Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Iraq Kurds warn of violence if Turkey sends troops

politics > middle east > deadly
Following up on a previous post about Turkey's involvement in Iraq: the Turkish parliament has voted in favor of sending Turkish troops in Iraq, despite popular opposition to the move (polls show more than 60% of Turks opposed to their country's military involvement in Iraq). The opposition has attacked the government's decision, while Erdogan himself leaves little doubt about the motives for this move (apart from the 8.5 billion $ bribe): He has stated that: of the main conditions of a tranquil and secure life in Iraq was elimination of this country from the terrorist organizations and elements taken shelter there, including the PKK/KADEK and stated that this had priority for Turkey...

This sounds rather threatening.
There was initial unanimous opposition from Iraq's governing council, which rejected the idea of Turkish troops in Iraq, and which (after some obvious pressure) was somewhat blunted. The Turkish government was unimpressed:

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Dirioz said he expected talks with the United States on the details of the deployment to start soon, but the discussions could take months.
"The interim council does not reflect or express the feelings of the Iraqi people,'' Education Minister Huseyin Celik said before leaving for the United States to attend a conference.

But anti-turkish sentiment is brewing in Iraq (especially among the Kurds). The story linked to from the title concludes as follows:

''What [the Turks are] after is control in the north,'' said Jasim Mahmoud, 34-year-old Kurd working at a Mosul Internet shop. ''Kurdish parties are preparing their weapons and if the Turks come down through the north I'm sure they will be attacked.''

Of interest also is this rather extensive analysis of Turkey's situation with respect to Iraq, the US and the Kurds by K Gajendra Singh in the Asia Times.

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