Monday, September 02, 2002

Iraq/Turkey Relations

The fate of the Kurds is always confusing. We talk about democracy and our position on the Kurds shows that sometimes you have to make tough choices. If we endorse a free Kurdish state we lose the support of Turkey. On the other hand, the Kurds want to fight Hussein more than anyone except Bush 43.

Turkey's Defense Minister: Northern Iraq is Part of the 1920 Turkish National Covenant
"...Sabahattin Cakmakoglu said that Ankara was closely watching the developments in northern Iraq, which he described as part of the 1920 Turkish National Covenant, and therefore under the safekeeping of Turkey. He said that the territory was forcibly separated from Turkey during the Independence War... and that Turkey would oppose any attempt to take advantage of the situation in the region, whatever force was behind such an attempt" --
NTV (Turkey), August 20, 2002.

Iraqi Kurds can be even more confusing, citing and disclaiming 'colonial boundaries in virtually the same sentence. Khabat published an article titled "The time of threats and menace is over" in which it said that despite repeated statements and assurances from Kurdish leaders, "Turkish officials continue to claim that the U.S. intends to establish a Kurdish state [in northern Iraq]...the question is why... it is clear to all that Turkish officials covet the city of Mosoul and consider it their inheritance from the colonial Ottoman state...they forget that international conventions annexed it to the independent Iraqi state...and no earnest son of this region would want to link himself [again] with Turkey..." -- Khabat (Kurdish Democratic Party organ), August 23, 2002.


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