BAGHDAD, Feb. 29 — Turkey announced Friday that it had pulled its troops out of northern Iraq, ending an eight-day invasion to pursue Kurdish guerrillas that raised tensions with the Iraqi government and fears of a regional conflict. The withdrawal came one day after both President Bush and U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged a swift end to the offensive.
Turkish officials denied they had been pressured into ending their country’s most extensive operation in northern Iraq in more than a decade. They said they had completed their objective of weakening the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which for decades has fought for Kurdish rights and autonomy in Turkey from mountain bases in northern Iraq.
“The Turkish Armed Forces decided when to begin and end the operation on its own deliberation and its decision is not influenced from outside or inside,” Turkey’s chief of general staff, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, said in a statement.
By Gareth Jenkins
|Turkish General (ret.) Veli Küçük
The detention in Istanbul last week of alleged members of a shadowy Turkish ultranationalist group has revived charges that elements within the Turkish security apparatus have long tried to destabilize the country through a campaign of bombings and assassinations. These allegedly include false flag operations that have been attributed to Kurdish separatists and violent Islamists.
By January 28, the Turkish authorities had formally charged 13 of those detained with forming an armed terrorist group in order to provoke members of the public into armed revolt against the government. Those arrested include retired Gendarmerie General Veli Kucuk, ultranationalist lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, who is famous for taking intellectuals to court under the notorious Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, January 8) and Sami Hostan, who is frequently alleged by the Turkish media to be a leading member of the Turkish underworld (Radikal, Hurriyet, Yeni Safak, Milliyet, January 28). The Turkish media have claimed that the latest arrests follow intelligence reports that the gang was planning to carry out a series of high level assassinations, including killing Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, Islamist journalist Fehmi Koru and Kurdish politicians Leyla Zana and Ahmet Turk (Yeni Safak, CNNTurk, January 25).
In late January 2008, a secret paramilitary group (formerly?) allied with America was busted in Turkey. Thirteen members of a shadowy right-wing group in Turkey were charged with “forming an armed terrorist group in order to provoke members of the public into armed revolt against the government.”http://www.jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2373933
“The detention in Istanbul last week of alleged members of a shadowy Turkish ultranationalist group has revived charges that elements within the Turkish security apparatus have long tried to destabilize the country through a campaign of bombings and assassinations. These allegedly include false flag operations that have been attributed to Kurdish separatists and violent Islamists… The Turkish media have claimed that the latest arrests follow intelligence reports that the gang was planning to carry out a series of high level assassinations…what Turks call… deep state has its origins in what are commonly called Gladio operations ” – Mass Arrests Expose Operations of Turkey’s “Deep State” – By Gareth Jenkins
The use of proxy mercenary forces to terrorize nations into submitting to US political demands has been the cornerstone of American foreign policy since at least the era of the Berlin Wall, and it still is.
“Terrorism – the use of violence and threats to intimidate or to coerce, esp. for political purposes.”
According to this definition from Dictionary.com, the government of the United States of America is the primary source of state terrorism in the world.
In Europe, the American government actively sought to eliminate political opposition to its fascist world plans through the use of open violent repression and covert terroristic “false flag” attacks upon popular patriotic resistance movements and their leaders. Using ultra right-wing homegrown fascists, in both Europe and America, secret paramilitary militias were created, called “Stay Behind” forces at the end of World War II. Since then, the CIA activated these groups to successfully quash anti-American liberal and social democratic popular resistance movements. The agency denies this, but the series of exposes of their network in Europe since 1990 have proven the professed denials to be false.
ANKARA: Turkey on Tuesday signed an agreement with neighboring Iran for joint power-production projects despite US pressure against investment in the Islamic Republic.
Energy Minister Hilmi Guler played down US discontent with flourishing energy cooperation between its NATO ally Turkey and Iran, saying more agreements would be concluded in the coming days.
“The signing [of agreements] will continue. Our efforts are continuing,” Guler told a joint news conference with his Iranian counterpart Parviz Fattah after the two signed the power-production deal.
ANKARA, Turkey – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that Turkey would not be deterred by the possible diplomatic consequences if it decides to stage a cross-border offensive into Iraq against Kurdish rebels.“If such an option is chosen, whatever its price, it will be paid,” Erdogan told reporters in response to a question about the international repercussions of such a decision, which would strain ties with the United States and Iraq. “There could be pros and cons of such a decision, but what is important is our country’s interests.”
SIRNAK, Turkey – Turkish warplanes bombed positions of suspected Kurdish rebels Wednesday, and the prime minister said preparations for parliamentary approval of a military mission against separatist fighters in Iraq were under way.A cross-border operation could hurt Turkey’s relationship with the United States, which opposes Turkish intervention in northern Iraq, a region that has escaped the violence afflicting much of the rest of the country.
U.S. officials are already preoccupied with efforts to stabilize areas of Iraq outside the predominantly Kurdish northern region.
Turkey and the United States are NATO allies, but ties have also been tense over a U.S. congressional bill that would label the mass killings of Armenians by Turks around the time of World War I as genocide. President Bush strongly urged Congress to reject the bill, saying it would do “great harm” to U.S.-Turkish relations.
Turkish troops blocked rebel escape routes into Iraq while F-16 and F-14 warplanes and Cobra helicopters dropped bombs on possible hideouts, Dogan news agency reported. The military had dispatched tanks to the region to support the operation against the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in response to more than a week of deadly attacks in southeastern Turkey.
Turkish authorities also detained 20 suspected Kurdish rebels at a border crossing with Iraq, the office for the governor of Sirnak said in a statement.
A proposed House resolution that would label as “genocide” the deaths of Armenians more than 90 years ago during the Ottoman Empire has won the support of a majority of House members, unleashing a lobbying blitz by the Bush administration and other opponents who say it would greatly harm relations with Turkey, a key ally in the Iraq war.
All eight living former secretaries of state have signed a joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warning that the nonbinding resolution “would endanger our national security interests.” Three former defense secretaries, in their own letter, said Turkey probably would cut off U.S. access to a critical air base. The government of Turkey is spending more than $300,000 a month on communications specialists and high-powered lobbyists, including former congressman Bob Livingston, to defeat the initiative.
By Hidir Goktas and Gareth Jones
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s prime minister gave the green light on Tuesday for possible military action in northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels there, drawing a warning from the United States, which fears wider regional instability.
Tayyip Erdogan’s government prepared to request parliament’s approval for an incursion into the mainly Kurdish region, Turkish private broadcasters CNN Turk and NTV reported.
Washington urged Ankara to hold off on unilateral action, fearing it could destabilize Iraq’s most peaceful area and potentially the wider region.