Turkey Authorizes Incursions into Northern Iraq

October 22, 2007 04:28 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A recent surge in Kurdish separatist attacks in southeastern Turkey prompts the Turkish government to begin military operations along the country’s border with Iraq; however the country has not launched into a full incursion.

30-Second Summary

Turkey is considering a military incursion into Iraq following a recent series of bombings orchestrated by the ethnic separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK seeks autonomy for ethnic Kurds living in Turkey. The Turkish government alleges that the PKK is receiving support from Iraqi Kurds; and that the PKK is using the mountainous areas along the Iraqi-Turkish border to regroup and replenish its forces.

On Oct. 17, the country’s parliament passed a motion authorizing unilateral cross-border attack sometime in the next year to root out the PKK’s bases in Iraqi territory.

The U.S. and Iraq both fear an incursion has the potential to destabilize the region.

The Iraqi government is trying to prevent military action through diplomatic talks with Turkish officials. On Oct. 16, Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi flew to Turkey to negotiate with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul.

On Oct. 22, it was confirmed that PKK rebels captured 8 and killed 12 Turkish soldiers.

The weekend of Oct. 27 and 28, Turkish soldiers battled PKK members, trapping 100 rebels in caves near the border region, according to Turkey’s state news agency.

Headline links: Parliamentary and military moves

Background: What is the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)?

Historical Context: Drawing borders

Key Players: Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Ocalan

Reactions: Perspectives from within the Turkish government

Opinion and Analysis: Reactions from Turks, Kurds, and foreign observers

Related Topics: President with Islamist ties wins Turkish presidency


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