Turkish army chief wants Iraq op

#1
Now this should liven up the Iraqi melting pot...

BBC said:
Turkish army chief wants Iraq op

The head of Turkey's powerful military has said Ankara should launch a military operation in northern Iraq to target Kurdish guerrillas based there.

Gen Yasar Buyukanit, chief of Turkey's general staff, urged the government to approve a cross-border incursion.

Turkey accuses the outlawed Kurdish group PKK of using bases in northern Iraq to launch attacks on Turkey.

Cont/...
Local print press here in Belgrade are running stories that the Turkish military is close to ousting the civilian government too!!!
 
#2
THis could get interesting......

Who would the US back?
Who would the iranians back?
Who would the Syrians back?

What price a barrel of oil?

What effect on the surge, when every Kurdish Solider, fcuk off stright up north to take on the Turks. I can just see the Sunni's extracting maximum pain in Kirkuk and Mosul......
 
#3
The Turkish military have been making noises about invading Northern Iraq for a while now, why has it ballooned up now?
If the Turkish military do stage a coup how will the Americans react? It would totally screw up there application for membership of the EU and make resolution regarding Cyprus very difficult.
 
#4
Here's the current official US State Department view...

QUESTION: Today Turkish Chief of Staff of military Yasar Buyukanit said that we should make the military operation to northern Iraq. What is your response for that?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, I talked a little bit about this earlier and since then Dan Fried has been in contact with Turkish officials to express what I have expressed in public and that is that Turkey and Iraq are neighbors and that situation isn't going to change. They're going to be living next door to one another for a long, long time. And that as such, that they should really focus on trying to resolve differences that they may have and put in place lasting solutions.

Now, Turkey faces a real threat from the PKK. It's a terrorist organization that has killed innocent Turkish citizens, that has killed Turkish military and it's a problem that needs to be dealt with. The way we suggest it be dealt with is to have the Iraqis and Turkish Governments working together to try to eliminate this threat and we have lent our good offices to that effort in the form of retired General Joe Ralston, former SACEUR. And he has had good discussions working with the Iraqis and the Turks on this issue. It's clearly a very emotional issue I think on both sides. Everybody understands that. But the focus should be on trying to resolve this in a cooperative way, in a joint way, rather than to resort to unilateral actions.
State Department Press Briefing, 12 April 2007
 
#5
ostvic said:
The Turkish military have been making noises about invading Northern Iraq for a while now, why has it ballooned up now?
Because the PKK ran a nasty operation in Turkey a few days ago that took a good few lives - including military. The top man wants to hit back.

BBC report from 4 days ago.

ostvic said:
If the Turkish military do stage a coup how will the Americans react? It would totally screw up there application for membership of the EU and make resolution regarding Cyprus very difficult.
Don't put too much faith in Serbian newspapers. May never happen.
 
#6
Do the Americans have to convince the Turkish Government or the Military? Will the army listen if the Government agrees to show restraint?
 
#7
ostvic said:
The Turkish military have been making noises about invading Northern Iraq for a while now, why has it ballooned up now?
If the Turkish military do stage a coup how will the Americans react? It would totally screw up there application for membership of the EU and make resolution regarding Cyprus very difficult.
You guys need to go back through ypour BBC monitoring unit reports. Nobody probably bothers to read this any more.

Iran, Iraq and Turkey all used to mount cross border operations in this region over the last 30 years. They were always carefully co-ordinated so that earch army was deconflicted in terms of time and space so that they never confronted each other. Because it was tucked away, your media ( apart from BBC Caversham park) never noticed it.

This is only coming to light now because the loose american cannon has entered the equation, perhaps EU membership might be tipping the issue as well??
 
#12
whitecity said:
Don't put too much faith in Serbian newspapers. May never happen.
True but according to the Turkish Press (no idea if this is the Scotsman or news of the world in Turkey) the military has been voicing rather loudly its wish for a secular president. Take into account that the president is elected by Parliament, a parliament currently 2 thirds controlled by members of the former Islamic party ousted in the late 90s. The military, academics and lawyers don’t want a religious presence within the state, yet the "Islamic cronies with secret plans" control the government. The Turkish military has flexed its muscles before when it didn’t like the government, why not again? And if it does what’s saying its new found pair of brass ones one mean some holidays over the border for some units? Take into account the elections happen at the start of May then things be me interesting pretty soon.

http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=171049
 
#13
Interesting, I understand that Kirkuk will be the next flashpoint. "The Kurds want to get their hands on it because it's got oil and would make a future separate Kurdistan a viable state. It's coming to the crunch with a referendum on the future status of the city due before the end of this year."
 
#14
The Kurds want a state, and at the moment they see the US as shielding them so they can establish one - hidden behind the figleaf of "federalism".

Trouble is, the Turks, Iranians and those Iraqi politicians currently not spread over their Parliamentary dining room all agree that they're not going to get one. You will see them co-ordinate their operations as they have done before.

The US is in a bit of a pickle here - it can back the Kurds - staunch defenders of female circumcision, errm sorry I mean freedom and democracy and keen members of Peshmerga death squads getting payback on the Sunnis, errm sorry I mean the Iraqi Army or a member of NATO robustly pursuing terrorists who murder civilians within their borders errm or do I mean a nation state seeking to sort out troublesome ethnic minorities using methods they developed on the Armenians and Assyrians a century or so ago.

I believe the phrase is "sh!t sandwich".

In the short term in Turkey I see the decision depending on the outcome of the arguments between those who seek to play the long game, simply wait for the US to leave then do the deed while the world watches the rest of Iraq burn and those who want to go and mallet the terrorists right now and screw the US, if it really is a war on terror then shut up and step aside Uncle Sam.
 
#15
The bigger question is will the Turkish military mount a coup?So much hypocrisy in the Middle East and whatever answer you choose someone spits there dummy out!
 
#16
Well said One_of_the_strange,

This will ultimately unravel when the US:
a) is forced to take sides - which it has to do as everything needs to be a black and white equation, and/or
b) makes self-interest policy changes (based upon domestic considerations) and is thus 'forced' to find a quick 'solution'.

If we look at Kosovo as a precedent, the end game does not look rosy!
 
#17
The Kirkuk referendum time bomb
TODAY'S EDITORIAL
March 5, 2007

One of the most important yet underreported stories about Iraq is the situation in Kirkuk, where Shi'ite and Sunni, ethnic Turkmen and even Christian Arabs and the government of Turkey are campaigning against efforts to incorporate the city into the Kurdish region. While international media attention is focused on Baghdad and Anbar province, the deteriorating security situation in northern Iraq -- home to some of the country's largest oil reserves and a region that has become a prime target of jihadist terror during the past 15 months -- has largely gone unnoticed. Iraq's 2006 constitution mandated that residents of Kirkuk are to vote on the future of the city, home to nearly 800,000 people, in a referendum that is scheduled to occur by Nov. 15.



http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20070304-093225-4817r.htm
 
#18
here_be_mike said:
The Turkish military has flexed its muscles before when it didn’t like the government, why not again?
http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=171049
As I understand it, the Turkish military is duty bound by Ataturk's constitution , to seize the helm and defend secular rule in Turkey, if need be. The other part of the precedent to remember is that - eventually - they handed it back.

The late, great Kemal Ataturk (who had an entire menagerie, all called Abdul*) understood Islam to be the brake holding his nation back from prosperity and a place in the modern world.

There's a thought.[hr]
* Monty Python's Flying Circus 'Fish Licence' sketch, circa 1970, IIRC
 
#19
Secularism hasnt got the Turks anywhere, certainly not into Europe after over forty years of trying.

Thankfully the Turks have now finally awakened to the fact that their destiny is East and always will be.

Ataturk might be a nationalist hero in Turkey but he's considered a heretic and traitor by most muslims for his role in ending the Caliphate.

His mausoleum is under extraordinary security for that reason.
 
#20
ostvic said:
The Turkish military have been making noises about invading Northern Iraq for a while now, why has it ballooned up now?
If the Turkish military do stage a coup how will the Americans react? It would totally screw up there application for membership of the EU and make resolution regarding Cyprus very difficult.
The Dep PM of IRaq (the Kurdish one) has been speaking about it. I heard him on NPR, this week, warning the Turks not to mess with Kurdistan, IIRC it was 10 Apr 07, on during boardcast "Of the World". I can't find a link...but his comments and the Turkish spring offensive seem to upped the ante!

Don't foregt, a PKK fighter in Turkey is a terrorist, but when he is peshmegar in Baghdad he is a friend and if he trains in Iran....it is simple is he with us or against us?!
 

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