Tuesday, October 7, 2003

US and Turkey to hit PKK

politics > middle east > hell breaking loose
This is a very ominous piece of news especially combined with a possible deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq and with the fact that the PKK (Turkey's Kurdish rebels, pretty much the counterparts in Turkish Kurdistan of the American Kurdish allies in Iraq - but with serious factional differences) has recently abandoned the unilateral ceasefire with the Turkish government, and Abdullah Ocalan, its leader, has warned about this from prison - in no uncertain terms. There is no mention of where in Iraq the Turkish troops will be stationed, but one hopes that there is still a shred of common sense in the US administration that will prevent Turkish troops from being posted in the Kurdish north. This article from the associated press however, besides pointing out the difficulty an overstretched US army might face in hunting 5000 weathered and tough guerrillas who will be supported by the locals, has an American military analyst suggesting that:
"If it is going to happen, it would be a joint U.S.-Turkish operation," Cagaptay said. "The U.S. could contribute air power and intelligence while the Turkish troops fight on the ground."
This would be an invitation for a total and massive war in the Iraqi north, with the US's Iraqi Kurdish allies being forced to fight America's NATO allies...

Buried at the bottom of the story about the possible deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq is another piece of under-reported news:

Last month, the US agreed to lend Turkey $8.5bn as compensation for the damage its economy suffered during the Iraq war.

But both the US and Turkey deny any link between the loan and the question of Turkish troop deployment.

Now the final decision for sending Turkish troops will be made by the parliament, which will have to ignore a vast majority of Turks that oppose sending Turkish troops in Iraq to support the Americans. This didn't use to be a problem when the military ran the country with little tolerance for substantial dissent, but now Erdogan can ill afford to lose public support in the country, because he too is involved in an attempt to wrestle the country from the grip of a military industrial complex that has ruled it this past century with an iron fist. Erdogan and the dream of joining the EU have complicated things and the developments might turn out to be catastrophic for the poor souls in Iraq who have been trough hell ten times already.

No comments: