Trkey’s top general made clear his nation may once again send troops into northern regions of Iraq to continue the campaign against the outlawed Kudish Workers Party(PKK). “We have taught them a lesson. But there will be more lssons to be taught to them in the future,” emphasized General Yasar Buyukjanit, Chief of the General Staff. In his first press conference after the eight day invasion, Buyukanit made clear his soldiers retired not due to pressure from the United States but after successfully completing the mission of the invasion. “I say it again. There was no influence from outside or inside.”
General Buyukanit admitted the PKK could not be wiped out in a single operation which might necessitate further incursions into Iraq. He expressed anger toward critics who want Turkey to place more emphasis on economic, social and educational efforts with Kurds. He said conducting education in the Kurdish language would “cause serious consequences for the future of the country.” Exactly, which ones, he never made clear.
Turkey has to focus much more intently on confronting issues of prejudice against Kurds in their own society. A military venture can have limited immediate impact, but long term solutions lay more in classrooms and ending economic and social discrimnation.
Ironically, even as he spoke, Prime Minister Erdogan was telling Israel to end its invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, Turkey, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged military-Iraq, PKK, Turkey
American and Turkish officials failed to reach an agreement as to when Turkey’s armed forces will be departing from Iraq. Yesterday, President Bush told a press conference, “Turkish troops sh ould withdraw from northern Iraq as soon as possible” while Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Turkish officials in Anakara, “the U.S. believes the current offensive should be as short and precisely targeted as possible.” Turkish Chief of Staff Generl Yasar Buyukanit told Gates, “short term is a relative notion. Sometimes it is a day, sometimes a year.” He pointed out Turkey has been struggling with terrorism for 24 years and noted America has been in Afghanistan for six years.
Prime Minister Erdfogan insists “Turkish soldiers will be returning after achieving their goals” but will not pinpoint the exact time when that task will have been accomplished. On one hand, Gates accepts the complexity of the situation, on the other hand, the United States is protecting the integrity of the Iraqi government. Unfortunately, the two might not coincide in terms of a timetable for withdrawal.
Once again, the Bush administration is living with unintended and unexpected consequences of the ill fated invasion of Iraq. Most experts knew from day one of Bush’s actions to get rid of Saddam Hussein that an important result would be creation of a confusing situation in Kurdistan. Neither Bush, Cheney, nor Rumsfeld had any grasp as to what they were doing in terms of Turkey’s concern over creation of an independent Kurdistan state. Of course, neither did right wing pundits like Rush Limbaugh and the others who still insist the Iraq operation was the right move.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Peace, Politics, Turkey, Uncategorized, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Gates, Kurdistan, PKK, Turkish invasion