Turkey gearing up for Kurdish invasion.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by armchair_jihad, Mar 23, 2007.

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  1. The US is scrambling to head off a "disastrous" Turkish military intervention in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq that threatens to derail the Baghdad security surge and open up a third front in the battle to save Iraq from disintegration.

    Abdullah Gul, Turkey's foreign minister, MPs, military chiefs and diplomats say up to 3,800 PKK fighters are preparing for attacks in south-east Turkey - and Turkey is ready to hit back if the Americans fail to act. "We will do what we have to do, we will do what is necessary. Nothing is ruled out," Mr Gul said. "I have said to the Americans many times: suppose there is a terrorist organisation in Mexico attacking America. What would you do?... We are hopeful. We have high expectations. But we cannot just wait forever."

    Turkish sources said "hot pursuit" special forces operations in Khaftanin and Qanimasi, northern Iraq, were already under way. Murat Karayilan, a PKK leader, said this week that a "mad war" was in prospect unless Ankara backed off.

    Fighting between security forces and Kurdish fighters seeking autonomy or independence for Kurdish-dominated areas of south-east Turkey has claimed 37,000 lives since 1984. The last big Turkish operation occurred 10 years ago, when 40,000 troops pushed deep into Iraq. But intervention in the coming weeks would be the first since the US took control of Iraq in 2003 and would risk direct confrontation between Turkish troops and Iraqi Kurdish forces and their US allies.

    Several other factors are adding to the tension between the Nato partners:

    · The firm Turkish belief that the US is playing a double game in northern Iraq. Officials say the CIA is covertly funding and arming the PKK's sister organisation, the Iran-based Kurdistan Free Life party, to destabilise the Iranian government.

    · US acquiescence in plans to hold a referendum in oil-rich Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Turkey suspects Iraqi Kurds are seeking control of Kirkuk as a prelude to the creation of an independent Kurdistan.

    · Plans by the US Congress to vote on a resolution blaming Turkey for genocide against the Armenians in 1915. Faruk Logoglu, a former ambassador to Washington, said that if the resolution passed, relations "could take generations to recover".

    · Record levels of Turkish anti-Americanism dating back to 2003, when Turkey refused to let US combat forces cross the Iraq border.

    The US is already fighting Sunni insurgents and Shia militias. Analysts say a surge in violence in northern Iraq, previously the most stable region, could capsize the entire US plan. But pressure on the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is also growing as a result of forthcoming elections. Military intervention was narrowly avoided last summer when he said that "patience was at an end" over US prevarication. Now conservatives and nationalists are again accusing him of not standing up to Washington.

    "If they are killing our soldiers ... and if public pressure on the government increases, of course we will have to intervene," said Ali Riza Alaboyun, an MP for Mr Erdogan's Justice and Development party. "It is the legal right of any country to protect its people and its borders."

    US support for Iranian Kurds opposed to the Tehran government is adding to the agitation. "The US is trying to undermine the Iran regime, using the Kurds like it is using the MEK [the anti-Tehran People's Mujahideen]," said Dr Logoglu. "Once you begin to differentiate between 'good' and 'bad' terrorist organisations, then you lose the war on terror." But he warned that military intervention might be ineffective and could be "disastrous" in destabilising the region.

    General Joseph Ralston, the US special envoy dealing with the PKK issue, , admitting that "the potential for Turkish cross-border action" was growing. "We have reached a critical point in which the pressure of continued [PKK] attacks has placed immense public pressure upon the government of Turkey to take some military action. As the snows melt in the mountain passes, we will see if the PKK renews its attacks and how the Turkish government responds ... I hope the Turks will continue to stand by us."

    But a Milliyet journalist, Kadri Gursel, said: "The US attitude has really pissed off the government and the army. The US really doesn't understand how exhausted and fed up they are."

  2. Probably not half as pissed off, exhausted, and fed up the Kurds are from decades of Oppression at the hands of Arabs, Turks, and Persians. Whatever though, different strokes for different folks
  3. great headline I got one better

    Rhode Islanders gearing up to invade New York City...

    oooooooooooooooooooohhhhhh now that is scary.
  4. If I was Kurdish I'd be feeling very worried right about now. The Turks will die in a ditch over this issue, whereas the US won't - well, maybe for the bits where the oil is but no more. The Turks can also expect help and co-operation from the Iranians and possibly even the Iraqi Shia and Sunni populations - no-one likes the Kurds after all.

    The US are already jumping through linguistic hoops to incorporate funding Kurdish terrorist groups into the "War on Terror" - they may think they're just going to operate in Iran but clearly Turkey feels otherwise. You'd have thought the 9/11 blowback from funding mujaheddin would have taught them something by now but clearly not.
  5. It's more or less an open secret that the only really effective 'Iraqi' army units are Kurdish Peshmerga, who will of course change their uniforms and head north to defend their homes against the Turks, if necessary.

    Any Turkish incursion has far bigger potential to destabilise Iraq and the entire region than Iran, Saudi or Syria could even dream of, IMHO.
  6. I think the Turks will be bogged down and over stretched, sounds familiar ?
    with enemies to the front in Iraq and enemies to the rear in Turkey.

    is it so hard to give the Kurds atonomy and equality ? the Turks could have tried to include the Kurds into Turkish society sharing in the financial rewards. leagl rights, linguistic parity etc
    anything else will just have the opposite effect, supression hasn't worked, the PKK are still active and infilicting casualities. these people are committted and willing to fight, again sounds familiar ?

    we are having similar problems in Iraq and the Turks are not learning.
  7. If the Turks had stayed in Central Asia and never invaded Asia minor we would all have been better off. Every trouble spot - the Balkans, The Middle East is where the ramshackle and disastrous Ottoman Empire ran its shambolic regime.

    If they screw up Northern Iraq let it be on their heads if Iran and Syria disintegrate - there is no reason for us to hold together the band-aid we applied with Sykes-Picot to make sense of the mess the Turks left us with.

    Play with the Kurds and watch Iran and Syria be re-shaped - maybe the Russians will want a slice of Iran too as they did in 1940.......so if Turkey wants to bring down the whole house of cards let them go ahead
  8. How will Iran and Syria disintegrate?
  9. 90 years ago, some people were saying exactly the same thing with regard to Zionists in a strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan, and we know how well that turned out. Just because a certain group of people want autonomy, it does not necessarily follow that they should have it.

    I refer you to my previous comment, which refers to another consequence of the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

    Furthermore, the Turks did not leave us with the mess, the Western Allies created the mess themselves when they decided to arbitrarily carve up the Ottoman Empire between them. Since then, the west (including the USA) has consistently failed to do anything positive in the former Ottoman territories, so why not let the Turks have another crack at it?

    I wouldn’t want to be a Kurd just now.
  10. I'd recommend you try reading a few books on the subject before shooting your mouth off again. Granted by the end the empire had pretty much ground to a halt and was the Sick Man of Europe, but in its heyday it was much more efficiently run than its western European counterparts and a hell of a lot more tolerant. What modern day trouble spots exactly if any are they supposedly solely responsible for that didn't by large parts also have other major factors involved?