Turkey rattles sabre at Iraqi Kurdistan – again

World War 4 Report, NY
March 23 2007

Turkey rattles sabre at Iraqi Kurdistan – again

Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, joined by MPs, military chiefs
and diplomats, say up to 3,800 PKK fighters in Iraqi Kurdistan are
preparing for attacks into Turkish territory – and Turkey is ready to
hit back if the US fails to act. Said Gul: "We will do what we have
to do, we will do what is necessary. Nothing is ruled out. 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

"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 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s
Justice and Development party. "It is the legal right of any country
to protect its people and its borders."

Turkish sources told The Guardian that "hot pursuit" special forces
operations into northern Iraq’s Khaftanin and Qanimasi regions are
already underway.

The PKK has responded to the bellicose rhetoric in kind. Murat
Karayilan, a PKK leader, said this week that a "mad war" was in
prospect unless Ankara backed off.

Fighting between Turkish security forces and Kurdish guerillas has
claimed 37,000 lives since 1984. The last Turkish incursion into Iraq
occurred 10 years ago, when 40,000 troops were sent across the border
to hunt down PKK stronholds.

The Guardian reports a firm Turkish belief that the US is playing a
"double game" in Iraqi Kurdistan. 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.

The Guardian also cites 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.

The Turks are also incensed by a pending US Congressional 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."
(The Guardian, March 23)