Tag Archives: Turkish military

Turkish Army To Be Led By Secularist

Turkey is still attempting to determine how the nation will respond to the recent Constitutional Court decision which made clear to the government it must be careful about respecting the rights of secularists. To reinforce that concept, the Turkish military made clear its support by selecting General Iiker Basbug as new commander of the armed forces. He is a known strong supporter of secularist values and ensures the military will support the ideas expressed in the Constitutional Court decision. Basbug also is known as a supporter of using economic development approaches in Kurdish areas of Turkey as a means of winning over the population from supporting the radical PKK.

The Turkish military faces many challenges and apparently it has decided to support secular forces and principles in its country.

Turkish Military Crosses Border Into Iraq

The Turkish army crossed the border into northern Iraq in order to deal with members of the Kurdish Workers Party(PKK) which is conducting guerrilla warfare against its nation. This Turkish force claimed to be operating based on “military intelligence provided,” but it is unclear whether or not that information was furnished by the United States armed forces. Prime Minister Erdogan extracted from President Bush a pledge in November that America would furnish Turkey military intelligence related to the activities of the PKK. The Turkish government made clear it was only directing its action against those who commit “an act of enmity against the Turkish armed forces,” and promised there would be further operations in the area. However, Massoud Barzani, head of Kurdistan claims that no foreign troops entered his nation and denied action by the PKK towards the Turks.

We can expect in the coming months to witness clandestine Turkish operations into Iraq that everyone claims never happened. In this way, the Turkish military can deal with the PKK while the world pretends it is not doing any such thing. In this way, peace can reign.

Tukish Gun Ships Blast Kurdish Sites

Tension on the Turkish-Iran border remained tense as Turkish helicopters blasted away at abandoned villages and former camps of the rebel Kurdish Workers Party(PKK). President Talibani of Iraq insisted that his nation is “against all violent operations against Turkey.” He also indicated his government would take a much harder line against the PKK and try to get them to leave Iraq.

The good news is that Turkish military forces are attacking abandoned villages and former bases. In this way, no one gets killed and there is no further escalation of tension. Since the eight Turkish soldiers who were captured are now in prison for neglect of duty, this new campaign to bomb empty villages will avoid the problem of casualties or prisoners and thus protect Turkish soldiers from winding up in prison.

Turkish Military Urges Calm In Rebel Crisis

During the past several days thousands have marched in the streets of Turkey’s major cities waving banners urging war against Kurdish rebels even if it means invading Iraq. Chief of Staff General Yasar Buyukanit asked the Turkish people to show restraint during the crisis because to do so would allow terrorists determining the actions of the Turkish government. He appreciated cries of “Take us into the army” but did not wish a rush to violent judgement. However, journalists were upset at a ban imposed on TV channels by the Minister of Defense, Cemil Cicek which denied TV commentators the right to discuss any reports that “affect the public order, morale, and psychology of the people negatively and create a weak image of the Turkish security forces.” The ban did not apply to newspapers.

It is rather ironic for Americans to observe the head of an armed force asking calm from the population during terrorist attacks. In 2003, no American military leader stepped forth with words of calm and restraint, they allowed themselves to be bullied by Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, into marching into Iraq with flags flying. What would have happened if Chief of Staff Shinseki had been allowed to tell Congress of his concerns regarding the planned invasion?