March 19, 2003

Turkey Watch The Times of

Turkey Watch

The Times of London is reporting that Turkish troops are amassing on the border with Iraq (and have already inserted some troops). I think that if a significant number of these troops go in beyond a 10-12 kilometer refugee control buffer zone problems with the Kurds could start happening sooner rather than later. I really hope Washington is very much on top of this situation.

Note: The Times journalist ignores another possible reason Ankara may go in--to protect the Turkomen (aka Turkmen or Turkomans) minority located in the Kurdish region (whether as a pretext or because of actual Kurdish trouble-making with that minority).

Quote from Turkomen source: "We do not want war with the Kurds because they are our brothers. But some from the Kurdish political parties -- extremist Kurdish groups -- are looking hungrily at our cities. In such cases, these parties are causing provocations between Turkmen and Kurds. We have no problem with the Kurds, but we cannot accept the views of some Kurdish political parties," Ziya said.

Sure, but is Kirkuk, for instance, Turkomen or Kurdish? Well, needless to say, there will be many such questions to sort out once the war is over. Let's just hope these questions will ultimately be settled peacefully--with minimum meddling from outside powers like Turkey or Iran.

Oh, and yes, the Turkomen have a website. And no one is rooting for a federated (let alone independent) Kurdistan on it.

Posted by Gregory at March 19, 2003 05:35 PM
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