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Are the Turks and Kurds Now Fighting in Iraq?

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   7 comments

Martin Zehr
News has begun to filter in regarding a Turkish incursion into southern
Kurdistan in violation of the UN Charter and in violation of the sovereignty
of the Kurdish people and the Kurdish nation. It is becoming clearer that
the existing Turkish government is seeking to avoid a domestic political
crisis caused by its own political Islamist ideology in Turkey. What is
still unclear is what exactly is happening. The latest reports from the
Guardian indicate that: "Hundreds of Turkish soldiers crossed into northern
Iraq on Wednesday pursuing Kurdish guerrillas who stage attacks on Turkey
from hideouts there, Turkish security officials and an Iraqi Kurd official
said." http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6689482,00.html

We look to a statement from the Kurdish Regional Government in this regard
so that we do not strain relations, such as they are between the Kurdish
Regional Government and the Government of the military of Turkey.

Today's Zaman had an Op-Ed article by Melih Can that presents the situation
as if Turkey is an innocent victim and proposes a long-term strategy for
such an invasion. Recently, such a proposal was publicly sought by the
Turkish General Staff: "Asked about the probability of a cross-border
military operation into north of Iraq, Gen. Buyukanit [General Yasar
Buyukanit, current Chief of the Turkish General Staff of the Turkish Armed
Forces, since August 28, 2006] said, "every military operation has a
political goal. Political targets are achieved through military means." When
asked if he would lay a written request on the matter, Gen. Buyukanit said,
"I will not present a written request. On April 12, I mentioned what is
needed." Responding to another question, Gen. Buyukanit said there was not
only PKK presence in north of Iraq but also Massoud Barzani is a problem.
"We have told this both to the Turkish people and the world on April 12. The
military forces are ready. The political authorities will assess the
targets. Shall we deal with only PKK or shall we do something about Barzani?
[elected President of the Kurdish Autonomous Region, Massoud Barzani, since
June 2005] What will be the target? This can not be done verbally. We have
to receive written directives," Buyukanit said.

It is clear that Melih Can's article is being presented to represent at
least a wing of the Turkish Islamist-militarists. Further, the rhetoric
appears to be matched up with the deeds of the Turkish military, so this
hardly presents a case of some absent-minded professorial musing. Melih Can
clearly demonstrates in the article that he prefers the boot of the Turkish
military to the coffee of its cafes.
In his article he proposes a political goal for Turkish military
intervention, as if it was in direct response to General Buyukanit public
statements . " The current developments in the region have, in a sense,
forced Turkey into this situation. These developments could be summed up
under the following headings: (1) the start of the US pullout from Iraq and
US support and encouragement of various ethnic and sectarian clashes within
the framework of its "New Middle East Strategy"; (2) an increased perception
of threats aimed at Turkey originating in northern Iraq and the provocation
of Turkey by the PKK-Barzani relationship; (3) the threats against the
future of the Iraqi Turkmens and Kirkuk; (4) the irresponsible and one-sided
stance of the US administration; (5) An increase in activities aimed at
shaking the prestige of Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces; (6) an increase
in activities and force within Iraq coming from other countries in the
region, most notably Iran; and (7) the domestic political situation in
http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=113312 Here
Melih Can appears to be attempting to justify Turkey's aggression, even as
it acts illegally (or prepares to take such actions) against the Kurdish

There are conflicting reports in regards to what is happening, and I by no
means intend to speak as if I were on the spot reporting the news. It is too
serious a situation to deliberately over-dramatize. The stakes for the
Kurdish people is national survival. It is clear that this matter needs to
be taken before the UN Security Council and Turkey needs to be admonished
for its actions. It is further, clear that the EU and NATO should likewise
be engaged in sanctions against this action, as it becomes clearer. The
Turkish militarists and Islamists in Ankara have a new project for Turkey,
it's called Iraq. The Turkish people have a traditional project all their
own, it's called defending secular rule. They too have been as active as the
Turkish military. " Around half a million people gathered in Istanbul today
[April 29, 2007] demanding the resignation of the pro-Islamic government."
So, too even the Iraqi Government has been busy trying to anticipate the
next moves from the Turkish militarist/Islamists and have already warned
them about any military moves they might have recently been planning.

Analysts are predicting that this is a false report already, but are
suggesting future activity by Turkey. One analyst put it: "Reports that
several thousand Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq on June 6 appear
to be false alarms. However, Turkey is likely to carry out a limited
operation in northern Iraq at some point since Ankara faces building
domestic pressure to root out Kurdish rebels."
It appears as though this analyst is predicting that this "false alarm" is
really a practice run for a full-scale operation at a later time. There is
little comfort and little demonstrated leadership from the Democratic or
Republican Parties in regards to this entire situation.

Kurdish expatriates are being pulled out of the closets to promote an
offensive targeted at the current KRG and the political parties of southern
Kurdistan. From the Right, The Middle East Forum posted one such voice
today. Kamal Said Qadir, who is currently residing in Vienna, Austria posted
an article attacking the KRG for abuses of power, a breakdown of civil
society, corruption and a lack of security.
http://www.meforum.org/article/1703 Kak Kamal concludes his piece with a
dreary and depressing evaluation of the internal situation within the
Kurdish Autonomous Region: "Rather than create a model democracy, the Iraqi
Kurds have replicated the governing systems of Egypt, Tunisia or, perhaps
even Syria." One truly wonders why the poor Kurds are so demonstrably
complacent in the midst of such 'oppression'.

It might interest the U.S. State Department, NATO and the EU the kind of
strategic scenario that is being presented with this military strategy of
the Turkish generals. On this Melih Can proposes to re-align Turkey with a
new bloc when he states: " At this point, with an over-the-border operation,
it appears that there could be: (1) a clarification of Turkish-Western
relations and, in particular, current and future Turkish-American relations
and the European Union accession process; (2) increased distance traveled
when it comes to Turkish foreign policies with the "East" and, within this
framework, the much-speculated-upon Turkish-Russian, Turkish-Iranian and
even Turkish-Iranian-Russian relations; (3) the clarification of the future
of Iraq and the likely "Kurdish state" and, within this framework, a testing
of the partnership and friendship of Turkey-Syria-Iran;(4) clarification of
the role and future of Kurds in the region, notably the direction that will
be taken by Kurdish nationalism taking shape around the PKK and Barzani; (5)
a new position to be taken by Turkey regionally and globally, and the
clarification of factors determining whether or not Turkey is to be a global
player; (6) a new understanding of the future of the terror problem in
Turkey, as well as the dimensions and reality of theoretical "civil war
scenarios"; and (7) a restructuring in Turkey with added clarification on
the debates about leadership processes. "

This particular op-ed piece presents a highly inflammatory scenario to the
Kurdish nation and peoples, if there is any substance to it at all, or any
governmental intention that lurks behind its publication. It proposes
occupation by Turkey, confrontation with the US, the establishment of a
Turkish-Syrian-Iranian bloc in the region, an effort to establish Turkish
domination of the Kurds currently in the Kurdish Autonomous region, the
repression of popular opposition in Turkey, both nationalist Kurdish and
secularist opposition and a desecularization of the political institutions
within Turkey. This is not simply an issue of media criticism, this is
presented as a fait accompli and it is being played out at the expense of
the Kurdish and Turkish peoples. There has begun what should prove to be a
unifying of the two powerful mass movements around concrete political
demands recognizing the democratic rights of the Turkish people and the
national rights of the Kurdish people. There is in this a shining sun for a
new day.

Martin Zehr is an American political writer whose article on the Kirkuk
Referendum has been printed by the Kurdish Regional Government,
Another article was reprinted in its entirety by the Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan (PUK) http://www.puk.org/web/htm/news/nws/news070514.html His
articles are posted on Kurdish media sites such as Kurdish Aspect
http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc041007MZ.html ,
http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc041107MZ.html , and
http://www.kurdishaspect.com/doc051307MZ.html Replies to other ezines are
at: http://www.alternet.org/audits/50215/ and Op-EdNews Posts can be found
The article on "Kurdistan:Under Construction" is also found on The
Conservative Voice http://www.theconservativevoice.com/article/24814.html
and Kurdish Disagreements or Disputes?
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Martin Zehr Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Martin Zehr is an American political writer in the San Francisco area. He spent 8 years working as a volunteer water planner for the Middle Rio Grande region. http://www.waterassembly.org His article on the Kirkuk Referendum has been printed by the Kurdish Regional Government, http://www.moera-krg.org/articles/detail.asp?smap=01030000&lngnr=12&anr=12121&rnr=140 Another article was reprinted in its entirety by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) http://www.puk.org/web/htm/news/nws/news070514.html He is a Contributing Writer to Kurdish Aspect more...)

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