More Turkish Saber Rattling

by Craig Chamberlain

The Conservative Voice, NC
Oct 24 2007

It’s an odd thing to see an Islamist prime minister getting so
much cooperation from a military that sees itself as the guardian
of secular republicanism within the country. Yet that is the case
in Turkey where Erdogan, playing the part of Bin Ladens disciple,
actively subverts Ataturks secular republic. The Turkish military
doesn’t care much for Erdogan or his policies at home. His policies
abroad are another matter.

Using the shattered remnants of the PKK as an excuse, Erdogan continues
to send the Turkish military to the Iraq border and threaten and
invasion. Now to be against that thug Erdogan doesn’t mean one is
for the PKK. The PKK is a communist group that has used terror in
the past against Turks. However, the PKK is a broken group.

Their leader is in prison for life and most of their members are
gone. Even Kurdish support for them is low, Kurdish support for
freedom from Turkey is not.

And why not? As Ralph Peters in USA Today points out, the Kurds were
living there long before the first Turk ever showed up. The Kurds
make up about 20% of Turkeys population and most Kurds don’t want
anything to do with a Turkish state that wants nothing to do with
them. The Turks stripped them of their national identity, forbade
their language and pretended that they didn’t exist.

For all the talk of the PKK, an organization that is in no way capable
of threatening Turkey(this isn’t Al-Qaida, or Hizbollah were talking
about here), this is about threatening a free Kurdish people in
Iraq. The very idea that a Kurd isn’t being terrorized by a Turk,
and Arab, or an Iranian is too much for the Turkish leadership and
is enough to make an Islamist like Erdogan get the cooperation of
his secularist generals.

The Turks would probably get away with it too. The Europeans won’t do
anything, the U.S. would be infuriated especially if it widened the
war in Iraq, and such a move would be very popular with the Turkish
people who pretend that they haven’t done anything wrong. Just as
they pretend the Armenian genocide didn’t take place or that the
Kurds are real (as we all know they’re just mountain Turks.)

It’s possible that this is nothing be Erdogan rattling his scmitar to
solidify even more power in Turkey before he turns the country into
a Salafist nightmare. Or it’s also possible that he actually intends
to invade with the PKK being his causus belli.

If an invasion should happen we should ask ourselves a couple of
questions? Should we continue to support Turkey? It’s been a pretty
one-sided relationship, with the U.S. protecting Turkey from the
USSR during the cold war, supporting Turkish entry into the EU,
and supporting the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The one time we asked
something from the Turks, to come in across the Turkish Iraq border
in 2003, we were denied. Secondly if they do invade should we help
the Kurdish Peshmerga to give the Turks the kicking they deserve,
not to mention protect Iraq from being plunged back into the type of
violence that was endemic before the surge?

The U.S. must look out for its own interests, and that means keeping
the Turks out of Iraq.

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