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.