July 24, 2007

THERE IS NO TURKEY:

How to Save Iraqi Kurdistan from Itself (Morton Abramowitz, July 2007, Foreign Policy)

As if disaster in Baghdad were not enough, Washington has largely stood by as Iraq’s Kurds have become embroiled in a fierce dispute with Turkey that threatens to explode into violence, destabilize northern Iraq, and further embitter relations between the United States and Turkey, a vital strategic ally for 60 years. With parliamentary elections out of the way, Turkey may well invade northern Iraq, a move that—to put it mildly—would complicate an already complicated situation in the Middle East.

There is still time for the United States to prevent such a catastrophe, but this season’s bloody offensive by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a separatist guerrilla group labeled a terrorist organization by the United States, has brought tensions to a near-boiling point. Turks are enraged that PKK forces can launch bombing attacks in Turkey and then find safety and sympathy in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turkish military increasingly warns that it needs to attack these safe havens, and it has massed tens of thousands of troops at the border.

Turkish concerns over northern Iraq, of course, run deeper than the PKK. The mostly autonomous Kurdish entity next door is the threat to Turkey’s territorial integrity that its leaders long feared—potentially deepening Kurdish nationalism among its 12 to 15 million-strong Kurdish minority.


It is precisely because Turkey has been such a good ally that we ought to explain to them that they aren't going to be able to maintain their territory. The Kurds aren't Turks.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 24, 2007 9:10 PM
Comments

Turkey better worry about relations with us.

Posted by: erp at July 25, 2007 8:13 PM
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