The US refusal to do anything about the PKK a group that the US labels as terrorist is one sign of the bogus nature of the war against terror. As Chomsky has noted there are several varieties of terrorists and some are tolerated by the US and others are even encouraged.
Erdoğan says Iraq cross-border operation on table
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called on the United States and Iraq to deal with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) based in northern Iraq, but said Ankara would take military action itself if necessary.
The government is under mounting pressure from the public and army to tackle the PKK based in mountainous northern Iraq. Dozens of civilians and soldiers have been killed in recent weeks in attacks across Turkey. The influential National Security Council (MGK) reviewed yesterday measures against the PKK, including plans to set up a buffer zone in Iraqi territory.
"First our neighbor Iraq and the United States should take steps on this issue because this is an issue of a struggle against terrorism," Erdoğan said in an interview aboard his plane during campaigning in eastern Turkey late on Tuesday. Asked if he believed Baghdad and Washington would honor promises to combat the PKK, Erdoğan's response was lukewarm. "I wish to remain positive."
Washington, while classing the PKK as a terrorist group, fears any major operation by its NATO ally in northern Iraq could anger Iraqi Kurdish allies and stoke wider conflict in a relatively peaceful region of that war-torn country. Financial markets were rattled earlier this month by reports of a major incursion into northern Iraq, which Turkey denied. Military sources said there had been a limited cross-border raid -- a relatively frequent occurrence since the mid-1990s. Any major cross-border operation would require parliament’s approval. Parliament, where Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has a big majority, is currently in recess ahead of July elections.
“We are continuing discussions with the armed forces. If needed we will take the necessary steps [for a cross-border operation] because we cannot allow the PKK any longer to carry out attacks,” Erdoğan said through an interpreter. The armed forces have recommended a cross-border offensive into northern Iraq, where up to 4,000 PKK militants are based. Tens of thousands of troops have been sent to the border. Analysts say the threat of an incursion may have as much to do with domestic politics ahead of the July 22 election as with security issues. Nationalist concerns over Kurdish separatism and EU attitudes towards Turkey are playing an important role. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey and the European Union.
Erdoğan also said he expected to speed up reforms required for European Union membership after the July 22 election. He predicted the result returning his AK Party government to power would deliver a strong mandate for change in Turkey. He rejected accusations of a hidden Islamist agenda that have soured his relations with the secularist establishment and momentarily unsettled the financial market usually well-disposed towards his government. “Of course the elections have slowed down [the EU reforms] a bit, but [after the election] it’s full steam ahead,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey began accession talks in October 2005 but critics say reforms needed for Turkey to become a member of the bloc have slowed in the past two years amid disputes over Cyprus, human rights, judicial reform and other sensitive issues. The bloc suspended discussions last December in eight of the 35 chapters, or policy areas, that it must work through, due to Ankara’s refusal to open its ports to EU member Greek Cyprus. The election of Nicolas Sarkozy as French president has complicated matters for Turkey, a large, relatively poor and predominantly Muslim country. Sarkozy has said Turkey has no place in the 27-nation EU, but he has recently sought to postpone a debate on changing the goal of the negotiations. France is expected to agree to the EU opening talks on two new policy areas next week. Asked if he expected Sarkozy to stop Turkey’s EU talks or change criteria, he replied: “I don’t have a feeling like that ... This process will have problems, but I [recently] talked to Mr. Sarkozy and it was a positive conversation.”