Monday, October 22, 2007

Turkey approaches its 'finest hour'

By Sami Moubayed
Asia Times

"Almost as if they want confrontation, Kurdish rebels operating from inside Iraq killed 17 Turkish troops on Sunday. It could be the last straw for Ankara to send its troops into northern Iraq, something it has wanted to do for a long time. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has the nation behind him in wanting action. Issues such as relations with the United States, oil-rich Kirkuk and Iraq itself can be dealt with later....

One theory says that in addition to anger at what the PKK is doing, Turkey is opposed to the very essence of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Kurds (including the PKK) want to create a Kurdish state out of southeastern Turkey, northeastern Iraq, northeastern Syria and northwestern Iran. They now have their eyes set on oil-rich Kirkuk, which as of the late 1990s still had a reserve of 10 billion barrels.

They plan on annexing it to Kurdistan. If given to the Kurds, with its 1 million barrels per day, the city would add tremendous political, geographical and financial wealth to Iraqi Kurds, which in turn would threaten neighboring countries like Turkey, Iran and Syria....."

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