Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Turkey: Military Option Against PKK On The Table

Something on the rise these days (that doesn't get a lot of press) is the tension level between Turkey and the autonomous region, currently administered by the Kurds in Iraq. Reports earlier this year told a story of the Turks militarizing the areas just outside the Iraqi border.

Turkey has massed 140,000 soldiers on its border with northern Iraq, Iraq's foreign minister said Monday, calling the neighboring country's fears of Kurdish rebels based there "legitimate" but better resolved through negotiation.

In this post here, I posed a simple question , but at the time it was not answerable.

Is it a defensive posture to prevent attacks by the PKK? Or is it something else? Stay tuned.

Well, I have. And today we see that the Turkish PM has communicated some things that should be considered for debate. Here is some of what he had to say:

"No country can continue living under the constant threat of terrorism," Erdogan said in his office at his party headquarters in Ankara. "This struggle has the same legitimacy for Turkey as it has for the U.S., Spain or United Kingdom."

He's got a point there. There should be no distinctions made in these cases, no country should be expected to live under a threat of senseless violence, from any entity. Period.

"We have done our part in joint struggle against terrorism in Afghanistan as requested by the U.S.," Erdogan said. "Now, we expect the same approach from the U.S."

I do not think he is asking too much, at this point. How can we realistically expect to forge some kind of coherent approach to getting Iran to stop exporting their brand of terrorism, if we stand idly by and watch the PKK wreak havoc, within the borders of a long-time ally?

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