Thursday, October 16, 2003

Yet more about Turkish involvement in Iraq: What's In It For Turkey?

iraq > turkey > trouble
Columnist Semih Idiz writes on Turkey's Iraq policy, sanely. A summary of his article. Excerpt:

"It's still unclear how Turkey will benefit from this military alliance. If our problem is northern Iraq, it's already clear that our troops won't be allowed to enter this region. The TSK is of course capable of giving the necessary answer to its enemies and facing down such threats. However, I don't think that our government is up to grappling with the serious political problems quite likely to emerge in the near future."

[Regarding this issue, Hellblazer was kind enough to link and comment on my previous post. ]

Let me just add the following for further illustration of Turkey's internal problems: Turkish Press (the english language turkish news-source on the web IMHO), lists four "terrorist related" attacks on Turkish security forces by insurgents (3 involving Kurdish rebels) in just three days! (1, 2, 3, 4), a total of 8 insurgents and/or members of outlawed political parties killed and 1 member of the security forces killed and 2 injured.
For Turkey to become further involved in counter-insurgency campaigns in a foreign country, with at least 95% of the population hostile, is madness. Even the trigger-happy Turkish generals should realize this. However military people over there (and it is the Turkish military that has the final word as far as foreign policy is concerned - Turkey is yet to democratize itself in this respect among others- despite the brave efforts of its people) are stuck to some version of 19th century voodoo geopolitics and imperial pretensions, so really I don't know. One thing is clear though: should Turkey find itself involved in a war in Iraq, EU membership will be postponed to an even more distant future...

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