Turkish conspiracy theory: PKK pawn of NATO?

Just a week after Baghdad and Ankara made a public show of pledging cooperation against the PKK, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his military staff Oct. 9 for the first time formally approved unilateral incursions into Iraqi territory to route the Kurdish separatist guerillas. “To put an end to the terrorist organization operating in Iraq, the order has been given to take every kind of measure, legal, economic, political, including also a cross-border operation if necessary,” said an official statement issued after the security summit in Ankara. The decision came after 15 Turkish soldiers were killed in guerilla attacks Oct. 7 and 8. The White House reacted by again stressing the need for co-operation between the US, Turkey and Iraq. (AKI, Italy, Oct. 9)

A spokesman for the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan dismissed the move as “media scaremongering” aimed at “exerting pressure on the United States and the Iraqi government so they take part in the military operations against the PKK.” The spokesman, Jamal Abdallah added: “The language of threats will not resolve a problem that has existed for many years.” (AKI, Oct. 10)

But the Turkish daily Zaman charged that NATO is “using the PKK against Turkey” to derail its democratic process, noting that in the two months leading to the recent presidential election, some 100 Turkish soldiers or security personnel were killed in clashes with the PKK. The report alleged that the US is shipping weapons to the PKK in northern Iraq by helicopter, and providing the rebels with logistical aid. The claims were picked up by Iran’s Press TV, which noted: “The Pentagon, however, floats the claim that the PKK has acquired US weapons on the black market.” (Press TV, Oct. 10)

See our last posts on Turkey, Iraq and the struggle in Kurdistan.

  1. Iraqi Kurds rally against Turkish incursion vote
    Now that the Turkish parliament has ratified the decision to approve military incursions into Iraq, a public display of protest is sparked in Iraqi Kurdistan. Note that while the Kurdish regional government talks about “dialogue,” many of the protesters are using words like “resist.” We can assume this is a state-sponsored rally in which the Kurdish leadership are allowing their citizens to make the hardline noises so they won’t have to (as it would displease their friends in Washington). But does this game of duplicity extend to the PKK? To what degree are the Kurdish authorities conniving with the guerillas? From Reuters, Oct. 18:

    ARBIL, Iraq —Thousands of Kurds, many of them students, marched on the U.N. offices in the Kurdish capital Arbil on Thursday to protest the Turkish parliament’s authorization of military incursions into northern Iraq.

    Carrying banners with slogans in English, Kurdish, Turkish and Arabic, the marchers called for peaceful dialogue with their northern neighbor to end the crisis and vowed to resist any military invasion of their Kurdistan region.

    Turkey’s parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to give the military the go-ahead to hunt down PKK rebels hiding out in Kurdistan’s mountains who are blamed for a rising number of attacks on Turkish troops.

    Kurdistan’s government said on Thursday it was prepared to hold talks with its “Turkish friends” on the PKK issue and stressed Turkish trade and investment were fundamental to the growth of the semi-autonomous region’s economy.

    “We ask our Turkish neighbor to halt any military operations in Iraq. We do not want any confrontation with Turkey. We will not allow our land to be used as a base to launch attacks against our neighbor,” it said in a statement.

    Several thousand protesters, including many schoolgirls in black and white tunics, streamed along the main road to the United Nations offices in An Kawah on the outskirts of Arbil.

    They carried red, white and green Kurdish flags and banners reading: “We will not be silent. We will resist the Turkish” and “We are in the world of dialogue, not war.”

    “We, the people of Kurdistan, denounce … the blatant Turkish interference in the affairs of our dear region,” said marcher Dara Hussein.

    In the Kurdish province of Dahuk, about 1,500 protesters, most of them high-school students, also rallied against the Turkish parliament vote.

    “We want Turkey to realize that we want to live in peace, but we also do not want anyone to interfere in our affairs,” said one 18-year-old student.

    Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has played down expectations of any imminent attack, and the Pentagon says it does not think Ankara has the appetite for a full-scale incursion.

    With winter approaching and the inaccessible mountainous terrain a major obstacle, analysts say Turkey’s principle aim is to spur the U.S. and Iraqi authorities into action.

    We hope.

  2. pkk guerillas? have you ever seen a guerilla killing babies…
    i really try to find out what you are trying to do, last week they(pkk terorists) bombed a bus and killed civil kurdish people. i checked the event across western media, what i have found…nothing. please a little bit autocontrol.

    1. more likely this was the work of the turks
      The pkk has claimed they were not responsible for this attack. The turkish government has a history of staging such attacks pretending to be pkk. remember semdili? or don’t you. I wish Turkish people would open their eyes because Turks are almost as big a victim of their government’s narrowminded policies as the Kurds. Wake up Turks. Have you read the book by the turkish general (now retired and safe from prosecution becuase of the statue of limitations) who confessed to dressing his men as pkk and staging attacks, even bombing attacks?