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Offices Group of European Lawmakers - url: www.solami.com/hotpursuit
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.../inventory.htm ¦ .../gridlock.htm ¦ .../holygrail.htm ¦ .../invitation.htm ¦ .../salve.htm ¦ .../UNGA.htm ¦ .../iran/htm ¦ .../iranmail2.htm
tks 4 notifying errors, ommissions & comments to: + 4122-7400363 - email@example.com
15 Apr 08 Q&A
with Orhan Ketene, MVC, Anton Keller
5 Apr 08 PKK still on the list, says Lagendijk, Turkish Daily News
3 Apr 08 Judgment by the European Court regarding terrorism list, PKK asset freeze and Ocalan
2008 PKK positions in Northern Iraq
21. Nov 07 Neue Akzente in Ankaras Kurden-Politik, NZZ
15 Nov 07 The visionary behind Turkey's newly assertive foreign policy, The Economist
9 Nov 07 Mosul Vilayet: a Pathway Out of Mideastern Gridlocks, Today's Zaman, Anton Keller
6 Nov 07 Clouds Over Northern Iraq, Wall Street Journal, Norman Stone
5 Nov 07 Kurdistan's Hope for Talks, Washington Post, Nechirvan Barzani, comments
27. Okt 07 Die PKK fordert internationale Vermittlung, NZZ, iro
24 Oct 07 Who's fooling whom: U.S. Officials Upbraid Kurds on PKK, NYT, Richard A.Oppel et al.
24 Oct 07 Iran accuses US of backing Kurdish militants on its border, Sydney Morning Herald, Richard Oppel
24 Oct 07 AKP BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, EDM, Gareth Jenkins
24 Oct 07 PKK Battlefield Tactic Changes Reflect Political Goals, Eurasia Daily Monitor, Gareth Jenkins
23 Oct 07 Olmert pressed to give up supporting Iraqi Kurds, Today's Zaman, Ercan Yavuz
23 Oct 07 In Search of Meaningful Dialogue: PKK Seeks to Provoke Turkey, Kiwi, Gareth Jenkins
23 Oct 07 Another Deadly PKK Cross-Border Attack, Kiwi, Lale Sariibrahimoglu
21 Oct 07 PKK threat: attack us and we blow up Iraqi oil pipeline and tanker trucks, al-Sharq al Awsat
19 Oct 07 Turkish Bid to Pursue Kurds Poses Quandary for Iraq, NYT, ALISSA J. RUBIN
16 Oct 07 Slipping away, KurdishMedia.com, Hussein Tahiri
16 Oct 07 Turkey Requests Authority to Attack, WP, Molly Moore
14 Oct 07 Cross-Border Strike Could Imperil Broader War in Iraq, WP, Molly Moore et al., comments
14 Oct 07 Not invented here, Iconoclast
12 Oct 07 Observations on current Turkish-Iraqi border issues, Iconoclast
11 Oct 07 Storm Warnings: Turkey-Iraq, newropeans-magazine, René Wadlow
7 Jun 07 Can States Invoke ‘Hot Pursuit’ to Hunt Rebels?, Council on Foreign Relations, Lionel Beehner,
17 Sep 06 The KDP and PUK: use it, loose it, or lose it, KurdishMedia.com, Hussein Tahiri
1 Aug 1291 Swiss Federal Pact
In the name of God, the Almighty, amen.
It is accomplishing an honorable and beneficial action for the public well-being to confirm in the established forms the conventions aimed at peace and security.
[1.] Let it be known to everybody, considering the prevailing evil and in order to better defend and maintain, in their integrity, their families and their property, that the People of the valleys of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, in good faith, have pledged to assist each other with help, with advice and with all favors, persons and goods, inside their valleys and beyond, with all their power and resourcefulness, against all and against anybody nourishing bad intentions or who committed a crime, an offense or an injustice against any one or more of them, or concerning their property.
[2.] Each Community has pledged to come to the aid of the other, whenever that is necessary, to help against and, in as much as that is indicated, at its own costs, to resist and revenge the attacks of ill-intended people, having previously made such an oath which is herewith effectively renewed,
[3.] notwithstanding each person's right, to the best of its abilities, to be obedient and helpful to his [or her] master.
[4.] After joint consultations, we have also unanimously agreed, set and ordered that the People of the above-named valleys will, under no circumstances, receive or accept a judge who is not one of us [i.e. a resident Citizen], or who has bought his judgeship with money or any kind of favor on any way.
[5.] Should a difference occur among any of the Confederates, it is incumbent on those who carry the most respect to intervene and appease the difference with the most effective means considered indicated. All other Confederates shall unite against the party which refuses the [arbitration] sentence.
[6.] Also they have agreed to the following rules to be observed: he who, with intent and without being provoked, caused somebody's death, shall, as is indicated by the infamy of this crime and unless he can show his innocence, be put to death when he is caught; if he escaped he shall never be allowed to return. Those giving shelter and protection to such an evil person shall be banned from these valleys unless the Confederates have called them back.
[7.] He who, with intent, by day or in the dark of the night, set fire to the property of a Confederate, shall have lost forever his rights as a member of our Communities, and he who shelters and protects this offender shall in our valleys compensate the injured.
[8.] Moreover, the property in the valleys of any Confederate who, by way of robbery or otherwise, inflicted any damage on the property of any other Confederate, shall be sequestrated in as much as is needed to compensate said damage in due course.
[9.] Also, nobody among ourselves shall seize the other's property without a valid public title or a guarantee, and then only with a special authorization from his [the competent] judge.
[10.] Each one shall be obedient to his judge and if that becomes necessary, shall indicate the judge which he is prepared to recognize.
[11.] Whoever opposes or refuses obedience to a [competent] court and thus causes damage to anyone among us, shall be liable to render satisfaction which is to be enforced by all other Confederates.
[12.] Should war or a conflict break out among the Confederates and one party refuses to respect the laws and customs, all other Confederates shall protect the other party.
[13.] The above-mentioned laws, set as they are in the interest and for the benefit of all, shall, God permitting, remain in force forever. In witness whereof the present act, set up at the request of the aforesaid, has been validated with the affixed seals of the above-mentioned Communities and valleys. Done at the beginning of August in the year of the Lord 1291.
source: Washington Institute, 2008
Can States Invoke ‘Hot Pursuit’ to Hunt Rebels?
Lionel Beehner, Council on Foreign Relations
Peter Danchin of the University of Maryland School of Law says if states want to prosecute someone for war crimes or crimes against humanity, usually they need to have them extradited. “This idea of ‘hot pursuit’ is just an attempt to twist the law of the sea doctrine into a self-defense idea. What you’re talking about is the use of force against the territory of another state,” which brings up touchy issues of state sovereignty. “Let’s say [the jihadis] go into Turkey?” he asks. “You’d have a hard time making the case that the 101st Airborne should go in and take them out without Turkish consent.” Further complicating the problem, Danchin argues, is that the United States is not the sovereign in Iraq. “It has fewer rights as an occupier than it does as a sovereign,” he says, referring to the legal use of force. David M. Crane, an expert on international law at Syracuse University, says if these foreign jihadis are apprehended on Syrian soil, they should be tried under Syrian domestic law. Any armed incursion by U.S. forces into Syria, he adds, would “ be a serious breach of international law and technically an act of war.”
To be sure, states routinely violate other states’ sovereignty to pursue those wanted for various crimes, instead of following international legal norms and extradition processes. For example, in recent years Russian forces regularly sought Chechen rebels believed to be hiding across the border in Georgia, and in the months after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Tutsi-led army pursued Hutu militia suspected in the genocide across the border into Congo. In 2002, the United States sent an unmanned Predator drone into Yemen and struck a car, killing five suspected terrorists, including an al-Qaeda leader wanted in the 2000 U.S.S. Cole bombing. In more recent months, the Turkish authorities have flirted with an invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan, which is part of sovereign Iraq, in pursuit of Kurdish guerillas who launch cross-border attacks into Turkey.
Observations on current Turkish-Iraqi border issues
"... In international law,
the right to "hot pursuit across internationally recognized borders"
can and does exist only in agreement with the government responsible for
the territory in question. The occasional public statements on this issue
by the Pakistani
authorities illustrate this situation. The relations among the
member states of the Schengen
Agreements are seen to evolve in the same direction. On the US
side - perhaps with an eye for impending developments involving all three
of Turkey's neighboring territories, Iraq, Iran and Syria, the Council
on Foreign Relations has recently published a noteworthy introduction.
And a further case in point is the - now replaced - Swiss-French
Border Convention of 23 February 1882 (.../1882.htm#hotpursuit).
This convention explicitly provided for the right to hot pursuit across
the border within a 10 km zone. For in its article 9, it specified
that officials (forest guards) who, in the area entrusted to their surveillance,
have come across a crime or offence against the law, "may pursue the
removed objects even on the other side of the border, on the territory
of the neighboring state, to where the objects were deposited, and to operate
Just as it is not for me to take sides, it is also not for me to decide whether in the current phase of the Turkish-Iraqi border instabilities there is a tacit agreement for such hot pursuit operations within a 75 km border zone. I understand this could be due to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry's manifold public admissions of the Iraqi authorities' persistent difficulties to fulfill the obligations undertaken notably under the "Treaty of Friendship and Neighborly Relations between Iraq and Turkey" of 29 March 1946 (Protocol 6, articles 1 and 11). Only yesterday, the Washington Post reported that an Iraqi Foreign Ministry official admitted some border areas in Northern Iraq to be in effect controlled by the PKK (Joshua Partlow, "Worried Iraqi Officials Urge Calm as Turkish-Kurdish Conflict Escalates": .../iraqsplit.htm#Abbawi). And still another, and admittedly more political question concerns the available options to effectively address - i.e. make a thing of the past - the use of Iraqi territory as save haven and basis for cross-border raids into Turkish territory. Which brings me to the last point, i.e. parall diplomacy, as practiced by a long-term master and colleague of mine, the late Swiss Secretary of State Edouard Brunner. ..."
Strike Could Imperil Broader War in Iraq
U.S. Urges Turkish Restraint On Kurds
By Molly Moore and Robin Wright
ISTANBUL, Oct. 13 -- U.S. officials began an intense lobbying effort Saturday to defuse Turkish threats to launch a cross-border military attack against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq and to limit access to critical air and land routes that have become a lifeline for U.S. troops in Iraq.
"The Turkish government and public are seriously weighing all of their options," Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said after meetings with Turkish officials in Ankara, the capital. "We need to focus with Turkey on our long-term mutual interests."
But even as the U.S. official appealed for restraint, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a political rally in Istanbul on Saturday, urged the parliament to vote unanimously next week to "declare a mobilization" against Kurdish rebels and their "terrorist organization," the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Fears of a new frontier of instability in the troubled Middle East sent oil prices soaring Friday to a record high of $84 a barrel. U.S. military officials predicted disastrous consequences if Turkey carries out a threat to strike northern Iraq, and they warned of serious repercussions for the safety of American troops if Turkey reduces supply lines in response to a congressional vote last week on the killing of Armenians nine decades ago.
The confluence of two seemingly unrelated events could not have come at a worse time. Thirteen soldiers killed last weekend in Turkey in the most deadly attack by Kurdish separatists in more than a decade had barely been buried when the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington approved a resolution labeling as genocide the mass killings of Armenians during the final decades of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey does not deny the deaths but argues that they occurred as part of a war in which Turks were also killed.
"This is not only about a resolution," said Egemen Bagis, a member of the Turkish parliament and a foreign policy adviser to Erdogan. "We're fed up with the PKK -- it is a clear and present danger for us. This insult over the genocide claims is the last straw."
Domestic politics in both countries -- the Armenian lobby that pushed for the genocide resolution in the U.S. Congress and growing pressure on the Turkish president to stop Kurdish rebel attacks -- collided to create an international crisis.
"It's a difficult time for the relationship," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters Saturday during her trip to Russia, noting that Fried and another senior State Department official had traveled to Turkey to reassure the Turks "that we really value this relationship."
A recent poll conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a transatlantic public policy organization, found that Turkish attitudes toward the United States were becoming increasingly hostile. Using its 100-degree thermometer scale, the fund found that Turkish "warmth" toward the United States had plunged from 28 degrees in 2004 to 11 degrees in 2007.
"Each time we have a soldier killed, many people look at Washington and they believe that Americans are responsible for this because they prevent us from stopping the infiltration into Turkey," said Onur Oymen, deputy chairman of the opposition Republican People's Party.
Erdogan is feeling increased heat from his military, which is suspicious of his Islamic roots and acquiescence to Washington in taking no action against Kurdish rebels in Iraq. His public is angry over the genocide vote, frustrated with a European Union that is unwilling to admit Turkey to its club, and outraged that the United States has turned its back on what Turks consider their own fight against terrorism, a 23-year-long war with the Kurdish separatists.
"The Turkish newspapers are printing full front-page pictures of dead soldiers with Turkish flags," said Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "The accusation is that this guy is soft on the Kurdish issue and does only what the U.S. wants him to do."
That perception prompted Erdogan to issue a warning to Washington this week: "If you're against [the rebels], make your attitude clear and do whatever is necessary. If you cannot do it, then let us do it."
A major operation by Turkey "would start a war with the Iraqi Kurds," said Henri Barkey, a former State Department official who now heads the International Relations Department at Lehigh University. "Northern Iraq is the only place that the U.S. has managed to achieve a modicum of stability and [it] is afraid that a major operation would unleash violence in the north.
"I'm sure the U.S. would say okay to a limited, one-time operation," Barkey said. "But everyone knows a one-time operation is not going to solve the problem. The Turks want a carte blanche to do whatever they want to do. That's the problem."
Marc Grossman, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and undersecretary of state for political affairs during President Bush's first term, said there were three reasons the United States has been reluctant to take action in northern Iraq against the PKK: U.S. troops are already fully engaged, and the north is generally stable. Plus, he said, "there's a lot of sympathy in some parts of our government for the Kurds and some residual disappointment for the Turkish government decision on March 1, 2003," to forbid the United States to launch an assault in Iraq through Turkey.
Human rights groups have long criticized Turkey for the brutal treatment of its Kurdish minority and its efforts to suppress the Kurdish culture and language within Turkish borders.
The PKK problem had become so frustrating to both Turkey and the United States that the retired U.S. and Turkish generals appointed in 2006 to help resolve some of the tensions have left their jobs: The Turk was relieved of his position just before he planned to resign, and the American offered his resignation letter weeks ago, though it was accepted by the Bush administration only this week, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.
Bagis, the soft-spoken Turkish lawmaker and Erdogan adviser, has what for the moment might be one of the world's least enviable positions -- chairman of the Turkey-USA Interparliamentary Friendship Caucus, a group of Turkish lawmakers who meet regularly with their counterparts in the U.S. Congress.
He returned here from Washington on Friday after a failed push to head off the genocide resolution. On Saturday, in the midst of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the Ramadan fasting period, Bagis's young children were pleading with him to get off the telephone and play.
But Bagis could not shake the frustration of the past several months. He and other Turkish officials, including Erdogan, have been warning the Americans for months that the situation on the Turkish-Iraqi border had deteriorated.
The PKK leadership operates freely in northern Iraq, they argued. The rebels have established camps and a safe haven, and the attacks in Turkey are becoming increasingly bold. Neither the United States nor the Iraqi government had taken any action to arrest PKK leaders or curb their activities.
Even though the U.S. government was the first foreign country to declare the PKK a terrorist organization, it appeared to many Turkish officials that the United States was setting a double standard in not allowing them to launch an attack against the rebels to protect their soldiers and citizens.
After the past two weeks' spate of PKK attacks, which killed a total of 30 soldiers, police officers and civilians, Turkish authorities arrested suspected rebels who were carrying U.S. military-issue 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistols. U.S. officials said at the time that the weapons had been stolen.
Bagis's response: "The good news, we have found your stolen weapons; the bad news, they're killing us."
He added, "And while all this is going on, all of a sudden this resolution comes along with this ally you consider as your most important strategic partner in the world, your strong NATO ally -- insulting you with something that is claimed to have happened back in 1915. "It's not like we're saying, 'Oh, it never happened,' " Bagis said. "We're saying, 'Let the historians judge it, not the politicians.' "
Wright reported from Washington.
Though I know of no chancellery in the world where "not invented here" is not a dominant theme, and no time in history where the powers that be didn't act as if they had a monopoly for good ideas, even such delicate and explosive situations as the current Turkish-US tensions over the Turkey-Iraq cross-border raids are seen to avail themselves for defusion by way of properly designed and competently handled political catalysts. In this sense, old treaties which may have fallen off the radar screen of the current generation of policy makers and diplomats can serve as sources of inspiration at least, as detailed in a recent publication in EKOPOLITIK ("Rebirth of the Mosul Vilayet?": www.solami.com/rebirth.htm ¦ .../hotpursuit.htm ¦ .../iraqsplit.htm).
10/14/2007 8:32:43 PM Recommended (1)
the turkish question is one of the u.s.'s making and i, for one would question as to whether or not the "fix" is in where the caspian sea question is concerned. is turky, in reality preparing to assist the u.s. in a flanking manouever to gain control of the energy reserves in that region? and has nancy pelosi once again stepped into the quicksand? what has the now dusted history of ww1 to offer us in 21st century? good luck, nancy!!
10/14/2007 4:01:18 PM
How about we support our real allies, the Turks. It is about time we got off our high hrose and away from the oil tap. If we are willing to pass a resolution against the Turks then how about we slap on the Protestants for all the Irish who died over here as indentured servants? What's the matter America, those folks were of not the correct persuasion? Hypocrits.
10/14/2007 3:21:08 PM
HEY EVERYONE, IN THE WORDS OF A REMARKABLE HUMAN BEING, "CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG".
10/14/2007 3:12:04 PM
Well theres some good news and some bas news here. The good news is maybe with some hard-driving diplomacy we could work this out with Turkey. The bad news is its Condi Rice and a gutted out State Dept where most senior diplomats have left because of this Admin. So with no competent diplomats old Condi will get the call. Yes thats the Condi who does not have 1 foreign affairs success to her credit. She'll bring over a slew of youngsters whos only qualifications are is that they graduated from some evangelical college. Oh boy were screwed.
10/14/2007 3:03:27 PM
The house committe resolution condmening the turks for genocide approximatley 100 years after it happened surely doesn't help this situation. None of the Turks today were even living when this happened. This is truth positive that old people such as Tom Lantos should be put out to pasture. He and other such as Jimmy Carter, donald rumsfield and Alan Greenspan have to much hubris and ego to step down gracefully. Rather they try to stay on the stage and act the fool. the media needs to take off the gloves with these old people and humiliate them enough to go to the sidelines if they won't do it themselves.
10/14/2007 3:01:19 PM
Yes panther, you're the window cleaner and I'm the comedian. Used to work for John Stewart.
10/14/2007 2:44:05 PM
I wonder what Magic will construct today. We need people who can build bridges.
10/14/2007 2:40:56 PM
re:1941 When Iraqi jews got butchered... Source:JTA NEWS Story by Edwin Black
10/14/2007 2:19:55 PM
Paint your windows black?
10/14/2007 2:12:42 PM
smokeberry, This BushCo govt. is that arrogant and ignorant that she has the audacity to think for anybody on the planet. Orwell's think police!
10/14/2007 2:09:31 PM
Well back to work, love construction clean windows paint, stucco and everything elkse, this is what the contractors get when they hire low wage illegals, they get to pay for high wage Citizens to clean up after them weeeeeeeeee. Jvan have to tell you bro, your without doubt in the top ten percent of wiggers that post here and the top 5 percent of the laughter I get from reading the posts. I just read what 111 posted to funny he/she hit it right on the money.
10/14/2007 2:07:37 PM
If the Turks were smart,they'd gather up the 'Kurds' and export them to Viet-Nam where they would then be referred to as the Kurds in Hue'aka:curds-n-whey?'I' thought it was funny.He,he,he,he!!!"Link 1"
10/14/2007 2:00:42 PM Recommend (1)
That makes sense, Blackwater sold the missing weapons to the PPK. That problem is solved. I wonder where the 363 tons of $100 bank notes are. Still in the USA?
10/14/2007 1:56:26 PM Recommend (1)
Rat bro, try using word to write your posts so you can read the whole thing and then copy and past, it works for me, especially for long posts. Jvan no one really cares about your rants bro, or that Holland is going to sink in the sea again per Al Gore. If I were to work for an intelligence group it would be the Mossad thank you very much, they don't screw around and I like their style, and I believe 10000% in their right to have their homeland back, JUDEA. But hell what can anyone tell an antisemitic fool anyway, especially one that thinks I am EVERY tag in WaPo that disagree's with him, to funny bro.
10/14/2007 1:53:07 PM
What's this world coming to? Turkey is threatening the Congress. Would THEY invade America? Turkish Delight is yummy,yummy!
10/14/2007 1:41:57 PM Recommend (1)
Well chit good morning me. you have e-mail Rat bro. Jvan what have you been smoking today and how did I annoy you this time to bring out your paranoia? Helix give you a wedgie again? whats with the etc, etc? I think you need to put the hash pipe down. Just one tag bro, this one.
10/14/2007 1:40:53 PM Recommend (1)
33% of Holland's total area was claimed from the sea, helix.
10/14/2007 1:35:45 PM Recommend (1)
re: 111 222 111 Hear Reason, Or She'll Make You Feel Her...
10/14/2007 1:28:07 PM Recommend (1)
The BIG DOG on the block is very tired. He needs to eat health food and ignore McDonalds!
10/14/2007 1:25:32 PM Recommend (1)
Oops---Meant to write: what was Once Upon a Time "Kurdistan"-As in... I really need to proof read!
10/14/2007 1:19:37 PM
When will you decide what the contents of a poster should be? Don't you believe in the constitution? Are you a freedom hater? Consult Rupert Murdoch first??
10/14/2007 1:16:11 PM Recommend (2)
I can only try to say this as plainly as I can. The historical boundaries of what was ONCE Upon a Time_As In "Ottoman Empire","Savoy", "Alexandria" and so many other HISTORICAL PLACES, is OIL RICH! The Kurds have been aware of this. So have the Turks, the Iranians, and the Iraqi's. The Kurds can dream of somehow rising up and stealing the oil rich lands-But it is a FANTASY! Then, EVEN if they DID, Their HOSTILE Neighbors they carved out their hole from, would have them LANDLOCKED!- And NO PANTHER, they would NOT let them pump anything over their lands! I used to think Iraq's were the Dumbest on the Planet, I am now beginning top think it is because of inter-Breeding with Kurds, which they seem to have decided to STOP doing!
10/14/2007 1:13:26 PM Recommend (1)
I will write again and again, that if the holocaust recognition is good and fair,so as we remember what attrocities have been done by nazis, the same should be done for all other similar murders, without exceptions.Period. I see, that manu US citizens, see one way only. Their "national interest".And from the other hand, they want from us all, to believe that they are the good guys, who can trust. Ha, ha,ha.
10/14/2007 1:09:55 PM Recommend (1)
helix5,magic panther, etc,et, etc. Thanks for the the long list of my posts you put on this site. Are you working for the MOSSAD or the KGB?? I told you before that I hate all people with in one hand a gun and in the other the bible. Because they're schzophrenic and paranoid. You're one of them. I love ALL peace loving Americans and I hate human beings walking on bear's claws!!
10/14/2007 1:09:34 PM Recommend (2)
A Turkish general has warned the American congress not to pass a bill condemning the alleged mass killings of Armenians or else! That's pretty tough language almost being an ultimatum. Will the Congress take notice of this Turkish warning??
10/14/2007 1:01:11 PM
I can't be sure but I think jvandeswaluw1 has a bad inferiority complex and some serious jealousy problems, 20 Turks get killed it's an OMG they have the right to take over and do another genocide like they did on the Armenians. America gets attacked more then 38 times around the world pre 9/11 having well over 5,000 Citizens killed and we're in the wrong. One has only to go to jvandeswaluw1 public profile to see the reason WHY he hates the U.S. so much, he misses his Nazi buddies, many of the Dutch were great supporters of the Nazi's and turned in thousands of Jews for the bakery. Europeans, I say PIZZ on Europeans they have brought us into TWO major world wars bailing them out of their own problems, and then were happy for American money and supplies, food to rebuild after World War 2. Begged us to help stave off the USSR, but when we are attacked they clap with glee and go HURRAH. jvandeswaluw1 we're still the BIG DOG on the block and if the need arises no problem using Nukes, as the world knows as we've used them before, and if these jihad camel jockies don't keep their war in your area of the world, you'll see a lot of geiger counters in Europe going clickity clack clack as the fallout from whats left of the Middle East wafts over your pathetic country. Post after post you show nothing but your hatred which is alright, and your jealousy which is also alright and very funny
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: Americans often forget that in essence they're Europeans. 11:35:23 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: Be honest, who wants to invade the USA? A nation that used just about all of her natural resources, a nation with biggest national debt on the planet and a nation having a govt. who deny her young children a health scheme? That's really CRUEL. If the devil would visit Irak and saw with his own eyes what happened there, he would start crying spontaneously. 11:04:21 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: First restrain yourself in order to earn some overseas respect! 10:43:03 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: American troops belong in America. All their fighting equipment can't pass their territorial boundaries. Time and time again America showed that their fighting forces can't RESTRAIN themselves. 10:37:36 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: Are Americans the new Arian race? The boys from Brazil? 10:02:09 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: Are Americans the new Arian race? The boys from Brazil? 9:36:17 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: The only advantage for the people in Northern Irak is that Turkey doesn't use DU-ammo. 9:29:43 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: essay, Don't tell a Japanese that he's part of our Western World! He has his own civilization! Right? 9:22:01 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: America's foreign cowboy politics sets a bad example for thr rest of the world. The USA is not the roll model we need. 9:06:54 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: America thinks that she can buy allies and friends by giving them billions of $$. I wonder if these 'friends' take the trouble of saying thank you USA. I wouldn't, I would think: This guy is an idiot, at home families live on food coupons!! 8:35:48 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: Do we need America's permission to invade? BushCo is even invading the privacies of his OWN people!! 8:22:21 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: America's security is not threatened, American freedoms are threaned by BushCo! 8:17:30
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: Do you realize how many by-products there are after the oil is refined?? Hundreds and hundreds of by-products, from lipstick, plastics,medicines,etc. Lubricating oils, without lube oil nothing would move!! The Western World is desperate for OIL. 8:10:28 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: Rice is another example of this BushCo govt. who's ignorant and arrogant. Turkey should try restraint she says!! At the same her Blackwater gang goes on slaughtering innocent women and children! Rice, shut up and do what you do best--nothing. 7:01:24 AM
jvandeswaluw1 wrote: America calls anybody an ally when it's in her own interests! If America doesn't need you, you can drop dead. 6:47:04 AM
Turkey wants to secure the oil fields of Northern Northern Irak, like America is doing in other areas of Irak. But I bet that the Turks won't slaughter 1 million+ Iraki civilians to get the oil.
10/14/2007 12:58:38 PM Recommend (6)
ahmet made a good point by telling us that it's possible that Turkish troops could get engaged with the American military in Northern Irak. BushCo is losing more allies than she can afford!! Well done George!
10/14/2007 12:48:12 PM Recommend (2)
It would appear one side of our government is intent on seeing failure in Iraq to ensure their predictions of failure come true. What better way than to condemn a nation for something the current leadership had absolutely no control over. So much for gaining allies throughout the world. While we are at it let's do as one writer suggested and condemn ourselves for the genocide of the Native American population. Of course that brings another problem. Can someone please tell me how many generations a family needs to be in this country before we are considered Native Americans. Our government officials not only causes divisions across the globe but insist on doing so here at home. When are any of them going to get the idea that they work for us and make changes that truly effectively protect our way of life. For instance, English as the official language, protecting our borders and deporting those here without authorization, ensuring we do not tax our companies out of the export business, keeping taxes low and wages high enough for American workers to want those jobs they currently do not seem to want. Instead of doing the work for Americans congress insists on bashing other countries who happen to be allies. How, pray tell, is supposed to help America or the American image across the world.
10/14/2007 12:38:52 PM Recommend (2)
hankomatic, You're right, often history is planned. The main motivation to wage war is GREED.
10/14/2007 12:35:35 PM Recommend (2)
One thing that baffles me is the the US has passed a resolution stating Turks commited genocide against the Armenians. Thats all fine but has the US ever passes a resolution stating that they exterminiated the Native Americans? How about it, why not pass a double resolution, or even better a triple resolution stating America has commited genocide against the native of America, enslaved blacks for 100s of years and then we can also mention the Armenians.
10/14/2007 12:32:32 PM Recommend (2)
james walker, Here we go again, what an arrogant statement: Americans are unique at chess!! Russians are nique at chess is what you mean.
10/14/2007 12:29:41 PM Recommend (1)
Did you watch CNN's never told stories about Irak yesterday? Very sad.
10/14/2007 12:19:24 PM Recommend (2)
it boggles my mind that the US cannot prevail upon the Iraqi Kurds to stop the PKK. The Iraqi Kurds must know that Turkey is serious about an invasion if the PKK is not stopped and they must know that a Turkish invasion cannot be in their best interest. Forget the Iraqi government. It is powerless in the Kurdish regions of Iraq. But the Iraqi Kurds can stop their brethren, if they only want to do so. And they depend on American help. That ought to give the US soem leverage!
10/14/2007 12:11:34 PM Recommend (1)
if the US is entitled to go more than 5000 miles overseas to fight terrorism and bring instability to the whole Middle East Region, why shouldn't the Turks, for the sake of their national security, be allowed or even be encouraged to attack the terrorist group that camps across their borders and kills Turk soldiers inside turkish territory using American weapons. Thanks to US, the Jungle rule is back and I sometimes wonder how the American government looks at US as the forerunner of civilization, while they desire the exclusive use of violence for themselves.
10/14/2007 12:07:12 PM Recommend (7)
...The General Public Is Taught That History Happens By Accident. However The Upper Echelons Know That History Is Planned...
10/14/2007 12:05:36 PM Recommend (3)
Abolish the Democratic and Republican parties. Abolish the President. Country is run by the House and the Congress. Members are voted into office by free elections based on knowledge and ability. House and Congress vote a leader of each which tips the scales during tie votes. End of story.
10/14/2007 12:05:35 PM Recommend (3)
Perhaps the U.S. Congress needs to pass some resolutions acknowledging the genocide that was basic to our country's expansion before they pass judgement on other countries.
10/14/2007 12:03:19 PM Recommend (2)
RScott251 wrote: "I love it..say as much you want to about Bush's Mid-East policies, this takes the cake. The Democratic majority wants to PO a NATO ally over something that happened 90 yrs ago. Way to go Dems...you truly showed your international expertise. Which is...nothing."
It's a bit like labelling traditional allies "Old Europe", threatening to "punish the French" and "Freedom Fries", isn't it? Yeah, the current resolution is a dumb move by Congress, but, let's face it, nothing remotely compared to the bone-headed foreign policy blunders perpetrated by the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress over the past six years. Admit it.
10/14/2007 11:40:33 AM Recommend (3)
Americans often forget that in essence they're Europeans.
10/14/2007 11:35:23 AM Recommend (1)
Hey, DwightCollinsDuarte and NYChap44, in keeping with the propensity of the right to try to blame everything that's happening in Iraq on the Democrats, why don't we just pretend that it was the Dems who provided the PKK with the U.S. made Glocks being used to kill our allies the Turks? Better yet, let's blame it on Bill Clinton! After all, that's your next gambit, isn't it? How's Ann Coulter, by the way? Excellent representative of your side. You should be proud.
10/14/2007 11:34:17 AM Recommend (2)
if democrats actually do pass the resolution that would be one of the few savvy things they have done with respect to iraq. it will be a lot harder to fight the special interest war with no access to northern iraq.
10/14/2007 11:19:52 AM Recommend (3)
As Ronald Reagen's envoy, Rumsfeld supplied Sadam with chemical and biological weapons. These weapons were used during the Irak-Iran war and against the Kurds!
10/14/2007 11:17:08 AM Recommend (2)
This problem with Turkey was clearly orchestrated by the Democrats to cause more problems for President Bush and our country. There is no reason on earth why a congressional resolution is required at this particular time, 95 years after the incident, unless it was to make the war in Iraq more difficult to prosecute for our country. It is disgraceful. Turkey is our ally. Or should I say Turkey was our ally. Why should they practice restraint after this insult? The Democrats in Congress have only proved what I have known all along, they are not only stupid, but they a bad people who do not care about our country.
10/14/2007 11:07:31 AM
National Interests Traditionally Turkey’s foreign policy towards her allies has been governed by dialogue. Unfortunately U.S.A not only has failed to act like an ally but has clearly shown how unrelieable strategic partner they are. In view of the Armenian and the PKK issues Turkey now has been pushed to point where they have to reconsider their alliance with U.S.A. On one hand you have the U.S.A House of Representatives resuming the role of judge, jury and the executioner voting for the Armenian Genocide based on the one sided misleading propaganda of the Armenian lobby totally ignoring the fact that at a time when mainland Ottoman Empire was invaded by occupation forces Ottoman Armenians committed treason and rebelled against the Ottoman Empire and butchered around 1.000.000 Ottoman Turks and Kurds. It was unfortunate that as a natural consequence of the rebellion and the murders comitted by the Armenians , relatives of the butchered of Otoman Turks and Kurds attacked masses of Ottoman Armenians seeking for revenge. Both sides suffered great tragedy intensely and cannot move forward until a direct dialogue on the matter is established. Unlike the Armenian side the Ottoman side buried their suffering in to the depth of their hearts. Turkish Republic over the years has been preparing their version of the events .This is why the matter is much more complicated then the Armenian Diaspora is claiming it to be.
U.S.A could have taken a more responsable position in the matter and recommended that this subject should be taken to an International Court where each party can have their voice heard. One really wonders what type an apology Armenian Diaspora are going to come up with after having mislead the world for 92 consecutive years . History will note that U.S.A role in the matter has been directly influenced by the arithmetics of local politics.The presence of the Armenian Religious Head at the U.S.A House of Representatives Foreign Relations Comittee meeting for the Armenian Genocide voting is also extremely meaningful and also explains a lot about the fairness and objectivity of the house and circumstances surrounding the shameful act.
PKK terror has caused Turkey over 30.000 lives in the past two decades.The arms obtained after the distmantling of Saddams armed forces were handed over to the Iraqi kurds by U.S.A and these arms were supplied to the to the PKK terrorists by the Iraqi Kurds. PKK has been attacking Turkish villages killing innocent civilians regardless of their age and sex. Turkey has patiently waited for U.S.A to take responsability of controlling Northern Iraq where U.S.A has proven to be inadequate and unable in fullfilling their responsability . Turkey on numerous occasions has informed U.S.A of their dissatisfaction on the matter but was told that any action against Northern Iraq would constitute an act against U.S.A. It is incredible to observe that there exists such a double standard between the allies of U.S.A. , while Israel can protect their national interests in the region with the full backing of U.S.A , Turkey is being imposed limitations on matters which concerns their national security.
It is interesting to see that majority of theTurkish public opinion ( 85%) are in favour with entering Iraq even it means that Turkey will severe ties with U.S.A and have to engage with U.S.A armed forces.It is alarming to see how the Pro-American cross section of the population are disappearing and now have joined the Anti-American entity.
We hope that U.S.A will re-examine their current on going policies with Turkey and redefine their strategies taking in to account the national interests of the Turkish Republic before it is too late. For an update on the Genocide subject visit; www.ermenisorunu.gen.tr
10/14/2007 11:07:24 AM Recommend (1)
Be honest, who wants to invade the USA? A nation that used just about all of her natural resources, a nation with biggest national debt on the planet and a nation having a govt. who deny her young children a health scheme? That's really CRUEL. If the devil would visit Irak and saw with his own eyes what happened there, he would start crying spontaneously.
10/14/2007 11:04:21 AM Recommend (1)
The US preaching restraint. It sounds like a hooker extolling the virtues of chastity.
10/14/2007 10:51:17 AM Recommend (8)
The conflict between the Kurds and Turkey is another nail in the coffin of the Iraqi war. To me I would not give one iota of concern what happens between those two countries. The problem is our illegal involvement in the invasion of Iraq. Now every problem in that area is "our" problem. I still can not believe how George W. Bush continues to put our country and our troops in harms way. The longer we stay in occupying Iraq, the more destabiized the Middle East will become. I blame both the Republicans and also the Democrats since they are both sleeping together. They keep voting up to $120 billion more in congressional funds for the continuation of this horrible war. What good did it do to put the Democrats in the majority? I do not see any difference. What happens if Turkey invades without permission? If the Armenians want the resolution then how come more of them volunteer to fight in Iraq? That resolution is endangering our troops. Another example is the Blackwater scandal. They are also endangering our troops. 5 years of this hell must stop and we got to withdraw as soon as possible. "The harm is done". Cut our losses and deal with our domestic problems. Why is the United States sticking their noses were it does not belong?
10/14/2007 10:47:54 AM
The United States should encourage Turkey in their actions in Northern Iraq. Turkey is after all only applying the Bush doctrine. You have the right to pre-emptively attack any nation or organization that you conceive as an immediate threat and the right & obligation to attack terrorists anywhere. Its our policy we should support it.
10/14/2007 10:43:22 AM Recommend (3)
First restrain yourself in order to earn some overseas respect!
10/14/2007 10:43:03 AM Recommend (1)
American troops belong in America. All their fighting equipment can't pass their territorial boundaries. Time and time again America showed that their fighting forces can't RESTRAIN themselves.
10/14/2007 10:37:36 AM Recommend (1)
President Bush maintains that it is better to kill the terrorists in Iraq than to have to kill them in the United States. Now Turkey says: It's better to kill the terrorists in Iraq than to have to kill them in Turkey. Interesting, Bush is teaching the world something.
10/14/2007 10:36:50 AM Recommend (1)
do the dems know how many nuclear weopans nato has in turkey. do they know how many nuclear weopans the turks have. do the dems care about the kurds or do dems only care about themselves and losing this war.
10/14/2007 10:08:23 AM
after the dems insulted the turks, why should they listen or even care what we want.
10/14/2007 10:03:50 AM
Are Americans the new Arian race? The boys from Brazil?
10/14/2007 10:02:09 AM Recommend (1)
The Democrat vote on the Armenian genocide was primarily to catch the Armenian vote in the upcoming elections - there are more Armenians living in the US than there are in Armenia. That it also created difficulties for Bush in the ME was a bonus. I don't believe that the Democrats thought (or cared) any more about the consequences of their actions than this. Incidentally, it was widely predicted before the invasion of Iraq that Turkey, Syria and Iran would be drawn into a wider conflict as a result.
10/14/2007 9:58:18 AM
News, Turkey should show restrain, whle we prepare for war wih Iran. Iranians have been infiltrating the border and tens of them (some say hundrds) have crossed border and hurting our soldiers. We have US senate authorization to pursue these invaders across the border, but Turkey should show restrain.
10/14/2007 9:43:43 AM
Are Americans the new Arian race? The boys from Brazil?
10/14/2007 9:36:17 AM
The only advantage for the people in Northern Irak is that Turkey doesn't use DU-ammo.
10/14/2007 9:29:43 AM Recommend (1)
essay, Don't tell a Japanese that he's part of our Western World! He has his own civilization! Right?
10/14/2007 9:22:01 AM Recommend (1)
FirstBlood, It's "let go of the REINS", as in controlling horses. Horses do not have REIGNS, and they do not reign either. Queen Elizabeth reigns in England, as in ruling a country. She only reins in, or gives rein, when she is out horse-riding. This mistake is getting too common in the USA. The horse doesn't care either way, however.
10/14/2007 9:14:39 AM
The US should join Turkey in it's denial of genocides! Really, the United States is flushing out the middle class - making sure the lower class kids have no health care- that's an indirect way of saying - die kiddo - we don't care. The US is also encouraging Iraqi's to FLEE their cities and head to the desert - watch it via satellite if you care- but these Iraqi refugees no longer have anywhere else to go, no neighboring countries will take them. YET ? The US is convinced they need to stay the course and hunt out those native iraqi's fighting back against the US occupation calling them 'insurgents' or 'terrorists'. I don't buy it. This is the christian right gone MAD. This is like the Young Turks. US and Turkey should be patting each other on the back, it's no WONDER Bush admin officially does NOT support that a genocide occurred. Makes ya wonder eh? I can see the president of Turkey calling up Bush 'I thought you said you had this thing under control you little monkey' I HIGHLY suggest people research the BTC pipeline and Halliburtons beginnings to build a new fatter pipe through Iran and Iraq. This is GREED folks, flat out insolence, and greed, and we are all paying for it. SCREW Turkey if they deny a genocide. SCREW the US for carrying OUT their OWN genocide. use of 'fly paper' in military operations is sketchy folks, you watch the people that feed Fox News - the religious right - the Ann Coulters, they're happy any non-christians are dying. This is the anti-thesis of Armenian genocide, that's the irony, the US is promoting a cleansing of islamicists. I don't think they're going to let go of the reigns either.
10/14/2007 9:09:03 AM Recommend (4)
America's foreign cowboy politics sets a bad example for thr rest of the world. The USA is not the roll model we need.
10/14/2007 9:06:54 AM Recommend (1)
"Urges restraint"? Looks like the Shrubbery at the White House is learning Diplomacy Pre-Course Basics at last. As usual, he is learning far too late, but it does make a welcome change from "You do what we say, or we'll apply sanctions or bomb your civilians and holy places until you comply, and you will be designated "A Terrorist Organization" and the Geneva Convention will no longer apply when we send Blackwater to murder your wives and children" "Thank you for your cooperation"
10/14/2007 9:06:45 AM Recommend (4)
RobertTaylor1: A complete idiot. Saddam was never an ally of the United States. We were shooting down Migs and blowing up "t" tanks. Im so sick of you idiots that say we had been arming Saddam. Iraq was a client state of the Soviet Union. Why do you think there is a big issue of clamping down on F-14 parts so Iran cant build an airforce? HAs not this same paper been writing articles of how Iran is scrounging up parts ? Because we were supplying THEM! Geeso peets, get your history straight. I can tolerate differing opinions, but outright stupidity with off the knee remarks is untolerable.
10/14/2007 8:56:06 AM Recommend (1)
I love it..say as much you want to about Bush's Mid-East policies, this takes the cake. The Democratic majority wants to PO a NATO ally over something that happened 90 yrs ago. Way to go Dems...you truly showed your international expertise. Which is...nothing.
10/14/2007 8:45:26 AM Recommend (3)
Bullying behavior by Turkey is nothing new, as is acquiescence by the West, the same West that keeps the turkish military alfoat with massive aid. Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and seized the better northern half of the island. Just like it did to the Armenians, Greeks, and others during and after WW I, Turkey ethnically cleansed the part of Cyprus in invaded of Greek Cypriots. It then imported peasant Turks from Anatolia to populate northern Cyprus. And the Turks got away with it, just like they got away with the Armenian Holocaust. Now the same ruthless Turkish general have their eyes set on eliminating yet another ethnic minority, the Kurds. The Kurds themselves deserve little love, as they played a major part in the Armenian Holocaust as butchers for the Turks. But it's more important to teach the Turkish Reich a lesson, that the civilized world won't tolerate Nazi-like genocide and ethnic cleansing. So we should arm the Kurds, give them intelligence on Turkish forces, and let the Kurds teach the Turks a lesson in brute force. As for the bodies of the dead Turkish soldiers draped in Turkish flags that are on the front pages of the Turkish newspapers, well, that really didn't happen, just like the Armenian Holocaust didn't happen.
10/14/2007 8:35:58 AM Recommend (2)
America thinks that she can buy allies and friends by giving them billions of $$. I wonder if these 'friends' take the trouble of saying thank you USA. I wouldn't, I would think: This guy is an idiot, at home families live on food coupons!!
10/14/2007 8:35:48 AM Recommend (1)
Do we need America's permission to invade? BushCo is even invading the privacies of his OWN people!!
10/14/2007 8:22:21 AM Recommend (1)
I do love my Country, but not the Politicians running it. We seem to be getting more like a bulley. Just about every country we used to be friendly with has turned away, We don't take care of our own needy, Just check your local Food Pantry, Just 1 more thing, Where does all this money come from that Congress and the President send overseas? Any CEO would be fired by now if they did this. Sorry to be so negative, but I am upset. God help us all!
10/14/2007 8:19:33 AM Recommend (2)
America's security is not threatened, American freedoms are threaned by BushCo!
10/14/2007 8:17:30 AM Recommend (2)
Do you realize how many by-products there are after the oil is refined?? Hundreds and hundreds of by-products, from lipstick, plastics,medicines,etc. Lubricating oils, without lube oil nothing would move!! The Western World is desperate for OIL.
10/14/2007 8:10:28 AM
What a mess. Decades of enmity. The Kurds should have showed restraint here. This is anarchy...or soon will be.
10/14/2007 8:06:50 AM
Another stuck on stupid moment from Washington, which only goes to tell you the Bush administration is not the only incompetent in town. Congress can't decide which role to be - historians or public policy wonks.
10/14/2007 7:56:40 AM Recommend (1)
when the people od usa want the war to end and have a president that loves war and death proclaiming genocide by the turkish was a brilliant idea... bush vetoes any bill giving him less than he wants... but angering the turkish government puts a dent in his military prowess... without the aid of turkish airspace and bases... the war in iraq will come to a standstill... proof a lying cheating dog can be brought to their knees when one goes into his playing field... thank God the democrats bushwhacked mr. president and got response from turkey that will shut down bushs war machine...
10/14/2007 7:39:28 AM Recommend (1)
A 1922 quote by R. Pettigrew. This great and wonderful force- the accumulated wealth of the USA- has taken over all the functions of Govt. the Congress, the issue of money and banking and the army and the navy in order to have mercenaries to do their bidding and protect their stolen property! Stated in 1922!! Does it sound familiar today??
10/14/2007 7:29:27 AM Recommend (2)
It is simply amazing, how totally incompetent the US Congress really is. In a time of major crisis they manage to throw gasoline on the fire. I would be more worried about the outsourcing of US Industrial base which robs us of the Social Security Wage Base. Why not outsource the US Congress?
10/14/2007 7:22:54 AM Recommend (5)
An inmutable law. The dream of the Being. Fulfilling the whole universe by growing or cloning in order to avoid any outsider. An ousider able to steal it because resemblance is the essence of this universe. If not both ones could live strange to the other without any interaction. An outsider putting in risk his survival. But unicity is forbidden. Totally forbidden by the greatest law of this universe. Constant inevitable movement and transformation. The most hatred thing by the Being wanting to be forever.
10/14/2007 7:04:47 AM
Rice is another example of this BushCo govt. who's ignorant and arrogant. Turkey should try restraint she says!! At the same her Blackwater gang goes on slaughtering innocent women and children! Rice, shut up and do what you do best--nothing.
10/14/2007 7:01:24 AM Recommend (1)
Yes. The nowdays USA is among those ones requiring total equity. If not you are an outsider. And they are unable to see that conflict begins when enough outsiders are existing. Yes. Equity doesn't exist. Resemblance do even when we cannot see it.
10/14/2007 6:54:51 AM
essay, You claim that Turkey is a barbaric, islamic nation. Am I wrong to say that America is a barbaric,christian nation? Blackwater and all that?
10/14/2007 6:53:38 AM Recommend (6)
America calls anybody an ally when it's in her own interests! If America doesn't need you, you can drop dead.
10/14/2007 6:47:04 AM Recommend (1)
Ohhhh, after decades of denials, the Turks want historians to judge genocide? And how is this related to the latest PKK vs. Turkish army deal? Every one that monitors Turkey closely knows that the Islamists made a deal with the Army---they can go into northern Iraq if Gul becomes president. This is just another piece of Turkish deals that are always done with bad faith and in a tricky carpet-bazaar kind of mentality! The Turks deserve it...all of it!
10/14/2007 6:45:13 AM
The concept of ally is the key thing. Some request enough resemblance. Other ones require total equity. It is a matter of abality and will to see resemblance. Those unable to see nothing about are the danger itself.
10/14/2007 6:44:20 AM
Turkey wants to secure the oil fields of Northern Irak, like America is doing in other areas of Irak. But I bet that the Turks won't slaughter 1 million+ Iraki civilians to get the oil.
10/14/2007 6:41:51 AM Recommend (2)
We give the Kurds weapons to help us fight Al Queda in Iraq (The Surge). Everybody screams the Kurds will try to establish Kurdistan. The Kurds do exactly this, as everybody but the fool on the hill foresaw. Now for months Turkey has had troops at their border worried about the newly armed Kurds. Note this happened WAY before any resolution was passed in Washington. Now our best(only)friend in the area is being attacked by people we armed and they want to defend themselves. Meanwhile the spinmasters in Washington claim this all came about because of something passed in congress recently when it all goes back to our preemptive strike in Iraq. Hell it really goes back to our promising the Kurds if they attacked Saddam(remember him?) we would support them. We never did, and Saddam gassed the Kurds for trying to kill him. We used this as our excuse to start Iraq 2 ,our journey into hell. Now when we started losing the war we arm the Kurds and are amazed they might have an agenda of their own.Oh wait a minute we didn't arm the Kurds! All those weapons that General Petraius was responsible for got LOST and somehow the Kurds fond them. Yeah yeah I get it now, must drink the Kool-Aid, must drink the Kool-Aid. and down the rabbit hole we go, see you on the other side Alice! Cart
10/14/2007 6:39:06 AM Recommend (3)
The Sykes-Picot Agreement of May, 1916 is debet to the Kurdish problem. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire the English and French interests in the Arab world were confirmed in this Agreement WITHOUT consulting the Arab nations. At that time they 'forgot' to give back their former country Kurdistan.
10/14/2007 6:33:39 AM Recommend (1)
blakesouthwood - Turkey doesn't have soldiers in Iraq at the moment because the US was strictly against it. It has been a large discussion point for why the hell does Turkey need NATO for,firstly at war NATO countries didn't help Turkey when it asked for anti-missile defense against Iraq (patriots etc..), which is sort of against NATO law, then Turkey is asked to take command and send soldiers in Afghanistan, Africa, Balkans, Lebanon..but cant put a single soldier in Iraq their back yard.. because of the US 'Kurd' dream. In all cases where Turkish soldiers serve these soldiers aren't shown as Turkish, they are labeled as other when it comes to news. The latest scandal in Afganistan was foreign soldiers putting Turkish flags on their uniform, their reason is that the afgans dont attack Turkish soldiers as they only build schools and provide medical services there, and command.
When Turkey said that it will dismantle the elite battalion that it has given EU they protested, why? because they need a EU force not NATO, but need to use NATO resources. So the hassle against Turkey. Now France wants to enter the military section of NATO and Turkey will most probably veto it.
10/14/2007 6:32:04 AM Recommend (1)
I can not believe Bush and his thugs have the audacity to suggest that Turkey show restraints in handling the PKK threat on her borders. As if the Bushies had exhibited any constraints in killing Iraq and Iraqies. They have no right to suggest any thing when we have an administration that lied and cheated to attack Iraq, a fifth rate Banana dictatorship just to satsify the vengence and hullicination of its dry drunk Criminal in Chief, the killing frenzy of its extreme right wing evangelist so called Christian thugs and the greed of its oil bossom bodies billionaires. We need to take back control of our country from this gang of thugs that stole it on January 20, 2001 and the sooner we do this the sooner our children, grandchildren and the world can live in peace and mutual prosperity.
10/14/2007 6:29:26 AM Recommend (3)
Which are the deep real reasons for the democracy spreading and the 'war on terror' promoted by the USA? To protect the USA fulfilling the world only with allies even by force. American are mainly interested on American like any human being.
10/14/2007 6:26:14 AM
For the American learning curbe on Policy. Kurds are mainly interested on Kurds and Turkish on Turkish like any human being in this world.
10/14/2007 6:17:04 AM
It's interesting that Turkey is our ally and yet they don't have even 1 soldier in Iraq helping to fight the insurgents and Turkey is practically begging to join the European Union and they aren't even IN Europe. Turkey is an Islamic Democracy in name only. If Turkey were truely our ally then they'd help fight the insurgents with 1 million troops in Iraq. Instead Turkey is going to go in and flatten the Kurds with tanks. Reading the news now is so unreal. The whole world is unravelling. Turkey needs to grow up. But, at the same time our government and state departments clearly have an agenda and it's not winning hearts and minds its... dinosaur juice.
10/14/2007 6:11:18 AM Recommend (1)
So, the war is starting to widen a little more. Both the Saudi and the Irani are sending in arms and material already. Your so called success in Kurdistan is an illusion, as they will be fulling engaged against the Turks soon, and down at Tecret as well after the referendum there. Har, har, what morons you are.
10/14/2007 6:09:31 AM
Please, be patient. Broad points of view. The Kurds are the Jewel of the American Crown in Iraq. That is the reason for supporting them farer then Turkish interests. Second. A recognized Kurdistan State is a possible seed for promoting peshmerga and other fanatic groups to the fight.
10/14/2007 5:54:53 AM
FOR GET ABOUT TURKEY, GO TO (GOOGLE DICK CHANEY TOPOFF 4) MAY BE OUR NEXT FALSE FLAG OP.
10/14/2007 5:48:16 AM
Turkey has made a bet. A unified Iraq is impossible. Finally American will divide the country if they are not kicked out before by the Iraqi government. This will make a strong and recognized Kurd State. This is the definition of danger for the Turks.
10/14/2007 5:41:04 AM
This is a laugh, what are you guys/gals on? :D Maybe you didn't know when Saddam decided to kill of the Kurds, Turkey opened its border and sheltered them (and this is their gratitude now, irony?). And of course provided passage for the CIA's Kurd squad, which later got named to peshmerge..and now I suppose they are the force behind the terrorist group PKK/PEJAK or variants. Currently Turks are constructing a lot of places in N.Irak, and selling cheap electricity and petrol to them, this includes basic foodstuffs.
But there are idiots in the west who claim parts of Turkey,Syria,Iran in maps to belong to Kurds and play on differences between ethnicities in these countries, and give weapons to and support nationalistic ideologies of the Kurdish ethnicities for leverage in the area and think they can get away with it.. Then there is the Arab/Persian support for the PKK/PEJAK as Turkey isn't an Islamic country, and supports the US, Isreal and the west since 1923. Turkey is secular which means religion plays no role in politics or countries decisions, this is unlike many EU countries which are Christian and so they are reluctant to understand and with latest comments they are more of a joke than Bush.
SO Turkey will enter Iraq or any country (Syria,Lebanon,Iran..) but it will be solely for the extermination of the PKK/Pejak group.
In any case Turks know how lost US weapons come to the hands of the PKK/Pejak Terrorist group.. they do have satellites, and US hummer's, Trucks in PKK bases to look conspicuous.. I'm interested at what the reaction to this would be in the US.
But now the interesting part the peshmerge' groups which the CIA taught in various bases against Saddam are currently digging trenches and moving heavy equipment to the north, and say they will attack the Turkish army, this is suicide of course and they most probably will run once they sight the Turkish army, but this causes a big nerving problem for the US, as they supplied and taught these people techniques of warfare.. what to do? help the Kurdish so be army (peshmerge's I've talked about..) and stand enemy to the second largest military force in NATO, and the most powerful army in the region which would mean automatic support for the Turks from most radical islamic countries like Iran.. and possibly end US existence in the middle east and Asia, maybe even turn into WWIII.
Another option is do nothing, and try politically to halt the Turks by economic threat. This wont stop the Turks at all, and the administration will face the music back home for doing nothing.. oh forgot maybe they will use Turkey as a scape goat.. sort of they did it. :)
In any case the above will force the Turks to play the Caucasus, Russia, Asia, China,Korea cards. Origin of Turks is central Asia, so there are many relative countries in the region who are more sympathetic to Turks than to US or EU, and this could be bigger problem than Iraq will ever be.
10/14/2007 5:37:48 AM Recommend (2)
Both the US and Iraq (long touted as an independent and sovereign state) will confront a big crisis if Turkey goes ahead anyway to invade northern Iraq in pursuit of those Kurdish rebels. Either Iraq or the US, or both, should do something to deny access to those Kurdish rebels and thus improve their chances of Turkey agreeing not to invade Iraq. US pleas for Turkey not to go ahead with its intention to cross the border into Iraq are not bound to work. Those Kurdish rebels have long been a thorn in the neck of Turkey and have felt free to create havoc inside Turkey because they know they have a safe haven inside Iraq. MarPatalinjug@aol.com
10/14/2007 5:31:13 AM Recommend (1)
For the American learning curbe on Policy. You cannot figure out everybody is stupid but you.
10/14/2007 5:25:53 AM
Of course Turkey is not stupid. The Jewel of the American Crown, the Kurdistan, is not domething they like much. Yes. Sunni lands are sterile. Shiite lands are really dangerous. The Kurds are the paradise of the oil.
10/14/2007 5:22:52 AM
Let us hope that cooler heads in Turkey chane their minds about their threat to get Turkish military forces to cross the border into the Kurdish portion of Iraq in pursuit of those Kurdish rebels. What amounts to an invasion of Iraq by Turkey can indeed have very serious consequences, both apparent now and not foreseeable.
The US Congress likewise should see the wisdom of reconsidering passage of that Resolution condemning Turkey for what the Resolution characterizes as the "massacre" of Armenians back some one hundred years ago. One really wonders what good would such condemnation of an event which occurred long ago can accomplish beyond angering the Turkish government and the Turkish people. MarPatalinjug@aol.com
10/14/2007 5:22:11 AM
A total Middle East destabilization made by people who have a name. Neoconservative, pseudo-neoconservatives and their wizards. Sterile destroyers is also their name.
10/14/2007 5:17:45 AM
HOUSTON, Oct. 9 -- Heritage Oil Corp. said it has signed a production-sharing contract with the outlaw Kurdistan regional government (KRG) for an exploration license covering the Miran block in the southwest section of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, near Turkey. Heritage will begin geological work immediately and could start a high-impact exploration drilling program in 2008.
The 1,015 sq km license area contains the very large Miran structure, which as expressed at surface, comprises an area of about 500 sq km and may have three separate culminations. According to the law, this oil is not there for the exploitation of Houston Bushies. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Dennis4president.com/home) said today’s United Press International report on Hunt Oil raises more questions worthy of Congressional investigations and that he will introduce legislation to ban U.S. oil companies from operating in Iraq.
“I’m concerned that if we don’t reverse the “war for oil” policy, many negative consequences for the United States could follow. I think it would prevent any hope of an emerging peace process in the Middle East,” Kucinich said. Like Pastor Ted Haggard's prayer breakfast Mcsausage with Bush in the White House or Karl Rove's intern filth on Bush's own children, “The war in Iraq is a stain on American history. Let us not further besmirch our nation by participating in an outrageous exploitation of a nation, which is in shambles due to the U.S. intervention,” Kucinich (Dennis4president.com) said in an insightful speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on May 23, 2007.
Recent drilling indicates that the block's reservoir potential, which exists at numerous zones, could exceed 1 billion bbl of oil, Heritage said. None of that oil is America's and no American company has the right to drill it. Under terms of the PSC, Heritage Energy Middle East Bushie Ministries Ltd. will serve as operator of the license, which has a primary term of 5 years and an option to extend for 2 additional years. Heritage will invest just under $40 million over the primary term. The Miran license automatically will be converted into a looting license upon a commercial discovery. Our vision for the world is a Blackwater world, said a Texas oil hustler. Heritage also has entered into an illegal strategic agreement with the outlaw KRG to form a 50:50 joint venture company to build, own, and operate a 20,000 b/d refinery with no pollution control near the license area. The refinery is scheduled to start blowing smoke in about 2 years.
The Iraqi Department of Homeland Security is targeting the top US executives involved in their sights.
10/14/2007 5:07:38 AM Recommend (1)
Turkey is about to show their true colors.
10/14/2007 4:33:26 AM
For 3 years, Turkey has been complaining to the US about Iraqi Kurdish incursions into Turkey with Kurdish intent to stir up trouble there. It isn't as if this is a recent development. As the occupying power in Iraq, the US should have taken steps to stop this problem long ago. If the US will not take action against the Kurds, Turkey has every right to defend it's territory & people from malicious incursion.
10/14/2007 4:04:23 AM Recommend (1)
So once again I say that if we stay in Iraq, kurds, possibly basra but doubt it, as the brits move out guess who is going to move in, and i am talking about keeping a base of operation screw oil, though it's nice to have.
10/14/2007 3:58:41 AM
rat-the wrote: PANTHER, I am AFRAID you, and too many others miss my point, and also missed an analogy I used the other day. Sigh, the infrastructure for pumping the oil out is already their, no flying needed, Afghanistan is also landlocked but we're there. And unfortunately you are wrong this IS a religious thing and NOT an oil thing. I have no idea how many times i have asked folks to do web search of grand mufti Jerusalem, or search on Islamic SS units or even skorzeny. Here do some reading
Strange Allies - Bosnian Muslim division of the Waffen-SS
There have been four phases of cooperation between militant Islam and the extreme right, stretching back to Germany's Third Reich and World War II. As WWII progressed, al-Husseini helped organize a Bosnian Muslim division of the Waffen SS. After Hitler's defeat, as Nazi Germany crumbled, Hitler's erstwhile officers had to flee. It was natural that many of Hitler's men went to the Middle East. After Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egypt's president, a number of Nazis were given prominent positions. Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny trained thousands of Egyptians in guerilla and desert warfare.
Haj Amin el Husseini arrived in Europe in 1941 following the unsuccessful pro-Nazi coup which he organized in Iraq. He met German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and was officially received by Adolf Hitler on November 28,1941 in Berlin. Nazi Germany established for der Grossmufti von Jerusalem a Bureau from which he organized the following: 1) radio propaganda on behalf of Nazi Germany; 2) espionage and fifth column activities in Muslim regions of Europe and the Middle East; 3) the formation of Muslim Waffen SS and Wehrmacht units in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Kosovo-Metohija, Western Macedonia, North Africa, and Nazi-occupied areas of the Soviet Union; and, 4) the formation of schools and training centers for Muslim imams and mullahs who would accompany the Muslim SS and Wehrmacht units. As soon as he arrived in Europe, the Mufti established close contacts with Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Muslim leaders. He would spend the remainder of the war organizing and rallying Muslims in support of Nazi Germany.
The Mufti was one of the initiators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and had been a collaborator and adviser of Eichmann and Himmler in the execution of this plan. ... He was one of Eichmann's best friends and had constantly incited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard him say, accompanied by Eichmann, he had visited incognito the gas chamber of Auschwitz. http://www.hyscience.com/archives/2006/08/hitler_and_the_1.php
Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem arrived in Iraq in 1939 and was amoung the leader of the pro Nazi revolt in May 1941. Following the suppression of the insurrection, he fled to Germany and joined the Nazi war effort against the Allies.
He conducted a vicious propaganda campaign against the Allies and especially against the Jews on Arabic broadcast over German radio ,calling upon Arabic and Muslims to slaughter the Jews wherever they might be. photograph signed "In remembering with the large H.Himmler Muftir "
This May 15 1943 letter from Hajj Amin Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to the German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop requested German intervention in the Balkans especially in Bulgaria to prevent an agreement with Britain and the United States to allow Jews to leave for Eretz Israel. The Mufti noted that the Arabs supported the Axes Power in the hope that they would provide a final solution to the problem of the Jews- the commun enemy of the people of Europe and of the Arab nation. Muhammed Amin al-Husseini [many spelling variations] was born in 1893 (or 1895), the son of the Mufti of Jerusalem and member of an esteemed, aristocratic family. The Husseinis were one of the richest and most powerful of all the rivalling clans in the Ottoman province known as the Judaean part of Palestine. Amin al-Husseini studied religious law at al-Azhar University, Cairo, and attended the Istanbul School of Administration. In 1913 he went to Mecca on a pilgrimage, earning the honorary title of "Haj". He voluntarily joined the Ottoman Turkish army in World War I but returned to Jerusalem in 1917 and expediently switched sides to aid the victorious British. He acquired the reputation as a violent, fanatical anti-Zionist zealot and was jailed by the British for instigating a 1920 Arab attack against Jews who were praying at the Western Wall.
10/14/2007 3:53:28 AM
Japan is a Western nation. Turkey is not a Western nation. In 2007 July, the House of Representatives justifiably passed a resolution demanding that Tokyo apologize for the brutalization of "comfort women" during World War II. Though a minority of Japanese politicians dissented with the resolution, the Japanese government (as a whole) accepted the American criticism. By contrast, in 2007 October, as the House of Representatives nears passage of a resolution declaring the slaughter of Armenians by Turkish thugs to be genocide, the Turkish government has recalled its ambassador from the USA. Turkish politicians vociferously condemn the Americans. The Turkish government, with the overwhelming support of the Turkish people, continue to censor comments declaring the slaughter to be genocide. Turkey is not a Western nation. Turkey is a barbaric Islamic nation. The European Union should probibit Turkey from joining the European Union. reporter, USA, http://theclearsky.blogspot.com/
10/14/2007 3:32:35 AM Recommend (2)
American troops radicalize moderates. It happened in Saudi Arabia, leading to 9/11. It happening in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey too. If we weren't ready to war and occupy the entire region, then we should have limited our actions to diplomacy and air strikes. Too late for that now. We must eventually rule everything from Morocco to Georgia to Kabul in order to keep gasoline below $10 a gallon. And then we'll go after those who favor Euros over Dollars.
10/14/2007 3:01:53 AM Recommend (1)
PANTHER, I am AFRAID you, and too many others miss my point, and also missed an analogy I used the other day. The Kurdish resistance is OUT OF LINE! THEY seem to think this is 1800 or something! Granted, when you are digging holes for latrines, and sleeping in tents, it might get a little confusing! However, the boundaries drawn, are drawn! Religion does NOT get to play a Part! NO MATTER WHAT YOUR BRAIN DEAD CLERIC TELLS YOU! Please, SHOOT HIM FIRST! There, rational thought! The entire notion of Kurdistan is RELIGIOUS! The reality is POLITICAL! As I tried to point out, if all the Catholics(Of which I am) decided that FORMER Catholic Countries should be the Boundaries of CatholicVille, WE WOULD BE ANETHEMA TOO! Adapt, and learn to get along Kurds. Or say goodbye to this World! Stupidity is proven by Darwin to be a very weak Survival Trait! Not a Threat, just GOOD FRIENDLY FREE ADVICE! Idiots-Even if you did establish your friggin Country, YOUR LANDLOCKED!-Good luck FLYING your Oil out! Maybe Darwin was right?!
10/14/2007 2:43:09 AM Recommend (1)
See, that part of the world is a tinderbox and, that is why events there often have unintended consequences. Even the Israelis, who probably have the best intelligence operation and definitely the best equipped army in the region has learned the hard way that long term occupations in that neighborhood are like dying the death of a thousand cuts.
10/14/2007 1:44:25 AM Recommend (1)
Why did congress stir up this beehive? Don't we the people have enough unrest in this world? Just who's idea was this one? Pelosi? The new sheriff in town. Well Nancy I think you are way off track! This idea of taking care of jaywalkers while your citizens are being killed is a little foolish. God forbid things might be going a little better in the cesspool called Iraq. But then it is just another busy day in the cesspool we call congress!! Just between us Nancy you don't have to waste americas time trying to prove Bush flubbed up we all ready knew it but honey you are at the top of the list too! What a wonderful way to show you support the troops get s few more killed!
10/14/2007 1:41:52 AM Recommend (1)
The Bush regime could piss off and alienate a rock. Turkey will gobble up the Kurds by Thanksgiving and Bush will have a second front in his war. To make matters worse, the Iraqis will be in control of Basra so our troops will may have no convenient routes for supply and evacuation.
10/14/2007 1:25:18 AM Recommend (1)
Hey, people, didn't you read that the Turkish press is hammering the leadership? Don't you think the Turks monitor what is going on in America? While I personally rank the Armenian slaughter right up there, the Armenian resolution just ticked off a bunch of people in a democracy that has been our NATO ally forever, has been stiffed by the EU for some reason even though they were NATO's pointy end for a long, scary time, boy, if that was MY country and I'd been jerked around like that, I'd be primed to touch off at something as pointless as the resolution the Foreign Affairs maroons passed the other day. Call the Administration incompetent, fine, it seems nobody in America can figure out the Middle East. But the simple fact is that the collective IQ of Congress and its Democrat leaders is not even to the low level of the Bush house. So until you yappers can come up with something smarter than what is being done, please, shut the heck up!
10/14/2007 1:19:34 AM Recommend (3)
This will be another note in a long series of screw up after screw up by an inept administration. I guess the next president will have to to fix this one too, as long as it's not a RepubliCON because they can't fix anything.
10/14/2007 12:56:33 AM
Why don't we just tell Turkey that any incursion into the Iraqi Kurd area will be consider an incursion on the USA. We have the best ally in Israel and we can use the Israeli bases or even the Jordanian bases to deliver our staff to Iraq. We can save the billions of dollars we give to Turkey in cash and military equipment every year.
10/14/2007 12:56:09 AM Recommend (3)
For all those who rail about the poor treatment the Kurds receive and how they deserve our sympathy,what about the Kurdish treatment of the Turcomen? Turcomen - indigenous Iraqis descended from the Seljuk Turks who settled in Iraq during the end of the Abbassid period.
10/14/2007 12:54:24 AM Recommend (4)
..1st..Operation Michel; 2nd the ("Hundred Days" offensive) We were dancing a macabre dance as our nerves just vibrated to the thousands of shells and machine gun bullets...whizzing over. I felt if I hade put my finger up. I should have touched a celling of sound...
10/14/2007 12:48:41 AM
U.S. URGES RESTRAINT BY TURKEY... rice implores as the headlines read. so, where was this RESTRAINT BY THE UNITED STATES WHEN THE ENTIRE />>> WORLD <<< ASKED FOR US TO DO SO???? hey rice? blow it our your butt. the u.s. doesn't have anymore credibility thanks to you and your cheerleading fool of a boss. go find another cause, miss ricecakes.
10/14/2007 12:32:46 AM Recommend (5)
Who better to preach restraint? Perhaps, we could also give them a moral lesson about prison conditions while we're at it. When one has a lot of moral capital, it's good to share. By golly, it's the Christian thing to do!
10/14/2007 12:26:50 AM Recommend (6)
Now people are starting to see the nutcracker I was talking about waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day when Bush decided to be the comander guy and sit us in an untenable situation. Me I still like the Kurds and trust them far more then any other country in the region barring Israel,and I don't trust them much either but since their buts are in ther grinder I don't see them stabbing us in the back. well any further then needed to keep us their ally. Have fun Rat Bro, WW III ain't to far distant now, anyway people realizing that we're in the beginning stages of WW III or actually just a further continuation of WW I, depending on your point of view and knowledge of history. Btw way I think our former friend is now using jaxas as a tag. Cheers and I am off to zzzzzzzzzzzzzz's land.
10/14/2007 12:09:12 AM Recommend (2)
The bottom line is: Genocide is genocide in any form, reason and administration. I'm not sure how much money is in play. I have not reduce my morals to allow any and all verses be the spoken words.
10/13/2007 11:39:26 PM Recommend (1)
We, Americains are unigue at chess. We give the ability towards interpertation of others self will. Stealth is the hippest clothing we possess. I think this camoflauge of events need some different flavor.
10/13/2007 11:32:45 PM
This is downright hypocritical coming from an administration that does not know the meaning of the word 'restraint'.
And to add more to the hypocrisy, Condi tell Kremlin that she is worried that the Kremlin is concentrating too much power to Putin. I guess she forgot the amount of power the idiot crackhead has done for himself in the WH.
The admin's new motto: HYPOCRITES R' US!
10/13/2007 11:24:16 PM Recommend (8)
Quote: Bagis's response: "The good news, we have found your stolen weapons; the bad news, they're killing us."
He added, "And while all this is going on, all of a sudden this resolution comes along with this ally you consider as your most important strategic partner in the world, your strong NATO ally -- insulting you with something that is claimed to have happened back in 1915. Unquote.
America has its own agendas and cannot be compromised. America will betray any country as and when is required. Saddam Hussein was a good example. An ally of America is only a temporary relationship, America does not believe in a lifetime marriage with any country. Our foreign policy can be divorced at anytime and at our own free will. Today, Saudi Arabia is our ally, tomorrow when the oil is depleted totally, Saudi Arabia may become our enemy. Our foreign is always like this and it will always be like this; temporary and advantages to USa.
10/13/2007 10:37:20 PM Recommend (4)
Seriously now, We do need to realize that the Kurds have dealings with the Iranian Quds, and their fellow Kurds in Iran. A Military intervention by Turkish Troops could easily lead to a three country conflict across most of the land the Kurdish sect is located. This could easily become problematic of a Gigantic proportion! I believe it might be far better for the US to reach out and "Touch" some problem children in Iraqi Kurdistan! What is also worth reiterating, is the PKK supposedly moved back into Turkey, to take it to them-Sort of-"Who's STARTING THIS?"
10/13/2007 10:21:51 PM Recommend (1)
Mr. Bagis-Last I heard they were hiding under Ahmadinejad's Bed in Tehran!
10/13/2007 10:06:16 PM Recommend (1)
This is some type of bizarro world. Iraq takes no hostile actions against us, and we feel we are justified in our invasion. Militants from Iraq kill Turks daily, and we feel the Turks should not take military action.
10/13/2007 9:43:53 PM Recommend (8)
Raids on Kurdish Rebels in Iraq Not Imminent,
Officials Indicate, as Parliament Is Asked to Act
Turkey Requests Authority to Attack
By Molly Moore
ISTANBUL, Oct. 15 -- The Turkish government asked parliament Monday for a one-year authorization to conduct military operations in northern Iraq to attack Kurdish separatist guerrillas, but senior government officials attempted to play down the prospects of an immediate attack.
"It is impossible to speak for certain on a possible cross-border operation if the parliament approves it," Gen. Ergin Saygun, deputy chief of the Turkish General Staff, told reporters, according to the Anatolian news agency. "We will look at the season and go over our needs before launching a military operation."
Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said that "our hope is that we will not have to use this motion." But he added: "The reality that everyone knows is that this terrorist organization, which has bases in the north of Iraq, is attacking the territorial integrity of Turkey and its citizens."The motion targets PKK alone and is designed to prevent further bloodshed," Cicek said after a Council of Ministers meeting Monday, using the Kurdish-language initials of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. "We have always respected the sovereignty of Iraq, which is a friendly and brotherly country to us." The parliament is widely expected to approve the authorization later this week.
Oil prices soared to a new high of just over $86 a barrel on Monday, largely on fears that Turkish military action could disrupt supplies as winter nears, industry analysts said.
The Turkish government sought the legislative authorization following a spate of attacks that have killed 30 soldiers, police officers and civilians in the past two weeks. There is also growing frustration that the United States and Iraq have done little to curb separatist activities in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.
PKK rebels seeking a Kurdish state have waged a guerrilla war against Turkey for the past 23 years. During the 1990s, Turkey conducted numerous incursions into northern Iraq, but since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Bush administration has pressured Turkey not to cross the border.
U.S. authorities have urged Turkey to use restraint in military operations, fearful of igniting one of the few relatively stable regions in Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he has scheduled an emergency meeting Tuesday with top aides to discuss the border problems and is prepared to meet with Turkish officials to calm the crisis. "We are fully confident that our friends in the Turkish government are committed, just as it is our wish, to bolstering and developing our bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect, nonintervention in the other's internal affairs and not allowing the harmful use of each other's territory," Maliki said in a statement.
The tension over Turkey-Iraq border issues has been compounded by a U.S. House committee's approval last week of a resolution labeling as genocide the deaths and disappearances of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians during the last years of the Ottoman Empire.
The measure enraged Turkish officials, who argue that the killings were the result of a brutal war that also took the lives of many Ottoman Turks.
PKK THREATENS TO DESTROY
IRAQI OIL PIPELINES AND TANKER TRUCKS
In the face of Turkish threats of a cross-border operation into northern
Iraq, a leader of the PKK, Abdul al-Rahman Chadarchi, threatened to attack
Iraqi oil pipelines that pass through Kurdistan to the Turkish port city
of Ceyhan (al-Sharq al-Awsat, October 21). Additionally, the militant leader
warned that the PKK was considering attacking tanker trucks bringing Iraqi
oil into Turkish territory.
The leader, who provided the information to an al-Sharq al-Awsat journalist by phone from the safety of the Qandil Mountains, explained that Iraqi oil brings "huge amounts of money to Turkey" and that the "military regime in the country [Turkey] will use this to develop its war machine to utilize it against the Kurdish people in Turkish Kurdistan." Chadarchi's threat comes shortly after a similar one issued by PKK leader Murat Karayilan, who told Firat News Agency that if Turkish forces were to attack its camps in northern Iraq, the PKK might retaliate against oil pipelines.
Changes Battlefield Tactics
to Force Turkey into Negotiations
Recent attacks by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) suggest that the organization is adopting new battlefield tactics in order to increase the psychological pressure on Turkey in the hope of forcing the Turkish authorities to enter into peace negotiations.
Since it resumed its armed struggle in June 2004, the PKK has been pursuing a two-front strategy: an urban bombing campaign in western Turkey and a rural insurgency in the mountainous southeast of the country.
During its first armed campaign, which lasted from 1984 to 1999, the PKK initially sought to control large swathes of territory in southeast Turkey, particularly at night. During the early 1990s, it also staged several large-scale attacks on military outposts. However, the practice was abandoned after the Turkish military began to inflict heavy casualties through the use of Cobra attack helicopters in hot pursuit operations. Gradually, through a combination of a scorched earth policy, aggressive search-and-destroy patrols and the development of a cadre of battle-hardened NCOs, the Turkish security forces gained the initiative. By the time that the PKK announced it was abandoning the armed struggle in 1999, it had already effectively been defeated on the battlefield, while political pressure had forced Syria, its main state sponsor, to withdraw its support.
The decision to return to violence in June 2004 was taken despite the opposition of many PKK field commanders, who argued that the organization was too weak militarily, lacked a state sponsor and had only around 4,000 militants under arms, which was down from a peak of around 8,000 in the early 1990s. When it resumed its insurgency, the PKK tacitly acknowledged its relative weakness through its choice of battlefield tactics. It reduced the average size of its active field units to around six to eight militants, compared to 15-20 in the 1990s, and avoided direct confrontations with the Turkish military. Although it staged small ambushes, it concentrated primarily on the use of mines, snipers and long-range strafing of military outposts, after which its units rapidly withdrew before the Turkish military could call up land reinforcements and air support.
The first sign of a change came in the October 7 ambush of a Turkish commando unit in the Gabar mountains in which 13 Turkish soldiers were killed (Eurasia Daily Monitor, October 10). Not only was it the highest Turkish death toll in more than a decade, but the ambush appears to have been laid by 45-50 PKK militants, the largest concentration of PKK forces in a single attack since the resumption of the armed campaign in June 2004.
At 12:20 AM on October 21, an estimated 150-200 militants attacked a 50-strong infantry battalion in a military outpost close to the village of Daglica, approximately five kilometers from Turkey's border with Iraq. The attack appears to have been planned well in advance (Eurasia Daily Monitor, October 22). Local villagers reported that first electricity and telephone lines were cut and then the only bridge to the outpost was blown up (Dogan Haber Ajansi, October 23). A total of 12 soldiers were killed and 17 wounded. One of the wounded later told Sabah daily newspaper that they were able to see the PKK militants taking up positions through night-vision binoculars and thermal imaging devices, while listening to their wireless communications. When the PKK attacked, they overran the outpost before reinforcements could arrive (Sabah, October 23). They then withdrew under fire into northern Iraq, taking with them eight Turkish soldiers as prisoners. On October 23, the PKK released photographs of the soldiers in captivity (Firat News Agency, October 23).
The PKK's decision to incur the operational burden of escorting the prisoners through difficult mountain terrain while under fire appears to indicate that it was part of a preconceived plan. It was the first time that the organization had seized a group of prisoners since the mid-1990s, and at the time they subsequently exploited them for propaganda purposes. It was only after a Turkish parliamentary delegation led by members of the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) traveled to northern Iraq to negotiate with the PKK that the prisoners were finally released. Members of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), which is widely believed to be linked to the PKK, have already offered to negotiate the release of the eight soldiers seized on October 21 (NTV, CNNTurk, October 22).
The Turkish military claimed to have killed 32 PKK militants in hot pursuit operations following the attack on Daglica (NTV, CNNTurk, October 21). The claim, however, has been denied by the PKK and the Turkish authorities have yet to produce any corpses of slain PKK militants (Vatan, October 23). Nevertheless, given their experience in the 1990s, the PKK high command would have known that the attack of October 21 carried the risk of high casualties. It appears that they calculated that the cost would be more than offset by the propaganda benefits and the psychological impact on the Turkish public not only of the high death toll but also of the capture of the eight soldiers. The Turkish media has already begun publishing photographs of the prisoners' traumatized relatives (Sabah, NTV, October 23).
The seizure of the eight soldiers also appears to be part of a wider strategy of trying to force the Turkish authorities into negotiations. The staging of the attack on October 21, just days after the Turkish parliament approved a motion authorizing the deployment of Turkish troops in a cross-border operation against the PKK's presence in northern Iraq, seems to have been designed to try to provoke Turkey to threaten an incursion in the hopes that the international community would intervene and argue that a permanent solution to PKK violence could only come through the opening of negotiations.
Gareth Jenkins is a writer and journalist based in Istanbul, who has written on Turkey for the past 20 years.
Erdogan to press Olmert to give up supporting Iraqi Kurds
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will bring the
issue of Israeli experts' training of military forces in the autonomous
Kurdish region of northern Iraq to the agenda in his talks with his Israeli
counterpart, Ehud Olmert, scheduled to take place today in the British
A spokesperson for Olmert, who arrived in Paris on Sunday, announced on Monday that he will meet with Erdogan today in London. Erdogan departed yesterday from Ankara for London for an official visit during which he will also have talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Although Olmert's spokesperson said in Paris that talks between the Israeli and Turkish leaders would focus on Iran's nuclear ambitions and Israeli-Palestinian peace moves, a senior Turkish governmental official, speaking with Today's Zaman on Monday on condition of anonymity, said Erdogan was carrying Turkish intelligence reports concerning Israeli activity in northern Iraq -- where Israeli experts have been training Iraqi Kurdish military forces -- to London. He will urge Olmert to put an end to these activities, at a time when Turkey intends to launch a military operation into northern Iraq to tackle the presence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) there.
In November 2006, Pulitzer Prize-winning, leading American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that the PKK's Iranian offshoot, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), which has been behind a string of deadly attacks on security forces in northwestern Iran in recent months, received support from the US as well as Israel, which fears Iran's nuclear ambitions.
So let me get this straight: our "great friend and only true democracy" in the region, Israel, has been providing military training to the PKK? And according to Seymour Hersh's November 2006 article, the US has also been supporting this organization, which is on its own terrorist watch list?
Attacks by the PKK have also happened in Northwestern Iran in recent months, but Turkey seems to have born the brunt of them, and is now threatening to invade Iraq. If the thought by US and Israeli tacticians was that these attacks would destabilize Iran, it was a complete failure in judgment. Welcome to the wild, wacky world of unintended consequences, courtesy of both this administration and that of Israel.
Posted Oct 23, 2007 09:14 AM PST www.whatreallyhappened.com/
PKK STAGES ANOTHER DEADLY ATTACK NEAR IRAQ’S BORDER WITH
At 12:10 am Sunday, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) staged its second attack in two weeks against a Turkish battalion stationed four kilometers off the Iraqi border, killing at least 12 soldiers and wounding 16. The incident has brought the Turkish government another step closer to staging an incursion into Northern Iraq to pursue the PKK rebels where they are hiding.
During a late-night televised press conference, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was cautious about any imminent incursion into Northern Iraq, stating that when reasons for military options arise, Turkey will take action without hesitation. “We are ready to pay the price for a military operation. But the military option has not arisen yet,” he said soon after the end of an emergency terror summit chaired by President Abdullah Gul on Sunday night. Top commanders and some cabinet members also attended.
According to a statement released after the two and a half-hour-long meeting, “While respecting Iraq’s territorial sovereignty, Turkey is ready to pay any price it can to stop the PKK terror [stemming from Northern Iraq] within the boundaries of the rule of law.”
Urging the nation to follow common sense while simultaneously stressing Turkey’s resolve in the fight against terror, Prime Minister Erdogan hinted that Turkey would wait few days more before taking any military action. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had advocated this course of action during a recent telephone conversation.
The latest casualties occurred when Kurdish rebels killed 12 Turkish soldiers and wounded 16 when they ambushed an infantry battalion located in the Daglica region of Hakkari province’s Yuksekova township, around four kilometers off the Iraqi border. They also blew up the Avasin bridge.
Some 32 rebels have been killed during the clashes, according to a Turkish General Staff statement released on Sunday. Turkish security forces have pursued the insurgents in 63 separate locations with heavy fire supported by armed helicopters.
Turkish security teams have been staging hot-pursuit operations against the PKK rebels inside Northern Iraq in a 10-15 kilometer zone, according to Jamestown sources. Turkish forces have reportedly been using heavy guns, including 155 mortars, to shell PKK positions inside Iraq.
Shortly after Sunday’s attack in Hakkari province, a wedding convoy tripped a landmine in Daglica, near the initial attack. The subsequent explosion wounded 12 people and is believed to have been the work of PKK rebels.
More PKK deadly attacks came after October 17, when Turkey's parliament authorized the government to stage cross-border operations into Northern Iraq. The PKK attack also came 15 days after a deadly attack on October 7 that killed 12 Turkish soldiers.
Also on Sunday, a controversial referendum about popular elections for the presidency passed with 69% of the Turkish people voting “yes.”
The Turkish government’s latest decision not to stage a cross-border operation imminently came despite mounting pressure from both the public and the opposition parties to immediately enter into Northern Iraq.
Thousands of Turks have staged demonstrations in various cities across the country including Izmir, Istanbul, and Ankara, denouncing terror while urging a military incursion.
However, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has displayed restraint, so far avoiding an all-out attack inside Iraq because it fears that it will not only isolate Turkey, but also put Ankara under international pressure to sit at a negotiating table with the PKK.
In another sign of restraint, Turkish Minister of National Defense Vecdi Gonul told reporters on Sunday, October 21 in Kyiv, where he was attending a meeting of southeastern European countries, that Turkey intends to pursue Kurdish rebels in Iraq, although plans for military operations are not being hastily prepared.
Despite the danger that Turkey is inching closer to a military operation inside Iraq, Ankara seeks collaboration with the United States before taking any such action. Prime Minister Erdogan said that Turkey plans to raise the issue when he meets with President George W. Bush on November 5. “If we do not get a response from Bush, then we will implement our own road map,” Erdogan warned (News channel 24, October 20).
The possibility of the full U.S. House voting for the Armenian genocide designation -- although more and more legislators are reversing their position following pressure from Turkey and the Bush administration -- has further fueled Turkish fury over the PKK.
“If the bill does not pass the full U.S. House it is possible that President Bush may ask Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan not to stage a cross-border operation. But still we [Turkey] expect the U.S. and the Iraqi government to take concrete steps toward ending the PKK existence in Northern Iraq. Those measures include extradition of senior leaders of the terrorist organization [PKK] as well as disarming them,” retired general Armagan Kuloglu told Jamestown.
The economic cost of terror, according to Government Spokesperson Cemil Cicek, is set to be around $300 billion (Cumhuriyet, October 16).
In a related development, increased PKK violence has prompted calls for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to change its concept in the fight against terror.
On Sunday Muhsin Yazicioglu, chairman of the Grand Unity Party (BBP), urged the TSK to adopt a strategy similar to that of the PKK rebels in order to fight terror effectively (Anka, October 21).
KIWI 23 Oct 2007
The latest attack by militants of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) seems to be an attempt to provoke Turkey into trying to stage a cross-border military strike into northern Iraq in the apparent hope of damaging relations between Turkey and its allies and ultimately internationalizing the PKK’s long-running insurgency.
In the early hours of October 21, an estimated 150-200 PKK militants attacked a Turkish military outpost, manned by an infantry battalion, close to the village of Daglica about five kilometers (three miles) from Turkey’s border with Iraq. Turkish military sources said that the PKK militants had infiltrated from northern Iraq, blown up a bridge to prevent reinforcements arriving by road, and taken up positions around the outpost. A small group of PKK militants strafed the outpost to draw fire and force the Turkish soldiers to reveal their location in the darkness. The rest of the PKK assailants then attacked the outpost with grenades, rockets, semi-automatic rifles, and machine guns. A total of 12 soldiers were killed and 16 wounded. The Turkish military responded by calling up Cobra helicopters. In clashes that continued throughout the night and deep into the morning the Turkish military announced that its forces had killed 32 militants and shelled PKK positions across the border in Iraq. Sources close to the PKK have published the names of seven of eight Turkish soldiers they say that were captured during the operation. The Turkish authorities initially denied the claim, although on October 22 they belatedly admitted that eight of their soldiers were missing (Milliyet, Hurriyet, Vatan, Sabah, Radikal, NTV, CNNTurk, Anadolu Ajans, October 22).
The attack was the largest staged by the PKK since the early 1990s. During the PKK’s first insurgency, which lasted from 1984 to 1999, the organization occasionally launched mass attacks involving up to 500 militants in attempts to overrun military outposts. But heavy losses, particularly as the result of the deployment of Turkish Cobra helicopters in hot pursuit operations, resulted in the PKK shifting its attention to smaller-scale attacks.
Since returning to violence in June 2004, members of the organization’s military wing, the People’s Defense Force (HPG), have usually operated in small units of 6-8 militants. However, in recent weeks the PKK has started to launch mass attacks in the apparent hope of inflicting sufficient casualties to provoke Turkey into launching an incursion into northern Iraq. On October 7 around 50 PKK militants staged an ambush in which they killed 13 Turkish soldiers (see EDM, October 10).
The attack of October 21 occurred four days after the Turkish parliament passed a motion authorizing the deployment of Turkish troops in a military operation against the PKK’s camps in northern Iraq. The attack was clearly carefully planned and prepared well in advance, perhaps even before the parliamentary motion. However, there is no doubt that the PKK must have known that, if the attack was successful, public pressure on the Turkish government would be so intense as to leave it with little choice but to utilize the authority granted to it by parliament. Yet the PKK leadership did not call off the attack. This is in stark contrast to the months leading up to the July 22 parliamentary election, when the fear that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would respond to populist pressure and order an incursion into northern Iraq led to the PKK scaling back its attacks inside Turkey.
The PKK has not publicly explained why it is attempting to provoke Turkey
into a cross-border operation. However, Turkish analysts have speculated
that it is hoping that the international community will intervene to curb
any military operation before it has had the opportunity to inflict much
damage. This would not only humiliate the Turkish government and military
but, so the
reasoning goes, could increase international pressure on Turkey to sit down at the negotiating table with the PKK (NTV, October 21).
The PKK appears to have succeeded in its initial aim. On the evening of October 21, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan implied that Turkey would be prepared to postpone a cross-border operation to allow the United States a few days in which to try to find a solution (NTV, CNNTurk, October 21). But it is likely to be only a temporary respite.
The attack of October 21 triggered unprecedented expressions of public
outrage. Television stations cancelled entertainment programs, such as
music and game shows, scheduled for that evening. The Turkish media reported
spontaneous mass protests across the entire country, including in the cities
of Trabzon, Afyon, Izmir, Eskisehir, Kocaeli, Mugla, Nigde, Edirne, Zonguldak,
Karabuk, Aksaray, Hatay, and Mersin (Milliyet, Hurriyet, Radikal, October
21). More worryingly, in Bursa a mob of 1,000 people attacked the local
office of the Democratic Society Party (DTP), which is widely believed
to have close links with the PKK and was the only political party to vote
against the parliamentary motion authorizing a cross-border operation.
The police prevented similar attacks on DTP offices in the cities of Erzurum,
Elazig, and Istanbul. In the southeastern city of Malatya, nine
youths narrowly escaped being lynched after one was reportedly overheard praising the PKK (Vatan, Hurriyet, Zaman, October 22).
Although a handful of newspaper columnists, such as Ihsan Dagi of the Islamist daily Today’s Zaman, have warned against falling into the PKK’s trap by launching a cross- border operation (Today’s Zaman, October 22), none has been able to suggest an alternative course of action. Even those who are opposed to a cross-border operation believe that some kind of military action is now inevitable. The only questions are what, when and how. The nationalist daily Hurriyet even quotes unnamed senior military sources as saying that, in effect; a military operation has already begun, in that logistics and troops are now being deployed ready to cross the border (Hurriyet, October 22).
However, the general expectation is that, if and when it comes, military action is likely to involve limited operation against PKK positions -- including helicopter-borne commando raids and the bombing of PKK camps by F-16 -- rather than a full-scale invasion.
U.S. Officials Upbraid Kurds for Failing to Halt Guerrillas
By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. and SABRINA TAVERNISE
BAGHDAD, Oct. 23 — In unusual criticism, United States officials on Tuesday upbraided Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq for failing to curb the Kurdish guerrillas who operate unchecked in the autonomous region and use it as a safe haven for ambushes inside Turkey.
Those raids, which the Turkish authorities say have killed at least 42 people in the past month, have led the Turks to threaten an invasion into Iraq. Turkish armored vehicles continued to rumble into position on Tuesday along the mountainous border.
Until now, American officials have focused their public comments on delicately warning the Turks not to invade Iraq. But that changed on Tuesday when the State Department’s senior Iraq adviser, David M. Satterfield, laid some blame at the door of Kurdish leaders, who have been the staunchest supporters of the American military occupation of Iraq.
“We are not pleased with the lack of action,” Mr. Satterfield told reporters in Washington. He did not call on Kurdish leaders to take direct military action against the guerrilla group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. But he said they must take responsibility for dealing with the guerrilla threat.
While the willingness of Kurdish leaders to crack down on fellow Kurds remained unclear, Iraqi leaders in Baghdad promised to shut down the offices of the guerrilla group, known as the P.K.K. The Iraqi central government, however, has little power over the affairs of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki condemned the P.K.K. as a “bad terrorist organization” and vowed to do whatever was necessary to curb attacks. “We have made a decision to shut down their offices and not allow them to operate in Iraq territory,” he said.
That “is a start,” a State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, said in Washington.
At the same time, the Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, himself a powerful Kurdish politician, promised his Turkish counterpart at a meeting in Baghdad that Iraqi officials would act to sharply limit the guerrillas’ movements and their ability to obtain weapons, food and supplies.
“The Iraqi government will actively help Turkey overcome this menace,” Mr. Zebari said after meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, Ali Babacan.
It was not clear whether Mr. Maliki’s pledge to shut down the P.K.K. was related to a list of political demands Mr. Babacan gave to the Iraqi government to avert Turkish military action. According to the state-run Anatolian News Agency, Turkey asked Iraq to shut down hide-outs of Kurdish militants, to extradite the group’s leaders and to restrict their movement by preventing logistical support from reaching them.
Turkey has made demands before, but not in such detail or as part of a political negotiation, and Kurdish leaders have always dismissed them as unrealistic. The Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, who is also a Kurd, said Sunday that the Kurdish regional government would not hand over any Kurd to Turkey — “even a Kurdish cat” — and that Turkey’s demand for extradition of guerrilla leaders was unattainable.
Turkish leaders continued to send a double message on Tuesday, with Turkish officials visiting two countries and pressing the threat of military action but promising to first exhaust diplomatic efforts.
Mr. Babacan, the first Turkish minister to visit Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, was careful after his meeting with Mr. Zebari to allow room for a diplomatic solution.
The “military option is a tool,” he told reporters, adding that “one tool is on the table” following the Turkish Parliament’s vote to authorize military action. But he emphasized that “it doesn’t mean on the other hand that we are going to give up the other tools.”
Arriving back in Ankara, Mr. Babacan said he tried to make clear in Baghdad that Turkey would accept only a solution that resolved the P.K.K. threat once and for all.
“We emphasized in every meeting that our objective was not to kill the mosquito, but to dry the quicksand,” he said at a news conference at the airport.
While Mr. Zebari promised that a senior Iraqi delegation would quickly be dispatched to Ankara, Mr. Babacan said the Iraqi officials should not even get on the plane unless they were bearing “tangible suggestions” for solving the crisis.
On a visit to London, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, renewed warnings that Turkey would take military action against the Kurdish guerrilla bases if diplomatic efforts to restrain the rebels fail.
“We cannot wait forever” for Iraq’s government to take action, Mr. Erdogan said at a news conference with Britain’s prime minister, Gordon Brown. “We have to make our own decision.”
In Turkey, tens of thousands of people gathered for funerals of the 12 Turkish soldiers killed by P.K.K. forces on Sunday. In the western city of Aydin, about 50,000 people turned out, according to the Anatolian agency. Eight soldiers captured Sunday are still being held by the P.K.K., which released video of them on Tuesday.
Military operations continued near the Turkish border with Iraq. One Turkish newspaper reported that Turkish helicopters fired at targets near the border, while ground troops shelled several villages in northern Iraq.
Richard A. Oppel Jr. reported from Baghdad, and Sabrina Tavernise from Sulaimaniya, Iraq. Reporting was contributed by Sebnem Arsu from Istanbul, Alissa J. Rubin and Ahmad Fadam from Baghdad, and John F. Burns from London.
AKP GOVERNMENT CAUGHT BETWEEN A ROCK
AND A HARD PLACE ON RESPONSE TO PKK ATTACK
By Gareth Jenkins
Hundreds of thousands of Turks took to the streets in towns and cities across the country yesterday (October 23) to protest the killing of 12 soldiers in an attack by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on October 21 (see EDM, October 22). They also called for a military strike against the organization’s headquarters in the Qandil Mountains of northern Iraq. The continuing public pressure has now made it almost impossible for Turkish government not to be seen to taking decisive measures against the PKK. Yet any course of action will come with a price.
There is little doubt that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s personal and political instincts are in favor of a military operation into northern Iraq. Although his Islamist sentiments -- particularly his youthful radicalism -- tend to receive more publicity, Erdogan is also a committed Turkish nationalist. Yet, despite his landslide election victory on July 22, Erdogan is also aware that, when it occurs, the main challenge to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will come from the nationalist right of the political spectrum.
Although Turkish secularists accuse the AKP of having long-term plans to erode the principle of secularism enshrined in the current Turkish constitution, such accusations tend to resonate more with Turkey’s elite than with the masses who comprise the AKP’s grassroots support, not least because the majority of them are already very religious. However, it is also among the lower-income groups that nationalist feelings tend to be the strongest.
The most emotional of the dozens of public protests yesterday were at the funerals of the 12 soldiers slain in the October 21 attack. Services were held in 11 of Turkey’s 81 provinces. Significantly, as was the case with the 13 Turkish commandos killed in a PKK ambush on October 7, all of the soldiers who were buried yesterday came from lower-middle class or working-class backgrounds. To put it another way, the soldiers who are dying are coming from the AKP’s core constituency.
The last 18 months had already witnessed the rise of a bruised and increasingly strident nationalism in Turkey. It had undoubtedly been exacerbated by the public sense of rejection by the EU and, more recently, by what was widely regarded as the national humiliation of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee’s approval of a motion describing the killing of Ottoman Armenians as genocide. But its main focus had been the continuing death toll exacted by the PKK, which is operating out of northern Iraq. To make matters worse, the repeated warnings to Ankara by Washington not to launch a military operation against the PKK’s camps, meant that most of the Turkish population regarded the organization as operating at least under the de facto protection of the United States.
The recent PKK attacks have sparked a further spike in nationalist sentiment. In addition to the public protests, the streets of Turkey are now festooned with Turkish flags, hung not only between lampposts by local authorities but also from a large proportion of residential apartments. Flag manufacturers estimate that, in a nation of approximately 73 million, they have sold around 15 million Turkish flags since October 21 (Milliyet, Radikal, October 24).
But, regardless of the international repercussions, the AKP also faces a possible backlash within its own ranks if decides to launch a cross-border military operation. One of the most remarkable aspects of its July 22 election triumph was that the AKP appeared to have bridged the nationalist divide in Turkey. Even though leading figures such as Erdogan are known to be Turkish nationalists, the AKP nevertheless emerged as the largest party in the predominantly Kurdish southeast of the country. The main reasons appear to have been the fact that AKP fielded ethnic Kurds as candidates and that it has the image of being a religious party, which plays well in the most conservative region of Turkey. As a result, around 100 of the AKP’s 341 MPs are believed to be of Kurdish origin.
Even if they dislike the PKK as an organization, most of the population of southeast Turkey are opposed to a military incursion into northern Iraq and would prefer a peacefully negotiated settlement, including some form of amnesty for PKK militants. This is partly because they fear that an invasion will ultimately lead to an escalation of violence and partly because almost all have a friend or relative who is, or has been, involved with the PKK.
In addition to military action, the AKP is also under intense pressure to impose economic sanctions on northern Iraq, including closing the border gate at Habur. In the wake of the October 21 attack, many company owners and heads of business associations have expressed their willingness to sacrifice their profits and curtail their economic ties with northern Iraq if, by doing so, they are serving the national interest (Hurriyet, Milliyet, October 23). However, their enthusiasm is not shared by the masses of southeastern Turkey; for many of whom trade with northern Iraq represents not extra profits but their livelihood. Mehmet Kaya, chairman of the Board of Commerce and Industry in Diyarbakir, the largest city in southeast Turkey, estimated that transportation alone provided employment for 200,000 people in the region. “The region has a trade volume of $2.5 billion with Iraq,” he said. “About 60 percent of the 300,000 tankers and transportation vehicles work for Iraq. Will 200,000 people sit at home if Habur is closed?” (Referans, October 24).
Unless the AKP responds to the pressure from Turkish nationalists among its grassroots, it risks seeing their support shift to the ultranationalist Nationalist Action Party (MHP). But if it takes military action or imposes economic sanctions on northern Iraq, the AKP risks alienating a sizeable proportion of the population of southeast Turkey and undoing one of its greatest achievements in the election of July 22.
Gespräch mit türkisch-kurdischen
Führern im Nordirak
Die PKK fordert internationale Vermittlung
In einem Gespräch mit der NZZ haben zwei Führer der türkisch-kurdischen Kämpfer der PKK im Nordirak eine internationale Vermittlung in ihrem Kon-flikt mit der Türkei verlangt. Sie stellen ihre Kämpfe mit türkischen Truppen als reine Selbstverteidigung dar.iro. Kandilberge, 26. Oktober
Autonomie, nicht Unabhängigkeit
Der Irak soll PKK-Rebellen ausliefern
Kurdistan's Hope for Talks
By Nechirvan Barzani
When President Bush and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meet today to discuss ongoing conflict between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Turkey, we in the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (KRG) will be listening with hope. We welcome this meeting. The only solution to this decades-old problem lies in diplomacy.
Let me be clear: The KRG is, and will remain, fully prepared to find a long-term solution to this problem. To this end, we propose talks among Ankara, Baghdad, Erbil and Washington. This is a transnational issue, complicated by ethnic ties, and no party can find a solution on its own. We will sit down at any time with anyone who seeks a negotiated, diplomatic resolution.
We must discard the rhetoric of violence and recognize that a military response to the current crisis would be a disaster for everyone except the PKK. We in the Kurdistan region of Iraq would be slowed on our path to peace, democracy and prosperity; the Turkish army would become bogged down in a bloody and unproductive struggle against the PKK outside its borders; the United States and Western allies would become estranged from a vital NATO ally; and the economies and peoples of the region -- particularly Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq -- would suffer.
We have tried to explain to our Turkish friends that we want only peace and cooperation with them. Our region depends heavily on investment and trade with Turkey. The great majority of foreign businesses operating here are Turkish, nearly all of our construction is done by Turkish contractors, we receive much of our electricity from Turkey and well over 75 percent of our imports arrive via Turkey. Why would we provoke Turkey into a military action that would severely damage our economy?
The history of this conflicted part of the world carries a message: Problems such as the PKK cannot be solved through military means. For decades the government of Saddam Hussein tried to liquidate the Kurdish people by violence, at a tremendous price for both sides. We ourselves fought against the PKK in the late 1990s with help from the Turkish military, and 10 years later we again find ourselves at a crisis point. The mountains inside our region and in Turkey have protected the PKK for decades, and there is little reason to believe that new military actions would be any more successful than past attempts. Problems for which military solutions are sought here seem to have a way of never getting resolved.
We have condemned and will continue to condemn the PKK for its unwarranted attacks in Turkey. We insist that its members lay down their arms immediately. We do not allow them to operate freely, contrary to what some have suggested. Turkey, with its substantial military capability, has not been able to eradicate the PKK within its own borders, yet some Turks inexplicably expect us to be successful with far fewer capabilities and resources.
Just as we ask the Turks to seek a peaceful resolution, so must the PKK abandon its failed strategy of armed conflict. Diplomacy and dialogue must be given a chance. With time, patience and stability, we believe that peaceful change can occur. Just 10 years ago the PLO and the IRA were considered terrorist organizations. Today they have begun a process of transformation and are working within the political arena. Can such a transformation take place within the PKK? We cannot be certain. But we do know that military action will only radicalize the situation further, and violence will surely breed more violence.
We want peace along our border with Turkey. We want to cooperate on economic, social and cultural issues. We want to be a good neighbor and to exercise our responsibilities as good neighbors. Our successful efforts in cooperation with Ankara and Baghdad to secure the release of Turkish soldiers demonstrate our sincere desire to find peaceful solutions to the problem. We will continue taking concrete steps to improve the security environment at the border. But the Turkish government needs to overcome its refusal to talk to us as neighbors.
The Kurdistan region is the only part of Iraq where peace and development have prospered since the liberation of 2003, and we are the constitutionally recognized regional government in the area. We have come a long way both economically and politically. But much more work remains. We have chosen to become part of a federal Iraq and will uphold that commitment. We threaten no one as we move toward greater development. We hope that we can extend the hand of friendship to Turkey and work together to find solutions to this crisis that will lead to long-term stability and peaceful relations.
The writer is prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq.
Clouds Over Northern Iraq
By Norman Stone
ANKARA—Condoleezza Rice stepped onto Turkish soil
last week for a short, and surely uncomfortable, visit. The U.S. secre-tary
of state fielded pointed questions about Iraq and the attacks on Turkish
troops just across the border. Many of those questions were no doubt repeated
at yesterday's meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and
President George W. Bush.
Despite assurances from Ms. Rice that Turkey and the U.S. share a "common enemy" in Kurdish militants, the situation boils down to something of a conundrum: What for America is a solution - the Kurds - is for Turkey a terrible problem. In the last few months a terrorist organization, the PKK (it stands for Kurdish Workers' Party) has been killing young Turkish soldiers (reportedly, at times, with American weapons) and has established safe havens just over the Iraqi border.
The PKK is - along with Sendero Lurninoso in Peru, and Basque terrorists in Spain - the last of the Mao-inspired "National Liberation Fronts" that caused mayhem in the developing world. The PKK was founded in 1979 and in the 1980s and 1990s was responsible for 37,000 deaths, most of them Kurdish.
Now the PKK is back, and this time in a much more dangerous form. The attacks in Turkey have been well-organized, and seemingly on the basis of serious intelligence. Ms. Rice landed in a Turkey in uproar - and with an increasingly anti-American citizenry.
Turkey and the U.S. have long been key allies. Adnan Menderes, the first Turkish prime minister to be democratically elected (in 1950), said "whatever America does, is right for us." Menderes opened up the economy and joined NATO. Turkey is a relatively new country, established in 1923 in the rubble of the Ottoman Empire, and foreign models have been very important. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Americans in Turkey have good reason to be pleased.
American hard power is here, in the shape of NATO institutions and the great air base at Incirlik; and the IMF has been called upon to support the Turkish currency. But it is the "soft power" that you cannot miss. The Turks have set up private universities on the American model, far more of them than in Western Europe, and thousands of Turkish students make for the States each year.
So, will the PKK and the troubles in northern Iraq bring this so positive relationship to an end? Probably not. Mr. Erdogan and the Turkish elite understand the value of their alliance with the U.S., and are unlikely to let the mess of Iraq undo it.
The Turks know Iraq very well. In the days of the Ottoman Empire, three disparate provinces had been ruled from Baghdad, which the Turks had taken in 1638. The empire had originally been Balkan-based, looking to Europe. But the long war with Persia sucked the Turks into the Middle East, and the character of the empire changed.
In the 19th Century, following French precepts, the Sultans tried to centralize it, but over Iraq they gave up, and simply did deals with the local powers-that-be, whether the Sunni elite in Baghdad, the Shia (and proto-Iranian) groupings in the south, or various Kurdish tribal chiefs in the mountainous north. One way of controlling them was to set up a "tribal school" in Istanbul, where the sons were educated (they often fought).
One result was that, of all the elements in Iraq, it was the Kurds who were closest to Turkey. After World War I, the British took over Iraq, and there were shadowy ideas of dividing eastern Turkey between Armenian and Kurdish nation-states. The Kurds, on the whole, opted for Turkey, and contributed much to her war of independence.
At the time, they drew up a "National Pact," and the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq were included äs a territorial claim. The British, then occupying Iraq, did not intend to let these oil-rich areas fall into Turkish hands, and manipulated the League of Nations into leaving the Kurdish area in the British-dominated Iraqi colony. They then faced a war of all against all, and their chief expert, Lawrence of Arabia, sagely wondered why it was that the British, with 100,000 men, tanks, aircraft and poison gas, could not control a region that the Turks had run with a native army of 14,000 men, executing 90 men per annum. Then, as now.
The Turks' National Pact had much to be said for it, and when the first Iraq War occurred, then Turkish leader Turgut Özal (himself half-Kurdish) might just have annexed Kurdish northern Iraq, if the first Bush administration had been in a ereative mode, Iraq in the end is just another of those artificial, post-1918 creations, like Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia. Kurds, nomadic tribes for the most part, are settled all over the Middle East, even in Afghanistan, but the Kurdish state is really Turkey; and Istanbul, where (after Black Sea migrants) Kurds are the largest group, is the biggest Kurdish city.
The Istanbul-based Kurds do not vote for a Kurdish nationalist party at all, and follow the Turkish ones, secularist, religious (they like the present government) or mid-dle-of-the-road. Most Kurds in Turkey just want their children to go ahead in the national language - the more so as there is not even a single Kurdish language: There are four, or even seven, depending on how you classify dialects.
However, in the southeast of Turkey there is a huge Kurdish problem. The region is far poorer than anywhere else: Hakkari on the Iraqi border has a tenth of the GDP per head of Istanbul, and there is a terrible demographic problem, of endless raggedy children, little girls of four dragging tiny tots of two across motorways. The tots will in some cases grow up to hate the Turkish state, to join the PKK, and to look at northern Iraq as the future Kurdistan.
And there they will encounter some sympathy. Northern Iraq is uneasily settled as a Kurdish entity, äs the result of a compromise between the chiefs of two tribal federations, Massoud Barzani on the border, Jalal Talabani to the east, and now, formally, president of Iraq. They have fought, in the recent past, but made up their differences in a flood of dollars (which, incidentally, flow back to Turkey, where the doUar and even the euro have been plunging as a result).
Mr. Barzani's own family has a long history of fighting for Kurdistan, and all Turks think that he is playing politics. He does not like the PKK: Let the Turks deal with them. On the other hand, with the PKK out of the picture, he will be the lion of the Kurds, äs Ms father tried (with Soviet help) to be.
Meanwhile, if American-Turkish relations are soured, then so much the better: The Americans in Iraq cannot do without him. There is also huge money to be made out of oil, and out of the smuggling of heroin and hashish, äs 500,000 trucks go back and forth every year through Mr. Barzani's fiefdom.
So he plays his game, allowing the PKK to raid southeastern Turkey, in the expecta-tion that the resulting trouble can only bring him profit. Mr. Bush and Mr. Erodgan should make certain he's wrong.
Mr. Stone is a professor of international relations at Bilkent University in Ankara and author of "World War I: A Short History" (Penguin, 2007).
Mosul Vilayet: a Pathway Out of Mideastern Gridlocks
by Anton Keller *
(url: www.solami.com/zaman.htm ¦ Turkish translation: .../zamant.doc ¦ .../sabah.doc)
Like the white peace dove that welcomed James
Baker and Tarik Aziz to the “last-chance” conference at the Intercontinental
Hotel in Geneva in early 1991, Prime Minister Erdogan orally went out of
his way to assure his guests at the Istanbul Foreign Ministers meeting
of 2-3 November of Turkey’s peaceful and good-neighborly intentions. All
the while reportedly some 200000 battle-ready Turkish troops 1/
are awaiting their marching orders at the Turkish-Iraqi border for taking
out some 3-5000 PKK guerrillas holed up on the Iraqi side of the Candil
At a press conference held in an Iraqi hideout on 26 October, a member of the PKK leadership, Bozan Tekin, is quoted by the correspondant of Switzerland’s top newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung as having declared: “If we are guaranteed that Turkey doesn’t attack us, we’ll immediately lay down our arms.” 3/ All the while Iraq-based PKK and PJAK operations across the borders to Turkey and Iran are reported to have resulted in multiple civilian and military deaths and injuries as well as 8 captured - and meanwhile released - Turkish soldiers.
The US, Iranian and Iraqi foreign ministers seek common ground for achieving their national objectives diplomatically. All the while the plans and the forces for attacking Iran are in place 4/ and Condoleezza Rice lets it be known that she doesn’t want to be photographed together with her Iranian homologue. And that - more than ever - the military option is not only still on the table but accentuated by developments in Pakistan and elsewhere.
To me, these seemingly contradictory and confusing official gesticulations didn’t add up. I thus called on my guru for lost causes. I wanted him to offer some advice on how to stop the war drums in order to be able to listen also to weaker but no less relevant voices of reason. And to come up with ideas which might meet the following minimum objectives:
1. Provide George W. and the current Tricky Dick a chance to repair their image in the world without playing into the hands of the Armageddon adepts who are anyway all for reducing the population to the biblical 144000 which they believe to be an indispensable condition for the Messiah to return (Revelation 7).Atoni, my wise man, was out for a beer. And so, from the archeological layers of my archive, I had to dig up some related past notes of him:
2. Provide Israel the ways and means for secured national existence – with due consideration for the rights and legitimate interests of other, notably Mideastern peoples and states.
3. Identify opportunities for Turkey, Iraq and Iran to reliably keep their national territories from being either attacked or misused by foreign armed forces.
1. Lame-duck politicians, particularly those who cannot be removed from a nuclear trigger, should be assisted in the exercise of their power, not pushed into a corner. The US president has been surrounded by shotgun-toting friendly-fire specialists and other reckless flat-earth apprenti-sorcerers. So far they have not seen it in their interest to brief their president of some Mideastern options which might spare him – and them - from a place in history’s dog house. These include promising ideas and pathways, like those pursued since 1992 by the Mosul Vilayet Council (www.solami.com/rebirth.htm), proposed by Swiss lawmakers (.../nptmotion.htm), and supported by a UN-recognized NGO, the International Committee for European Security and Co-operation (.../ICESC.htm). Corresponding good thoughts, good words and good deeds are pathways on which George W. could still make it to become the next Nobel Price laureate. Thus, in the footsteps of General George Patton – “Give him another headline and he runs another mile!” – the current occupant of the White House could still spring some positive surprises on a profoundly abused community of formally sovereign nations. Conversely, another nice little war in the Middle East would certainly not help his fortunes and be more likely to prove disastrous for both America and the world at large.
2. The concerns of Israel and other countries about Iranian nuclear activities should be taken seriously. But they must not be allowed to serve as pretexts for hidden agendas. In which sense Swiss lawmakers, in a parliamentary motion (.../3103.htm), have proposed to apply the Swiss-American nuclear cooperation agreement of 1955 as a model, and to place the contested Iranian nuclear facilities under Russian sovereignty. Also, the legitimate political aspirations of all good-willed citizens of the region may be decisively advanced by way of some imaginative out-of-the-box initiatives (.../holygrail.htm, .../babylon2.htm, .../gridlock.htm, .../annan.htm, .../cabotlodge.htm, .../ashur.htm).
3. Whoever wants to responsibly participate in the discussion about the background, current conflicts and possible future of the Mosul Vilayet (Northern Iraq: .../mvcindex.htm, ..../rebirth.htm) would not loose his/her time reading J.B.Kelly’s two-pager “Let’s talk Turkey. (argument that northern Iraq should become part of Turkey)” published by the National Review on 17 September 1990, i.e. even before the first Gulf war 5/. The Mosul Vilayet Council MVC (.../a31.htm) was established in 1992 on the historical and legal background thus brought into focus, i.e. the internationally guaranteed minority and private property rights written into Iraq’s fundamental Delaration of 30 May 1932 (.../a3a.htm). It consists of the leaders of all of the Mosul Vilayet’s constitutive Arab, Assyrian, Kurdish, Turkomen and Yezidi communities, parties and tribes. And its aim is to turn this territory into a stable and prosperous core area of the Middle East. To these effects, over a 10-25 year interim period and under the guidance of the powers that be, it will develop the indispensable institutions and political culture for equitable power- and fruit-sharing and for a referendum on its final status: i.e. attachment to Iraq, Turkey, Syria or Iran, or independence. Armed aggressions across international borders would thus be much less likely.
Thus spoke Atoni in his past writings. I managed to speak with him later on. He chided me for wasting my time paying attention to the war drums, US elections, and the politicians’ legendary aversion to unfashionable new/old ideas. He pointed to the growing ARIGIN syndrome (for ARrogance, IGnorance and INcompetence) as the critical mass for failures and disasters. And he thought that policy makers and executioners here and there will continue to reach their own level of incompetence, regardless of my best efforts. He had a point, as all of what I've dug up has long ago been brought to the attention of the powers that be. Yet, all of them, without exception, have become unprepared victims of a technology-driven and failure-producing overflow syndrome, commonly called saturation, made worse by a wide-spread loss of ethical moorings, recklessness and an already metastasic risk-averse compliance mentality. Even internal carriers of relevant information have experienced difficulties getting to the ears and minds of their higher-ups - it's been like throwing things into a black hole, and about "as effective as pissing at a lamp post", as another iconoclast used to say. These power-holders have forgotten that the Berlin Wall fell in our direction. And they are mistaken when they take their increasingly pathetic gesticulations for on-the-level actions. Neither that nor the prospect for further calamities will change any time soon, Atoni speculated. Namely not until our leaders admit - and act in accordance with - the fact that they, too have no monopoly for good ideas. That every participant of a gridlock is part of the problem, but can also turn himself into part of the solution. And that the "right to error" exists only in conjunction with the "obligation to admit error", which is a precondition for correcting and not repeating it.
Finally, tongue-in-cheek, Atoni said while patting me on the shoulders: “You always have what you need and deserve. Your own experience amply shows that things could have turned out differently if you had come to Turkey as just another disguised arms salesman or other hard-nosed facilitator of war. And not as another of those often misunderstood and even despised practicioners of parallel diplomacy [.../edouardbrunner.htm] and underailable peace advocates.” Thus spoke my guru Atoni while waving me off to the next peace conference in Geneva.
* Political commentator, adviser of the Mosul Vilayet Council (http://www.aemam.net), and editor of the cultural, political and economic website www.solami.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Murat Sofuoglu (email@example.com), A. Altay Ünaltay (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Yusuf Ergen (email@example.com) contributed to this piece.
USAK Baskani: Sinir ötesi için tezkere gereksiz (NTVMSNBC,
2/ USAK raporuna göre Kuzey Irak, Cüneyt ÜLSEVER (firstname.lastname@example.org) (http://hurarsiv.hurriyet.com.tr/goster/haber.aspx?id=6734741&p=2, accessed 31.10.07)
3/ Die PKK fordert internationale Vermittlung (NZZ, 27./28.Oktober 2007)
4/ Iran ante portas (www.solami.com/iran.htm)
5/ http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-8859902.html, accessed 31.10.07
The visionary behind Turkey's newly assertive
An eminence grise
SHIMON PERES became the first Israeli president to address the parliament of a Muslim country when he spoke to Turkish deputies on November 13th. “We may be saying different prayers, but our eyes are turned toward the same sky and toward the same vision for the Middle East,” he told an audience that included both the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Turkish one, Abdullah Gul.
For Turkey, this was an historic moment, a chance to reclaim the muscle of its Ottoman forebears as a force in the Middle East. Until a few years ago, Turkey, with its intimate ties with America and Israel, was scorned by its Arab neighbours as a Western stooge. The suppression of public expressions of Muslim piety decreed by Ataturk merely reinforced the canard that Turkey was run by crypto-Jews. But this image has faded since the mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) party came to power five years ago. Even as it pursued the goal of European Union membership, AK started to revive long-dormant ties with the Muslim world. Driving this multi-pronged vision is Ahmet Davutoglu, the self-effacing chief adviser on foreign policy to the prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Disgruntled foreign-ministry officials discount Mr Davutoglu's behind-the-scenes influence, but it is unquestionably huge. Both Mr Erdogan and Mr Gul call him Hodja, or teacher. The former academic drew their attention in the mid-1980s with essays on Islam and the West. Ali Babacan, Turkey's young foreign minister, whom Mr Erdogan is rumoured to be grooming as his successor, takes Mr Davutoglu with him wherever he goes.
Critics accuse Mr Davutoglu of pulling away from the West. Never more so than when Turkey invited Hamas's leader, Khaled Meshal, just as Condoleezza Rice, America's secretary of state, was flying to the Middle East to tell Arab governments not to deal with Hamas after its Palestine election win in January 2006. Many see this as the biggest foreign-policy blunder of the Erdogan era. Sitting in his office in the Ottoman sultan's last palace, Dolmabahce, Mr Davutoglu disagrees. Was it not America that exhorted Hamas to take part in the election, he asks. “So why refuse to recognise its results?” Turkey's aim was to persuade Hamas to recognise Israel. Yet the affair had a toxic effect on Turkey's relations with America and Israel.
Born into a merchant family in the conservative city of Konya, Mr Davutoglu is unabashedly pious. He clawed his way into an elite Istanbul lycée, where he was educated in German. Mr Davutoglu rankled at having to read Western classics before touching Turkish ones. Why were Turkey's ideas imported from the West? Where was the great Turkish thinker?
Mr Davutoglu's desire to transform Turkey into a pivotal country in the region lies at the heart of his vision. Turkey was long perceived, he told a conference, “as having strong muscles, a weak stomach, a troubled heart and a mediocre brain.” Getting away from this means creating strong economic ties across Turkey's borders. Even as the Turks threaten separatist PKK rebels inside northern Iraq, business ties with the Iraqi Kurds flourish. Hawks who called for the expulsion of Armenian migrants when an American congressional committee passed a bill calling the mass slaughter of Ottoman Armenians “genocide” were overruled. At the same time Mr Davutoglu is an avid proponent of Turkey's membership of the EU. “Turkey can be European in Europe and eastern in the East, because we are both,” he insists.
The chaos in Iraq and the escalation of PKK attacks remain Turkey's biggest headaches. Yet here too Turkey is taking the initiative. On November 5th it hosted a conference of Iraq's neighbours that was attended by Ms Rice. A day later Mr Davutoglu flew to Washington with Mr Erdogan. He was one of a handful of Turks present at Mr Erdogan's talks with George Bush. Dealing with Turkish foreign policy means dealing with Mr Davutoglu.
Neue Akzente in Ankaras Kurden-Politik
Abwendung von den Fehlern der Vergangenheit?
Die jüngste Eskalation des Kurden-Konflikts zwingt die Türkei, neue Akzente in ihrer Politik zu setzen. Noch schwankt Ankara zwischen einer Radikalisierung und dem Versuch, sich von Fehlern der Vergangenheit abzuwenden. Der Überfall der PKK vom 21. Oktober hat aber die Lage verändert. Das Kurdenproblem der Türkei wurde zu einer Frage der internationalen Politik. ...
it. Istanbul, 20. November Der türkische Generalstaatsanwalt hat am vergangenen Freitag ein Verfahren eingeleitet mit dem Ziel, die wichtigste prokurdische Partei des Landes zu verbieten. Die Partei der demokratischen Gesellschaft (DTP) habe sich zu einer politischen Kraft verwandelt, die sich gegen die Unteilbarkeit von Staat und Nation richte, erklärte der Generalstaatsanwalt Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya. Er warf der DTP vor, eine Spaltung der Türkei anzustreben und den Terror der illegalen Kurdischen Arbeiterpartei (PKK) zu unterstützen. Er forderte, die DTP ab sofort von weiteren Wahlen auszuschliessen und ein fünfjähriges Verbot der politischen Tätigkeit gegen 221 DTP-Mitglieder zu verhängen. Unter ihnen befinden sich 8 Abgeordnete sowie führende Parteikader. Als es einige Stunden später in der südostanatolischen Stadt Van zu einer Demonstration gegen das beantragte Verbot der Partei kam, griff die Polizei ein. Dutzende von Personen wurden festgenommen.
Unteilbarkeit der Nation
Das Parteiverbot sowie die Bilder der in Panik fliehenden Demonstranten riefen die neunziger Jahre in Erinnerung, als der Staat die Existenz der Kurden in der Türkei noch vehement leugnete. Auf 12 bis 15 Millionen werden die Kurden der Türkei heute geschätzt. Wie viele es genau sind, kann niemand mit Gewissheit sagen, denn die Kurden werden von keiner Volkszählung erfasst. Seitdem auf den Trümmern des multiethnischen Osmanischen Reichs 1923 die Republik gegründet wurde, gilt das Prinzip «Ein Staat, eine Flagge, eine Nation» als offizielle Staatsdoktrin. Das Verfassungsgericht muss nun entscheiden. In den letzten 15 Jahren hat es bereits vier Vorgängerparteien der DTP wegen angeblicher Verstösse gegen die Unteilbarkeit der Nation verboten.
Ein Rückfall in die neunziger Jahre also? Viele sind überzeugt, dass die Tage der Hoffnung nach den Wahlen vom letzten Juli vorüber sind. Die Wahlen hatten den Einzug von 20 DTP-Abgeordneten ins Parlament ermöglicht. Dies wurde als Chance für die Kurden gesehen, ihre Meinung in der Nationalversammlung zum Ausdruck zu bringen. Der Einzug wurde auch als eine Chance für die Türkei betrachtet, ihr grösstes innenpolitisches Problem auf politischem Weg zu lösen.
Der Überfall der PKK vom 21. Oktober hat aber die Lage verändert. Der Überfall war spektakulär und offenbar auch als Spektakel geplant. Eine ungewöhnlich grosse Gruppe von rund 200 PKK-Rebellen griff damals einen Grenzposten der türkischen Armee an. Beim Gefecht kamen 12 Soldaten ums Leben. Weitere 8 wurden als Geiseln in den Nordirak verschleppt. Die Machtdemonstration der Rebellen verfehlte ihre Wirkung nicht. Die türkische Armee machte mobil und drohte mit einem Einmarsch in den Nordirak. Das PKK-Problem der Türkei wurde zu einer Frage der internationalen Politik.
«Gefühl der Niederlage»
In der Türkei hinterliess der Überfall ein «Gefühl der Niederlage», so der Journalist Etyen Mahcupyan der regierungsnahen Tageszeitung «Zaman». Plötzlich habe die Türkei zur Kenntnis nehmen müssen, dass die Kurden, deren Existenz Ankara lange und vehement geleugnet habe, die Agenda des Landes beherrschten. Die Türkei musste ferner feststellen, dass der «Staat trotz den immensen Kosten an Menschen und Finanzmitteln die PKK auch 25 Jahre nach dem Beginn der Rebellion nicht hat ausrotten können».
Zeynel Abidin Kizilyaprak, kurdischer Intellektueller und Vorstandsmitglied
der unabhängigen Kulturstiftung «Kurt Kav», ist davon
überzeugt, dass die PKK zwar weniger stark als zu Beginn der neunziger
Jahre ist, dass sie aber nach wie vor stark genug ist, um die Debatte über
die Kurden-Frage in der Türkei zu bestimmen. Nach der Festnahme des
PKK-Chefs Abdullah Öcalan 1999 habe die PKK einen einseitigen Waffenstillstand
erklärt und ihre bewaffneten Männer in den Nordirak zurückgezogen,
sagt er. «Die Waffenruhe gab der Türkei den trügerischen
Eindruck, dass sich das Terror-Problem von allein gelöst hat.»
Im kurdischen Südosten seien die Reformen jedoch nur in Ansätzen