U.S. is very popular. Therefore, security of the Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan against the expansionist desires of the Turkish or Iraqi armies and the remnants of the Islamic State should be ensured by establishing a US protection zone.

Occupation and Protection zones in Iraq and Syria.

Occupation and Protection zones in Iraq and Syria. Click to enlarge.

Guarantees for Kurdistan and Turkey

The US protection forces would leave Kurdistan only after stabilization of Syria and Iraq and after withdrawal of the Turkish occupation forces from northern Syria and Iraq.

In order to protect Kurdistan against Turkey and the Arab states as well as to protect Assyrians, Turkomans, Yezidis and other minorities against Kurdish expansionism, United States should preserve minor military bases in Kurdistan.

On the other hand, in order to protect Turkey against Kurdish separatists and to promote Turkish interests in the region, Kurdistan would become a part of a Turkic alliance between Turkey, Azerbaijan, and eventually Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as a counterpart to the Arab dominance in the Middle East and Russian dominance in Central Asia.

Turkey and Kurdistan would be also bound by mutual checks and balances: constitutional guarantees for the Kurdish minority in Turkey would be compensated with constitutional guarantees for the Turkoman minority in Kurdistan.

Independent Kurdistan as a buffer state.

Independent Kurdistan between Turkey, Iran and the Arab states.

Non-Arab minorities inside Kurdistan

As already mentioned, today, Kurdistan is the only pole of stability in Iraq and Syria. For representatives of the non-Arab minorities adjacent to Kurdistan, such as Christian Assyrians, Shi’a Faylis, Qizilbash Shabaks, Shi‘a, Sunni and Alevi Turkomans, as well as Yezidis and Kaka‘is, it would be foolish to still rely on the vision of multicultural Syria and Iraq.

Dreaming of this vision resulted in mass emigration of the minorities from Iraq and Syria to Europe and the U.S. and threaten that the Middle East, being the cradle of Christianity and other religions, ceases to be home for any Christians or other minorities. The only perspective of preservation of the minorities is within Kurdistan that took care of the refugees from those minorities during their occupation by the Islamic State.

After all what happened, the question of who should rule the Kirkuk oilfields should not be contentious anymore. Arabs showed that they do not deserve it. The Shi‘a acted miserably towards the rest of Iraq in 2013-14 and the Iraqi army fell apart on the north in 2014. The Sunni only managed to found the Islamic State. For these reasons, the US protection zone should include not only Kurdistan Proper but also all minority districts and sub-districts.

In Mosul (Nineveh) governorate, all areas inhabited by the Kurds, Assyrians, Yezidis, Shabaks and Kaka‘is – from Sinjar through Tal Afar down to the Nineveh Plains and Akkre, including medieval cities of Nineveh and Nimrud as well as eastern Mosul. In Kirkuk governorate, areas inhabited by the Kurds, Turkomans and Kaka‘is, i.e. except of Hawija district with a Sunni Arab population.

Further south, all districts inhabited by Faylis and Turkomans from Tuz Khurmatu through Kifri down to Mandali. Even if some of the Fayli and Turkoman cities are ruled by the Shi‘a Iraqi army, their handing over to the American protection zone would protect them against uncertain future within the Iraqi Arab state.

Ethnic composition of independent Kurdistan.

Ethnic composition of independent Kurdistan. Click to enlarge.

Impossible Survival of Minorities in a Multi-Ethnic Iraq or Syria

The narrative of the Islamic State showed clearly that politicians of the minorities must start behaving realistically. Representatives of the Christian Assyrians in Iraq have daydreamed about a united and multi-ethnic Iraq as their only possible homeland. This politics resulted in occupation of their cities, Bakhdida (al-Hamdaniya) and Tel Keppe (Tal Kaif), by the Islamic State and destruction of ancient Nineveh and Nimrud.

In the elections since 2005, most of the Shi‘a Faylis, Shabaks and Turkomans voted for the coalition of the Shi‘a Arab parties from southern Iraq. Their unrealistic vote resulted in desecrating of the Shi‘a mosques, homes and people by the fighters of the Islamic State almost in all cities of the Turkomans, Shabaks and Faylis, from Tal Afar down to Shareban (Miqdadiyah). These Shi‘a minorities are getting faced with the choice in which coexistence with their southern kin Shi‘a Arabs is none of the realistic options. The only realistic options are either Kurdistan or the Sunni Arab ex-ISIL.

Not so long ago, the Syrian Turkomans experienced proof that their survival within Syria is impossible. Their villages have been bombed by the Syrian regime and Russia within their “war on Islamist terrorists”. This was one of the reasons for dangerous escalation when the Turks downed the Russian aircraft in November 2015.

Minority Protection in Independent Kurdistan

During the American occupation of Iraq, the Kurds committed numerous crimes against Christian Assyrians as well as Muslim Turkomans, Shabaks, Yezidis and others. One should not forget the Kurdish role in the Ottoman genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that Kurds will start treating those minorities perfectly.

However, security of the minorities can be granted. Up to now, independent Kurdistan has not been recognized by any nation. So the future potential Kurdish independence can be subject to certain conditions such as constitutional guarantees to the minorities. As the Croats in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina acquired some Croat and mixed cantons and as the minority Serbs in Kosovo were granted Serbian districts, also the minorities in Kurdistan would have to obtain guarantees on their own homelands.

It was Maliki’s government that already approved establishment of three new provinces for minorities: Tal Afar and Tuz Khurmatu for the Turkomans and Nineveh Plains for the Assyrians, Yezidis, Shabaks and Kaka‘is. Setting up of another two minority provinces was expected: Sinjar for Yezidis and Khanaqin for the Faylis.

This kind of cantonal arrangement would be advantageous for both sides: Kurds would secure their dream land Kurdistan in its maximalist version in Iraq and Syria while the minorities would obtain constitutional guarantees for their autonomy.

Cantons of the independent Kurdistan.

Kurdish and minority cantons of the independent Kurdistan. Click to enlarge

Kurdish Cantons

The cantonal arrangement of Kurdistan would enable the parallel existence of multiple official languages: Kurdish languages of Kurmanji, Sorani and Fayli as well as the languages of Turkomans and Assyrians.

One of the possible cantonal arrangements could combine Kurdish cantons based on historical regions with minority cantons. In this setup, each of the three Kurdish regions would contain five cantons, making a total of fifteen Kurdish cantons.

In areas ruled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), there could be Kurdish cantons of Sind, Badinan, Soran and Hazaban with capitals Dahuk, Aqrah, Rawanduz and Erbil; as well as eastern Mosul on the left bank of River Tigris.

In areas traditionally ruled by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), cantons of Baban, Bijhen, Garmian, Barzang and Hawraman could be established with capitals Sulaymaniya, Koysanjak, Kirkuk, Kifri and Halabja.

Finally, in areas of Syrian Kurdistan ruled by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), cantons of Jazira, Kobani, Afrin and Shahba have been already established with capitals in Qamishli, Kobani, Afrin and Manbij. An additional canton of Khabur with capital in Hasakah could be added.

Minority Homelands / Cantons

In minority areas, there could be four Turkoman cantons: three in today’s Iraq and one in today’s Syria, with capitals in Talafar, Tuz Khurmatu, Kirkuk and Jarabulus. As for the city of Kirkuk, its southern, Turkoman neighborhoods could become the capital of the Turcoman canton of Turkmen Kerkuk while its northern, Kurdish neighborhoods would be the capital of the Kurdish Garmian canton. Turkmen Kerkuk would also include Kaka’i areas south of Kirkuk.

There could be another three Christian Assyrian cantons. In Nineveh Plains, Assyrian cantons of Nimrud and Nineveh with capitals in Hamdaniya and Telkaif could be established. In northeastern Syria, canton Tur Abdin (reminding nearby Tur Abdin mountains in Turkey) would be founded, based on Tell Tamer district on Khabur river, with exclaves in Assyrian neighborhoods in cities of Malikiyah and Hasakah and settlements between Qamishli and Bir al-Helou.

Shi’a Faylis would have Guran canton with capital in Khanaqin while Shabaks, Kaka’is and Bajalans could have Shabak canton in Nineveh Plains with Baashiqa as a capital. Finally, Yezidis could get two cantons: Sinjar in the Sinjar mountains near the Syrian border and Yezidkhan with capital Ain Sifni and with Yezidi holy town of Lalish in Nineveh Plains.

 
  • Usztad

    A country like this would be operable?

  • EU_One

    couple of points are wrong with this article (also posted on https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/59j1bf/an_independent_kurdistan_under_us_protection/)

    >It is the Syrian and Iraqi Kurdistan that separates Turkey from the territories inhabited by the Sunni Arabs. The only place where Turkey and the Sunni Arab areas meet is Azaz district north of Aleppo and west from River Euphrates. Here Turkey has been installing its buffer zone.

    the only place where Turkey and Sunni Arabs meet is in Raqqa province of syria and Sanliurfa province in Turkey, with the towns of Akcakale and Tel Abyad meeting at the Syria-Turkey border (they were divided between french mandate period). In fact the Harran plain across the border in Turkey is still largely Sunni arab, having been settled by bedouin arabs centuries ago.

    In contrast the area the article is describing (Azaz district north of Aleppo) still has a significant mix of ethnicities (Turkmen and Kurds), much more so than in the Raqqa-Sanliurfa border region. This is one of the reasons why turkey wants to intervene at this region because theres a substantial turkmen minority there (as well as pro-islamists/FSA in the region) and not because there’s sunni arabs.

    >Turkish and Egyptian occupation zones should be established in the Sunni Arab areas of Iraq and Syria.

    This is the main point where’s i’ll solely address the ‘Egyptian occupation’ as its a ludicrous proposition. Egypt currently has an ongoing insurgency by ISIL in Sinai peninsula, and it still refuses to occupy/invade Libya in order to end the country’s civil war, even though ISIL conducted and showcased the beheading of egyptian coptic christians on Libya’s shores (keep in mind that Libya has an equivalent if not smaller sunni arab population than Iraq/Syria regions proposed in the article). Its doing a terrible job crushing the Sinai insurgency (some say it has grown and is spreading in the region). Why this article thinks that egypt can maintain an occupation of an entirely different country is baffling, keeping in mind that egypt’s last occupation of a distant arab country [ended in disaster](https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/03/28/how-yemen-was-once-egypts-vietnam/)

    in a Further note, i’d like to address the Map that shows occupation by different forces, which shows Lebanon occupying areas further North in the Ghab plains and regions of Masyaf and Jisr-al-Shugour, as well as Suwayda further East. It is ludicrous to think that Lebanese state or Army can occupy syrian lands as its been an unstable government with political infighting among sects. We can make a case for Lebanon occupying border regions (i.e. qusayr, Zabadani, and Eastern Jabal Al Sheikh), but thats about it – and thats only with the help of influental and effective Hezbollah (that is currently fighting in Syria). Regions bordering Latakia and Tartus as mentioned earlier (Jisr-Al-Shugour, al-Ghab, Masyaf, Talkalakh) should be at best under russian occupation/influence as its predominantly Alawite and christian (*with the exception of Jisr al-Shugour, but guarantees/exchanges can be made for the alawite/ismaili region further east in Salamiyah/Al-Mukarram*). The region of As-Suwayda and region of Daraa further west can be incorporated and occupied by Jordan as it borders those regions and Jordan has tribes that share similar customs and affiliations across the border in the Houran region (there is no need for Lebanon to occupy an exclave). Also what’s up with the british protection of Jordan? its an independent nation that is stable and not currently in conflict.

    >Kurdistan Regional Government (Iraqi Kurdistan), on one hand, has friendly relationship with its key neighbor, Turkey. Government of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), on the other hand, has hostile relations with Ankara as its ruling YPG is an affiliate of PKK in Turkey. Any stable solution of this uneasy problem should, therefore, include integration of Rojava to the Erbil-based government of Kurdistan with friendly relations to Ankara.

    Integration should rather be done by the KDP in KRG which is hostile to PYD. This form of hostility (leading to actions like border closure) previously against the PUK are what led to the Iraqi kurdish civil war. In short the KDP should stop being beholden to Turkey and try to politically negotiate with PYD (and attract more people to KDP’s Ideology).

    >On the other hand, in order to protect Turkey against Kurdish separatists and to promote Turkish interests in the region, Kurdistan would become a part of a Turkic alliance between Turkey, Azerbaijan, and eventually Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as a counterpart to the Arab dominance in the Middle East and Russian dominance in Central Asia.

    This is a laughable proposition as the governments of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are generally somewhat hostile to Turkey. At one point there was a mass riot against Turks (iirc Meshketian turks and turkish citizens generally) and the authoritarian governments of those two countries are hostile to a democratic government like the one in turkey since turkey hosts dissidents and political exiles from their country. Furthermore it seems ludicrous for an iranian country like kurdistan being in an alliance with predominantly turkic countries and calling that a ‘turkic alliance’, I doubt kurdistan as a whole would accept that seeing as how they know Turkey’s history of calling kurds ‘Mountain Turks’.

    >In Mosul (Nineveh) governorate, all areas inhabited by the Kurds, Assyrians, Yezidis, Shabaks and Kaka‘is – from Sinjar through Tal Afar down to the Nineveh Plains and Akkre, including medieval cities of Nineveh and Nimrud as well as eastern Mosul. In Kirkuk governorate, areas inhabited by the Kurds, Turkomans and Kaka‘is, i.e. except of Hawija district with a Sunni Arab population.

    that’s not going to help in the long run as arabs will merely cross the Tigris and settle in eastern Mosul and settle in Kirkuk from Hawija if there is an attempt to divide those governorates, furthermore those cities if divided will provide a launching point for extremists like ISIL. The better solution is for kurdistan to incorporate those cities (western mosul and Hawija, as well as Tikrit, Baiji, etc.) into their independent/autonomous region since it will allow arabs to stay in those regions and not cross over into kurdistan and become refugees and IDPs that permanently settle in Kurdistan. Furthermore any Arab refugees/IDPs from Iraq and Syria who are living in Kurdish/minority regions can simply be transferred into arab regions like Tikrit, Baiji, Hawija, Mosul etc.

    >Further south, all districts inhabited by Faylis and Turkomans from Tuz Khurmatu through Kifri down to Mandali. Even if some of the Fayli and Turkoman cities are ruled by the Shi‘a Iraqi army, their handing over to the American protection zone would protect them against uncertain future within the Iraqi Arab state.

    Most of the area south of Khanaqin are heavily arabized and even the kurds who live there (and they are a minority in that region btw) would be reluctant to join with kurdistan as they identify more with their shia identity and their fellow shia arab brethrens (*not to say that all shia kurds are against kurdish nation or kurdistan’s independence; on the contrary there are plenty of sunni Turkish Kurds and Iranian kurds who are integrated into their respective states and who are anti-kurdish-autonomy/secession/independence, and some of the most patriotic/pro-kurdistan-independence kurds are found just a few kms north in Khanakin and Kifri*). There was even an issue with KRG occupying Jalawla/Jalula since that town had a 80% arab majority before it was taken over by ISIL and subsequently by KRG in the aftermath of fighting, and they are unwilling to allow the arab inhabitants return home fearing they will side with Iraqi government or are ISIL sympathizers, not to mention that keeping Jalawla/Jalula as majority-arab would deny their claim to the town.

    >In the elections since 2005, most of the Shi‘a Faylis, Shabaks and Turkomans voted for the coalition of the Shi‘a Arab parties from southern Iraq. Their unrealistic vote resulted in desecrating of the Shi‘a mosques, homes and people by the fighters of the Islamic State almost in all cities of the Turkomans, Shabaks and Faylis, from Tal Afar down to Shareban (Miqdadiyah). These Shi‘a minorities are getting faced with the choice in which coexistence with their southern kin Shi‘a Arabs is none of the realistic options. The only realistic options are either Kurdistan or the Sunni Arab ex-ISIL.

    This proposition may be true for Nineveh/Erbil region and Kirkuk/Salahuddin/Northern-Diyala region but not in central Diyala and further south, as towns in those regions like Muqdadiyah are predominantly arabs and the minorities in those regions (shia kurds/turkomans) haven’t been persecuted heavily by ISIL due to the large presence of Iraqi forces and shia militias, which if anything bolsters the credibility of the shia parties and government. Furthermore most of the minorities in the region are reluctant to politically be in favour of secession with kurdistan and favour Baghdad’s predominantly shiite arab government.

    >Not so long ago, the Syrian Turkomans experienced proof that their survival within Syria is impossible. Their villages have been bombed by the Syrian regime and Russia within their “war on Islamist terrorists”. This was one of the reasons for dangerous escalation when the Turks downed the Russian aircraft in November 2015.

    That conversely has resulted in the syrian government taking over and de-facto ethnically-cleansing the Northern Latakia region of its turkmens, as a result there are almost no turkmens in northern Latakia (except for towns in the coast not occupied by rebels like salib al turkman etc.) and most fled to Hatay in Turkey, as a result of turkey’s foolish action of downing the russian plane. Turkey’s occupation of areas south of the proposed Kurdistan will not benefit Turkmen minority living there and might cause hostility against them and lead to further kurdification.

    >However, security of the minorities can be granted. Up to now, independent Kurdistan has not been recognized by any nation. So the future potential Kurdish independence can be subject to certain conditions such as constitutional guarantees to the minorities. As the Croats in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina acquired some Croat and mixed cantons and as the minority Serbs in Kosovo were granted Serbian districts, also the minorities in Kurdistan would have to obtain guarantees on their own homelands.

    A better option would be to join Kurdistan and and Syria in a loose federation, as was seen in the union of Bosnia-Herzegovina with Republika Srpska. Syria would only be bordering Kurdistan West of the Euphrates and the areas east of the Euphrates (i.e. Raqqa, Deir EzZor, Badiyat Homs, Southern Hasakah) can join Iraq since they share similar tribal affiliations and customs (language, culture, etc.) not to mention similar demographics as Anbar (i.e. sunni arab). This means that the potential Kurdistan in Hasaka and Northern Iraq would be a de-facto independent exclave (similar to nakhievan in Azerbaijan) yet is not officially independent. This would pacify and reassure Turkey’s and Iran’s fears of a kurdish insurgency/rebellion in their country and prevent hostility/antagonism against kurdistan through actions like invasion/occupation/conflict. Furthermore since Syria’s infrastructure is largely destroyed the money from the oil resources in Kurdistan can greatly help in its reconstruction (in addition to destroyed adjacent arab cities like Baiji, Shirqat, and Mosul and Hawija in the future.

    >It was Maliki’s government that already approved establishment of three new provinces for minorities: Tal Afar and Tuz Khurmatu for the Turkomans and Nineveh Plains for the Assyrians, Yezidis, Shabaks and Kaka‘is. Setting up of another two minority provinces was expected: Sinjar for Yezidis and Khanaqin for the Faylis.

    It was approved by the federal government in Iraq yet opposed by the KRG, seems clear who is in favour of minority rights in Iraq.

    > As for the city of Kirkuk, its southern, Turkoman neighborhoods could become the capital of the Turcoman canton of Turkmen Kerkuk while its northern, Kurdish neighborhoods would be the capital of the Kurdish Garmian canton.
    >…
    >with exclaves in Assyrian neighborhoods in cities of Malikiyah and Hasakah and settlements between Qamishli and Bir al-Helou.

    It is near impossible to have proper division and exclaves in cities and urban areas as there rises issues such as there occur issues like municipal services (water, electricity and sanitation etc.) and in a country/region as volatile as Kurdistan, disputes or political deadlock/rivalry can result in services being cut-off to certain neighbourhoods, and war occurring in districts for city streets (think of Tripoli conflict between sunni Bab-al-Tabaneh and Alawite Jabal mohsen, instead in this case its backed by state). a better option is to have those cities like Hasaka, Mosul, Kirkuk, and even Aleppo in syria become city-state/province like what happened to the divide between Damascus city and Rif-Dimashq, and prevent division along ethnic/religious lines as thats a recipe for disaster. Also a final note that the southern neighbourhoods of Kirkuk aren’t predominantly Turkmen but arab (as proven when mostly Arab ISIL occupied mostly arab neighbourhoods in the south) – the Turkmen live mostly in the center and in mixed neighbourhoods with Arabs or kurds, they make up at most 20% of the city’s population these days.

    >Turkmen Kerkuk would also include Kaka’i areas south of Kirkuk.

    If Kaka’is inhabit areas south of Kirkuk it seems that Kurds dominate the regions surrounding Kirkuk (except for west, which is mostly arab and leads to Hawija). In this case a better option would be to have a Turkmen region further south in Tuz-Khurmato region and incorporate turkmen regions in nearby governorates of Kirkuk (i.e. Bashir, Taza, etc.)

Author

Ladislav Garassy
Ladislav Garassy

Ladislav Garassy, an ethnic Hungarian from Slovakia residing in the Czech Republic, is a political geographer focused on ethno-political identity. He has been an election observer in multiple post-conflict countries of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He lectures political geography, nationalism, ethnic conflicts and European integration at the East European Educational and Cultural Center. He also publishes his blogs in Slovak (garassy.blog.sme.sk) and in Czech (garassy.blog.idnes.cz).
Twitter: @LGarassy

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