Buy Zovirax Eye Ointment Id Buy Claritin Viagra Sale Ireland Who Manufactures Lisinopril 10mg Tablets Buy Mobic Drug

Turkish troops out of Kurdistan!

9:53 am - February 24th 2008

by Alan Thomas    

      Share on Tumblr

Within the past four days, following a lengthy campaign of aerial bombings, a Turkish ground invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan has begun. 10,000 troops in total rolled across the border on Thursday night, according to the Turkish Daily News. This was on the pretext of hunting members of the PKK who live in camps around the mountainous north of the region. As the troops (whose numbers have been massing on the Iraqi border for months) went into Iraqi Kurdish territory at around 7 pm, the Turkish army’s general staff issued a statement which said:

“The Turkish Armed Forces, which attach great importance to Iraq’s territorial integrity and stability, will return home in the shortest time possible after its goals have been achieved”

Whether this is to be believed or not remains to be seen. Indeed, if the “achievement of its goals” is the elimination of the PKK “threat” then even taken at face value the statement is cold comfort for the Kurds – previous failed attempts by the Turkish army to eradicate Kurdish nationalism resulted in a bloody and drawn-out conflict between 1984 and 1999 which is reckoned to have claimed over 30,000 lives.

This is not a case of the military launching an operation in defiance of a civilian government, either. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an’s AK Party government in fact ordered the attack, it is believed with the tacit support of the USA – in spite of some muted protests. The US will certainly be loathe to enter a direct confrontation with a NATO partner, particuarly a regional superpower of Turkey’s standing in a part of the world where the USA is not overwhelmed by huge numbers of Muslim friends.

The Kurdistan Regional Government, headed by Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Masud Barzani, has issued a statement condemning the invasion whilst making clear that it does not support the PKK. For the time being this will suit the Turkish troops, whose lives wouldbe made considerably more difficult if Barzani were to order the mainstream Peshmerga in the region to fire on the invaders. It is, however, quite clear that the Peshmerga’s neutrality in the conflict is far from guaranteed in the longer term.

The conflict has escalated within the last 24 hours, with the Turkish army claiming to have killed 44 rebels and the PKK responding with a claim to have shot down a Turkish helicpter. The death toll will undoubtedly continue to mount over the days and weeks to come, almost certainly without any “clean” outcome one way or the other. Conventional ground forces have found since time immemorial that they can hold an area, only for it to be reoccupied by guerillas once they leave. The PKK may not have the forces to drive the Turkish forces out, but neither do the Turkish army have the means to eradicate the PKK. The result will be a bloody mess.

In a situation like this, progressive and left-wing people worldwide should stand with the people of Kurdistan whose territory is being overrun by invading troops. We should condemn any civilian deaths that the Turkish troops inflict, and we should call for those troops to be withdrawn. The Kurdish people have the right to their own territorial integrity, and the language being used by the Turkish government to justify the invasion (“terrorists” in particular) is eerily remniscent of the language used by US administration to justify the war in Iraq. We on the left stand with oppressed peoples, against such aggressors and we support the right tonational self-determination. It is for that reason and with those principles in mind that I believe we should be calling for Turkish troops out of Kurdistan.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  

About the author
Alan Thomas is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is a blogger, a political activist and a lay member of Unite-TGWU. His main interests outside of UK left politics are in Turkey, Kurdistan and the USA. And is also always delighted to write about wine and fine food when he's in less of an intellectual mood. Also at: Shiraz Socialist
· Other posts by

Story Filed Under: Blog ,Foreign affairs

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Reader comments

Stupid, counterproductive and, I suspect, done purely to appease the Turkish generals who have a nasty habit of interfering with the democratic process.

Incidentally, this speaks volumes about the current political status of “sovereign”, “independent” Iraq – occupied by the U.S. and subject to political, military and paramilitary interference from north, east, west and south, and now the only region that has been relatively peaceful is being bombarded…

2. Howler monkey

The BBC worldservice States that the Turkish troops number in their hundreds not in the tens of thousands. This action looks like a raid against PKK weapon cashes and ammo dumps, not an invasion of Kurdish Iraq as originally reported.

The BBC world service has it wrong, if that’s what they’re saying.

So who wants Turkey in the EU? David Miliband, for one.

In a situation like this, progressive and left-wing people worldwide should stand with the people of Kurdistan whose territory is being overrun by invading troops. We should condemn any civilian deaths that the Turkish troops inflict, and we should call for those troops to be withdrawn.

Completely agreed. This will def be a long, drawn-out and bloody mess.

I believe the writer does not know much about PKK or he is not being objective.

PKK is a terrorist organization that is based and trained inside Iraqi borders. It has been taking lives for more that 10 years in Turkey, and it has also been the biggest obstacle for Kurdish people living in South-eastern Turkey.
I`m pretty much visiting Turkey every years, and every single Turkish person I know is willing to do any thing that would help them get rid of PKK. Turkish government has right to defend its citizens from bloody terrorists and no well-informed person would stand against this.
You should read this,23599,23269678-23109,00.html

Uha – the question at hand isn’t whether the PKK is a “terrorist” group or not (yes I am aware of the politics of the group itself). It’s that the territorial integrity of a sovreign state has been again compromised, and that an historically oppressed people are once again under attack. After all, if the Kurds had never been treated as second class citizens in Turkey then the PKK would have no support, let’s face it. I’m sure you’ll be as well aware as I am of the various systematic forms of discrimination that existed, without even going to the complete non-acknowledgement in Ankara for decades of Kurdish aspirations for autonomy. Every time a Kurdish nationalist party becomes of any significance (DEP, HADEP, DEHAP, now DTP), “legal” moves are made to shut it down.

Of course almost every Turkish person you see hates the PKK – just like if you’d asked around in the UK during the 80s, more or less everyone would have said the same about the IRA. But the reality is that driving armored cars around Belfast did no more to stop the Irish Troubles, than this intervention will stop the PKK. What this intervention will do is create a lot of suffering among ordinary Kurds and the families of Turkish conscripts.

Furthermore, if you visit Turkey as much as you say, you will be aware of how skewed media coverage about Kurdistan was until relatively recent years. That has also shaped many people’s views.


Your article lacks in factual statements as it sounds like you have just read about this conflict on CNN. You will need to do a little more research in actual regions politics before writing such non-sense or even a 30 min of “googling” will help you to write less comical “articles”

Did you know that the 60% of the killed Turkish citizens out of the 30,000+ lives (by the PKK) are actually Kurdish descendants and live in the south east region of Turkey. Did you know that between 1985-1995 PKK has burned and slaughtered more civilians than the IRA could have even imagined? If you are infact a clear supported of a group that has literally slaugthered, executed and burned villagers, than you are clearly in support of civilian human slaughter.

You say that “of course every turkish citizen hates pkk”. Have you lost your common sense? Do you realize how many lives do 30,000 dead people touch? How many families have been effected by the attacks of PKK? How many people have been FORCED to move out by PKK or get killed if they didn’t comply? How many people have been forced to vote for a Kurdish party or get executed at the polls?

The sovererignty of a nation IS NOT under a threat as Kurdistan is NOT a soverign nation. Northern Iraq is a hive of terrorist activity and has been for a very long time. Turkish generals have always done their tasks and have done what they have said down to the ‘T’. They have left and arrived as they said they would. They have executed every peace mission as they said they would. They even have full power to eradicate the PKK, IF they are given the “go ahead” to do so. The full might of the Turkish military would completly destroy and take over the area if needed be within 3 days.

But alas that is NOT the point as you put in your article. If that was the point you would see 500,000 men standing strong marching straight through Northern Iraq as Turkey does have these men available at a calls notice. The point is to take out the PKK not the Kurdish people. The Turkish military have been running pin-point missions and have taken control of most of mountains that PKK lives upon. Not a single villager or citizen of Iraq exist in these areas other than the PKK terrorists.

My last word is to the “Flying Rodent”…Democratic process? WHAT democratic process? Your brain really must not be bigger than a rodent to believe that there really is a democratic process in Iraq, especially in Northern Iraq. In northern Iraq, if you are a villager, which most people ARE, you are literally OWNED by the head of the village and “vote” in whomever they say you should vote. I didn’t know democracy worked like that. Secondly if PKK was a democratic group, they wouldn’t state Marxists-Lenninst as their idealogy, wouldn’t kill 30,000 people. If thats your understanding of democracy, than i feel really sorry for your kids.

I hope Turks eradicate these scums down to every single member of PKK.

By the way the numbers should be corrected to 136 dead terrorists. Also its not Kurdistan, its IRAQ and you should respect it as such.

So… with all due respect, I’m guessing that you are Turkish and living outside Turkey?

No, I didn’t read about it on CNN. As you’ll quickly gather if you actually read the article.

You must accept Kurdish people doesnt see PKK like a terrorist group. Kurdish people see and love PKK like freedom fighters.

The West countries must not help Turkish government with weapons to kill kurds and more. Without West´s help Turkey will give up and stop discriminate kurds. Kurdish has right to demand national, political rights like other people.

Why cant we demand freedom like other people?

Always Kurdistan has been Kurdistan and will be in future. We have been there much before than the Turkish people. The Turkish people came there before 700 years, and we have been there more than 7000 years. We are going to fight and take our rights.

You can read UN’s decleration about nations and people’s rights.

siz bunu kafan?za sokun türkiye topraklar?n? kimse ALAMAZ izn varmeyizzz

dont be silly we dont want you on us we dont give our soil pkk finished.everybody will understand how much we became big.look around yourself in the mirror.we never arent believeing in other from the science to some thing.we dont want to make war with nobody but we do this for the freedom.Turk arent reactionary we believe the science everytime.we hate pkk because they are killing the children.this somebody from the reasons.dont forget this we always want the peace.we always love ATATÜRK and we always hate pkk SEN? SEV?YORUZ ATAMMM

where is the kurdistan say me stubid??!!!!!!!!!

15. Hans Gunther

The Turkish forces returned to their bases inside Turkey as of today.

The objective of the ground operation was to disable the PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorists and to destroy the physical infrastructure of the terrorist organization innorthern Iraq.

PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the US and EU (Alan: Britain is in the EU) was the sole target of the ground operation. The civilian population and local elements were not adversely affected by the operation.

The Kurdish people in the north of Iraq was NOT targeted.

This is an issue of TERRORISM…Nothing else…And Turkey, as Britain, has the right to defend its citizens against this menace. Well, Turkey helps the north in other terms: Let me give you some figures:

The land border crossing between Turkey and Iraq at the Habur gate accounts for delivery to Iraq of a substantial portion of the fuel used by Coalition Forces and the fuel, food and water consumed by Iraqis. Around 4000 trucks cross the border daily.

Turkey has authorized over $50 million for reconstruction efforts in Iraq and has already provided $5.4 million in humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi government.

Turkey provided important training programs for Iraqi officials regardless of their ethnic and sectarian origin, contributing greatly towards Sunni participation into political process, and encouraging enhancement of Sunni-Shiite rapprochement.

Total amount of Turkish projects in northern Iraq exceeded 4 billion US Dollars.

There are more than 100 Turkish firms operating in northern Iraq and helping the reconstruction of the region.

You should not also forget that Turkey, along with Britain and US established and maintained the No Fly Zone in northern Iraq for more than a decade and protected the Kurds in Iraq from the ferocious regime of Saddam.


Have you seen the Wind That Shakes the Barley by Ken Loach…

Well, You should be proud what the Brits did to the Irish people.

lanet olsun pkk ya.bu vatan? elimizden al?pta kürdistana çeviremezsiniz.pislikler.dini sömürerek bu vatan? alamazs?n?z.çünkü ATATÜRK’ ün çocuklar? bizler var?z burada!!!kafan?za sokun bunu!!!!

Well, since I’m a citizen of Turkey, I’ll give you the facts about the PKK, and the motives of this Terrorist organisation.
The PKK didn’t rise from the ban of the kurdish language or whatsoever, because the kurds are able to speak their languages within their homes, villages and many other places, and the ones in the rural areas, do not even care to learn turkish, mostly.
The rural kurds are mostly illiterate, refuse to send their children to school, and with the PKK attacks against schools in rural areas, and teachers, the eastern area has become devoid of human resources to develope the area.
The PKK does more damage than it ever did good.
They do this in order to make the kurds think that they have been forgotten by the goverment, but this is not the case, as much as it is not the case that the Kurds are treated like a 2. class citizen.
Kurds have all rights that a turkish person has.
Well, they are being stripped off their rights however, by their overly male dominated, and ignorant society and culture, and practice honour killings, whereas there are educated kurdish persons who speak proper turkish, and integrate themselves into the lifestyle that every upstanding member of the Turkish society enjoys.
The PKK does not seek the recognition of the kurdish language as a secondary language, or even the equal of turkish in govermental matters, but it seeks SEPERATION, a seperate kurdish state, whereas our country is built on the motto of unity.
We cannot let them destroy what our ancestors tried so hard to build.
But of course, since you people don’t live in Turkey, you may not know the matters 1st hand. I urge you to reconsider your thoughts on this matter.

Please feel free to read my pages. I have over 900 posts on all aspects of the Kurdish Freedom Struggle.

Of course the PKK are Freedom Fighters.

The Turks call us ‘terrorists’ just as they call us lots of racist things.

What a lot of people don’t realise about the Kurdish/Turkish issue is the amount of anti Kurdish racism and fascism.

Over 4,000 Kurdish villages have been burnt to the ground by the Turkish army alway accompianied with the most horrific torture and extra judicial execution.

But the Kurdish people want peace and we promise to bring peace and justice to Turkey.

Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Turkish troops out of Kurdistan! | News for Greens

    […] [From Liberal Conspiracy] […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.