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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Turkish army chief wants Iraq op
The general wants Iraqi-US support to tackle the PKK
The head of Turkey's powerful military has said Ankara should launch a military operation in northern Iraq to target Kurdish guerrillas based there.
Gen Yasar Buyukanit, chief of Turkey's general staff, urged the government to approve a cross-border incursion.
Turkey accuses the outlawed Kurdish group PKK of using bases in northern Iraq to launch attacks on Turkey.
The PKK has been fighting since 1984 to achieve autonomy for Turkey's Kurds.
Gen Buyukanit said 10 Turkish soldiers and 29 PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) rebels had died in clashes in recent days.
"An operation into Iraq is necessary," he told a news conference in Ankara on Thursday.
He acknowledged that a political decision would be required to authorise such an operation.
Turkey has previously launched raids on PKK strongholds in northern Iraq.
Gen Buyukanit accused the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq of allowing the PKK huge freedom of movement there.
The United States has repeatedly warned against any such move against the PKK, arguing it would destabilise the only relatively calm region in Iraq.
Gen Buyukanit said he had intelligence the PKK was planning to step up its attacks in Turkey, starting in May. The military has already launched large-scale operations in the mainly Kurdish southeast to prevent that.
Turkey's politicians have to authorize any military action overseas. Gen Buyukanit said he had not yet asked parliament for permission.
I've been reading about this on and off for awhile. Today the EU urged Turkey to peacefully resolve their differences with Iraq. I hope this doesn't turn into another mess.
Now here is a nice simple little middle eastern problem for you, the sides:
1- Turkey (Nato country, US ally, the only secular democratic republic in the region, in conflict with the PKK terrorists since the early 80s, before the second iraqi war had good relations with the other kurdish leaders of the area- Barzani and Talabani- almost went to war w'th Syria in the late 90s because Syria was harboring PKK militants- most importantly the head of the organisation)
2- Iraq - whose central government has almost no authority over the northern oart of iraq after saddam was eliminated from power
3- PKK - A comunist kurdish nationalist organisation fighting Turkey since the early 80s for independance from Turkey
4- Other Kurdish fractions (Talabani - Barzani) As I've said above they were against the PKK until they got an autonomous region in the north
5- Turkmens - Ethnic Turkish population but with significantly lower numbers than the Kurds who live in northern Iraq
6- The US - The country who is trying to restore some kind of order in Iraq but with 2 of its biggest allies at each others necks
Now in Turkey the publics expectation after the US gained control was you guys were going to eradicate the PKK from its camps in northern iraq. Since we took care of the ones in Syria thru above mentioned diplomatic means the PKK wouldve been left in no mans land. However were not sure of the reasons but this expectation has not materialized, quite the oppposite happened, after the other Kurds gained power they turned on Turkey and with that the PKK started to become bolder and the conflicts started again.
The kurds are threatning Turkey, Turkey is threatning the PKK, PKK is threatning Turkey and the Turkmens, US is saying hold on Im gona fix all of this.
Now how this is solved is beyond me, but at least you have the option of just packing up and leaving while we have to live here...I mean I love my country but it would've been better to have canada and mexico for neighbors rather than iraq-iran-syria-georgia-armenia-greece-bulgaria and azerbeijan... :D