Thursday, April 12, 2007

General would send Turkish troops to Iraq

Source: Turkish General calls for troops in Iraq

In a statement that is sure to be a source of controversy amongst already tense Turkish and Kurdish officials, the country’s top general called for Turkish troops to move across the Iraqi borders in order to combat rebels from the Kurdish Workers party, or PKK. Turkey accuses the regional government of Northern Iraq of harboring these rebels, but the latter denies such involvement.

No political decision has yet been made on the matter, and the US is apprehensive of such a move as it could potentially destabilize an already troubled region. US officials, while believing that the general’s calls are related more to internal political rhetoric (as the Turkish presidential election is fast approaching), they also believe there is a chance of Turkey moving into northern Iraq in the near future. Further, the EU has also warned against such an incursion, though Turkey is not likely to pay much heed to the EU given the trouble its experiencing in trying to obtain membership.

Meanwhile, PKK forces continue to operate in southern Turkey, and their operations are largely responsible for this controversy. However, regional governments in northern Iraq have warned Turkey that if it interferes in Iraq, the former would interfere in Turkey. Turkish officials remain concerned that the Kurds will form an independent state, despite US assurances of the opposite. Indeed, Turkish officials believe the US is responsible for the Kurds newfound capacity to become an independent state.


What can this new turn of events mean for Turkey’s already questionable relations with the EU?

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