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Turkish Troops in Iraq

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MrShaw's picture
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Having been alerted to Turkey and it's changing stance within Europe recently (from West to East), I read with interest about Turkey's issues with their Kurdish population, and how it may drag the country further into the problems in the Middle East.

Approximately 20% of the Turkish population is made up of Kurds, and in December last year a  the latest in a long line of issues dating back over 80 years,  arose and has the potential to cause Turkey  and the rest of Europe reason for worry.  It began when the Democratic Society Party was banned due to being unconstitutional, because of links with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a organization on Turkey's Terrorist list. Indeed over 100 people have been charged in an investigation to halt the PKK.

This action lead to politicians within the Democratic Society Party tending their resignation, which would have triggered early elections within Turkey.  The Politicians later reconsidered and removed their resignation, perhaps due to encouragement from Abdullah Ocalan, the PKK leader, who is country serving a life sentence in Prison.  That left 19 Democratic Society Party politicians in Turkish Parliament, who are tasked with bringing about a resolution to the 25 year battle between The Kurds and turkey over the right to self-autonomy.

On the 31st of May Ocalan announced that his calls for talks with Turkey had been ignored.  The next day the PKK called off a 1 year cease-fire and resumed attacking Turkish Forces.

On Tuesday last week fighting started near the border of Iraq and Turkey, which lead to hundreds of troops from Turkey entering Iraq, and no withdrawal date has yet been confirmed.  The Death toll continues to mount and recent statements by both the Turkish Prime Minister and the PKK suggest a resolution will not be forth-coming in the near future.

He has stated that Turkey intends to battle the Kurds "to the end" and they are "willing to pay the price to annihilate the PKK". 17% of the Iraqi population is Kurdish, and will be supported by The Kurdistan Regional Government, which was formed around the same time as American troops entered Iraq in 1991.

It seems that The Kurdish Population have had a torrid time throughout their history, and have participated in some atrocities themselves in the past.  the main question that appears in my mind is the effect this is going to have in an already very volatile atmosphere in the Middle-East. Is Turkey intending to flex muscles that have yet to been seen?  How does infighting in Muslim communities effect the West? Is there going to be some sort of religious coup in the future and who is to worry about there homeland that currently does not?
He has stated that Turkey intends to battle the Kurds "to the end" and they are "willing to pay the price to annihilate the PKK". 17% of the Iraqi population is Kurdish, and will be supported by The Kurdistan Regional Government, which was formed around the same time as American troops entered Iraq in 1991.

It seems that The Kurdish Population have had a torrid time throughout their history, and have participated in some atrocities themselves in the past.  the main question that appears in my mind is the effect this is going to have in an already very volatile atmosphere in the Middle-East. Is Turkey intending to flex muscles that have yet to been seen?  How does infighting in Muslim communities effect the West? Is there going to be some sort of religious coup in the future and who is to worry about their homeland that currently does not?

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MrShaw's picture
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Blast in Istanbul kills thee people

According to this article an attack in Istanbul that was carried out today is probably the work of Kurdish Rebels. This its seems is only the beginning.

Winston Smith's picture
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Attack on Turkish military

And it was a direct attack on the Turkish military! Apparently a pre-emptive strike by the TAK, an offshoot of the PKK... the drama deepens...

Winston Smith's picture
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I had heard about the Turkish

I had heard about the Turkish incursion into Iraq last week, but I didn't have the background - thanks for sharing. The situation in the Middle East continues to unfold, with the flotilla raid as the event that set things moving... although apparently it's been brewing for a long time. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Turkey appears to be making several different power plays.

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The Kurds

The Kurdish insurgency against Turkey has been going on for a long time. The Kurds are the only remaining signficant ethnic minority in Turkey as all the others for the most part were killed or exiled during and just after world war 1. The Kurds have been a little more active lately because they have virtual autonomy in their region of Northern Iraq.
The Kurds were also heavily persecuted by Saddam Hussein and were even subjected to chemical warfare attacks on their villages. One can hrdly blame them for wanting a place to call their own. and if you are an ethnic minority in Turkey you need only look at history to realize you should be worried about the future of your people.